Defence Act Reform About Cuts Says Labour

by Desk Editor on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 — 10:04 PM

The Defence Amendment Bill implementing the Government’s white paper reforms received its first reading and was sent to the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defence committee for consideration.

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said it would modernize the military service structure and align it with the Government’s priorities over the next 25 years.

Coleman said the legislation ran alongside the Government’s desire for an integrated military with appropriate equipment.

The bill would allow for the greater use of civilians in administrative work and also rewrote the rules around the appointment and roles of senior defence staff.

Labour MP Phil Goff said the bill was really about “cuts’’ to the defence forces with plans for savings of $400 million a year over the next three years.

He said the Government was “pulling the rug’’ from under the full time military and also cutting the Territorials by a third.

Numerous opposition MPs attacked the Government’s defence policy, but Labour MPs said they would support the bill to select committee to hear the debate before forming a final position.
The bill was sent to the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defence Committee for consideration with National, Labour, Maori Party, ACT and United Future supporting.

Debate on the first reading of the Financial Markets Conduct Bill was interrupted when the House rose at 10pm

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