David Huebner

First Military Exercises for 27 years

NZ Herald

Good to see that our troops will be visited by 76 US military personnel for the forst combat exercises in 27 years:

New Zealand’s defence ties with the United States are set to reach a new milestone with the arrival of 76 US military personnel for the first combat-focused joint exercise on New Zealand soil in more than 27 years.

And New Zealand’s defence ties with Nato are also high on the Government’s agenda with talks scheduled at the Beehive today with Nato’s top military man, US Admiral Jim Stavridis, the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.

The Defence Minister, Jonathan Coleman, last night announced the joint military exercise involving 35 US Marines and 41 US Army personnel to take part in an exercise dubbed Alam Halfa, after a World War II battle in Egypt in 1942.

Since the accelerated friendship between New Zealand and the US was announced in the Wellington Declaration 16 months ago, joint exercises have stepped up. But until now they have had a humanitarian or non-combat focus.

Exercise Alam Halfa marks the first traditional military exercise since the reprisals against New Zealand for its anti-nuclear legislation included a ban on joint exercises, without a special waiver.

The exercise will involve about 1500 Defence Force personnel and begin in Linton the day after Anzac Day, ending in Waiouru 10 days later. The frigate Canterbury will also be involved at Napier.

US Ambassador David Huebner said the “centrepiece” of the year would be in June when US Marines, including a Marine band, would visit New Zealand to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the arrival of American forces to help to defend the South Pacific in World War II.

What would Len do?

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew into New Zealand on a personal plane, Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown arrived at the airport to greet her on a bicycle.

Mrs Clinton has begun her three-day visit to New Zealand after arriving in Wellington this morning.

Her blue and white modified Boeing 757 landed at Wellington’s military terminal at 6.08am, where she was greeted by a cluster of government and embassy officials.

The welcome party also included Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown, who arrived at the terminal at 4.55am on her bicycle wearing a high-visibility vest.

At the bottom of the plane’s steps Clinton shook hands with US ambassador David Huebner, foreign affairs minister Murray McCully and mayor Wade-Brown.

What would Len do?

Wellington’s Mayor practices what she preaches, does Len?

How does he get into the Town Hall each day? Is it by car or by public transport?

When we see civic leaders practicing what they preach they should be applauded, when we see them being liar and hypocrites they should be hounded from office.

I ask again, What would Len do?