Uniform change for Defence Force
The New Zealand Defence Force has decided to ditch the army camouflage uniform it spent $13.6 million on six years ago.
The current multi-terrain camouflage uniform (MCU) – introduced in 2013 – will be replaced with the New Zealand multi-terrain pattern (NZ MTP) uniform.
The change comes after a review and hundreds of complaints from personnel about the kit. Stuff reported in April there were 716 reports highlighting unfit material and manufacturing faults in the uniforms between January 2017 and January this year.
A Defence Force spokeswoman said feedback had been one factor in the uniform revision with changes in supplier capacity; new technology; and a desire to improve fit, form and function also influencing the decision. The uniform was also reported to be too hot to wear in some environments.
Reviewing and updating uniforms was routine for the Defence Force, she said.
The MCUs are worn by all ranks within the army and by Defence personnel deployed on operations. Defence Force publication Army News said production of the new uniform was planned to begin later this year with distribution starting next year.
The NZ MTP uniform was developed in conjunction with the Defence Force’s suppliers, Work Wear Group. The spokeswoman said the cost was mostly covered by an existing contract, though this could not be revealed due to commercial sensitivity.
Parts of the uniform would be replaced over a number of years and would be covered by the Defence Force’s annual clothing replacement funding.
The uniforms would be manufactured in New Zealand.
Defence Minister Ron Mark, in 2016, then in Opposition, commented on issues with the MCUs and lamented them being produced overseas. He was pleased the uniforms would be made domestically.
The Defence Force’s new multi-terrain pattern uniform, above, will replace the multi-terrain camouflage uniform, inset, after only six years in use.