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

 


A Simple Question for Cabinet's "Weakest Link"

At Last! A Simple Question for Cabinet's "Weakest Link"

Sunday, August 19 2001


ACT Finance spokesman Rodney Hide said today it was now obvious that "Weakest Link" Minister Mark Burton couldn't answer the tough questions concerning his portfolio responsibilities.

"So now I have a simple question for the hapless Minister: Who's telling the truth?

"The Government has given three different answers to the simple question of whether the new LAV IIIs could have made it to the contact area where Private Leonard Manning was killed in Timor last year.

"Answer Number One comes from Minister of Foreign Affairs Phil Goff who filled in for the bunking Minister of Defence last Thursday. Hon Phil Goff told the House that, 'I am advised by the land component commander of the New Zealand army that whether the vehicle was tracked or wheeled, an armoured vehicle would not have been able to get in close proximity to the ambush were Private Leonard Manning was killed'.

"Answer Number Two comes from the hapless Mark Burton the very next day in a Press Release where he declared: 'That subsequent to the incident involving Private Manning's death, however, a M113 APC was able to move to within about 30 metres of the patrol's position. The NZ Defence Force advise me that the LAV III would be able to get at least as far as the M113'.

"So on Thursday no armoured vehicle was able to 'get in close proximity' while on Friday we are told that the old clapped out M113 was able to get within 30 metres. That's close. The machine guns on the M113 have a range of two kilometres. The turret gun has a range of 1.8 kilometres. We are also told that the LAV III could have made it just as far as the M113.

"The two Ministers can't both be right. Either Phil Goff or Mark Burton is wrong. Of course, they could both be wrong.

"Answer Number Three was from the Chief of Defence. He stated in a draft answer finally released under the Official Information Act that: 'Because of the rugged nature of the terrain in the immediate area where the fire-fight occurred, it would not have been practicable for the LAV IIIs to have been used. There was no realistic alternative to moving on foot.'

"According the Chief of Defence, the M113 made it, but the LAV III couldn't.

"We have one question, but three answers. My question to Cabinet's 'Weakest Link' is this: Who's telling the truth?

"The answer is not an academic one. The taxpayer is spending over $700 million for the LAV IIIs. It's now a serious question whether the LAV IIIs could have assisted the patrol in terrain such as that in which Private Leonard Manning was killed. This is the very sort of terrain that our soldiers will most likely find themselves in.

"We still don't know. Our soldiers risking their lives deserve better from their Minister than this. They need to know just what the capabilities are of the LAV III. The Minister might think he's smart dodging questions in Parliament ' but he should spare a thought for our soldiers who may well be dodging bullets wondering just which Minister is right and whether a LAV is its on way," concluded Rodney Hide.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news