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B2000: Commitment to a Defence Force upgrade

Hon Mark Burton
Minister of Defence

15 June 2000


Commitment to a Defence Force upgrade

The capital equipment programme for the New Zealand Defence Force will be boosted by capital injections over the next five years, Defence Minister Mark Burton announced today.

Capital injections for Vote:Defence Force were not required in Budget 2000 but it is anticipated that Defence will require capital injections in future years in order to meet the Government's defence policy objectives. This money comes on top of funding NZDF already has available for capital spending from depreciation.

"A significant boost in the spending on capital projects will begin appearing in the 2001-2002 budget," Mark Burton said.

"The Government's Defence Policy Framework will be announced this month.

"This framework will outline the key elements of the Government's approach to defence, its defence objectives, the roles and tasks of the New Zealand Defence Force and in general terms how the Government intends to shape and rebuild the NZDF.

"When the Government makes its statement on the Defence Policy Framework it will also set out the process by which priorities in defence spending will be set.

"The Ministry of Defence is currently assessing a number of capital acquisition projects. Some of those projects may be ready to come forward to the Government for final approval within the coming financial year. If that occurs, individual financial decisions will be taken at the time.

"However, it is envisaged that most of the extra spending required on capital acquisitions, by the very nature of purchasing arrangements in the Defence area, will fall in future years," Mark Burton said.

"The capital investment programme will concentrate on defence resources in a range of affordable and sustainable military capabilities that contribute to meeting the Government's objectives.

Peacekeeping operations

"The Government has also reinforced its commitment to defending freedom and fairness by continuing to support New Zealand's contribution to international peacekeeping operations," Mark Burton said.
"An additional $7 million funding will support New Zealand's peacekeeping operation in East Timor in 2000/01 (on top of the $33 million set aside in the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update).

"Further funding of around $2 million has been allocated to maintaining our commitment to the Bougainville peace process," Mark Burton said.


ENDS

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