INDEPENDENT NEWS

Useless Government Can't Handle The Truth

Published: Tue 5 Dec 2000 04:58 PM
The Labour Alliance Government has been so cavalier about it's ANZAC commitments that we have now been dubbed 'useless' by Australian defence analysts, National's Defence spokesperson Wayne Mapp said today.
"Instead of taking the claims seriously, the Prime Minister has attacked the Australian defence analysts. This is yet another attack on the messenger by a Prime Minister who just can't face the truth.
"Today's criticism comes on top of statements earlier this year in which Australia took the rare step of directly criticising New Zealand over its failure to upgrade the Orions. Admiral Blair from the United States Navy said that the New Zealand Government has got its spending priorities wrong in defence.
"Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control Matt Robson is determined to see the demise of our airforce.
"Every indication is that the Government will scrap our air combat force and has no intention of maintaining a proper maritime surveillance capacity. That means we will be shirking our ANZAC responsibilities and expecting Australia to do what we should be doing ourselves.
"The Government is hell-bent on turning our defence force into a peacekeeping army without the right equipment. It is ironic that the Government runs down the navy and air force - and then uses their run down state as an excuse for attacking them.
"Mr Robson's fatuous attempt to justify getting rid of our airforce by comparing the opportunity cost of maintaining a defence force with social spending is ludicrous. By that token we would not spend money on anything other than social services because of the opportunity cost. How does Mr Robson propose that we defend ourselves and fulfil our regional responsibilities?
"If Matt Robson gets his way the RNZAF will effectively be reduced to Air New Zealand in drag," Dr Mapp said.
Ends
A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on http://www.national.org.nz along with an archive of previous releases.

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