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Another safety issue for Project Protector

Wayne Mapp MP National Party Defence Spokesman

6 June 2008

Another safety issue for Project Protector

National's Defence spokesman, Wayne Mapp, is alarmed that safety concerns have been raised over yet another ship in the navy's Project Protector programme.

"Only a week ago, it was revealed that the HMNZS Rotoiti, an in-shore patrol ship, failed to gain Lloyds certification because it didn't meet all safety requirements.

"Lloyds identified a raft of problems including a lack of basic fire safety and insulation measures.

"And now, the first of Project Protector's two new offshore patrol vessels, the HMNZS Otago, has failed a basic safety test. Lloyds has refused to give that ship certification too.

"It goes from bad to worse. To date, three ships in the Project Protector fleet - the Canterbury, the Rotoiti and, now, the Otago - have been deemed unfit for Lloyd's registration.

"It appears Labour has taken short cuts with its navy acquisitions and the Government's self-imposed, rushed, deadlines, are compromising the safety of the ships and those who serve on them.

"I expect the soon-to-be-released Auditor General's report into the Project Protector contract under which all these ships were purchased, will make for grim reading.

"Labour has overseen defence force projects that have been riddled with problems. It will need to answer serious questions about why things have gone so badly wrong."


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