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Mystery over deployment of frigates

Mystery over deployment of frigates

National Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dr Wayne Mapp says he is concerned that he can’t get answers on New Zealand’s ability to deploy frigates on overseas operations.

“In the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee today, the Chief of the Defence Force refused to answer whether New Zealand can sustain the deployment of a frigate for more than 12 months.

“The Chief of the Defence Force also refused to allow the Chief of the Navy to answer the question.

“This is a genuine question that our nation’s military and naval leaders should be able to answer.

“I am left to conclude that the answer is too embarrassing and the Navy cannot deploy a frigate on distant operations for 12 months or more.

“The Government’s deployment to the Gulf of “Te Kaha”, to be followed by “Te Mana”, raises the question of whether it can fulfil its duty to protect our nation with just a 2-frigate Navy.

“Because I can’t get an answer today we will now have to wait for a written answer to what is a straightforward request,” Dr Mapp said.

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