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National releases "no defence" policy


National releases "no defence" policy

ACT Leader Rodney Hide today said that he was appalled by the National Party’s abandonment of any commitment to defence.

“National ran down our defence capability in the 1990s, now they have committed themselves to Helen Clark’s policy of no combat air wing and endless reviews,” Mr Hide said.

“There is no need for reviews. Don Hunn’s review on defence should simply be implemented, and not ignored as Labour and National are determined to do.

“There should be a commitment to proper defence spending, including the combat air wing. That would mean taking defence spending from $6 a head per week to $12 over a number of years.

“National should not duck the issue of nuclear-powered ships visiting New Zealand. Their policy has been from one of ‘gone by lunch time’ to a referendum, and even then they voted in Parliament against Ken Shirley’s bill that provided for such a referendum.

“New Zealand has been shirking its defence responsibilities for years. We now have the National Party shirking their responsibility to even produce a credible defence policy. It’s no wonder that National released its ‘no defence’ policy late on a Friday afternoon hoping nobody would notice. National’s clearly not proud of its policy, nor should it be,” Mr Hide said.

ENDS

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