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


Is running away really defence force policy?

Simon Power MP National Party Defence Spokesman

14 August 2003

Is running away really defence force policy?

The National Party is appalled by Government support for a defence policy of 'trying to get away' if our engineers run into trouble while working in Iraq.

"Our defence policy has reached a new low and our fine personnel should not be placed in such an appalling situation," says National Party Defence spokesman Simon Power.

He's commenting after acting Defence Minister Steve Maharey gave his blessing to a comment from Major Greg Wilson who said that if Kiwi personnel came under fire they would try to get away as quickly as possible.

Steve Maharey told Parliament under questioning from Mr Power that he believed that running away would be a prudent course of action.

"It's nothing short of an outrage that our poorly resourced defence force has been reduced to running and hiding.

"The Government should have planned properly to send a sufficiently equipped and prepared group to Iraq," Mr Power says.

"It's clear Labour's half-baked deployment is an attempt to try and repair the damage it has done to New Zealand's international reputation.

"But New Zealanders need to ask what sort of message it sends to our traditional friends and allies when our personnel are given instructions from the Government to 'run away' at the first sign of trouble," says Mr Power.

"What has happened to the fearless ANZAC spirit?

"If New Zealand wants to be taken seriously as a partner in international foreign affairs, the Government must back our defence forces with adequate resources.

"Running away is simply not acceptable," says Mr Power.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages