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Nowhere Safe From Terror - Hide

Nowhere Safe From Terror - Hide

Friday 10 Sep 2004

Rodney Hide - Press Releases - Defence

The latest terrorist attack - this time on the Australian Embassy in Jakarta - has shown that no one, anywhere, is safe from terrorism, ACT New Zealand Leader Rodney Hide said today.

"Despite what Prime Minister Helen Clark claimed when running down New Zealand's defensive capacity, New Zealand and New Zealanders don't live in a `benign strategic environment'," Mr Hide said.

"ACT wants New Zealand to be the safest country in the world, and part of that safety is protecting our citizens as best we can from terrorists who would destroy our way of life. Helen Clark has left New Zealand woefully unable to defend itself and its citizens.

"We need to establish the national security governance structure - to co-ordinate defence policies, planning and activity - as a priority, as recommended by former State Services Commissioner Mr Don Hunn in his report to the Government.

"We need to boost our defence spending, to double what it is now, to provide adequate capability. That would boost defence spending from $6 a person a week, to $12 a person a week. We must also re-activate collective security arrangements with our former allies Australia and the US, and reach out to other nations in our region.

"We learned in Bali that our region is not safe from terrorism, and some of the same people have struck again in Jakarta. New Zealanders, at home or serving our country overseas, deserve the best protection we can give them.

"We can't stick our heads in the sand as the Prime Minister has, and pretend New Zealand is safe. We need to play our part in providing for the security of our region," Mr Hide said.

ENDS


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