Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Skyhawk Decision To Be Appealed

The Save Our Squadrons Campaign has decided to appeal Justice Heron's decision striking out their legal challenge to the scrapping of the Air Combat Force. The Campaign's convener, Auckland lawyer Clive Bradbury, said today they would be seeking a hearing in the Court of Appeal as soon as possible next year.

"While the squadrons formally disband later this week, the infrastructure and air bases are still there. If we can persuade the Court of Appeal to overturn the strikeout, we should be able to get a hearing on the main proceeding by the middle of next year. If we succeed at that time, then the Government may have to back peddle and make some provision for an air combat force - they may even end up adopting National's idea of establishing a smaller, more affordable air cover capability in conjunction with the Australians."

"The appeal grounds are quite technical. One of the more interesting relates to the purposes for which the Minister of Defence must exercise his powers. The primary purpose of the New Zealand Defence Force is, as the name suggests, the defence of New Zealand."

"Peacekeeping is something the Government can either choose to do or choose not to do. However the Government cannot choose not to defend New Zealand. But a close reading of the Minister's decision reveals that this is exactly the choice the Government has made. Based on now out-of-date strategic assessments, it has concluded there is no foreseeable threat to New Zealand. From this premise it has proceeded to reconfigure the New Zealand Defence Force almost exclusively for purposes other than defence, namely UN peacekeeping and fisheries surveillance."



"The Government would no doubt argue that while its defence policy focuses on equipping the army for a peacekeeping role, the Defence Force still has capability to defend New Zealand from seaborne (but not airborne) attack. This is consistent with the Government's approach in the High Court where it argued that all members of the Armed Forces, apart from padres and medics, are available as potential combatants. Of course if this argument was followed to its logical conclusion, the Minister could require the Navy to decommission all its ships and the Army to sell all its heavy weaponry."

"The reality for those of us who live in the real world is that the collective capabilities of the New Zealand Defence Force to defend New Zealand from airborne attack, and several forms of seaborne attack, are now virtually zero. While the Skyhawks were not cutting edge technology, they still excelled in their maritime strike capacity and were respected air interceptors when equipped with air to air missiles. More importantly, the Squadrons were a reservoir of knowledge and expertise that was available to be built on if the need ever arose. The complete elimination of that reservoir, without any effort to retain part as an insurance policy for the future, can only be described as wanton, and an abuse of the trust placed in the Government to ensure our future national security."

"We now have over 4,000 people supporting the Campaign with financial contributions to date totalling $188,000. This is remarkable when you realise that we haven't gone around pushing petitions under people's noses. Most of our supporters have had to go to the trouble of posting us a letter."

"I daresay we are already bigger than some of the country's political parties."

"Our planning calls for us to have at least 10,000 supporters by June next year. We want to bring across senior defence commentators from Australia, the U.S.A. and the U.K. to participate in a public debate. We also want to raise $250,000 for another advertising campaign in the lead-up to next year's General Election."

"When New Zealanders go into the polling booths next year, we want them to be fully briefed on the defence policies of the major political parties and their likely coalition partners."

"The Coalition managed to axe the Air Combat Force without an explicit electoral mandate and against the wishes of almost 75% of New Zealand voters. A lot of those voters won't forgive them for that decision."

More information at: www.soscampaign.co.nz


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Sir Michael Cullen’s Tax Reform

To ordinary wage and salary earners who (a) watch a slice of their gross income being taxed every week via PAYE and who also (b) pay GST on every single thing they buy, there has been something quite surreal about the centre-right’s angry and anguished reactions to the Tax Working Group’s final report... More>>

 
 

89 Cents An Hour: Govt Plans Fix For Minimum Wage For People With Disabilities

IHC is delighted that the Government is looking into replacing the Minimum Wage Exemption (MWE) with a wage supplement to ensure people with disabilities are paid at least the minimum wage. More>>

ALSO:

Te Waihanga: New Independent Commission To Tackle Infrastructure Issues

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga – will be established as an Autonomous Crown Entity to carry out two broad functions – strategy and planning and procurement and delivery support. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Action Against Poverty: Motels Profit From Housing Crisis

A single motel which charges up to $1,500 per week per room has received over $3 million worth of Government funds to provide emergency assistance, despite never having a Code Compliance Certificate – an offence under the Building Act – and receiving a series of longstanding complaints from occupants... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Alleged China Relations Crisis

If New Zealand’s relations with China are ‘deteriorating’ then you still need a microscope to detect the signs... More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>

ALSO:

Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>

ALSO:

Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels