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Defence Force Admits Defeat In Recruitment Crisis

28 September 2005

Defence Force Admits Defeat In Recruitment Crisis

New Zealand First Defence spokesperson Ron Mark says that today’s admission by the New Zealand Defence Force that defence forces will not be fully staffed for another ten years is tantamount to an admission that they will never be fully staffed.

Mr Mark says that the blame for this recruitment and retention crisis lays firmly and squarely in the court of Prime Minister Helen Clark and Finance Minister Dr Michael Cullen.

“New Zealand First has long been calling for meaningful pay increases for Defence Force personnel but all the Government has managed in the past six years has been to drip feed small increases which have been too little and come far too late,” said Mr Mark.

“In addition, the overall ceiling applied to Defence Force staffing has always been too low and now as a result the average staffing levels are totally inadequate.

“Purchasing all the high tech hardware in the world amounts to nothing if the Defence Force lack the personnel to operate it.

“The incoming Government needs to take a long and hard look at this situation and urgently provide the Defence Force with the funding it needs to retain the staff it has while encouraging others to join its ranks,” said Mr Mark.

ENDS

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