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Inability to sustain a deployment a National disgrace


Inability to sustain a deployment a National disgrace

Defence Force documents show there is real risk that the New Zealand Army could not deploy overseas for more than twelve months, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff.

“The inability of the Defence Force to sustain an overseas deployment is a total disgrace. It shows how much damage National has done by what the Audit Office revealed is a slashing of regular force numbers by one thousand two hundred under this government’s watch.

“It also reflects what Defence itself has admitted is a ‘serious degrading of critical trade groups and ranks’.

“Plunging morale in the Defence Force has resulted in attrition rates which reached 24 per cent in 2012. That has caused long term damage, and it will take years and tens of millions of dollars to get back the skills and experience which have been lost.

“Inability to sustain a deployment means, according to a Cabinet minute, that New Zealand’s contributions to international peace support operations has dropped to just 77, the lowest level in over 20 years.

“That undermines New Zealand’s reputation as a good international citizen and undermines our efforts to secure election to the United Nations Security Council,” Phil Goff said.

ends

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