New Zealand Customs Proves 'War Dogs' Bill Unnecessary

18 August 2017

New Zealand First says that with New Zealand Customs charging Pacific Aerospace for UN Sanction violations over North Korea, a new Act to ‘regulate arms brokering’ isn’t necessary.

“In the final week of Parliament, the government decided that its Brokering (Weapons and Related Items) Controls Bill was more important than tackling drug traffickers who likely bring in military-style rifles along with bulk narcotics,” says Ron Mark, New Zealand First Deputy Leader and Spokesperson for Police and Defence.

“It is like Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee stumbled across ‘Lords of War’ and ‘War Dogs’ on Netflix, then decided this was his ticket to statesman-like respectability.

“But instead of debating issues of real concern like crime, housing, health and how to grow our small businesses and regions, this National-led government took us down a rabbit hole to regulate non-existent Kiwis trading non-existent arms in some Sub-Saharan fantasy.

“The peaceniks in the other parties loved the opportunity to dance around the maypole, sing Kumbaya and bag our boutique defence industry but not us.

“The United States is the world’s largest arms exporter and has only around 1,300 registered brokers. The number of Kiwi ‘arms brokers’ may well be counted on less than the fingers of one hand and we can fix this by amendment rather than a whole new law. 

“To meet our Wassenaar Arrangement obligations, New Zealand First would amend the Customs & Excise Act to regulate brokering and introduce a register for the few that we have. 

“As Pacific Aerospace found out in early August, New Zealand Customs regulates the export of military equipment including the enforcement of UN sanctions on Kiwi companies and individuals.

“But the real story here is that New Zealanders have had enough of National ducking the real matters of importance,” says Mr Mark.