Parliament

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

 

Where Now For NZ's Air Strike Capability?

The Government has cut New Zealand loose in defence terms in rejecting Derek Quigley's advice to go ahead with the contract for some F-16s, Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"It has made a short-sighted decision that will affect New Zealand's defence capability for a generation to come.

"There hasn't been a shred of public debate about this decision which, as Derek Quigley warned, was far too important to be taken in such an off-hand manner.

"The Government has the right to set its own defence priorities - despite Quigley's finding that the F-16s were a good deal. But it shouldn't set priorities in a vacuum.

"It has made a far-reaching decision in the absence of a proper review and without any clear word on the future, if any, of New Zealand's air strike capability.

"All we are left with after today is the prospect of the old A4 Skyhawks continuing in service for "some years to come."

"Then what?" Mrs Shipley asked. "Derek Quigley told the Government in no uncertain terms that cancellation would either mean far more expensive replacement costs in the future or an end to our air strike capability.

"As Quigley has said, this is a 'cart before the horse' decision.

Helen Clark has got to spell out which of those alternatives she wants.

"If the Labour-Alliance minority Government is committing New Zealand to a future without an air strike capability, then it should be telling us so.

"New Zealand has a proud history of contributing to regional strategic and defence actions to help ensure regional stability and secure trading routes. We also have a long record of contributing to peace-making and peace-keeping roles, as we demonstrated with our commitment to East Timor. We could not have sent troops in had 2we not had air cover available.

"We also require air strike capability to contribute to our regional security commitment and to provide balance in protecting our economic interests.

"As recently as 1997 the National-New Zealand First coalition recommitted New Zealand to a balanced defence force. We put a capital budget in place that would see the maintenance and upgrading of those capabilities.

"In each subsequent Budget we have made the appropriate allocation required and flagged any fiscal risks associated with this plan. The Government's claim of a financial shock in the defence Budget is pure politicking to justify its isolationism.

"The Government has left New Zealanders - and our friends and allies - with a vacuum rather than a defence policy," Mrs Shipley said.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

Nearly ten weeks after the huge Hong Kong protests began, managing to still get 1.7 million people onto the streets in the rain is a testament to how strong the pro-democracy movement has become...

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Welfare: More Measures To Help Those Facing Homelessness

Ministers have announced $54 million in Government funding for initiatives which will support at-risk individuals and whānau to stay in their existing tenancies. The funding will also provide additional wrap around services. More>>

ALSO:


Corrections: New Strategy On Māori Reoffending And imprisonment

Authentic co-design with Māori, incorporating a Te Ao Māori worldview, and greater connectedness with whānau are key elements of Hōkai Rangi, Corrections’ new departmental strategy designed to address the long-term challenge of Māori reoffending and imprisonment. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific Island Forum: Australia v Everyone Else On Climate Action

Traditionally, communiques capture the consensus reached at the meeting. In this case, the division on display between Australia and the Pacific meant the only commitment is to commission yet another report into what action needs to be taken. More>>

ALSO:

Unscoped Or Missed Damage: Resolution For Canterbury Owners Of On-Sold Homes

People with over-cap on-sold* properties in Canterbury can now apply for a Government payment so they can get on and repair their homes. More>>

ALSO:

Hamilton-Auckland: First Urban Growth Partnership Signed

New Zealand’s first urban growth partnership between the Government, local councils and mana whenua was signed at a meeting of mayors, chairs and ministers in Hampton Downs today. More>>

ALSO:

Vote On Action Next Week: Secondary Principals Walk From Negotiations

“Unfortunately we consider there is no further value in continuing negotiations at this point. The government has not been able to table an offer that will be acceptable to our members.” More>>

Patrol Car Stolen, Glocks Taken: Manhunt In Gore

The driver rammed the patrol car before fleeing on foot with Police chasing, also on foot. The man has then circled back around, stolen the patrol vehicle, which had the keys left in it, and rammed another Police car... Two Police-issued Glock pistols were stolen. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels