Greens want to torpedo Govt’s “bigger bombs” deal

The  Labour-led coalition’s  move  to place  a $2.3bn order  for new  Poseidon anti-submarine  hunters has opened  the biggest split so  far  among the parties supporting the coalition.

Green  Party  defence  spokesperson Golriz  Ghahraman says her party  opposes the purchase  because  it  is  a  continuation  of the  old  “war-style”  obsession with  weapons.

They’re incredibly expensive because they’ve got that war-making capability that we feel New Zealand really needs to lead the way in moving away from.”

Questioned  on  Morning  Report  on the Green Party view, acting PM  Winston Peters  dismissed  it:  “ I don’t have a response to that”

Ghahraman believes the view  that NZ  needs bigger bombs belongs in another century.

The Green Party says  the government  should not go ahead with equipping the new  planes with missiles and bombs. The Poseidon  is similar to the commercial Boeing 737, but can be fitted with missiles, torpedoes and solar technology specially designed to hunt submarines.

The announcement of the new aircraft came straight off the back of the government’s long-term defence strategy which outlined the global and domestic risks and challenges facing New Zealand.

Defence Minister   Ron Mark, announcing the biggest purchase of defence capability since the Anzac frigates three decades ago,  says the previous government put off the hard calls on defence procurement for far too long.

It would be irresponsible of this government to continue to kick that can down the road.This is a government that’s not afraid to make hard decisions, particularly those that are inter-generational in their effect and have an impact on capital spending”.

National’s defence spokesperson Mark Mitchell said National had put a lot of work into  the  Poseidon plan and was pleased to see the project advanced.

“It’s pleasing to see this government has finally made the right decision.”

In response to questions about the massive $2.3b cost, acting Prime Minister Winston Peters said it was not a lot of money given how long the aircraft will be flying for.

“You’ve got to factor this over 35 years… In fact the equipment we have now was going 50 years ago.”


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