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Austerity For Everyone Except Weapons Dealers

“The decision by the National Party to funnel $408 million to weapons dealers while firing thousands of valuable public servants and slashing public services is flabbergasting,” says Valerie Morse, member of Peace Action Wellington.

Defence Minister Judith Collins announced $408 million for upgrading defence equipment and infrastructure.

“It is an honest show of their real priorities: appeasing US demands that New Zealand spends more on weapons and signs up for US-led wars in the region.”

“The Minister is clear that a significant portion of this expenditure is based on a desire to be ‘interoperable’ with Five Eyes partners: the US, UK, Australia and Canada. The NH90 helicopter work and Army vehicle upgrade will mean hundreds of millions of dollars straight to weapons companies instead of to our schools and hospitals.”

“We have a near total breakdown of critical infrastructure across the country. Access to water and power is under threat, schools are full of mold, hospitals are full to overflowing - yet this is what Luxon’s government has decided to spend a half a billion dollars on.”

“What is even more concerning is that this is just the start of the spend up on weapons. We expect that the Defence Capability Plan due to be released next month will recommend tens of billions of new spending on arms.”

“We need to understand very clearly that this government is making choices. It is choosing to cut key services and push more people into poverty and homelessness. It is choosing to lavish vast sums on new weapons.”

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“The National party has swallowed the US storyline about the world being a more dangerous place, unconcerned that it is the US that is making it so. The US funding of Israel’s genocide, its provocative encircling of China and its new AUKUS nuclear pact with Australia are destabilising for world peace.”

“The NZDF has been severely constrained in its ability to participate in overseas deployments due to staffing and equipment issues. This has meant, for example, that NZ was unable to deploy a frigate to the Red Sea to participate in the US-led bombing campaign against the Houthis in Yemen.”

“This lack of capability is a very good thing and should give us the courage to do what we actually need to do: abolish the military entirely.”

“Instead of following along countries that are investing in death and better ways of killing people faster, we need to invest in life and in making Aotearoa a fair, just and equitable place where everyone has what they need for a dignified life.”

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