INDEPENDENT NEWS

NZ's Credibility On Line With F-16's - Mapp

Published: Mon 20 Dec 1999 09:40 AM
New Zealand’s credibility as a western democracy prepared to pull its weight is on the line over the F-16 fighter contract, says National Party Defence spokesperson, Dr Wayne Mapp MP.
“We are seen by many of our allies, especially Australia, as freeloaders when it comes to defence,” said Dr Mapp.
“It is essential to provide a balanced approach if we are to play an effective role in bringing peace and stability to our region.
“While our soldiers remain active on the ground in East Timor, and our sailors are protecting the sea lanes, we are dependant on the Australians for air support. Our outdated Skyhawks are of limited use, while modern Australian F/A-18s were able to provide air cover to our troops.”
“Air support has, to date, proven unnecessary in East Timor, but who was prepared to guarantee this before the troops landed?
“It is important for New Zealand to pull its weight in this area. But more importantly once the skills and institutional knowledge of our air strike arm is lost, it is gone for twenty years.”
“Helen Clark has a lot to learn about the realities of foreign affairs. It is not credible to say our allies are not concerned about Labour’s defence policy, when it becomes a key topic of discussion for both President Clinton and our new United States Ambassador.
- ENDS -

Next in New Zealand politics

Joint Statement by Sebastián Piñera and Jacinda Ardern
By: New Zealand Government
Top academics call on government to take climate action
By: UNITEC
New plan for high quality early learning
By: New Zealand Government
Two years’ progress since the Kaikoura earthquake
By: Marlborough District Council
Pike River Mine Drift re-entry plan to proceed
By: New Zealand Government
New High Commissioner to Australia announced
By: New Zealand Government
Chile and NZ arrangement to protect seabirds
By: New Zealand Government
Inclusive Trade Action Group meets in Port Moresby
By: New Zealand Government
The Nation: Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker
By: The Nation
Water rationing in Hawke's Bay as some rivers run dry
By: RNZ
PM pretends climate change isn’t a global issue
By: ACT New Zealand
Minister's Door Closed on Waste-to-Energy Plants
By: Social Credit
Questions remain over Government’s ECE plan
By: New Zealand National Party
Concerned education unions consider joint action
By: NZEI
Education unions' combined executives to meet
By: NZEI
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media