If you vote Labour or Green you are voting for the destruction of the NZDF

Helen Clark famously stated we lived in a benign strategic environment…and then gutted the Air Force while buying expensive and still unused kit for the Army.

National realises that a great deal of kit is well past its use by date, especially aircraft and ships. They have embarked on a renewal programme, but the opposition is against any spending.

What they want will actually render the NZDF ineffectual.

Labour and the Greens are in la-la land if they think they can use $20 billion earmarked for a long-needed Defence Force upgrade as a slush fund for their election policies.

The Defence Force has been on the bones of its backside for long enough, and another round of austerity would see it lose many of its key capabilities.  

The 15-year $20b plan will see a whole range of old and expired ships and planes and other gear replaced with new ones that are fit-for-purpose, reliable, and more efficient.

Labour leader Andrew Little says there’s no point in having state-of-the-art defence equipment if there are people living on the streets, or if there’s underfunding in schools.

Well Mr Little, there’s no point having an Air Force if it doesn’t have planes to fly, or a Navy that doesn’t have the right ships, or an Army that doesn’t have the latest digital battlefield equipment.

Greens co-leader James Shaw is also sceptical about the planned spend, and would like to see it re-prioritised.

Well, Mr Shaw, here’s the reality: The C-130 Hercules fleet is 52 years old. The P-3 Orion fleet is 51 years old. The Boeing 757 fleet is 35 years old. The HMNZS Endeavour is 29 years old. The HMNZS Manawanui is 37 years old.

There’s not much life left in them.

Labour and the Greens want to make this antique kit last another 15 years. They’re dreaming.

Labour would never have made this move if Phil Goff was still an MP. He’s been calling for more defence spending since 2009.

The Defence Force has spent far too long struggling to make ends meet with shrinking budgets and ageing infrastructure.

The last headache it needs is the thought of spending the next 15 years trying to protect New Zealand with the gear it has.

Lloyd Burr has done well with this piece. It is well written and spot on.

The older kit gets the worse it becomes and repairs become more expensive and take longer. Our P3 Orion fleet is ancient and so are the C-130s. Having an airlift capability that can actually deliver a LAV III should be a priority.

You can’t trust Labour or the Greens to protect us.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.