NZ Defence Force At Unnecessary Risk
“Whilst supporting the concept of sending New Zealand Defence Force Personnel to East Timor as part of a UN Peacekeeping contingent, the Christian Heritage Party believes that the Government is now exposing our troops to the risk of sustaining unnecessary casualties because of the perilous and obsolete state of our military equipment,” said Lt Col John Bryant, CHP’s Defence Spokesman.
“ The Army’s Armoured Personnel Carriers, for example, are of pre Vietnam War vintage,” he added, “and are so unreliable, they are an embarrassment. This of course has been known to the Government for a long time, but with penny pinching by Government, the lives of our bravest and best are now being put at unnecessary risk. The Governments own defence reports have for a long time now admitted that we lack a Minimum Credible Defence Capability in many areas where equipment obsolescence or straight lack of equipment exists. We call on Parliament as a whole to now commit to a revitalisation of our Armed Forces and their capabilities starting today.
Let us show our Servicemen and Servicewomen that we really do value their contribution to New Zealand and her national interests, and commit ourselves to giving NZDF a far more realistic annual budget with a long term commitment to replacing worn out and sub-standard equipment, and enhancing their military capabilities,” he added.
“Furthermore, we call on Parliament to ensure that the Minister of Defence invokes the necessary measures to ensure that this operation is deemed to entitle our troops and their families to entitlements of protection under the War Pension Regulations,” he concluded.