Parliament

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

 

Defence shambles - Richard Prebble

Friday 11th Feb 2000
Richard Prebble
Media Release -- Foreign Affairs & Defence

ACT Leader Richard Prebble said today the Government's defence policies were clearly in disarray. "On Wednesday morning the Minister of Defence Mark Burton claimed that my statement that the Philippines government was looking at purchasing the Skyhawks was rubbish. "Since then the Government's statements have been changing hourly. "Now we have the Prime Minister confirming that the international accounting firm Ernst & Young has been commissioned to be the advisors on the sale and this commission had not been stopped. "It's my advice that the firm is not only working actively but is also billing the Government, and they're not cheap. "Officially, the Government's position is actually not what the Prime Minister is now stating. The New Zealand Government has not given any advice to the US that it does not intend to fulfil its legal contractual obligations to lease the F16 aircraft. "Helen Clark's unilateral statement issued yesterday for officials to stop work on the Skyhawk sale indicates that the Government is not acting in good faith and is not in fact reviewing the F16 contract but has decided to cancel it and has set up the Quigley review to try to find some reasons. "The Philippines government, who my informants advise me have been spending both time and money evaluating the Skyhawk purchase, have every reason to feel that they have been misled by our Government and to regard New Zealand as an unreliable nation. "What the debacle also demonstrates is the penalties of the Prime Minister's authoritarian style.

"Her interference in the defence portfolio has led to confusion as to who is the Minister of Defence - is it the Prime Minister or is it Mr Burton? "The Prime Minister's public threats against civil servants who give advice that she doesn't like has meant that the New Zealand embassy in Washington has clearly been too nervous to pick up the phone and discover information that ACT MPs are able to get just phoning Washington from Wellington. "The Prime Minister will discover that you can't make bad news go away just by throwing the messenger down the well. "The Government's inept handling of the F16 deal and the Skyhawk sale has already permanently damaged New Zealand's reputation and is rapidly developing into a major foreign policy debacle. "You can imagine how nervous Jim Bolger and the New Zealand embassy staff in Washington are about being accused by Helen Clark of putting forward policies that aren't in the Labour party's manifesto!"

ENDS

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


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The West’s Role In Arming Khashoggi’s Killers

The cliché about one death being a tragedy and a million deaths only a statistic has been demonstrated in spades by the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Of all the crimes committed over the past decade by the Saudi regime, it has been this revenge killing ordered by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that has finally brought universal condemnation. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

MP Reportedly In Mental Health Care: Speaker Of The House Seeks Advice

After unleashing a volley of damaging allegations against his former leader, National's Simon Bridges, and his party, Jami-Lee Ross was reportedly taken into mental health care over the weekend. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Jami-Lee Ross (And The New Hobbit Law)

Clearly, Jami-Lee Ross is not waging a normal form of political warfare, with agreed rules of combat and rational cost/benefit calculations.

This is politics-as-terrorism where everything is being sacrificed by the man in the bomb vest in order to remove Simon Bridges as the leader of the National Party. More>>

ALSO:

Film Industry Working Group:

Three Killed: DOC Supporting Family, Colleagues After Helicopter Crash

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is rallying around family and colleagues of the staff who died in a helicopter crash this morning in Wanaka... The helicopter, with two DOC staff on board, was on its way to undertake tahr control in the Haast area when it crashed. More>>

ALSO:

Political Donations: Greens Call For Tighter Anonymity Rules And Public Funding

“It is clear that those vested interests have a tangible influence on the decision making of political parties. This is a threat to democracy and should change.” More>>

ALSO:

Education Amendment Bill Passes: Urgency Sought For Partnership School Treaty Claim

The claim takes issue with the acts and omissions of the Crown in respect of the closure of Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua. More>>

ALSO:

Salvation Army Paper: Call For Public Housing Investment

To meet these future demands the report suggests the government needs to look beyond the private rental market and begin to invest heavily into home-ownership programmes and more public and social housing. More>>

ALSO:

Cull: Himalayan Tahr Control Operation Proceeding

“The target of controlling 10,000 Himalayan tahr over the next eight months remains. The revised plan provides for a staged control operation with increased reporting to the Tahr Liaison Group...” More>>

ALSO:

Health: Petitions To Fund Breast Cancer Drugs

Women marching to Parliament today, to present two petitions calling for Government funding of vital medicines, have 100% support from a coalition representing than 30 breast cancer organisations. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels