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Tyre Kicker Burton Must Go

Media Release
21 January 2003

Tyre Kicker Burton Must Go

New Zealand First has called for Defence Minister Mark Burton to be sacked because of problems with the Army’s dysfunctional new $7.5 million LAVIII’s, which have serious maintenance problems.

Defence spokesperson Ron Mark said the minister was ignorant about providing the required level of support to vehicles of such complexity and it was time the prime minister put him out of his misery and sacked him for his incompetence.

“ Claims by Mr Burton that broken rear axles, hubs and transfer cases are minor glitches that are to be expected are simply nonsense.

“No one who has purchased seven top of the range, new Range Rovers would accept two of them being off the road for three months after travelling only 54 engine hours.” Mr Mark said.

“These problems indicate that these vehicles are incapable of coping with the rugged Waiouru terrain while an upgraded M113 would have handled it easily.

“They also show that despite promises and assurances by Mr Burton that spare parts and specialist tools were included in the buy, they were not.

“This failure, which he has admitted in his own answers, shows that he is no more qualified to be purchasing high tech military equipment than any other tyre kicking salesman from Taupo,” said Mr Mark.

(NOTE- Mr Mark is a former Army officer and an expert in military vehicle maintenance)

ENDS

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