Labour Cannot Be Trusted On Defence
New Zealand First is dumbfounded by Labour expecting that 50-year old air force planes will be able to fly on indefinitely in order to pay for its policies.
“This is something you’d expect from the British Labour Party and not New Zealand’s,” says New Zealand First Defence Spokesperson Ron Mark.
“What does Labour propose? Replace our Hercules with a Cessna and expect the Navy to patrol the largest maritime zone on earth in a rowing boat? We need the best kit we can afford and this recent Labour announcement will worry many that Labour cannot be trusted on defence.
“Given the Steyr rifle, NH90 helicopter and Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) disasters, it probably is best that Labour not ever again be involved in the procurement of military equipment for our defence force because of their clear incompetence in this field.
“New Zealand First has run the ruler over what the government is proposing and honestly believe we will be able to boost capability without National’s all too evident gold plating.
“Take the new naval tanker - it’s costing more than twice what larger tankers being built for the British Royal Navy are costing. And then there is Mr Brownlee’s obsession with the hugely capable but hugely expensive C17 which we couldn’t afford, but which we remind Labour, they also backed.
“The bottom line here is if Labour and the Greens want to axe the entire New Zealand Defence Force, like Labour did to the air-combat wing, then they should be more upfront about it.
“They should in particular be upfront with the men and women of our Defence force. They serve us proudly all over the world achieving what no other Defence force is able to do using what other countries often consider to be outdated and obsolete equipment.
“They should be upfront with the families of those who pay the price when their loved ones are killed in the service of their country,” says Mr Mark.