Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Defence spend unnecessary if peacemaking the goal


Defence spend-up unnecessary if peacemaking the main goal

The massive increase in defence spending announced today would be unnecessary if New Zealand concentrated on peacekeeping and security in the South Pacific, rather than equipping for major combat, says Green MP Keith Locke.

"If we are truly worried about international security, our first priority should be to increase our overseas aid from its present miserable level of 0.24 percent of Gross National Income," said Mr Locke, the Green Party's Defence and Overseas Aid Spokesperson.

"The $460 million-a-year defence spend-up announced today would increase our overseas aid from $260 million to $720 million, or from 0.24 percent of GNI to about 0.66 percent. Surely, removing poverty and the causes of international conflict is more important than bulking up our armed forces?

"The Green Party is not against better pay for our soldiers, but the money for that could be found within the present defence budget. The extra defence resources the Government has announced today could have been realised by scrapping our capability to join full-scale war.

"For instance, we don't need a naval combat force anymore than we needed the air combat force that the Government correctly abandoned. Therefore the 'Project Protector' Multi-Role Vessel and patrol boats should be replacing the ANZAC frigates, not supplementing them.

"The frigates, which chew up 30 percent of our current defence budget, or nearly $538 million, are much less appropriate to our fisheries patrol, disaster relief and peacekeeping needs in the South Pacific than the new MRVs and patrol boats. Selling off the two remaining frigates would give us the cash to up the wages in the defence force and improve our peacekeeping capability.

"Similarly, while the Greens are not opposed to the purchase of the LAVs because they have a use in peacekeeping, we are certain that we don't need 105 of them unless we're intending to be involved in some sort of invasion or active occupation.

"As a small remote country that is no threat to anyone, New Zealand's role internationally should be pro-active peace-making diplomacy, such as that pursued by Norway in the Middle East and Sri Lanka, and low tech peacekeeping," said Mr Locke.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election