Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Row Over Missing F16 Money

A row has broken out over whether money had been allocated to pay for the purchase/lease of F16 aircraft from the US. Scoop's Chris Holm reports.

At a press conference in Parliament yesterday Prime Minister Helen Clark said the Government wouldn’t be spending the money put aside for the F16 fighter deal with the United States on other military equipment because the money “simply did not exist”.

Ms Clark said recent Treasury advice showed the cost of purchasing military equipment had soared, more than doubling to $1.2 billion.

Five hundred million dollars for military items was put aside by the National Government in response to a defence white-paper report last year.

She also said the government would deal with the question of how they could afford some of the new items the military needed at a time, “when we’re under a lot of pressure for capital for everything from schools, to roads, to public transport infrastructure.”

During the Press Conference Ms Clark confirmed she had received a report from Treasury officials which indicated the exit price for New Zealand might - depending on the exchange rate – in fact be a fiscal gain to the New Zealand government.

Responding to the PM’s remarks today, former Defence Minister Max Bradford said the Prime Minister was telling, “absolute and extreme porkies”, when she said the money never existed for the purchase of the F16 aircraft.

"Miss Clark seems to not understand the rules by which the Treasury approves and account for capital expenditure.” Mr Bradford said.

"The situation is quite clear and always has been. National approved all the funding for the F16's at the time the decision to lease was made last year, and that is all spelt out in Treasury and Cabinet papers at the time.”

In a conference with Australian Prime Minister John Howard last week Prime Minister Helen Clark assured the Australians New Zealand would spend “quite a lot more” investing in the army.

She said antiquated army equipment had let the armed forces down on a couple of occasions during operations in East Timor. Both Australia and America are hoping New Zealand will increase its defence spending.

Last night on television programme Holmes editor of The Australian Newspaper Greg Sheridan criticised the New Zealand Government’s direction in defence spending which is only one percent of our gross national product GNP.

Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton responded by raising the underarm bowling incident.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Peace Plan: Ten Ways To Tackle Online Hate

A Helen Clark Foundation project to reduce online harm will be presented today in competition at the Paris Peace Forum... 'The Christchurch Principles' is the only Australasian initiative out of the 120 international projects chosen to be highlighted at the forum. More>>

ALSO:

Good Death: A Historical Perspective On Euthanasia

Some critics of the bill present religious and moral objections against euthanasia, while proponents have focused on the trauma and pain of terminally ill patients and their families. All these arguments have a long history. More>>

5 November - Parihaka: How NZ Government Misused Laws To Crush Non-Violent Dissent

This week, Māori in the Taranaki region remembered the “day of plunder” – the 1881 government invasion of Parihaka, the small settlement that had come to symbolise peaceful resistance to the confiscation of Māori land. More>>

Scoop Hivemind Report: Common Ground On Biodiversity

The HiveMind report Protecting and Restoring New Zealand’s Biodiversity, published today, analyses and summarises the findings of this engagement in which over 500 Kiwis took part. [Image: Cameron Houston, DOC] More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Trudeau’s Election ‘Victory’

Even before the votes were counted, the prospect of a Liberals/NDP minority government was being depicted as being not only Big Energy’s worst nightmare but as grounds for the western province of Alberta seceding (Wexit!) from Canada... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog