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Budget 2006: Defence needs at home and abroad met

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Defence

Meeting defence needs at home and abroad

Budget 2006 highlights the government's commitment to ensuring New Zealand meets its defence and security needs at home and abroad.

The Defence Force will receive an extra $72.8 million in 2006/07 in the second instalment to meet the objectives outlined in the ten-year, $4.6 billion Defence Sustainability Initiative, Defence Minister Phil Goff said.

"New Zealand has a strong reputation as a responsible international citizen through our diplomatic and peacekeeping efforts in places as challenging as Afghanistan and the Solomon Islands.

"The Labour-led government is committed to ensuring New Zealand plays our part in international affairs and continues to rebuild a modern, professional, and well-equipped Defence Force, which meets our broad security needs.

"This new expenditure will help ensure we achieve these goals and meet our responsibilities in the world. It will allow us to increase personnel numbers by up to 15 percent, bringing new equipment into service, re-building infrastructure, and increasing reserve stocks," Phil Goff said.

"On top of the increase in baseline funding, the Budget also allocates $305 million to capital projects this financial year including provision for a part payment on the purchase of new helicopters to replace the ageing Iroquois and Sioux fleets, and to fit out Defence Headquarters."

The capital allocation also funds projects already approved, such as the upgrade of the C-130 Hercules and P3 Orion fleets, the construction of seven new vessels for the Navy under Project Protector, and the purchase of specialist equipment for the Army.

ENDS

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