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Defence Force Personnel To Get 10% Pay Rise

Defence Force Personnel To Get Ten Per Cent Pay Rise

Defence Minister Phil Goff has confirmed that New Zealand defence personnel will get an average 10% pay rise this year.

Speaking today on TVOne's "Agenda" Mr Goff said: "It will on average be about 10%," he said.

"Everybody will get more, some will get significantly more than the 10% but the biggest number of people will get around the 10 to 12% increase in their salaries.'

Mr Goff said part of the increase was possible because of a "rejig" of the Defence superannuation scheme.

" We're totally redoing the equipment in the Defence Force, we're putting a lot of money into it, but we need to do more on the personnel side as well and we're doing that."

New Zealand Naval Personnel On US Ships.

Some New Zealand naval personnel are now serving on United States naval vessels in the Pacific.

Speaking on TVOne's "Agenda" today, Mr Goff said they were doing "humanitarian work".

The move marks another thaw in the New Zealand defence relationship with the United States which ruptured in 1985 when New Zealand refused to admit US nuclear powered or armed warships into the country.

The US argued that to confirm or deny whether a ship was nuclear armed or powered would breach its own policies and so without that assurance New Zealand refused to accept any US ships.

Mr Goff did not say whether New Zealand had sought any assurance whether the vessels the Royal New Zealand Navy personnel were serving on were nuclear armed or powered.

Mr Goff said New Zealand wanted to work more closely with the United States.

However he said though New Zealand was willing to work with China on defence co-operation it would not be in the same way it worked with Australia, the United States or Britain.

"New Zealand is a democracy and we take strong stands on issues that include human rights."

ENDS

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