Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Minister Releases Defence Briefing Papers

Embargoed until 1am Thursday 13th January
12 January 2000

Minister releases Defence briefing papers

Post-election briefing papers from the Ministry of Defence and the New Zealand Defence Force show that some crucial issues need to be addressed, the Minister of Defence Mark Burton said.

"The briefing illustrates the general erosion in defence spending under previous Governments. Restricted budgets have resulted in a decline in equipment reliability and combat viability.

"Capital expenditure plans became a shambles under National. After years of neglect, a range of vital equipment purchases was approved in 1996 - but no provision was made for either currency fluctuation or inflation. By 1998 there was a funding crisis. 27 approved projects were given a lower priority with no funding attached to them. New requirements have also arisen that have not been approved.

"National lurched into replacement of our air combat capability years ahead of any plan to do so, when there was no money in the baseline to make that possible unless it came at the expense of other priorities. Our military personnel have gone to Bosnia and East Timor and put their lives on the line, with aging armoured personnel carriers and unreliable communication equipment.

"Capital spending priorities need to be urgently addressed. The Government has already announced a review of the F-16 deal and Derek Quigley is to report back by March. It is interesting to note that with regard to the current Fixed Wing Transport Force, the briefing raises concerns about the aged Boeing 727 and C-130 Hercules aircraft. The 727s are facing increasing restrictions on their use while the C-130s have high maintenance costs.

"Improving the ability of our armed forces to transport personnel and equipment to theatres of operation, may prove a higher priority than new fighter jets," Mark Burton said.

"Contrary to Opposition claims, the new Government will not be "downgrading" our defence capability, but there will be a careful assessment of priorities. The Government is committed to maintaining a credible defence force which provides for our national security, makes an appropriate contribution to regional security and to international peacekeeping."

(Copies of the Briefing Papers are available from Mark Burton's Beehive Office.)

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election