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Why Labour Is Not Campaigning On Defence

16 July 2002

Why Labour Is Not Campaigning On Defence

Figures out today that 60%of New Zealanders disagree with the Government's decision to disband the air combat force are no surprise, National Defence Spokesperson Richard Worth said today.

"The Government misfired when it disbanded New Zealand's air combat wing, with the New Zealand public, Australia and our other partners in the Asia Pacific region.

"The Save Our Squadrons survey is no surprise when it shows that even more New Zealanders oppose the Government's dumping of the air force now than they did last May when it was decided.

"Despite a public outcry the Government went ahead and shut down the air force without any consultation with New Zealanders. Kiwis believe we should pull our weight in the region.

"That's why you won't hear Helen Clark mention the words "defence" or "air force" anywhere on the hustings.

"Her Government has done New Zealand a disservice, and history will prove that it was wrong to cut New Zealand off from our partners in this way.

"National will not depend on other countries for our core combat defence capability. We will restore an appropriate form of air combat capability and negotiate a new ANZAC Defence Relationship with Australia based on full interoperability between the NZDF and ADF," Mr Worth said.


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