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Defence Policy Concentrates On Troops

Media Release

19 November 1999


DEFENCE POLICY CONCENTRATES ON TROOPS

New Zealand First Defence Policy, released today, concentrates on looking after New Zealand’s troops.

Defence spokesperson Ron Mark says that one of New Zealand First’s core policies is to review the pay rates and conditions of employment of the servicemen and women of our Defence Forces.

“The recent debacle over allowances in East Timor shows just how out of touch our rates are”, said Mr Mark. “When Defence personnel are forced to supplement low pay rates with benefits just to survive, it is way past the time when these should have been looked at”.

Another key element will be to re-examine the existing Treasury policy that requires the Defence Forces to pay capital charges to ensure that this is not having a detrimental effect on the requirement to modernise our Defence Forces.

“We will, however, say no to any more F16’s and Anzac frigates. These are costly and unnecessary, and scrapping these will enable Defence Funds to be spent more wisely”.

“I will be seeking cross-party consensus on the best way to move our Defence Forces forward”, said Mr Mark.

“That will include issues such as a closer amalgamation of the three services at higher levels to streamline the current separate lines of command and control, and releasing the defense real estate rationalisation documents for public consideration”.


ENDS

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