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Bradford - Clark gets Te Kaha wrong

Max Bradford National Defence Spokesperson

09 March 2001

Clark gets Te Kaha wrong

Prime Minister Helen Clark is wrongly claiming the frigate Te Kaha required extensive refurbishment on its Southern Ocean mission to detract Patagonian toothfish poachers, National's Defence spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

"Clearly Helen Clark is so badly advised on defence issues she can't even get the facts correct.

"The ship was repaired at Thames, not the Devonport naval dockyards as she claimed. It did not require dry-docking.

"Te Kaha was hit by a massive 19 metre wave. The only damage was the loss of a capstan controller on the foredeck, two upper deck power points and two outside speakers. It cost $21,130, half paid for by the shipbuilder, Tenix.

"In an effort to support her justification not to replace frigate HMNZS Canterbury with a frigate, Clark said Te Kaha wasn't designed for resource protection and 'found the sea difficult to handle'.

"Te Kaha actually performed extremely well and navy experts acknowledged that similar vessels wouldn't have handled the rough ocean as well, and would have sustained more damage," Mr Bradford said.


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