Report of the Government Inquiry into Operation Burnham

Sir Terence Arnold KNZM QC, Chair
Sir Geoffrey Palmer KCMG AC QC PC,

Anna Wilson-Farrell
Manager Secretariat

Kristy McDonald ONZM QC
Andru Isac QC
Counsel Assisting


We are pleased to present the report of the Government Inquiry into Operation Burnham and related matters to the Attorney-General, Hon David Parker.

The issues examined by the Inquiry and canvassed in this report are of fundamental importance. Some go to two core principles of New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements —civilian control of the military and ministerial responsibility to Parliament. Others go to New Zealand’s international obligations in relation to the treatment of persons captured and detained in operations in Afghanistan in which New Zealand forces participated.

This has been a challenging and arduous inquiry. Despite that, if the recommendations we make are acted upon, it will, we think, have been worthwhile.

Many people have contributed to the Inquiry’s work. At the end of the report there is a list of the major participants. The insights and assistance that they have provided to us have been invaluable. We are deeply grateful to them.

Sir Terence Arnold QC signature

Sir Terence Arnold QC

Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC signature

Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC

17 July 2020


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