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Time For A Defence Summit

16 December 1999


TIME FOR A DEFENCE SUMMIT
TO DETERMINE PRIORITIES

The Coalition Government's recent announcement to review the F-16 jet contract should be extended to a full defence summit says, Hon Peter Dunne, leader United New Zealand.

"The review should provide an opportunity to look ahead in terms of what New Zealand's future defence capabilities are and how they could best be met.

"United New Zealand believes it is high time that a multi-party defence summit was established to determine capital requirements for the future. The summit would take the form of a multi-party accord, which would ultimately provide more certainty for the defence forces, by ensuring capital requirements are consistent with the military and personnel objectives of the forces and the government's defence priorities.

"For too long successive government defence policy and in particular capital requirements have emphasised ad-hocery at the expense of strategic planning for defence and capital equipment funding. This is despite there being significant agreement over many defence issues, for example New Zealand's present role as contributors to the peacekeeping forces in East Timor.

"We need to restore certainty to ensure that New Zealand's defence forces can move forward with confidence in carrying out their defined role both nationally and internationally.

"A Defence Summit bringing all the political parties represented in Parliament and the relevant stakeholders together would be a constructive and positive measure to provide long-term agreement on the future capital and purchasing requirements for the sector. United would look forward to working positively with the coalition government and others to achieve this outcome," concludes Mr Dunne.

END

MEDIA STATEMENT
UNITED NEW ZEALAND
HON PETER DUNNE, MP
Parliament Buildings, Wellington 1.
Ph (04) 471 9410 or (025) 469 808. Fax (04) 499 7266.
e-mail: peter.dunne@parliament.govt.nz. Internet Address: http://www.united.org.nz


New Zealand's Liberal Party



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