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Overspending And Sackings At Defence HQ

Media Release

5 July 2000


New Zealand First has asked the Defence Minister to explain serious bureaucratic delays, mismanagement and sackings at the Ministry of Defence.

Defence spokesperson, Ron Mark, said today that there is evidence of six hundred million dollars being wasted through delays in buying defence equipment, not calling tenders and changing rules after tenders closed.

Four Ministry officials have lost their jobs.

“Something has gone badly wrong in procurement projects to replace armoured vehicles, light vehicles, tactical radios, and electronics for Air Force Orions.

“The Ministry of Defence is spending more than a billion dollars on this new equipment when it could have got it for half that sum through different suppliers.

“United States firms appear to be doing very well out of this and it makes me wonder if a quiet word has gone from the Beehive to the Ministry to buy from the Americans because of the cancelled F-16s deal.

”It is time for an explanation to New Zealand taxpayers who are sick and tired of the endless and expensive bungles in Wellington,” said Ron Mark.


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