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Phil Goff leaks and misleads again

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Defence

11 December 2013

Media Statement

Phil Goff leaks and misleads again

Phil Goff is again misleading New Zealanders by creating a false picture of the state of the Defence Force, says Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman.

Mr Goff has leaked selected sections of the confidential Office of the Auditor-General briefing to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee.

“Leaking confidential information is par for the course with Mr Goff,” says Dr Coleman. “Earlier this year, he broke a coroner’s suppression order and now he has leaked confidential Office of the Auditor-General briefing to the media.

“What’s more, Mr Goff is using the information selectively to create a false picture of the state of the Defence Force. The NZDF is able to perform all of the tasks that the Government is asking of it. The NZDF’s preparedness has actually increased 11 per cent in the last year with our Navy, Army and Air Force all significantly more prepared for operations than they were a year ago.

“Mr Goff is using out of date information. Defence Force attrition is well below the long term average, and morale has been improving for the last seven quarters. Mr Goff knows that the Army attrition figure is actually 15 per cent. He also knows that HMNZS Wellington has recently returned from a patrol to the Chatham Islands supporting the Ministry for Primary Industries.

“This is all a significant change from Mr Goff’s tenure as Defence Minister when in September 2008 the Herald reported that the Air Force can’t fly, the Navy can’t sail, and the Army can’t fight.”

ENDS

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