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Save Our Squadrons Consider Legal Challenge

facsimile: +64 + 9 +377 1660
website: www.soscampaign.co.nz

PRESS RELEASE: 16 October 2001

Organisers of the Save Our Squadrons Campaign say they have now received advice from one of the country’s leading Queen’s Counsel that there are solid grounds for a court to find that the Minister of Defence acted unlawfully when he decided that the air force’s entire air combat force should be disbanded by the end of this year.

“There are several grounds to the legal argument but they boil down to whether or not the Minister, in exercising his power of control and ministerial responsibilities under the Defence Act, exceeded those powers or exercised them for a purpose beyond the statutory purposes set down in the Defence Act”.

“When we have finished conferring with our lawyers we will need to decide if and when and in what manner we should pursue any court proceedings. This is not a decision which can be taken lightly, if only because of the costs involved”, said Campaign spokesman Dr David Dickens.

Dr Dickens said that any proceedings would probably include some form of interim relief like an injunction which would require the Government and the Defence Force to suspend further implementation of the project which is currently underway to disband the Skyhawk and Macchi squadrons at Ohakea.

The Save Our Squadrons Campaign is promoting a Nationwide Day of Protest on Wednesday October 17th with marches planned in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Rotorua. Details of the marches are being advertised on the Campaign’s website www.soscampaign.co.nz.

For further details please contact Dr David Dickens (04) 463-5434 or (021) 348-022.

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