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


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news