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

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Saudi Oil Refinery Crisis

So the US and the Saudis claim to have credible evidence that those Weapons of Oil Destruction came from Iran, their current bogey now that Saddam Hussein is no longer available. Evidently, the world has learned nothing from the invasion of Iraq in 2003 when dodgy US intel was wheeled out to justify the invasion of Iraq, thereby giving birth to ISIS and causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. More>>

ALSO:

Veronika Meduna on The Dig: Kaitiakitanga - Seeing Nature As Your Elder

The intricate interconnections between climate change and biodiversity loss, and how this disruption impacts Māori in particular. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On China And Hong Kong (And Boris)

In the circumstances, yesterday’s move by Lam to scrap – rather than merely suspend – the hated extradition law that first triggered the protests three months ago, seems like the least she can do. It may also be too little, too late. More>>

ALSO:

Dave Hansford on The Dig: Whose Biodiversity Is It Anyway?

The DOC-led draft Biodiversity Strategy seeks a “shared vision.” But there are more values and views around wildlife than there are species. How can we hope to agree on the shape of Aotearoa’s future biota? More>>

ALSO:

There Is A Field: Reimagining Biodiversity In Aotearoa

We are in a moment of existential peril, with interconnected climate and biodiversity crises converging on a global scale to drive most life on Earth to the brink of extinction… These massive challenges can, however, be reframed as a once in a lifetime opportunity to fundamentally change how humanity relates to nature and to each other. Read on The Dig>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog