Process for Active, Territorial or Reserve Officers applying for Overseas Leave

J.D. Graham made this Official Information request to New Zealand Defence Force

The request was partially successful.

From: J.D. Graham

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to request information relating to the security of Defence Force officers when travelling overseas and the NZDF's jurisdiction in terms of approving or not approving travel to countries of risk.

I refer specifically to officers holding the Queen's Commission who, as outlined in the DFO(A) Volume 3 Personnel Matters, are under military law at all times regardless of whether they are in the Regular Force, Army Reserve, Naval Volunteer Reserve, Territorial Force, or other service that the government deems fit to raise (DFO(A) Vol 3 - Jurisdiction).

I am specifically writing to request copies of the relevant M.D. xxx (military document number ...) forms related to requests for overseas leave, and to request a hardcopy document with a list of nations on the NZDF's 'watchlist' or 'restricted list' where special permission must be sought for travel on non-official (non uniformed) business or pleasure. And what that "special permission" would require the person to do to satisfy the NZDF.

This includes documents which outline what circumstances require a security briefing before permission is granted, such as where there is a risk of involvement by state or non-state actors in attempts to recruit, subvert or otherwise influence serving NZDF officers.

For example, should a serving NZDF Officer with a "Top Secret" clearance decided to go on holiday to Russia as he or she is a historian and wants to visit Stalingrad, what precautions would be taken by the Defence Security Directorate to prepare that person to travel without revealing their 'value' to a foreign state or non-state intelligence organisation?

Finally, can an NZDF officer wishing to travel to a nation such as Russia or to any other nation whose interests are not always aligned with those of New Zealand and its allies -- e.g. China, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burma (Myanmar), Venezuela, Cuba, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Chechenya, Kashmir, Mali, or similar -- be formally barred from travelling to those nations if the risk were deemed high?

What measures are in place to stop someone with a high level security clearance simply travelling to those nations and placing themselves and the security of New Zealand, its reputation among nations and the information generated by government, at risk without being given official permission to do so?

Finally, is the Defence Force authorised to bar officers from travel to certain countries for their civilian business, even where a refusal might affect their business income -- for example, an officer of the Army Reserve or Reserve of Officers who wants to travel to Somalia as a consultant for an aid agency?

Or are there human rights laws that superseed, override or superimpose over defence legislation that prevent the NZDF from barring someone's freedom of movement as a free citizen of New Zealand -- e.g. the Bill of Rights?

Yours faithfully,

J.D. Graham

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From: ministerial services
New Zealand Defence Force

Attachment OIA 2014 2037 J.D.Graham.pdf
335K Download View as HTML

Dear J.D. Graham
Please find attached the response to your recent OIA request.
Yours sincerely
Deborah Mulliss
A/Manager Corporate and Ministerial Services
Office of the Chief of Defence Force
P:+ 64 496 0381 I F+ 64 496 0740
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