A new report on NZ's arthritic 'defence' force concludes the air force can't fly, the navy can't go to sea, and the army couldn't knock the skin off a rice pudding. In other words, NZ's defence policy amounts to 'God Defend New Zealand,' since nobody else is able to.
It gets worse. Defence minister, Phil Goff, told punters not to worry, this is "not out of the ordinary," it's "nothing new." Fact is, he says, he's been seeing reports like this for years.
Comforting, don't you think, in the world's present less-than-benign strategic environment?
Fact is, there have been reports like this for years, and Phil Goff isn't the only one to blame. Despite the latest Government throwing a miserly $8.6 billion at the moribund military, one of the very few legitimate branches of government, the previous National Government had run them down to such a level that the $8.6 billion was like a small piss on a very big desert -- and given that they're happy with the "enduring consensus" on defence (or lack thereof) they have no plans now to change that come November.
Which makes National's Wayne Mapp's bleating about the latest report just more of the crocodile tears he so easily sheds.
Be nice if there was at least one political party who recognised the crucial importance of actually defending the country, don't you think?