INDEPENDENT NEWS

More Serious Revelations To Come On Lavs

Published: Tue 17 Jul 2001 11:21 AM
ACT leader Richard Prebble says an Auditor General's draft report on the army's purchase of light armoured vehicles (LAVs), is a damning document which shows proper procedures were not followed.
Mr Prebble yesterday leaked comments from the draft report in his weekly Letter from Wellington.
"The report raises serious accountability issues that will be embarrassing for everyone involved in the decision. Revelations still to come are more serious than what has already come out," Mr Prebble said.
"The report shows the government has bought 105 LAVs at a cost of almost $8 million each. It seems a bizarre decision because the New Zealand army doesn't have enough personnel to man more than 50 of the vehicles.
"They're heavy and difficult to transport, and a Hercules can only carry one at a time, so how do you move 100?
"The LAVs are too heavy for East Timor, Bougainville or the Solomons.
"The electronics on the LAVs are so complicated that they need special air-conditioned garages which the army now has to build. And they didn't buy spares so they'll have to cannibalise the vehicles from day-one for maintenance.
It's hard to imagine how these LAVs will ever be used. The Charles Upham might have carried lemons but the LAVs are a lemon," Mr Prebble said.
ENDS

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