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Are Orions available for whaling surveillance?

Wayne Mapp MP
National Party Defence Spokesman

7 January 2008

Are Orions available for whaling surveillance?

National Party Defence spokesman Wayne Mapp says the Government needs to say why it is not sending air force surveillance planes to monitor Japanese whaling.

“The Government sent air force Orions to monitor Japanese whaling vessels in Antarctic waters two years ago, why can’t they do it now?

“Labour claims that New Zealand’s contribution to the surveillance operation in Antarctica is being hindered because our armed forces are stretched taking part in various projects all over the world.

“But I understand that apart from the one Orion that is being refurbished in Texas, the other five Orions are all in New Zealand on normal duties which means they are available for surveillance.

“New Zealand has a superb surveillance capability in the Orions and if we are serious about monitoring the Japanese whalers, we should consider using this capability to assist the operation.

“It’s all very well that as a nation, we are strong in our condemnation of whaling, but we must put our money where our mouth is and make use of available resources to ensure our words are backed up by action.”


ENDS

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