National Out Of Step On Defence
30 August 1999
NATIONAL OUT OF STEP ON DEFENCE
National's Defence policy is more about defending its own past inaction than it is about defending New Zealand.
While all other political parties see value and sense in the Defence Beyond 2000 report, National chooses to insist that they are the only one in step.
National's jack of all trades approach to defence has already made our defence forces masters of nothing.
The vessel Charles Upham is a lemon. The 'new' frigate Te Kaha has had over 22,000 hours of work done on it in its first year. We have no armoured corps. The new F16s cannot match the avionics of our existing A4 Skyhawks, and couldn't compete in a high-tech air warfare.
Our junior servicemen are among our nation's poorest paid people and we no longer have enough money to run army live-fire exercises.
It is time that Service Chiefs who have competed so vigorously against each other to the general detriment of the nation were pulled into line.
New Zealand First is committed to building and maintaining a credible and well-equipped defence force. Essential to this is stability in political direction and the Foreign Affairs Defence Select Committee Report provides this. National should stop rocking the boat.