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


Defence statement avoids hard decisions

Wayne Mapp
Opposition Defence Spokesperson
Monday 19 June 2000

Defence statement avoids hard decisions

The Government has washed its hands of the hard decisions on the future of New Zealand's Defence Forces, National Defence spokesperson Wayne Mapp said today.

"Instead of a policy we have 20 pages of platitudes with no decisions on crucial matters such as future air strike capability.

"There's nothing, for that matter, on the future of the armoured personnel carriers, the National Real Estate Review or future priorities for defence funding.

"We are now told there will be further reviews by November 2000.

"There is no excuse for this delay, especially since the Government has decided to ignore public opinion and refuse public consultation.

"But some things are clear. Instead of a balanced defence force, Helen Clark wants a niche force dependent on other countries to do the jobs we should be able to do ourselves. That is the hard lesson from East Timor that the Government has ignored.

"Critically, the Government has even failed its own test of re-equipping the Army. The very least one could expect is that the Government would follow through on National's programme to re-equip the Army. It's time the Army saw the equipment, including armoured personnel carriers.

"The apparent concentration on the Army ignores the instability in our region. The Solomon Islands have shown the importance of naval combat ability. Phil Goff himself recognised the value of Te Mana being deployed to the Solomons.

"East Timor demonstrated the need for balanced defence forces, with combat capability in each of the three services.

"Defence personnel were wanting decisions, and New Zealanders were wanting some certainty about future directions. Today's statement has delivered neither," Dr Mapp said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The RWC, And The Op Burnham Inquiry

Testimony was given that damning evidence had been culpably ignored, lost or (deliberately?) mislaid. The systems for handling secret material from our allies were – to be charitable – only loosely observed.

Moreover… vital evidence was only belatedly made available to the inquiry, and former NZDF officers later found to be central to the events under scrutiny were strangely missing from the original witness list offered by NZDF. In short, last week’s cross-examination of the military’s former top brass demonstrated in detail that the NZDF had consistently misled its Ministers (and the wider public) for years, over the impact of our military activities in Afghanistan. More>>


Guns, Lobbying: National Has Wish List For Arms Bill

National has today outlined the 13 changes we want to see in the second tranche of gun reforms before considering our support, National’s Police spokesperson Brett Hudson says. More>>


Call For Action On Expert Panel Report: Welfare System Needs Urgent Change

If we want New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child, the Government needs to increase benefits, remove sanctions, individualise benefits, and fix abatement rates now, says Child Poverty Action Group and ActionStation . More>>


First Data Releases: Mixed External Report On Census Fail Mitigation

The panel endorses the statistical approaches used to mitigate non-response... However, the unprecedented use of alternative government datasets to augment census data raises questions around ethics, social licence, cultural licence, and Māori data sovereignty. More>>


Aitches: Manawatū-Whanganui Region Spelling Corrected

The Manawatu-Wanganui Region will in future be correctly spelt Manawatū-Whanganui Region. The change also means the regional council will be known as the Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Council. Horizons Regional Council is the trading name for the council. More>>

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>


Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>


Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>


Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>





InfoPages News Channels