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In This Edition: ACC Farce – Ideological Dichotomy - Purchase Of Canadian GM LAV III'S For The New Zealand Army – Idiotic – Get Passionate! And Angry!

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ACC Farce

Re: Howard's End: ACC Case Management Audit

Yes it is about time their methods were looked into.Acc have spent $$$$? on 9 services to get me off What I'm entitled to through my injury at work.

I think they deliberatly hire very young staff, with no compassion Never mind the injury get rid of your granddaughter,go back to work.

And dont be selfish, think of the next person who will get injured. My comment: I didn't asked to be injured.

And people wonder why we got depressed with them on our backs, every week visit this one and that one. But Alas I still have the Pain.

shirley winikerei

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Ideological Dichotomy

Sir

The Labour governments pre-occupation with the "re-distribution of wealth" as a means to improving the lot of all New Zealanders' has been, is and always will be an ideological dichotomy that has set the country on an inexorable path to bankruptcy.

The thinking appears to be that, by taking from the "rich" (all those earning more than $33,000 a year) and passing the ill-gotten gains to the remainder by way of an ever increasing range of welfare benefits, so-called "Arts" grants, support and re-location of poor quality immigrants and refugees and a host of other equally dependency encouraging payments, the disadvantaged populace will somehow become academically focused, vocationally astute and fiscally independent.

The "fly in the ointment" and the dichotomy, is that through this ideological nonsense we have more people on benefits than ever in our history, the quality of immigrant is constantly being "dumbed-down" in order to achieve the numbers, emigration of the so-called "rich" is increasing and the numbers in the workforce earning less than the "rich" is increasing at a rate far exceeding that of the so-called "rich".

The net result of all this is that the level at which one becomes a member of the "working" rich elite will also have to be reduced (to say $25,000) in order that the tax take will continue to support the dependents. Alternatively, it will be necessary to further increase the "rich" tax rate. This will increase the emigration, which will set the whole cycle off on another round.

Welcome to life in the third world presided over by a government hellbent on imposing its Mao culture of grey on what used to be an innovative, can-do, get-up-and-go society with balanced morals and ideals.

For intelligent people I never fail to be amazed at how the Labour government and party can be so devoid of intellectual practicality

Mirek Marcanik

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Purchase Of Canadian GM LAV III'S For The New Zealand Army

Sir,

While admitting I am no expert on the matter, I am becoming increasingly concerned over the decision by the government to proceed with the purchase of the LAV III armoured vehicles to replace the ageing M113's.

There is mounting evidence suggesting these vehicles are very costly for New Zealand when compared with the price others are paying for the same vehicle and, more importantly, while they are certainly a formidable piece of hardware there is a growing body of evidence suggesting they are not suitable for the environment and tasks the New Zealand Defence Force will be operating them in.

This leads one to conclude that either, both the Government and Army may have been the recipients of some very selective and misleading tender advice, or (and I sincerely hope this was not the case) both chose to ignore what they were being told in favour of political expediency.

Firstly the cost. Current figures show this to have increased to almost NZ$7m for each vehicle. The US Army was reported (20 March 2002) to be spending US$4bn on 2,131 of a number of variants of the LAV III. That equates to US$1.877m for each vehicle, or some NZ$3.993m.

I also know that Ireland is to purchase similar vehicles at around PndsStg1m each. That is a very similar price to which the US is paying.

How come New Zealand is to pay such an inflated price.

While on the subject of price, I understand (New Weekly 22 September 2001) that the government was approached by a Tibor Banfy in respect of batering a deal for the purchase of Russian-built BTR-80's at a landed price in New Zealand of NZ$230,000 per vehicle. That would have amounted to some NZ$24m compared with NZ$677m for the 105 replacement vehicles under consideration.

Rugged and battle-tested the BTR-80 can be "retrofitted" to NATO standards by Vickers and Bofors. A 30mm "drop in turret" can be fitted and the series offers a range of armoured vehicles based on the same chassis, ambulances, cargo carriers and even mobile howitzers. The vehicle is amphibious and capable of crossing 106 kilometres of lake or sea at a stretch.

Used by the Turkish and South Korean armies, the BTR-80 had the best serviceability in Bosnia out of 16 contenders. Radios can be made compatible with it and a U.S. Cummins diesel engine can be fitted, although the Russian-designed one meets requirements. The BTR-80 can easily be carried by the RNZAF's C130s. The LAV III, on the other hand, requires its tyres to be deflated before entering because it is too high. At 105 inches wide it is also too wide to fit the cargo door bay.

While not necessarily advocating their purchase, they do seem a viable alternative. Yet the Prime Minister is understood to have written to Banfy listing the reasons why the BTR-80 would be unsuitable. It would be extremely interesting to know what those reasons were and just who her advisors were.

Secondly, during the registration for tender process in 2001 it was already evident, in widely available literature, the LAV III had a number of severe limitations with regard to their deployment and use in the environment envisaged by the government's revised defence strategy.

These limitations were identified from the use of earlier variants in places such as Bosnia, Afghanistan and Nigeria and consist of:

- being too heavy and too large to be effectively carried in a Hercules (C-130). According to Pentagon reports on weight limits, the C-130 can fly a 42,000lbs payload about 560 nautical miles. As the LAV III weighs in at 41,942lbs the RNZAF will be able to fly only one nearly half way across the Tasman sea to Sydney;

- major mechanical problems associated with the variant fitted with 25mm cannon which allows the ejected casings to jam both the drivers hatch and the turret;

- extensive traction and grip problems when the vehicles operate on wet and muddy sloping ground. This is reported to lead to the vehicle falling on its side and in extreme cases actually turning turtle;

- tyre integrity is severely compromised by even relatively low calibre rifle fire. Evidence is now coming to light that having only 2 tyres shot out on muddy terrain causes severe mobility problems, often resulting in what is now termed a "mobility kill". In other words, the vehicle loses forward mobility and comes to a halt.

Once a "mobility kill" has been engineered, the vehicles armour is such that penetration, again with relatively low powered rifles, is an easy task. This opens the vehicle and crew and/or infantry to all manner of "final kill" opportunities. Again, these have been reported and the results are horrific.

- LAV III's are incapable of effectively mounting barriers or obstacles in their path;

- Having successfully "grounded" in muddy conditions, the LAV III is unable to extricate itself because there is no lateral grip to the tyres and the suction between the bottom of the hull and the mud is too great for any forward momentum to be gained.

More recently, the Australian Army reported their wheeled 8x8 LAVs failed miserably in terms of mobility during their combat operations in East Timor.

Outlining the problems encountered, the Australian Army chiefs have said the LAVs were never able to operate off the roads and when the rains washed out the asphalt road surfaces, the LAVs "bellied out" and the Australians became entirely dependent on the M113s for operations in the interior.

They have decided that the LAVs are useful on roads inside Australia where the requirement to cross the northern deserts quickly make them useful. However, for overseas deployments they are inclined to restrict the use of LAVs to urban areas where the roads are good and rely otherwise exclusively on the new upgraded M113s that they are purchasing.

Apparently, the ground pressure exerted by the LAVs is very high indeed and this was a problem on East Timor's poor roads plus the LAVs provide little or no protection against mines.

History is littered with the, often fatal, experiences of troops being deployed in 4,6 and 8 wheeled vehicles, particularly in off-road situations such as those anticipated by the government.

It is with all the above in mind that we should earnestly seek the Government and Army undertake an urgent review of this purchase, if for no other reason than to be sure that what we are getting is going to provide the best possible protection for the soldiers having to man or be transported in these vehicles as efficiently and effectively as possible .

Should anyone be in doubt as to the validity of the claims made in this letter or consider it to be emotional ramblings, you are invited to visit the following web-site:

http://www.geocities.com/lavdanger/

In this you will find a wealth of information and links to other sites offering both the pro's and con's of the vehicle as promoted by the main interested parties

Mirek Marcanik

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Idiotic

Scoop should allow comment on your biased web site. Why can we not counter the utterly unscientific and fundamentalist diatribes by such as Keith Rankin. Why don't you admit you are a news organisation promoting green socialism. idiotic

peter quixote

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Get Passionate! And Angry!

Dear Editor,

I watched an apalling program - "The Holmes Show" on TV1 It purported to be a look at what ordinary people of what mayor (!)Bob Parker chooses to call his town, thought about the election.

I refuse to give the town its right name. It was a TVNZ setup. Bob Parker of the TV media and Jim Hopkins of radio Pathetic....I ask you... Why Rod Donald did not get up and have some gumption and say "This is crap!" I can not understand. He just kept smiling. Total bull.

We are not going to get anywhere until the Green Party gets passionate! And angry! About our stupid biased media who rule us for America or at least Madison Avenue. Junk food and sick violent Hollywood.

One woman tried to talk about our violent television. Paul Holmes stopped it and we had to go into an advert break. Another woman got lots of air time for rabitting on about an air force as being essential. Yeah right. To protect crap. So much we the greens, lost tonight because of TV! So little time.

Brian Evans.

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