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Wednesday 9th Feb 2000
Richard Prebble
Media Release -- Foreign Affairs & Defence

ACT Leader and Defence Spokesman Richard Prebble said it was significant that the Philippines embassy has confirmed his statement in Parliament that the Philippines was in preliminary negotiations to purchase the New Zealand Skyhawks.

"This would indicate that the source that the ACT Party has been in contact with in Washington is reliable and accurate," Mr Prebble.

"What is most significant is that US strategic thinkers have reassessed the defence risk in the South Pacific as being high.

"Every defence review has concluded that there are no defence threats to New Zealand. But developments in our own backyard such as the coup in Fiji, the civil war in Bougainville and the unrest last year in the Solomons requires New Zealand to rethink our complacency.

"The events in East Timor and Indonesia are a very significant developments and looking wider, the main perceived threats to world peace, namely the Korean peninsula and Taiwan, are in areas of great interest to New Zealand.

"Now is not a good time to be resigning from our defence relationships," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.




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