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ANZAC Amalgamation Folly – Young Nats

PRESS RELEASE

Young Nationals

For Immediate Release

28 September 2000

ANZAC AMALGAMATION FOLLY – YOUNG NATS

"The notion that New Zealand should form a joint defence force with Australia demonstrates how little Prime Minister Helen Clark understands the environment which New Zealand exists in," Young Nationals’ Policy Chair Grant Tyrrell said today."

Commenting from the inaugural meeting of the Southern Chapter of National Defence Mr Tyrrell said; "New Zealand's interests are not identical to those of Australia. We are two sovereign nations with our own aims and interests.

Often these interests will coincide in the ANZAC tradition and as such there is some potential for increased co-operation in areas of defence but not at the cost of becoming the seventh state.

"New Zealand's independent foreign policy experts comprehensively reject this idea. During the public meeting held in Dunedin it was noted the importance of an independent New Zealand military to implementing effective foreign policy. In recent history there is the experience of Bougainville where New Zealand headed the operation at all levels, political, diplomatic and military, to reach settlement.

"Clark views union with Australia as the panacea for all New Zealand’s problems. Firstly it was the dollar and now, tired of having to justify the systematic degradation of our proud military, it is suggested that we merge our defence forces. The current Government’s ideologically driven, freeloading approach to defence is now out of control. Not only is Clark ignoring the advice of foreign policy experts she is flying in the face of a tragic history. At Gallipoli, in Greece and Crete and in the North African desert New Zealand soldiers payed, in blood, the price of over reliance on their allies.

"Young Nationals reject the concept of total defence union with Australia.

If Clark wants to have a debate about becoming the Seventh State of the Commonwealth of Australia then she should do so – not continue her defacto attacks on New Zealand’s sovereignty.

ENDS. For further information contact: Grant Tyrrell (021) 669 739


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