Gordon Campbell on the Defence Force’s spending bonanza

It has been a fairly typical week for this government… mental health services in Christchurch slashed, further massive cuts to DHB funding, and the abdication of its responsibility for social housing.

Incredibly, the editorial writers at the New Zealand Herald have suggested that the latest health system cutbacks are ‘brave’ politics.

Hmmm… ‘brave’ isn’t the first adjective that comes to mind. Callous, heartless, stupid, and shortsighted all seem more appropriate, given an ageing population and the levels of unmet need in the health system. Just a small definitional point: ‘brave’ used to be a term for those risking harm to themselves to prevent harm to vulnerable people. Now it’s a term for ‘daring’ to inflict harm on vulnerable people.

Simultaneously, a government that’s willing to slash the health system is planning to spend $11 billion dollars in the next ten years on new gear for our Defence Forces. That’s not a misprint. The scale of the Defence spend-up over the next decade is truly stupendous. As yet, it simply has not sunk in with the general public just how much they stand to lose in order to keep the military in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

Here’s the reality. More than one billion dollars a year is being set aside each year, every year, for the next decade for military procurement purposes, while funding for the health system has been systematically reduced in real terms since 2010. The $11 billion military spend-up is outlined in a 27 January 2016 article (paywalled) in Jane’s IHS Aerospace, Defence & Security publication.

The new [procurement] team [at NZDF] will deliver an acquisition programme of about NZD 11 billion over the coming decade.

The money will be spent on new frigates, new cargo planes to replace the C-130 Hercules and new surveillance aircraft to replace the Orions. That cost by 2025 will be three and a half times more than the most fanciful MFAT estimates of what the TPP will deliver us by 2030. How on earth can John Key be talking about tax cuts in 2017 when this country is facing a state spending programme of this magnitude?

And all done to save New Zealand from… what, exactly ? Even the 2014 Defence Force Assessment published last year admits the threats that New Zealand faces are (a) limited and (b) of a nature that would give us time to upgrade and to prepare, should that ever be needed:

Para 66. New Zealand does not presently face a direct threat of physical invasion and occupation of New Zealand territory. The likelihood of such a threat to the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and territory over which we have a sovereign claim, emerging before 2040 is judged to be very low, and would be preceded by significant change to the international security environment. New Zealand could therefore expect to have a reasonable amount of time to re-orientate its defence priorities should this be necessary.

Although there is no direct threat to our territorial integrity, New Zealand faces a range of other threats from state and non-state actors, including cyber threats and terrorism.

Ah-huh. Cyber threats and terrorism. Now… I may be a bit slow on the uptake here, but I’m having trouble figuring out how a brand new batch of frigates or cargo planes or spotter planes will help to defend us from the Defence Force prioritisation of (a) cyber threats or (b) terrorists at home, or abroad. Even if they could defend us from such horrors – and they can’t – is it very difficult to regard hackers and jihadists and fishing zone predators as posing so deadly a threat to our national security as to justify us spending $11 billion of allegedly scarce funds, on combatting them.

It looks more like the Defence Force is simply rolling over its current force structure, and plucking off the shelf the next generation of gear to fulfill roles that belong to the Cold War era, 30 years ago or more. Meanwhile, the current government is expecting that it can spin the public into going without the next generation of specialist care and new medicines, in order to help pay for this military bonanza.

There is absolutely no rational justification for Defence extravagance on this scale. So far, not s single people smuggling boat has managed to reach our shores. Even if they ever did, wouldn’t one of our old frigates be able to intercept a leaky old boat laden with refugees? None of these boats would have a missile of such sophistication as to justify the spend-up that’s… uh oh, already well under way.

Meaning : a few weeks ago, the Key government agreed to spend a massive $441 million on upgrading the weapons and sensor systems on those ageing frigates, Defence couldn’t say unequivocally that these upgrades will be transferable to the new frigates that the nation is being expected to buy, early in the next decade. So, by the time that $441 million system is installed in 2019 it could be money almost totally down the drain.

Look, I know it is important that we should be able to go on manoeuvres with our allies in the Gulf of Oman, in order to help combat Somali piracy on the high seas. Yet call me a peacenik, but I just can’t see that as being as important a goal as having a health system that (a) can afford the cutting edge new medicines and that (b) can afford a wage structure to attract and retain sufficient numbers of medical specialists. It would also be great if medical staff with contagious illnesses didn’t feel they had to come into work, because overworked colleagues would then have to pick up the slack.

(Apropos of which, DHBs say they will try to meet the looming cuts by a further round of not filling vacancies.) And that’s even before mentioning the backlog of unmet health needs built up over years of starving the system. But the military? Hey, gear in the billions seems to be theirs for the asking.

It is not as if the NZ Defence Force has been on the breadline in recent years. As the Jane’s article pointed out, the procurement budget for NZDF in American dollars since 2011 has been $US164 million (in 2011) $US107.5 million (in 2012) $US106.75 million (in 2013) $US285.99 million (in 2014) and $US208.71 million in 2015. From there, the procurement projections head into the stratosphere, especially after 2020.

The Defence Force is already gearing up its management structures for the decade ahead. Des Ashton, the current procurement chief of the NZDF fronted the $441 million frigate-arming lolly scramble a few weeks ago. Yet as of March 1st, Ashton will be replaced by Air Vice-Marshal Mike Yardley, the current chief of the RNZAF.

Yardley will head a new and re-organised procurement team. It will also include Huntley Wright, who will become assistant secretary (Acquisitions.) As the Jane’s article delicately points out, this new configuration will ‘ address procedural shortcomings’ in the previous system. Such ‘ procedural shortcomings’ ( essentially, a code word for waste and incompetence) have been a rolling theme of NZDF procurement controversies since the 1990s.

Oh, and just as with prior promises of reform in the procurement division, the next round of changes will also ‘ensure military procurement achieves value for money.’ Yeah, right. To that end, new management directors will be appointed in all of the divisions deemed to have a stake in NZDF’s self–defined goal of being ‘a tri-service amphibious task force over the next decade’ – at vast taxpayer expense, and with no discernible useful role of any magnitude to perform.

Presumably, the more tangible threats to our national security – from hackers or jihadists – will be combatted by other means, via the similarly expanded budgets for our security services. Think about it next time that you or members of your family are trying to get on a hospital waiting list, or are trying to get access to modern medical treatments. The reason that Pharmac isn’t buying those new medicines now – and won’t be buying them over the next decade – is because New Zealand will have chosen to put the money instead into new frigates and cargo planes and spotter planes.

Eleven billion dollars worth of them. A fraction of that money – starting with the $441 million being squandered right now on the frigates – would utterly transform our health system.

Onward, Chinese soldiers !

Clearly, the Key government needs to stoke a bit of military patriotism among the populace, beyond Anzac Day. Sigh. Yet it can’t even run a $ 26 million flag referendum. China has so much to teach us about this sort of thing. Only last week, the Rocket Corps of the Peoples Liberation Army got themselves a terrific new song and video to celebrate their all round wonderfulness. Below is the video for the new Rocket Corps song, and a translation of the lyrics. If only we could celebrate our churningly glorious frigates, our industriously uplifting cargo planes and our eagle-eyed surveillance aircraft in such stirring fashion !

The Eastern Wind is mighty,
As powerful as a thunderbolt,
We are the glorious Rocket Force !

The long sword of a great nation,
Our might shakes the firmament,
We are the Great Wall cast with iron and steel
Obeying the command of the Party
Writing our loyalty with our blood
Forging strategic, powerful strikes
Defending peace and tranquillity

A roaring blaze and strong wind shock heaven and earth,
We can win the war and perform great feats.
Onward march, onward march
Heroic Rocket Force!

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url

29 Comments on Gordon Campbell on the Defence Force’s spending bonanza

  1. Gordon, you have drawn a bit of a long bow. You are spot on that frigates, cargo planes and surveillance aircraft won’t help fight cyber crime or terrorists.

    But they do enable NZDF to meet some of it’s other key priorities; fisheries protection, international peacekeeping, disaster relief, and servicing our scientific stations in the Antarctic.

    The Orions main occupations are fisheries protection and search and rescue operations, the Hercules service Scott base and are needed any time NZDF is deployed anywhere. Yes they can charter commercial aircraft, but they often don’t have the carrying capacity for the large amounts of gear, food, tents temporary field hospitals, generators etc. Both types of aircraft are ancient, long overdue for replacement and critical for a range of non-combat operations.

    New Frigates? Yes probably outmoded thinking. They would quickly be blown sunk in any actual conflict and not really the best vessels for fisheries protection or disaster relief – the Canterbury services that need much better(having assisted recent disasters in Samoa, Christchurch and Vanuatu)

    So you would rather we say stuff our pacific neighbours, stuff protecting our fisheries resources’, and fend for yourselves if your in difficulty at sea? They can all wait while we charter an outsourced resource?

  2. The illegitimate Crown NZ govt shows its true colors and priorities.
    War, terrorism and increased obsessive surveillance .The only thing the “war on terrorism” has done is grow terrorism.

    The Crown’s NZ govt mysteriously always has the money for itself and its corporations that will sell us the weapons and surveillance. Money which it fraudulently borrows in the name of the people to protect and grow its corporate investments in war.

    Yeah sure Paul, the Crown is funding more weaponry so that NZ can then “protect” its pacific neighbors waters from the likes of usa, Japan or China and Russia.Your warmongering, weaponry under the guise of “disaster relief” is madness. And BTW when NZ sent troops to the middle east it was for war-keeping not peacekeeping.
    Obviously our Pacific neighbors can protect themselves, Fiji just spent $19 million on weapons instead of rescue vessels for “difficulties at sea” so its not about not having vessels its about buying weapons.
    Growing by funding war, increasing the (illegal)mass surveillance while placing the people of NZ in “austerity”/poverty . The number of people in NZ without medical treatment, basic needs and housing is growing.

  3. My own view is that it would so easy for a signficant power to invade New Zealand that it would require less than 2000 Marines than a few warship and the decision in time of tension would not necessarily be made in Moscow or Shanghai but could be made by a local commander in Vladivostok, Hong Kong or Guadong or even a fleet at sea. After all Raeder sent the Bismark and Eugen into the Atlantic against Hitlers specific order. The Royal Navy frequently operated and deployed ahead of and in defiance of any Political order in the 1960s and 1970s and actually say the Labour Govt and Denis Healy as the enemy rather than the Soviets. After a Grimsby trawler was shot up, 20 RN frigates sailed up to Iceland immediately from Portsmouth without informing Callaghan or Crosland and the British Government was forced to declare that Iceland was a Communist state and an effective state of war. Had Reinhard Heyndrich assumed control of the French SS one can be certain that the former naval officer appointed to the SD on the advice of Canaris and Von Luckner would have immediately order Guderain and Rommels panzers onto the coast to the hit the invasion army in the 6 hours they would have been without air cover.

  4. Yes Robert, its much like all the old war time propaganda, tales of “the invasion of WGTN by Japan” .It would be so easy that it would be far better to spend the billions on meeting the unmet basic needs of all the people of NZ.

    As you have the British Crown’s illegitimate govt in place (without a mandate) all the foreign policies and unlawful British legislation cranked out onto our soil are an act of war against the people of NZ, our internal hidden enemy.The hidden war.
    The public owned assets taken, other public assets privatized into the hands of the Crown’s corporations, the TPPA not disclosed to the effected party …looks like the invasion of the nation by foreign interests/Crown already happened.

  5. New Zealand’s strategic value is not as a foodbasket or protein supply or as a site for resettlement of good living. In essence New Zealand is a aircraft carrier protecting the flanks of Australia and the Antarctic. If an invader seized Fiji, sea commerce could still transit through the Southern Ocean from Australia to America and Europe. The Important NZ defence assets are the Whenuapai airbase and Auckland international airport. From there a powerful airforce with long range bombers, fighters and missiles could reputedly shoot down US Tomahawk cruise missiles at ranges at ranges 2000km, beyond their refueled, operational radius and would control the sea and airlanes across the Pacific and to Australia. In an invasion of NZ the critical tactical, objective would actually be to seize Okahea and Palmerston North airfields because the positioning of the NZ Army at Linton, Waiorui and Papakura is actually quite good.
    In a likely WW3 Scenario even if the UNSAF and RAAF good planes on the ground at Harewood it would likely not be a good position to defend the Pacific.

  6. Yeah, I’m sorry Robert but its silly and pointless imagining NZ’s defense force could hold Palmerston north (hehehe) from the attack of China or the usa. Times have changed.
    Weaponry has also changed, your war fantasy scenario is outdated.
    War is hate and ignorance in action.
    The obese defense budget is money better spent on providing the people of NZ with their basic needs. Needs which were cut by the warmongering foreign bankster’s “austerity” policies.The Crown parasite (invaders of our country through central banking monetary system ) loan money aplenty for their ongoing wars but not for healthcare and social needs.

    The value is Life. Those who warmonger and hatemonger are ignorant and hold no valid values.
    They have completely lost touch with what is important and real.

  7. Helen S maybe New Zealand is a bit of a soft redistributive paradise, where none of the real human and economic forces of the world have yet impacted. In some ways I agree with you, in the sense that since about 1960 defence in the Southern Hemisphere against intruding Russian cruisers and submarines would have been impossible without using nuclear weapons. Like the Japanese the Russians are just copyists and spies they actually had good designers, militarists and planners that in some ways were superior. The Russian diesel designs of about 1959 the Foxtrot and Julliet are about 4000 tons and more comfortable and because of their larger size in some ways quieter than western designs ( see the film K-19 nb the commentary its produced by the same team as Zero on Osmas capture and the you tube and books on the 4 diesel foxtrots that penetrated the US SOSUS net undetected and sailed, nuclear armed, under the 1962 US Fleet for a month undetected ,listening to the US destroyers communicating in the clear. They were found by an Ivory League old school USN frigate commander in old unmodernised gearing pre FRAM radar picket with WW2 sonar). Both the Cubans and USAF were keen to use nukes during the crisis the Russian Navy less so. By the time of the Foxtrots and Julliets the submarines double hulls made them largely invulnerable to conventional mortar attack and even the first Soviet SSNs were faster than any pre 1975 Western torpedo. The actual speed of the RNZN and RNZAF Mk 44/ Mk 46 torpeodes in the late 1960s was no more than 30 knots and with their short range and need to get very close to lock on, the chance of conventional a/s success was minimal. In the late 1960s we and Australia were still largely outrange of Soviet ICBMs in Central Asia ( Everything Simon Walker says in the famous 76 Interview with Muldoon is leading, untrue or exploiting Muldoons ignorance and Walker simply centres on the little he thinks Muldoon knows and believes) and therefore New Zealand was quite important the Orions and Skyhawks were delivered with wiring to trigger nuclear bombs and depth charges against specific NZ requests and at the peak of the Cold War between 7/68 and 2/69 RNZN Orions were taken over by USN officer crews and command,( Harrison. Kiwi Orions) following the sinking of the USS Scorpion.
    The Improved Dido class cruisers used by the RNZN in the 1948-1965 period had an effective cruising range of 4000 miles at 16 knots and the close in AA was reasonably good against Falklands air defence as built with 3 quad pom pom UK 40mm CIWS and 6 twin Oerilikon or in the mid 1950s configuration of Diadem, Black Prince and Bellona with 8-14 40mm which in Diadem supplied to Pakistan would give about 1900 rpm of 40mm fire in total. The Royalist was overmodrnised and its 5.25 like all the Type 12 Leanders 4.5 guns were too slow firing and lacked the fire control radar to hit at 7-8 miles high against Soviet bombers and surveillance. Nevertheless they were useful for aircraft direction, bombardment and engaging gun destroyers. The Leanders were useless without nuclear weapons, they were mainly intended as gin palaces to replace the cruisers on colonial vists and were also useless for Aircraft direction as the surveillance 965/993 were obsolete with the screen displays up to 7/10 seconds behind real time actio, same with the Leander sonars which were 15 years behind US/Dutch- particularly in]screen display readability and data links. The Leanders effective range was 3500 miles at about 14 knots which meant they were too slow to escort ships between Suva and Honolulu.

  8. My own view is that all bloodline or legacy military or naval officers want to fight and f..k 17 year old girls and ideology is a secondary factor. its true of the SS and RN and the essentially related RNZN and RAN officer class, probably even the women officers and the Soviet or Russian Navy an aristocratic force till 1937 when Stalin eliminated only 50%. So its a bit like pre 1985 Grand Prix racing which was essentially about rich wastrels from the fabulously wealthy buying themselves into SS or SA supporting teams to convert themselves from being public school gays to hetrosexual fanatics.
    The Tsar and Kaisers military officer class were essentially the same thing. My mother whose mother was Nessy Heywood St John Fancourt was infatuated by Von Luckner when he visited Wellington in 1938 and worshiped Rommel. She worshiped her distant relation Arthur Balfour and her main obsession was how close the MP for Barnstaple St John Fancourt who knocked Disraeli out of the seat got to replacing Victoria in a time of illness got to putting the Elector of Hanover on the throne and therefore putting the Kaiser on the British throne in 1914. She named her last cat Henry of Prussia.
    The effective life of a warship or nuclear submarine is 30 years ie back to 1986 therefore we have to deal with the primary military threat, as the same thing as if the High Seas fleet had not been destroyed by Admiral Beatty in 1919, the Soviet production of 1986-93 the Slava and Peter the Great Battlecruisers and Soveremenny heavy 8000 ton Russian and Chinese destroyers much of the sold Russian construction, not completed like their carriers till the 21C and the subsuquent Chinese replicants. Updated today these cruisers offer ten channel Mach 4-8 air and anti missile defence to a 100 miles and Sunburn, Club 54 and Sizzler anti ship missiles of several hundred miles range at speeds faster than any radar can track. Combined with the late Soviet Akulas and modern black hole silenced Kilos, they will smash the US carriers instantly and render conventional defence useless.
    Therefore given the uselessness of the Collins subs and Anzac frigates I have always favoured Corvettes or Ocean patrol frigates like the Dutch Holland class with all officer intelligent crews of 50-60 in which commands will be obeyed and the warship operate as a natural unit with an equal number of males and females compared with the immorality and lie by which ordinary males are forced to do the bidding and die for the Officer class on the USS Newport News in 1972 or HMS Coventry in 1982. In my view war is the business of the officer class and elite, it is not any business of ordinary people, who are likely identify with the enemy and should just devote themselves to non aspirational pleasure and excess.

  9. Robert you have a totally distorted and warped view of war.
    The elite don’t fight in wars.
    The elite( and banksters) profit off war as they own the corporations that make the weaponry and loan the money (with interest) to nations that are made by the banksters govt to invest in war.
    The fact is the taxpayer or “ordinary” human being bears the heavy burdens and they are the ones that are injured, disabled and die in the the elite’s wars.
    If the elites (John Key,Putin, Lees,royals, Rothschilds and Rockefellers etc) want a war it is my view they should stop being cowards and go to Jekyll Island and bomb and kill each other -leaving the ordinary man in the business of peace and prosperity.

  10. John Kerry, the current US Secretary of State, A Boston Brahmin is a fomer US Navy Officer of the Vietnam War generation, as is namesake, the Senator who contested the 1992 Primaries against Clinton. John McCain son of Admirals was certainly American Fleet Arm Officer during the Vietnam war. Brett Lunger a Du Pont US Army Lietenant during the Vietnam war who did several tours of duty as did the film director Oliver Stone. The proletarisation of the US Military and the decline of its officer class reflects the deliberate policy of the former defence secretary that if the cold war required a degree of percentage attrocites it was better not to involve the elite and also the end of US conscription around 1971 which as Edward Kennedy ( a former US Army private who like Elvis was relegated to embassy guard duties in Paris and Berlin) the three older Kennedy brothers were all commissioned USN officers. My observation over the last couple of years observing officers and rating of the RNZN and RAN in the street bars and coming off their warships, even talking to a RN Captain commanding a RAN FFG7 and also watching the documentary series of the last days of the RN Invincible Class carriers, HMS Ark Royal is the elite nature of the officer class of the RN, RNZN and RAN has not been much diluted, and surprisingly little altered by the inclusion of women. Officer selection might be slightly wider, but the broader class and girth selection is not generally appreciated among the past and present professional officer class.

  11. OMG.

    None of the men you named are the .01%.
    The elite’s (and more commonly their “Muppets”) will give their offspring a military title by name only to promote war.
    These military muppets never get sent by Washington to any unsafe locations. As the desired personality trait for the elite’s muppets/politicians is psychopathy the military is used as a base to select obedient order taking psychopaths for further service to the elites.

  12. I have a long term interest in the defence issues. The expenditure is essentially about replacing the core capabilities of the NZDF, which has been signaled for many years.
    Nerw Zealand has one of the largest EEZ’s in the world and direct responsibilities in the South Pacific and Antarctica.
    The three main capabilities to be replaced are the C130’s (now 50 years old), the P3 Orions (also 50 years old) and the two frigates, (both approaching 20 years old).
    There is surely no argument from anywhere in the political spectrum about replacing the C130’s. To carry out maritime surveillance across the entire EEZ requires an aircraft with 12 to 14 hours endurance. There is only one such aircraft and that is the P8 (based on the 737).
    There may be some debate on the frigate replacement, either essentially the same capability as the ANZAC frigates or somewhat less capable light frigates. But I don’t get any real sense that the frigate replacement will generate anything like the controversy as did the ANZAC ship programme. I guess people have seen the existing frigates being used in such a wide variety of roles as to ease the sorts of concerns that existed in the late 1980’s.
    The total cost of the replacement programmes is spread over 15 years, with the effect that defence expenditure will be around the 1% of GDP, as it has been for the last fifteen years.
    So I suggest the issue is not nearly as dramatic as your article proposes.

  13. You made my point, we helped Fiji (who just misspent $19 million on weaponry) without the $11 billion.
    The $11 billions to be spent on military weaponry while basic health and social needs funding is in “austerity” cut mode is very much about warfare.

  14. Actually, no, we won’t be able to help Fiji if we don’t spend the $11B. the money isn’t going on new weaponry. It is going on replacements for the equipment being used in Fiji right now; Cargo planes, Maritime surveillance planes – both unarmed, and a replacement frigate. If it was for weaponry I would agree, but the armed forces are invaluable when disaster strikes. if they can get there.

  15. Factually we did help Fiji without the $11 billion.

    And factually its not $11 billion disaster aid fund its for “defense” equipment (pacific surveillance). For if the $11 billion dollar purpose was for disaster relief we could have used the money to help the people in Christchurch( and other places) with their unmet needs. Disabled pensioners would not have to beg on the streets of NZ because the ministry cut their benefit.

    Who is it that you feel we are defending NZ against?

  16. It has seemed to me for some time now that the existing pre-WW2 structure of Army, Navy and Air Force is decades out of date for New Zealand’s purposes. We are an island nation, physically isolated from any significant threats. Our primary concerns are policing our exclusive economic zone (waters), responding to natural disasters in the pacific, and contributing to international peace keeping efforts (naval and occasional ground forces). The resources and management structures of our existing 3 forces should be consolidated into one primarily naval force focussed on appropriate and realistic strategic objectives.

  17. You cannot name an enemy (or a real need) that would warrant a $11 billion defense bonanza when health spending and social services are being cut.
    Your surveillance ” strategic objectives” are far from being realistic, we call those paranoid.
    For the paranoids pacific surveillance we already have satellites and the five eye’s “google eye”.

    The $11 billion increased military spending is not for the military protection of fishing in EEZ (FCV)by foreign charter vessels. For it is a fact that to promote/sell a war paid warmongers always lie and say things like
    we are ” humanitarian bombing”.

    If you want peace you don’t invest in war.

  18. Helen S,

    Can I suggest you re-read the posts that set out what the $11 billion will be actually spent on. The great bulk of the $11 billion goes on just on 3 key capabilities being the replacement of the C130’s, the replacement of the P3 Orions, and the replacement of the two frigates.
    While I will concede that there will be debate on the frigates (though much less so than in the 1980’s) it is surely incontrovertible that 50 year old aircraft will need replacing in the next few years.
    Surely you would agree we need something like the C130 just for disaster relief. And satellites and “five eyes” are no substitute for an actual aircraft in the sky doing a search and rescue mission or ascertaining the real extent of hurricane damage. The first thing NZ did after the Fiji cyclone was send a P3 to closely photograph the damage so the proper emergency response could be organised. That happens with all the major cyclones in the South Pacific.

  19. Photos of disasters can be taken by satellite in real time and are a very cost effective substitute, they can clearly show the extent of the damage. It is a perfect cost free substitute for the military wasting time and money flying P3’s around to take expensive photos that could have been done for nothing.

    Many think $59k relief and a P3 taking photos was a very piss poor response to Fiji it was not “proper”. These decision makers are the same Crown govt people and we’ve all seen their signature work on the Christchurch rebuild and “insurance dealings”.

    And there is no direct threat not even a imagined enemy.
    Ironically I see the Crown’s NZ govt as the biggest threat to the people of NZ’s well being .

    None of the $11 billion military budget bonus is for peace or for the people of NZ, its to protect the Crown’s interests.

    Orions for (FCV) fishing protection… yeah right.

    Now the Crown wants a bonus of new toys at the expense of the people’s health and social needs.

  20. Helen,
    You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.
    It is simply incorrect to state that a satellite is as good as a manned aircraft flying at 500 ft. Photos from a low flying aircraft are vastly superior to satellite photos, and I have seen enough of each to know the difference.
    Similarly it is incorrect to say the govt has only spent $59K on Fijian relief. Unless you have been completely detached from the news, you would aware that C130 flights have gone in, army engineers have been deployed, HMNZS Canterbury and Wellington are on their way. In particular the Canterbury will be carrying hundreds of tonnes of specialist emergency equipment and probably over 100 specialist personnel. In fact the Canterbury was purchased for this very purpose.

  21. In reply to Wayne I agree that a priority and the real fight will be to replace the Orions with anti submarine capable Boeing P8 Posiedon, I suggest 4 planes would be realistic. Helen C’s pacifist aims in that area being checked only by 9/11 and the fight to save the A-4s,, which was a useful RNZAF delaying tactic. The Hercules should have been replaced by new versions long ago as the upgrade of the old frames has proved very costly and inefficient. In terms of the frigates, western politicians now have difficulty accepting the need for blue water capability and the British Government has only reluctantly accepted to maintain a 19/20 ship frigate / destroyer force – maintaining the numbers at the moment of 6 Daring T 45 / 13 T23 with the reconstruction of the 6 Darings and and 8 new T 26 Global Combat frigates which only marginally more sophisticated than the Anzacs and 5 new OPVs similar in armament and dimension and helo capability to the HMNZS Wellington but with a $100 m equivalent radar, sonar. ECM, ESM and computer intergrated AIO.

  22. In reply to Wayne I agree that a priority and the real fight will be to replace the Orions with anti submarine capable Boeing P8 Posiedon, I suggest 4 planes would be realistic. Helen C’s pacifist aims in that area being checked only by 9/11 and the fight to save the A-4s,, which was a useful RNZAF delaying tactic. The Hercules should have been replaced by new versions long ago as the upgrade of the old frames has proved very costly and inefficient. In terms of the frigates, western politicians now have difficulty accepting the need for blue water capability and the British Government has only reluctantly accepted to maintain a 19/20 ship frigate / destroyer force – maintaining the numbers at the moment of 6 Daring T 45 / 13 T23 with the reconstruction of the 6 Darings and and 8 new T 26 Global Combat frigates which only marginally more sophisticated than the Anzacs and 5 new OPVs similar in armament and dimension and helo capability to the HMNZS Wellington but with a $100 m equivalent radar, sonar. ECM, ESM and computer intergrated AIO.

  23. The fact is the improper initial emergency response of a military promotion (of a P3 fly-by “Hand on C*ck”)for a photo speaks for itself.
    Flawed decision making processes, the Crown keeps pouring bonus money into investing in war and spying while not looking out for the health and social needs of the people of NZ.

    Thank god we don’t have a enemy.
    We have a bunch of (internalized) boys who want more toys for pacific flybys/snooping/surveillance at a time that awarding a $11 billion dollar bonus to defense is totally irresponsible. Reminds me of the injustice of many CEO’s with poor performances laying people off and at the same time getting bonuses .
    Warmongers do not acknowledge the reality or fact of Crown imposed “austerity” measures. Fact is the health and social needs that have been cut to do this is adding insult to injury, the well being of the people of NZ is at stake.

  24. Warmongering is Washington sickness.
    Washington has been at war 93% of the time – 222/239 years – since 1776 .
    Since the Crown NZ govt ministers have all been in contact over the TPPA -sucking it up -they got infected.

  25. @ Helen,

    So what you are saying is that you support continued use of five eyes as that performs better than a physical presence on the ground. And that we shouldn’t help the Fijian people because their Govt wasted it’s money on arms and we need the money more here. Nice! Very neighbourly of you.

  26. @Paul Twist
    No if you ask your nanny to read my comment to you again before beddy-bye time you will find that was not what I said.

    I do not support the obsessive paranoid surveillance of the Crown & Washington.
    I do not support a central banking system.
    I do not support the illegitimate Crown NZ govt,a govt that lies to the people of this nation and tells them that there is “scarcity” of money.
    Money that is created out of nothing( debt) and using the people of this nation (and Fiji) as debt slaves.
    Its called fraud and Henry Ford said it best when he said “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning”.
    The “revolution” has to happen through peoples understanding, not through violence.

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