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.


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 Bridges’ ‘Meth Crooks’ Leadership Failure

Back in June, Bridges publicly accepted that Housing NZ had got it wrong, and that the National government had acted upon bad advice.

Now, you’d think this admission would create a broad bi-partisan basis for compensation to those families who had been unfairly evicted, at considerable cost and emotional distress. Some people had lost their possessions in trying to meet the expense of the upheaval.

Not everyone felt so compassionate. More>>


Multimedia & Transcript: Acting PM's Press Conference

Winston Peters, Acting Prime Minister while Jacinda Ardern is in New York for the UN Leaders' Week, held a short press conference Monday after chairing this week's cabinet meeting. More>>

General Assembly: Ardern Rejects Trump Call For War On Drugs

New Zealand will not be signing the United States' document calling for global action on the war on drugs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Ms Ardern is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, along with about 140 other world leaders. More>>


Pay Equity: Cabinet Funds Deal For Oranga Tamariki Social Workers

The Minister said that an agreement in principle has been reached between Oranga Tamariki and the PSA on a settlement worth $114.6m over five years. More>>


Hunting v Pest Control: Tahr Control Needed To Protect Alpine Habitats

A cull of introduced Himalayan tahr browsing conservation land in Kā Tiritiri o Te Moana/ the Southern Alps is needed to protect special alpine plants and their habitats, Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage said. More>>


Protest At Sea: Judge Discharges Greenpeace Activists

The judge today discharged Norman and Howell without conviction, saying the cumulative consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion to what was “low level” offending off the Wairarapa coast in April 2017. More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>





InfoPages News Channels