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Labour Says It Will Publish White Paper On Defence

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Phil Goff
Phil Goff

Labour says it will publish a new white paper on defence next year if it wins the election.

National also intends publishing a white paper -- a statement of government intentions -- if it wins.

Defence minister Phil Goff said today Labour's white paper would coincide with the mid-point review of the Defence sustainability Initiative and the development of a new capital expenditure programme from 2012 onwards.

Mr Goff released Labour's defence policy, saying at this point New Zealand was not directly threatened by an other country and was not likely to be involved in widespread armed conflict.

"However, today non-conventional threats such as terrorism and instability caused by failing states in our region pose new challenges for our defence force," he said.

National's defence spokesman, Wayne Mapp, said the Government was ignoring serious problems like budget blow-outs and the problems afflicting the new navy ship MRV Canterbury.

Dr Mapp said none of the new patrol boats had passed their fitness surveys, only two of the Navy's five helicopters were fully in service and army units was staffed as low as 39 percent.

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