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Winston misses the target - again

John Carter National Defence spokesman

31 August 2004

Winston misses the target - again

Winston Peters's call for a return to compulsory military training for troubled youths is typical of him asking for something that is already in place, says National's Defence spokesman, John Carter.

He is commenting on a call by Mr Peters for the reintroduction of compulsory military training for troubled youths to ease the shortage of military personnel.

"Does Winston Peters really believe the skills gaps in our armed forces would be best filled by recruiting troubled youths?

"We already have the Limited Service Volunteer Training scheme for long-term unemployed and troubled youths. This provides a grounding for them, and if they find a calling and wish to join the service, then they can do so.

"However, the LSV has been run down by this Labour Government to the extent that barely half of the positions available are being filled.

"And what is Mr Peters's problem with recruiting service people from overseas? As long as foreigners have the necessary skills I do not see any good reason why they cannot serve in our armed services. We've done it for our police, and we are encouraging it in our health sector.

"We need committed, hard-working people to serve in our armed forces, and if someone is prepared to come to New Zealand, adopt it as their own, and fight for it, then so be it," Mr Carter says.

ENDS

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