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Dunne urges greater ANZAC defence co-operation

Monday, 30 May 2005

Dunne urges greater ANZAC defence co-operation

United Future leader Peter Dunne today repeated his call for much greater defence co-operation between New Zealand and Australia in a revitalisation of the ANZAC tradition.

Addressing a political seminar at the University of Canterbury, he said the two nations could benefit greatly from units such as joint air strike forces and special forces teams, such as the SAS.

"Frankly, there are probably no two nations on the face of the earth with a stronger and more resilient tradition and a sense of a common good," he said.

He renewed his call for the establishment of an ANZAC battalion.

"We need to look at a combined maritime surveillance capability; a possible joint strike force combining Australian aircraft and New Zealand pilots, and as I said, combined special forces operations."

Mr Dunne also said that United Future supported:

· Retaining New Zealand's nuclear-free status, while working to improve political and defence relationships with the United States and Australia;

· Urging the United Nations to establish an independent tribunal to examine the issue of unsustainable third world debt;

· Promoting reform of the United Nations through broadening the membership of the Security Council, and the abolition of the veto;

· Supporting the rights of new democracies, such as Taiwan, to participate fully in the work of international organisations

· Establishing overseas aid initially at 0.5% of GNP and moving towards the accepted international goal of 0.7%;

· Greater flexibility in defence equipment purchase procedures.


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