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New Zealand's First Refugees: Pahiatua's Polish Children

New Zealand army establishment

New Zealand army establishment

Army staff on the above camp strength totalled 23 on 10 April 1947. Included in this is one canteen worker and the matron of the hospital. The total of 23 represents a very large reduction from the establishment which became effective on 1 October 1946 and has almost reached a minimum below which the army functions in the camp could not be efficiently carried out.

As there are now approximately 300 fewer Polish children and staff in the page 311camp and that certain work once performed by the army is now carried out by Polish personnel on full or part-time, it would appear possible to assess the duties of the army staff as requiring full or part-time service.

If the reduced establishment which has been proposed by the commandant of the camp should replace the present one, it would appear that not enough consideration has been given to the evident fact that not all the camp duties require fulltime services. The proposed establishment totals 33, which is 10 more than the existing strength.

Fulltime service appears to be necessary in the following army posts:
Camp commandant 1
Adjutant and quartermaster 1
Quartermaster sergeant 1
Orderly room clerk 1
Quartermaster clerk 1
Ration clerk 1
Cook 1
Mess and kitchen 1
Fire master 1
Boot-repair instructor 1
Drivers 2
Driver mechanic 1
Hospital matron 1
Canteen worker 1
Total 15

The other members of the staff perform duties which take a few hours per day on most days.

Until recently, the Army Supply Corp (ASC) had a supply depot in the camp which was responsible for accounting for supplies. The ASC has now handed over to the camp the supply depot minus the accounting, which is done at ASC headquarters. As the accounting represents the greater part of the work, it could be expected that a reduction would have been made in the proposed establishment, but this is not the case as the same number of staff have been asked for.

One of the steam plants in the camp is being converted to oil burning and when this is completed, a reduction of 75% in the coal consumption will be effected. This will have a direct influence on the number of trucks in the camp and on the number of drivers. There appears to be at present one car and one van (commercial type) too many in the camp. After the conversion of the boiler to oil burning takes place, one dump truck should be withdrawn.

page 312

Having due regard to the amount of full and part-time duties and amount of work now done by Polish personnel, we consider that an army staff of 22 is essential for the efficient administration of this camp without lowering the present standard of service.