The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the Minister of Defense’s argument that massive spending on armaments was needed during a severe economic recession on the grounds of “climate change”.
Union spokesperson Louis Houlbrooke said, “Fighting climate change was only added to New Zealand’s military strategy two years ago, according to Minister Ron Mark at his personal behest. The argument has validity for the Air Force and Navy responding to natural disasters here and in the Pacific.”
“However, there is no justification for replacing our fleet of Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV IIIs) and Light Operational Vehicles (Pinzgauers) in this current economic environment. These vehicles have limited to no use in humanitarian operations or fighting climate change. You do not need a new small tank to deliver food to a flood struck area. We already have something very useful that can do it: trucks.”
“If the Minister pushes through the LAV and LOV procurement then the tender process must be open and competitive. The Minister’s clear preference for certain vehicles should not be the determining factor as to where taxpayer funding is spent, even if he was a mechanic in the Army.”