web analytics

Kudos to “The Veteran”

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, August 21st, 2010 - 21 comments
Categories: act, blogs, rodney hide - Tags: , , ,

Reading about Act ritualistically disemboweling themselves this week has been interesting, and has quite a few implications for the political landscape at the next election. The factor that has been attracting my attention was highlighted by Fran O’Sullivan this morning – where did those defense papers wind up.

Roy went troppo suggesting a security breach after Hide took a draft defence document from her office.

The dossier quotes her as saying: “Much more concerning about this paper is the fact that the Minister of Defence, Wayne Mapp, has told me that he has been informed by a National Party activist that Act board Member, Nick Kearney, has a copy of this paper.

“He said Nick Kearney has shown the activist the paper and encouraged him to write an article for the blog ‘No Minister’. The activist has told me that he will not do anything with it – it is a sensitive document of national security significance and it was raised with Wayne Mapp because of this serious concern.”

Nick Kearney has since revealed he resigned from the Act board when another member who was aligned with Roy made the “jaw-dropping” allegation that he had the paper. He has denied any role in this affair.

For those you don’t know The Veteran’s writing, he is generally centre-right and very concerned with defense matters. Not publishing and not even posting on the contents was well-done.

As much as I would like to see more debate about our defense forces policies, I don’t like defense documents floating around. I was a territorial medic myself in the late 70’s and early 80’s and I can see, depending on the type of document, there could be some pretty severe consequences for our people in current or future times.

There has been a blog site Kotare – The Strategist that used to regularly look at these types of issues for NZ and worldwide. However it finished up in June. Pablo over at Kiwipoliticio (and other publications) also looks at some of the more strategic aspects. But you’d have to say that the numbers of people talking about our defense posture are few and far between. The Veteran, in keeping with the No Minister standards, doesn’t write in any depth on the military – but at least he writes something. I’d write more myself, but I’m having problems keeping up with all of the areas I’m currently involved in….

The Veteran posted about getting our MP’s to spend more time with the military so they have a better understanding of the issues. There are a number of other MP’s that have had some close associations with our armed forces over the years through family members and from their duties – Phil Goff for instance. But I’d agree that we could do with more politicians taking an interest. It means that when the shit hits the fan, which it will inevitably do at some point, they’ll have a better idea about what their military advisers are telling them

Another endearing trait of The Veteran is that (like me) he is no lover of the ACToids. I liked his departing comment before he went to aussie.

The lunitic Right fringe of the ACT Party will breathe a sigh of relief to know the The Veteran will be absent from the end of this week through until 25 August. I am in Australia as a guest of the Liberal Party looking at campaign tactics.

He could probably do with a getting a better spell-checker. But despite being on the other side of main political divide, his discretion earns him some kudos amongst bloggers. It is a welcome change to the idiot fringe that sometimes seems to dominate the blogging world.

21 comments on “Kudos to “The Veteran” ”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    I dont go for this cotton wool stuff for any old military ‘secrets’. If its floating around the beehive then all the more reason to be public.
    Labour poured 100s millions$ into defence programs that were very thinly justified. And when there is an inquiry, lo and behold the files seem to been tampered with.

    • lprent 1.1

      I’d support the military and relevant politicians being more open about what is going on with defense policies. Maybe I should do some OIA’s around that area despite the stronger restrictions there. There is a paucity of information on defense matters for NZ on the net as far as I can see. It is a lot of money with a poor public overview

      However I don’t think that leaking to a blogger is a particularly good way to approach it.

      I do support having a reasonably effective military for a number of reasons. Not the least of which comes from my background in earth sciences and the military role in civil disaster situations which is especially relevant for NZ.

      • pmofnz 1.1.1

        “paucity of information on defense matters for NZ on the net ”

        Quite rightly so. Obviously you are not in the ‘need to know’ loop. Defence has security for very good reasons and releasing the finer policy details to any Joe Bloggs for scrutiny is not good business.

        Suffice to say, we get extremely good value from our Defence initiatives, but as always they could do with bucket loads more, instead of them having to fight for and justify every dollar. Without question, we should be automatically spending upward of 1.5% of GDP on our Defence Forces.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          IMO, 3% to 5% would be about right but not through the capitalist system as that tends to cost more without any benefit. Of course, spending more does mean that taxes will need to be raised.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1.1.1

            DTB:Completely crazy, even Australia doesnt do that much (1.8%)

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Not really, although that amount could be brought down after a time. ATM we need to develop some NZ made weapons as we won’t be able to depend upon delivery from overseas contractors.

              • comedy

                “ATM we need to develop some NZ made weapons as we won’t be able to depend upon delivery from overseas contractors.”

                ha ha ha ha ho ho he he fuck you’re a card.

                [Fast getting tired…RL]

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Still not engaging the brain there I see comedy.

                  • felix

                    Haven’t you heard? We are not now and never will be capable of making anything in NZ, ever again.

                    It’s called “ambition”.

                • Luxated

                  It isn’t really that stupid, it largely depends on how you define weapons though. OTOH NZ businesses have been involved in whole or in part of the follow projects for the NZDF.

                  – ANZAC class frigates.
                  – Lake class IPV (At least hull and superstructure entirely built in Whangarei, probably final fit out as well).
                  -Upgrades to the Orion and Hercules fleets.
                  -Kahu UAV (design and construction).
                  -B757 refit.
                  -PAC air-trainers (build mainly as I think PAC bought the design although I’d imagine that they’ve updated it since then).

                  There are probably a fair few more that we could be (or may already are/were) involved with.

                  -Light vehicle design and construction LOVs would have been a prime example of this.
                  -Licensed small arms manufacturing.
                  -Design workshare on large projects that we want to buy into (for style but not size thing Australia’s contribution to the F-35).
                  -Greater involvement in heavy shipbuilding (rather than continually relying on BAE Australia (was Tenix).

                  A fair few more no doubt but I think that is enough for a quick list.

                  But remember people ‘we can’t build anything in NZ’.

              • Armchair Critic

                I’m not that keen to have an arms industry developed in NZ, Draco.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1.2

          There is no justification for spending more. Does Ireland spend as much as the UK, does Portugal spend as much as Spain. ( %GDP). Of course not . They are a beneficiary of their smaller size and larger neighbour.
          In defence distance is everything.
          As for the things we can chop. Do we need a fleet of antisubmarine aircraft ? Do we need a dedicated artillery capacity – the 105mm guns are too small and are better replaced by larger mortars.
          We waited till the mid 50s to drop the coastal artillery, when the 30s should have been a better time ( a failed concept that really never needed after the Napoleonic Wars). The Holland government bought a reconditioned British cruiser in the mid fifties, with only a 10 year life , when we could have got 2 new frigates with a 25 year life that were more suited to our needs.
          The LAV, while a good idea, by the time we got them , IED resistant vehicles were really needed. Blame that on the Nats , who did nothing for their 9 years, and then labour had to make some defence friendly gesture after getting rid of the skyhawks ( which were out of date when we got them in 1969 and probably not a good idea to upgrade in the late 80s).
          WE could make sure Defence has a modern document management system which means the use of paper files which can be shredded ( like there were for the UN housing scandal) cant happen.
          If the US can have a Marine Corps which combines naval, army and airforce units we can save heaps by doing the same. ( not the Canadian system)

          • pmofnz 1.1.1.2.1

            Your suggestion ‘do we really need a fleet of anti-sub aircraft’ is shortsighted in the extreme.

            The bulk of both our exports and imports are sea borne. The mere threat of a submarine near or a mining operation in the defined but narrow approaches to our ports would cripple this country in very short order. We don’t have many ports capable of handling the large items, so it would be very easy for a hostile to blockade NZ. We only have one oil refinery. So, I would think it a high priority that Defence is skilled and practiced in anti-sub processes.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Even during the Cold War, was any Soviet submarine ever seen in the Southern Hemisphere.
              Mining NZ harbours would be way down the list of any possible hostile powers target list.
              The current Orion fleet can maintain say one plane in the air at the time, and of course we have a very large ocean area. Its a joke!
              Unless they are going to run about 12 planes and then minesweepers as well, best not point out to the taxpayers that we are wasting money here, by thinking about re fighting WW2

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.2

        I think this ‘secret’ was about the structure of the reserves. Hardly will have the foreign powers a buzz.
        The sort of minor government secret that can and does leak out.
        Hide seems to want to dump the Local government portfolio after the local elections and maybe try to get Defence for himself, as Mapp is the well known doormat, should be a done deal

  2. Sanctuary 2

    The lack of any credible threat to our home islands makes current defence expenditure appropriate – just – to our needs. Any major threat should be met with a nation-in-arms, not a professional (basically mercenary) army. Citizen conscripts demand an accountability from their politicians that professional soldiers do not.

    However, we may need to raise capital expenditure with the looming block obsolescence of the airforce. Given the growing power of China we should NOT cut our already slim ASW capabilities. There may not yet be Chinese SS and SSN’s in the South West Pacific, but without the P-3 force we wouldn’t have any ability to detect them either way. The C-130 force will need urgent replacement very soon.

    We should not even attempt to build a local, private defence industry. The threat of the military-industrial complex is to severe for even a hint of this happen here. Instead, if a threat develops we could easily establish state arsenals to provide the weapons we may need at the lowest possible cost, the get rid of these when we no longer need them.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      The threat of the military-industrial complex is to severe for even a hint of this happen here.

      Why do you think I said that it shouldn’t be done through the capitalist system. Basically the way I see it is a government R&D developing weapons/strategies with minor production to maintain a ready force with that being ramped when needed.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2

      The Hercs are being upgraded. But seems to be another stuff up in the process as is typical with Defence
      Even though they are 40 years old.
      In plane terms they are more likely 10 years old as they have such low annual flying hours

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year Honour recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her warm congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the New Year 2021 Honours List. “The past year has been one that few of us could have imagined. In spite of all the things that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • David Parker congratulates New Year 2021 Honours recipients
    Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment David Parker has congratulated two retired judges who have had their contributions to the country and their communities recognised in the New Year 2021 Honours list. The Hon Tony Randerson QC has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Year’s Honours highlights outstanding Pacific leadership through challenging year
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year’s Honours List 2021 highlights again the outstanding contribution made by Pacific people across Aotearoa. “We are acknowledging the work of 13 Pacific leaders in the New Year’s Honours, representing a number of sectors including health, education, community, sports, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Supporting seniors to embrace technology
    The Government’s investment in digital literacy training for seniors has led to more than 250 people participating so far, helping them stay connected. “COVID-19 has meant older New Zealanders are showing more interest in learning how to use technology like Zoom and Skype so they can to keep in touch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago