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Integrated Brigade A Defence Necessity

13 July 2002

An integrated Army Brigade consisting of Australian and New Zealand Battalions is fast becoming a defence necessity according to Christian Heritage Party Leader Graham Capill.

Mr Capill said that if the CHP were successful this coming election, they would lobby the Government to begin negotiations with the Australian Defence Force to raise an ANZAC Brigade in the tradition of the celebrated World War I force.

“As New Zealand and Australia take an increasingly larger role on the world stage, the ability to deploy a single well-trained Brigade made up of the best of both nations is fast becoming a necessity,” Mr Capill said.

“This Brigade would have units in both Australia and New Zealand and the role of Commander would be rotated between the two Armies.

“If the tragedy of September 11 last year has taught us anything, it is the need for a quality Defence Force and one that can deploy in all terrains at short notice. Meanwhile, the current Government’s attitude to defence has left New Zealand vulnerable and deficient in the eyes of our traditional allies.

“The ANZAC Battalion could be either a part-time or permanent force and would be the first point of call in the event of Pacific unrest such as that which we have seen in recent years in Bougainville and the Solomon Islands.

“Under the CHP proposal, the force would only be deployed with the concurrence of both Governments. Command, control and discipline would be exercised under the authority of an identical Act passed by both Parliaments.

“Although many defence observers may see this as a radical move, the notion of a combined unit is not new and has recently been debated at length in Europe between French and German Governments despite the presence of cultural and linguistic hurdles, issues which New Zealand and Australia do not have to face.

Ends

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