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Monday, October 17, 2005

Manatu Kaupapa Waonga

This is Maori for Ministry of Defence. It has a nice ring to it.

Being a classical liberal of sorts, I stick by the principle that the first role of any government is the security of its citizens, both external and internal security. The Tailors Dummy wants an extra 1,000 cops in the first term. Big deal. John Banks delivered that many in one year in 1991. A grand in three years does nothing but cover attrition and provides a few more for checkpoints. It's insignificant. A recuit wing can be made up of 96 recruits. Three wings a year for three years. As I say, insignificant. I digress, slightly.

What we actually need, and Winnie would have been better off pushing off for this with Ron Mark, is a big boost to our defence forces.

New Zealand's defence forces are 2500 people short of the number needed to do their jobs safely and it will take years to build them up to the required numbers, a new report has found.
Admittedly, when the numbers are crunched National can share some of the blame.

That shortfall followed a decline in total personnel numbers from 20,785 in June 1991 to just 12,889 in June 2004.
They were the government from 1991 to 1999. The decline is put down to the reduction in the frigate fleet, disbandment of the air combat force, contracting out of some services and "efficiency".

Most worrying is the attrition rate in the army.
"The army is suffering significant attrition, at around 18 per cent or around 750 (people) per year, compared to its long-term average of 14.9 per cent."
That meant the army was having to increase the number of people it trained just to stay level.
Our rundown, depleted defence forces require a massive spending boost. I am happy to use that word. Massive. Buying back a combat air strike fleet should be NZ Last's first priority. Not a bloody fancy card for old people.

By using nice Maori words in its slogan, the Ministry of Defence actually demeans Maori and the battalions who went off to fight for Aotearoa in the world wars. I don't know the Maori word for 'disgraceful' but this situation epitomises it.
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Posted by Gooner | 10/17/2005 11:28:00 PM


Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

On your last para I disagree. I think if you look hard you will see it is not a slogan but rather a translation of the title Ministry of Defense. Not demeaning at all. Just like Te Tiko o te Wahine Porangi could be a translation of the current so called coalition when you're not having a coalition.

10/18/2005 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gooner said...

Well you would Adolf. Harrummph.

10/18/2005 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger Ross Browne said...

That's a pretty shonky argument mate. Have a look at my blog for a response.

10/20/2005 11:36:00 AM  

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