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Labour's treatment of Air Force a joke

John Carter National Party Defence Spokesman

1 March 2004

Labour's treatment of Air Force a joke

National Party Defence spokesman John Carter says Labour's treatment of the Air Force is a joke.

He is commenting on the breakdown in Rarotonga of an Air Force Hercules C130 - the third breakdown overseas of an Air Force relief plane in a week, and the seventh this year.

"This is embarrassing for the country and, more importantly, for our service people," says Mr Carter. "When is it going to end?

"It is absolutely disgraceful that Labour has let our international reputation plunge this low.

"It is long past the time that Helen Clark and Mark Burton did something about this.

"All this could have been avoided. National allocated money for upgrading these aircraft five years ago but the incoming Labour Government cancelled the contract. National would have fixed the problem but Labour aggravated it.

"Helen Clark expects the men and women of our armed forces to be loyal but she has to show some loyalty back," Mr Carter says.

"It's no wonder we continue to lose service people when they are treated like this."

ENDS

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