INDEPENDENT NEWS

Another Nail in the Defence Forces' Coffin

Published: Mon 16 Jul 2001 06:36 PM
Monday, July 16 2001
Owen Jennings Press Releases -- Foreign Affairs & Defence
The Government decision to sell off the Charles Upham at a bargain-basement price is a further indication of their lack of commitment to the defence of New Zealand and our responsibilities in the collective defence of the region, ACT Defence Spokesman MP Owen Jennings said today.
"We are now in a position of having to bludge off our allies to carry our troops and their gear - a vulnerable situation that can take up to four months to negotiate. Such delays should be totally unacceptable in a defence situation.
"The Charles Upham was an adequate solution to New Zealand's requirements, at a fraction of the price that other countries pay. The instability problem could have been dealt with and New Zealand's defence forces would have controlled their own troop and equipment movements.
"This is a further indication that the Coalition Government is hellbent on turning our defence forces into vulnerable shore-based peacekeepers, bludging on our mates for a ride," Owen Jennings said.
ENDS
For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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