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Defence White Paper will review requirements

Wayne Mapp MP National Party Defence Spokesman

7 October 2008

Defence White Paper will review capability requirements

National's Defence White Paper will provide a fresh look at a number of defence issues, including procurement and budgetary procedures within the Ministry of Defence, and personnel and capability requirements of our Defence Force, says National's Defence spokesman, Wayne Mapp.

"The Defence Force has been grappling with several major issues under Labour. One is the recent substantial budgetary blow-outs on major capital purchases. We need to analyse the quality of spending, and what can be done better.

"In addition, the Defence Force has been heavily committed to a range of deployments, and special attention needs to be given to recruitment and retention processes to ensure it can meet the tasks required of it.

"National's White Paper will focus primarily on how the Defence Force is able to fulfil its tasks and meet New Zealand's security needs.

"It will ensure that defence planning is transparent, robust, and genuinely subject to public consultation."

National will:

* Publish a White Paper in its first year in Government to provide a fresh look at the capability requirements that shape our Defence Force. * Place a particular focus on addressing recruitment and retention issues. * Engage an independent consultant to analyse the quality of procurement and budgetary procedures within the Ministry of Defence and the Defence Force.

"National's defence policy aims to maximise the effectiveness of our Defence Force and make sure it can work well with our international partners when it is called upon to do so, and ensure it has the capacity to meet the demands it will face over the coming decades.

"Outside our region, we are best suited to providing high-quality contributions that are internationally valued and respected. Inevitably, these will be focused and specific."

National will:

* Ensure the Defence Force can build security within the South Pacific.

* Emphasise a requirement for agile forces, deployable at long range with relatively short notice.

* Ensure that when our defence forces are deployed outside our region, it is focused on specific and specialist capabilities that reflect our defence expertise.

"National will also ensure our Defence Force is interoperable with Australia's. This includes a high level of compatibility of equipment, training and doctrine. We recognise the importance of working with other international partners in the defence area, and will ensure those relationships are in the best interests of New Zealand."

Ends

For National's full Defence policy visit: http://national.org.nz/files/2008/defence.pdf

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