Parliament

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

 

Business as usual for defence brass

June 19, 2000

Business as usual for defence brass

Green MP Keith Locke has criticised a government defence framework issued today for not tackling the air and naval combat issues.

"It consciously avoids all the controversial issues, like the future of an air combat force," said Mr Locke, the party's defence spokesperson.

The Government misleads when it says the "new approach" is based on last year's select committee report, Defence Beyond 2000. The Defence Policy Framework is instead a "damp squib", Mr Locke said.

"Defence Beyond 2000 boldly put forward an option 'to disband the jet training and strike capability, on purely financial grounds'.

"Without addressing such issues, there won't be the money for the Framework's 'greatest needs', an 'upgrade of the Army's mobility, communications, surveillance and fire-support capabilities', and better 'and naval transport capabilities'. Air and naval combat forces currently take a lion's share of the defence budget, $234 million and $437 million respectively."

Even worse, the Framework opens the door to major new air and naval combat-related spending. That is, it defines the planned $445 million upgrade of Orions' anti-submarine detection and anti-radar system as an "urgent capital acquisition" which could proceed even before the completion of a review this year of maritime surveillance.

Participation in South East Asian Five Power Defence Arrangement exercises, which involve primarily Skyhawks, frigates and Orions, are restated in the Framework document.

"Today traditionalists in the Defence Force will be clinking glasses," Mr Locke said. "Nothing they are currently doing is ruled out. It's 'business as usual'. True, the document allows for peacekeeping, which the Greens support. But it also allows for participation in 'appropriate multinational peace support operation', outside of UN auspices, like our previous participation in US-led task forces in the Gulf."

The most positive section in the document is that which stops New Zealand engaging 'in military cooperation or exercises with the armed forces of states which sanction the use of their armed forces to suppress human rights'. Hopefully, that would be applied not only to the Indonesia, but to governments like Malaysia an Singapore, which persecute their political challengers, Mr Locke said.

ends

Keith can be contacted today at: 09-630-0789 (home), or 025-528-353. Paul Bensemann, press secretary 021 214 2665.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: on the inquiry into the abuse of children in care

Apparently, PM Jacinda Ardern has chosen to exclude faith-based institutions from the government’s promised inquiry into the abuse of children in state care.

Any role for religious institutions – eg the Catholic Church – would be only to observe and to learn from any revelations that arise from the inquiry’s self-limiting focus on state-run institutions… More

 

Gordon Campbell: On Jim Anderton
For anyone born after 1975, it is hard to grasp just how important a figure Jim Anderton was, for an entire generation.
During the mid to late 1980s, Anderton was the only significant public figure of resistance to the Labour government’s headlong embrace of Thatcherism...More>>

ALSO:


Gong Time: New Year's Honours List

Jacinda Ardern today congratulated the 179 New Zealanders named on the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

“Although this list was compiled and completed by the last government, it is a pleasure to welcome in the New Year by recognising exceptional New Zealanders,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“As an Aunty, I love reading books to my nieces, so it’s lovely to congratulate Joy Cowley, who is made a member of the Order of New Zealand today....More
Full list


Roads: National launches bid to save highway projects

The National Party has launched a series of petitions aimed at saving regional highway projects at risk because of the Government’s obsession with Auckland trams…More>>

ALSO:


Medical Cannabis: Bill Introduced to “ease suffering”

Health Minister Dr David Clark says making medicinal cannabis more readily available will help relieve the suffering of people who are dying in pain More>>

ALSO:

Campbell: On The Quest For Zero Net Carbon Emissions
Some would querulously ask, zero net carbon emissions by 2050 – while others would say, why not?
More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages