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Problems of 2 NZEF



Several times during the war we appealed to New Zealand to help us out with MT. On one occasion they sent us a consignment of trucks with the names of the original owners still decorating the sides – ‘XYZ, Carrier, Lower Hutt’ and so on. On one or two occasions they sent us the consignment direct, and on one occasion a consignment for GHQ.

We were probably extravagant over MT, and were not content until we were self-contained throughout, and until all the bits and pieces had transport of their own – chaplains, public relations, and anyone whose duties necessitated his travelling round and about with any degree of frequency. Our scales were higher than with British formations and led, as has already been mentioned, to arguments with GHQ regarding our right to the vehicles under the financial agreement. The additional cars prevented a lot of minor irritations, such as a state of affairs that left the unit chaplain to travel on any vehicle in which he could beg a seat.

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But in an endeavour to economise on MT, we tried once or twice to establish a pool of cars at HQ 2 NZEF. The rule we tried to enforce was that whether or not an officer had a car of his own depended upon the degree of urgency with which he might be called on to move, and not on seniority alone. If an officer could always give fair notice of his wish for transport, there was no point in tying up a car for him all the time; whereas if he might have to move at short notice, then a car must be ready for him. There then followed protests from senior officers who were excluded from the chosen few, and somehow or other they got their cars. To enforce the rule strictly was a hopeless task, and probably the effort was not worth it, for compared with the scandalous waste of MT that went on throughout our force and in the army generally, our little saving would not have been even one drop in the ocean.