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Burton Should Do His Bit For Defence And Resign

Burton Should Do His Bit For Defence And Resign

Friday 30 Jul 2004 Rodney Hide Press Releases -- Foreign Affairs & Defence

ACT New Zealand Leader and Defence Spokesman Rodney Hide today called on mis-named Defence Minister Mark Burton to do his bit for the defence of New Zealand and resign his post.

"Anyone would have to be better than this clown. Our Skyhawks were valuable. Mr Burton oversaw the destruction of New Zealand's combat air wing and has seen these great planes reduced to scrap," Mr Hide said.

"Now his uselessness has been confirmed by news reports of the last flight of the last remaining flyable Skyhawk which, `weather permitting' is scheduled to make its last flight today.

"That's a disgrace. The RNZAF's version of the Skyhawk - the A4K - is equipped with one of the world's most modern single-seat avionics suites. A simple ferry flight from Ohakea to Woodbourne would be no challenge to its capabilities in anything but the most severe of weather conditions.

"It's clear that there is simply something wildly amiss. Our last combat jet is left on its last flight to fly only if the weather permits. And Mark Burton is supposed to be called our Minister of Defence.

"The skyhawks were valuable, but they are weapons of war. In order to be sold, they need security clearances from countries that used to be our good allies. I'd be interested to know whether getting these security clearances has proved difficult given our poor relationship with these nations," Mr Hide said.


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