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


Bye Bye Aussie, But Will You Protect Us?

The Government's plans to reduce New Zealand's defence force are dangerous in a region of instability, and will isolate our country from the very regional partners we need, National's Defence spokesman Max Bradford said today. "We are too small to stand alone on defence. Now we are turning our backs on known risks and friends, Australia our strongest partner in particular, and expecting our neighbours to pay our insurance policies and secure our future.

"This will be the week remembered as the point when the Labour-Alliance Government made bludging off others an integral part of our defence policy. But the plan is not only bludging, it is dangerous, given the Asia-Pacific region's arc of instability above Australia.

"Helen Clark's short-sighted plan leaves New Zealand with a defence force of similar capability to that of Papua New Guinea and Fiji. We spend only about half what Australia and other countries spend on defence in proportion to size and wealth. "All other countries in the ASEAN region have, or soon will have, combat capable air forces and navies. This contrasts to New Zealand turning the other way. "This defence package is a result of the misplaced ideology of the 1970's peace movement. Helen Clark was part of it. She hasn't learned any lessons from the increasing instability in our region, proven by her extraordinary assertion that New Zealand lives in 'an incredibly benign strategic environment' (source Face the Nation 5 April). "New Zealand badly needs a full debate on the role and importance of defence to every New Zealander. The call made by the seven retired defence chiefs is absolutely right. National will lead that debate, as defence will be a defining issue in the next election. "We won't let Labour, the Alliance and the Greens drag New Zealand into the wilderness of international martyrdom and irrelevancy," Mr Bradford said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joseph Cederwall: The End Of ‘Objectivity’ In Journalism

... and the dawn of something much better?
2019 looks like it might well be another really bad, terrible, not so good year for the traditional journalism model globally. Already in January three leading US digital outlets—BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, and Vice announced layoffs that have left many accomplished journalists unemployed. Consolidation of journalism looks set to continue unabated as larger (sharky) media conglomerates swallow up smaller players globally. We also appear to be witnessing the death throes of the concept of ‘objective’ truth in journalism. However, perhaps that is not at all as bad as it sounds, and we are just finally waking up to the reality that it never really existed in the first place... More>>


Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>


Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>


Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>


Party Politics In Tax Morale Survey: SSC To Seek Answers From IRD

Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins has today asked the State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes to examine IRD’s reported inappropriate use of a public survey. More>>


Health: Prohibiting Smoking In Vehicles Carrying Children

Under the change, Police will be able to require people to stop smoking in their cars if children (under 18) are present. Police will also be able to use their discretion to give warnings, refer people to stop-smoking support services, or issue an infringement fee of $50... It is expected that this amendment will become law by the end of 2019. More>>


Waitangi Day: Nationwide Events Commemorate Treaty Signing

“From large-scale events attracting tens of thousands of people such as those at Hoani Waititi Marae in Auckland and the Porirua Waterfront, to smaller gatherings in areas as far flung as the Chatham Islands and to the significant commemorations at Waitangi, these events are an opportunity for us to reflect on the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels