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


Parliament Now Leads Defence Debate

The debate called for by a group of former defence chiefs has already taken place, says Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Matt Robson.

"From early in 1997 to August 1999 the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee of Parliament carried out the most open and comprehensive peacetime inquiry ever conducted into the future of New Zealand's defence," says Matt Robson.

Key contributors included Lieutenant General Tony Birks, Gerald Hensley, and Air Vice-Marshal Robin Klitscher (representing the New Zealand Returned Services Association).

"I was a member of that committee. Let there be no illusions: these retired defence chiefs had every opportunity to set out the proper information on which to have a debate. They did so with some vigour.

"So too did the then Minister of Defence, Max Bradford, supported by the Chiefs of Naval Staff, General Staff, and Air Staff."

Late in 1997, the committee published the results of its inquiries into New Zealand's place in the world and our role in Asia-Pacific security. A year later, in November 1998, it published an interim report on Defence Beyond 2000.

"Each report was used by the concerned public as a basis for critical review and debate. Experienced defence experts took part in that debate."

In April 1999 the committee stimulated a round-table discussion of the issues, attended by Denis McLean and Vice-Admiral Sir Somerford Teagle and some 70 defence and foreign policy experts.

"All this contrasts with the secretive way in which exclusive groups of Defence, Foreign Affairs and Treasury officials compiled all of New Zealand's earlier Defence White Papers," says Matt Robson.

This group was led at different times by Mr McLean, Mr Hensley, Sir Richard Bolt, Sir Ewan Jamieson, Sir Somerford Teagle, General Birks, and Air Vice-Marshal Klitscher.

"It's a bit rich for them to now cry foul," says Matt Robson.

"They are quite wrong to allege that there is no clear defence strategy.

"The strategy is not, however, focused on using military means to address symptoms. It utilises a much wider range of diplomatic, economic and other international cooperation instruments to address the causes of regional and global insecurity."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news