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Burton defensive at Australia’s honesty

Max Bradford
National Defence Spokesperson

31 January 2002


Burton defensive at Australia’s honesty

Defence Minister Mark Burton is hardly the person to be criticising Australia about poor advice on New Zealand defence, National’s Defence spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

“Mark Burton hasn’t been too well advised himself in his poor decisions to cut our defence forces.

Mr Bradford was responding to Mr Burton’s criticism that Australian Defence Minister Robert Hill was ill advised on New Zealand defence issues.

“Robert Hill pointed out what all New Zealanders know. The New Zealand Government should be spending more on defence and it was wrong to disband our air combat capability and downgrade our navy to two frigates because this severely limits our ability to be a partner with other nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Australia knows we are now very much a passenger in regional defence.

“Mr Burton is the one who has been ‘let down by his officials’ in the resourcing of New Zealand defence. He is in no position to criticise Australia simply because he doesn’t like the honesty and reality that he’s hearing from across the Tasman,” Mr Bradford said.

Ends


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