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LAV: Lacks Army Value

LAV: Lacks Army Value

Wednesday 27 Aug 2003 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Foreign Affairs & Defence

It is completely outrageous that the Government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on military vehicles that cannot be transported by air when our soldiers are deployed overseas, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Defence Spokesman Ken Shirley said today.

"The Labour Government has spent over $700 million on 109 LAVIIIs - and yet Major-General Jerry Mateparae cannot confirm whether they are able to be transported in our only military transport plane, the Hercules C130.

"I have been asking Parliamentary Questions on this issue for more than 12 months, and am yet to receive any satisfactory answers. This is completely unacceptable.

"New Zealand has played a role in almost all recent peacekeeping operations, and our soldiers deserve adequate equipment - not 109 vehicles which cannot be flown, with our soldiers, on overseas missions.

"Will the taxpayer find that $700 million has been spent on 109 highly-specialised vehicles, which can only be used at home on training exercises?" Mr Shirley said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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