Australia’s move to strengthen its defence capability with five nuclear-powered attack submarines underlines how relatively defenceless New Zealand is in the Pacific.
Kiwis may gasp that the Labor government in Australia recognises it must outlay $400bn on the nuclear subs, but this ensures that Australia is not exposed to any marauding raid.
Part of the deal under the Aukus umbrella (embracing Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States) is that Australia will regularly host US nuclear-powered submarines beginning within five years, and embedding its military personnel with the US and UK navies, as it begins the process of establishing its own industry.
US President Joe Biden has stressed that the submarines, provided under the trilateral security pact would be “nuclear-powered, not nuclear-armed”. Continue reading “Australia buys nuclear-powered subs – would NZ be concerned if we came under attack and they were defending us?” →
Emerging from its annual conference, the ACT Party’s leadership appears to regard itself already as a key element in the next government.
ACT leader David Seymour had the conference cheering as he spoke of how ACT would ensure in the first hundred days of the next government, Labour’s measures on Three Waters, the Māori Health Authority, the 39c tax rate, and Fair Pay Agreements would all be gone, just as ACT’s policies on 90-day trials, three strikes, oil and gas exploration and charter schools would be reinstated.
No surprises there.
But ACT will need far more than this if it is to win over the thousands of additional votes to make certain it does have a powerful voice, rather than being just a prop for National. It will need Cabinet ministers in influential roles.
Most of the issues highlighted by Seymour are likely to get National’s support or are changes which National already has said it will enact. He admits getting them to repeal the Zero Carbon Act will be harder.
“We’re going to have to push very hard on that one, because they’ve committed themselves so heavily, but I think it’s worth doing,” he said. Continue reading “ACT could tap into a rich vein of support by pushing for higher education standards and a stronger Defence force” →
After years of Army officers dominating leadership roles in the NZDF, it’s the turn of the air force. Air Vice Marshal Kevin Short stepped up a rank to become Chief of Defence Force last month in place of General Tim Keating, whose surprise departure caused ripples throughout defence.
The Chief of Air Force, Air Vice Marshall Tony Davies, has become the new Vice chief.
A good idea, say those in the know, because the RNZAF will be the major beneficiaries of major defence spending.
First came the $2.346bn spend on four Boeing P-8A Poseidons plus supporting gear to replace the Orions. Now the drums are beating for the replacement for the Hercules. Defence Minister Ron Mark expects a defence capability review by November when decisions will emerge. Continue reading “Air Force men take top Defence jobs as decision time looms for Hercules replacement” →
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.”
Continue reading “Greens want to torpedo Govt’s “bigger bombs” deal” →