Tauranga mechanical and engineering company, Haden, O’Donnell, Griffin was named as the Territorial Forces Employer Support Council (TFESC) National Employer of the Year, at a special ceremony at Parliament.
The ceremony, which recognises employers who are committed to supporting their Reserve Force employees in their workplace, was attended by Minister of Defence Hon. Dr Wayne Mapp, members of Parliament, employers of Territorial Force personnel and NZ Defence Force personnel.
The three award categories for excellence in the public sector, excellence in the private sector, and the TFESC National Employer of the Year award were presented by the Minister of Defence Hon. Dr Wayne Mapp, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones and TFESC Chairman Peter Townsend.
The TFESC National Employer of the Year Award was presented to John Tomlinson of Haden, O’Donnell, Griffin for the support shown to their employee Chief Petty Officer Marine Technican Paul Brennan of the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNZNVR).
Haden, O’Donnell, Griffin Tauranga branch manager John Tomlinson said, ”This is a significant award for us. Paul is an integral part of our Branch’s management team and releasing him for service has required effort at times, so it is great to be able to have that recognised.
“It also recognises Paul’s contribution both in civilian employment and as a reservist for the Defence Force, and the benefit our company receives from his Reserve Force training and experiences that Paul brings back in to our company. This was shown in recent events where Paul flew down to assist our branch in Christchurch over a three week period to provide management and supervision for our staff following the earthquakes. He utilised his Reserve Force training into a civilian environment providing leadership and specialist skills.
Individuals like Paul bring value to our organisation in many ways that are not always transparent, but are never the less very significant and real. We believe his diverse background and experience in the Reserve Forces compliments his role in our organisation very well, and we are please to have this additional “x factor” available to us.”
The public sector award was won by WELTEC who were nominated by Able Seaman Barry Dulieu, RNZNVR.
The private sector category was won by Auckland law firm, Duff Lawry Richmond Lawyers, who were nominated by Staff Sergeant John van der Zanden of the Territorial Force of the New Zealand Army.
Dr Mapp said, ”As a former reservist, I know first hand of the difference that a supporting employer can make to a young soldier wanting to slip away early on a Friday afternoon to attend a weekend’s training, or needing two weeks leave to attend an Annual Field Exercise.
“Knowing you can count on an employer to provide that support is reassuring and enables you, as a reservist, to focus on the military task at hand.”
The Reserve Forces were vital in assisting with the Christchurch earthquake response. More than 200 Reserve Forces changed their civilian clothes for a uniform during February and March to support the Civil Defence recovery effort.
The Reserve Forces of the New Zealand Defence Force are made up of the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve, the Territorial Force of the NZ Army and the Territorial Air Force. Currently there are over 2,378 territorial reservists serving in the NZ Defence Force.