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Aussies give up on NZ’s defence stance

Don Brash MP National Party Leader

26 April 2005

Aussies give up on NZ’s defence stance

National Party Leader Don Brash says it is clear that the Australian Prime Minister’s snub to the New Zealand service at Gallipoli is a direct result of his exasperation at Labour giving up on defence.

“You can hardly blame him, given that New Zealand is now seen by Australia as increasingly not willing to pull its weight when it comes to regional defence issues.

“As I said on Anzac Day, I believe New Zealand should maintain strong defences and work with allies to maintain safety in the region. How many disagree with that?

“If I had wanted to be political I could have mentioned Helen Clark’s misguided view that we live in a benign strategic environment; how Labour cancelled the Orions’ upgrade; how they delayed the upgrades of our Hercules, which continue to break down regularly, endangering the lives of our defence personnel.

“I believe we dishonour the memory of the Anzacs if we allow our defence forces to atrophy in what is clearly an unstable international environment.

“I am happy to debate this with Helen Clark anytime,” Dr Brash says.


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