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More hold-ups with Project Protector roll-out

Wayne Mapp MP National Party Defence Spokesman

11 June 2008

More hold-ups with Project Protector roll-out

National Party Defence spokesman Wayne Mapp says Labour's roll-out of new equipment for our armed services continues to be plagued by problems.

"There are now problems with three ships in the Project Protector fleet - the Canterbury, the Rotoiti, and the Otago."

Dr Mapp is commenting on the latest glitch to hit the Canterbury, which was due to have left the country on Monday for training in the Pacific.

The Navy has announced that the Canterbury will now carry out those activities in New Zealand waters while it sorts out problems with its inflatable-boat launch system.

"Less than a fortnight 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.

"Lloyd's identified a raft of problems, including a lack of basic fire safety and insulation measures.

"The HMNZS Otago has also failed a basic safety test. Lloyd's has refused to give that ship certification, too.

"It keeps getting worse for the Defence Minister. The Canterbury is the only one of these three vessels which has actually made it into service.

"It appears Labour has taken shortcuts 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, and it needs to answer serious questions about why things have gone so badly wrong."


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