NZ Troops Possibly Put At Risk
22 May 2002
NZ Troops Possibly Put At Risk --Minister Doesn't Mind
New Zealand First Deputy Leader, Peter Brown MP, is wanting to know what the Government and most particularly the Minister of Defence is doing to protect New Zealand troops.
This follows a trip by 210 East Timor-bound New Zealand personnel in a Russian plane on 14 May this year.
“I understand the plane was not allowed to land in Australia because of safety concerns and had to be refuelled at Noumea. The Russian airline has an inferior safety record when compared with Air New Zealand. But despite all that the Minister is quite willing to let our personnel fly on it,” said Mr Brown.
“Instead we have the Minister of Defence saying in Parliament today that it’s OK because the flight was a UN charter. In other words the Minister of Defence is claiming he has no jurisdiction over the Ministry of Defence. The Minister dodged the question by asking for further information-does this mean he doesn’t know what is going on in his own Ministry as well?” enquired Mr Brown.