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Government Ignored 2010 Advice to Sell Air Force 757's

Ron Mark MP
Spokesperson for Defence
27 OCTOBER 2016

Government Ignored 2010 Advice to Sell Air Force 757's

As questions mount over the Air Force’s Boeing 757’s being used as the Prime Minister’s private jet, New Zealand First can reveal that the government ignored 2010 advice to sell them.

“At $31,000 an hour to fly, the Prime Minister’s luxury fleet of Boeing 757’s were deemed poor Value For Money in a 2010 high-level report,” says New Zealand First Deputy Leader and Defence Spokesperson Ron Mark.

“Strangely, the recommendation to sell the 757’s and charter Air New Zealand instead, were one of the few recommendations not adopted from the Defence razor gang led by Dr Sir Roderick Deane and Pacific Road Corporate Finance.

“In 2010, Sir Roderick concluded: “In terms of reduced operating costs for NZDF, the sale of the [Boeing 757] aircraft and the acquisition of certain Strategic and VIP Transport services from the likes of Air New Zealand would deliver the greatest VFM [value for money]”.

“Air New Zealand was even sounded out because they said that they’d be able to: ‘meet all NZDF's needs with the possible exception of certain freight services, flights to and from the Antarctic Continent and flying in or close to hostile environments’.

“These impediments are easily solved because the Hercules can fly to the Ice, we can buy space on larger allied aircraft while specialist charters can be used for ‘hostile environments’.

“So why did National disastrously ‘civilianise’ swathes of the Defence Force and even axe territorial bands but refused to part company with their precious Boeing 757’s? These aircraft cost $31,000 an hour to fly in 2010 at 700 annual flight hours but given the current annual average of 571 hours will be costing us a lot more.

“This 2010 report reinforces New Zealand First’s point that VIP aircraft like the B757 are square pegs in the Defence Force’s round hole. The opportunity cost for each VIP aircraft is a new C130-J Hercules type aircraft and New Zealand First knows which one we’d prefer in RNZAF colours,” says Mr Mark.


ENDS

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