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Burton Ducks For Cover Again

Monday, September 10 2001

All three inquiries announced today by the Minister of Defence have been designed to let Mark Burton off the hook, ACT MP Rodney Hide said today.

"All these inquiries specifically fail to get on top of the problems that the military actually face.

"It's the Minister who has allowed himself to be lobbied to disastrous consequence and who has sown the seeds of the infighting and low morale that he now complains about. It's the Minister who has overseen the total destruction of New Zealand's combat airforce. It's the Minister who has spent the thick end of $700 million buying twice as many LAVIIIs as his top military advisers recommended.

"And yet nowhere is the Minister's actions or those of this government to be investigated.

"These inquiries are designed for a specific purpose, and that is to draw attention away from the Minister of Defence and the Prime Minister. The focus is on the military when we should be investigating the actions of the politicians.

"Mr Burton runs away from any questions that prove difficult. Today's announcements are just another example of a weak Minister dodging scrutiny," Rodney Hide said.


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