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

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


'Public Safety': Next Firearms Reform Plan Announced

The next Arms Amendment Bill will:

• Establish a register of firearms and licence holders to be rolled out over 5 years
• Tighten the rules to get and keep a firearms licence
• Tighten the rules for gun dealers to get and keep a licence
• Require licences to be renewed every five years
• Introduce a new system of warning flags so Police can intervene and seek improvement if they have concerns about a licence holder’s behaviour
• Prohibit visitors to New Zealand from buying a gun... More>>

 

Ihumātao Development: Protesters Served Eviction Notices

Ihumātao is next to the Ōtuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve in Māngere, home to New Zealand's earliest market gardens and a significant archaeological site on land considered wāhi tapu (sacred) by local hapū and iwi. More>>

Separation: Law Commission Recommends New Law For Dividing Property

The Law Commission recommends a range of changes to make the law fairer for partners dividing property on separation. More>>

ALSO:

'ClimbIt Crisis: Greenpeace Climbers Seek OMV Majestic Centre HQ

The two Greenpeace climbers who are scaling the outside of the tallest building in Wellington have unfurled the first of a series of banners. More>>

ALSO:

Suspect Was Also Kicked: Shots Fired To Warn Fleeing Driver Not Justified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer's decision to fire three warning shots to stop a fleeing driver from reversing towards him was not justified. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Being Australia's Pacific Go-Fers

Inevitably, there was an aspect of ‘what might have been’ about the weekend’s meeting in Canberra between PM Jacinda Ardern and her Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Trades Hall Bombing Case Re-Opened, Evidence Released

The cold case has been reopened and the police have recently revealed more details about the bomb's components - including that it was wrapped in a 1977 edition of The Evening Post. More>>

Safety: Govt Targets Fewer Deaths On The Road

“Most roads deaths and serious injuries are preventable and too many New Zealanders have lost their lives or been seriously injured in crashes that could have been prevented by road safety upgrades,” said Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Rise Delay: Teachers Unions Plan Legal Action Against Novopay

Both of the teachers unions - NZEI and the PPTA - have confirmed they will be taking legal action against Novopay. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels