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Poor Govt planning leaves Navy high and dry


Simon Power National Defence Spokesman

14 April 2003

Poor Govt planning leaves Navy high and dry

"The Navy will be left high and dry for more than a year without decent training capacity because of a lack of foresight by the Government, says National's Defence spokesman, Simon Power.

The only training frigate, HMNZS Canterbury, will be decommissioned next year, well before the new ships commissioned by the Defence Force, under Project Protector, are expected to arrive in 2007.

Mr Power says such a lack of adequate training capacity will strip the Navy of properly trained personnel and leave the frigates Te Kaha and Te Mana vulnerable.

"If the Navy was better resourced, it could afford to cover the poor planning gap by keeping the Canterbury operating.

"Our personnel are highly regarded for their expertise but, once again, shoddy equipment is letting them down.

Mr Power says it is not good 'reputation management' that New Zealand will have to go cap-in-hand to borrow a suitable training ship from another Navy.

"And what if the Government can't negotiate to borrow a frigate?

"Does that mean we will have to employ foreigners to operate Te Kaha and Te Mana?

"Labour's Defence Force spending is a disgrace. Our defence men and women can't do their jobs properly without adequate training and equipment", says Mr Power.

Ends


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