93 Comments Posted

  1. With respect, I feel Observational Drones might be the answer – too many positives to ignore….as for weapons platforms….I’m sticking with my vote for F16’s.
    I’m sure our American friends could loan us a few dozen – we could repay them by refitting and refurbishing same and returning them on a rotating basis….local industry – use of local assets and knowledge left fallow – low cost.
    Come On – you gotta love an F16!

  2. If airships could be kept on station at high altitude against the prevailing westerly winds, then they could be a suitable option. Of course they could also be used as camera and radar platforms to help keep an eye on what is coming our way, and with suitable ground support could also be a platform for navigation aids to supplement or replace the GPS signals.

    Trevor.

    (Repeat of lost comment.)

  3. Airships or high-altitude drones would be best I suppose. I am fairly confident something could be worked out as it is something I know is done on the test ranges, and it definitely knocks out the GPS.

  4. Yep Trevor, and the ever present question remains – Defence against Who?
    eg; It would be cheaper and easier for the Chinese to come as tourists.
    They can send the New NZ Govt out after the 20th million or so ‘visitors’.
    Be sweet nothing we could do – but then my friends at the Pentagon make a living conjuring up such ‘checkmate’ evaluations.
    The one’s I know are not especially in touch with reality – and theories simply don’t survive step one in these scenario’s.
    regards
    mark

  5. Given the length of our country and the amount of coast to guard, and that GPS signals are line of sight, I think jamming GPS over our entire coast would not be feasible, and as for jamming GPS signals further out…

    Part of the problem is that several aircraft would be needed to jam each area, taking it in turns, and we would be struggling to get enough fuel for them by that stage. If we made or bought some small drones, we could have a chance, but we would be at risk of losing them to electronic countermeasures and the drones wouldn’t be able to use GPS to find their way home (that being the point of the drones).

    Trevor.

  6. The usual package is an integrated GPS/Inertial system. I spent a while programming the interface to one of them. It’s a nice package. However, over time the inertial information drifts enough that the precision munition looks a bit dumb. Doesn’t take all that long either.

    However, we aren’t talking just about weapons. Taking it away just makes any opponent’s jobs harder, not impossible. Making it as hard as we can is the job we have.

    Consider a smuggler trying to close on our coast but denied access to good positional information. He/She has to emit radar or sonar, rely on visual methods (approach in daylight)… it restricts the envelope of performance, and renders that person more detectable.

    Same thing with fishing boats in our fishing zone.

    Electronic Warfare is usually an incremental whittling away at the ability of the opponent to hide and/or detect your exact position. It is seldom an absolute thing.

    BJ

  7. In addition to GPS, any half-competent delivery platform will also have an Inertial Navigation System (INS). Many delivery systems also have radar or image recognition for final positioning. The INS gets the platform to within a couple of KM of the target, then the shorter range systems can do the rest.

    There was a lovely application note published by Xilinx, manufactures of FPGA chips, about an application in a missile where a substantive portion of the computing capability was realised in FPGAs, and the application took advantage of the re-program-ability of Xilinx chips to have three different compute systems, one for launch, one for in-flight, and the other for final targeting.

    Of course, a GPS navigation system is cheaper and simpler than a clever platform, and it needs to know less about the target, and if GPS is available, its deadly accurate.

  8. Most of the distance weapons use GPS for a substantial part of their flight paths. Not the ballistic ones, but there’s GPS in everything that’s painted gray and olive-drab. I know it can be jammed because it gets jammed in certain places, by the military as it runs tests, which is about all I know about that. It has directly affected some of my work. The NOtices To AirMen (NOTAM)published make it pretty clear what is happening. What I don’t know about are countermeasures used. I am pretty sure that some is encrypted and I know that there are inaccuracies that can be put into the system as well.

    As for rebuilding something like the Loran-C stations… that’s just a bit of smarts, because we don’t have any satellites to navigate from. It’s a pretty cheap, pretty good answer.

    Anyone invading us may not be wholly military. Don’t know. Just don’t want to give away anything. We should I am sure, have a look at it though.

    respectfully
    BJ

  9. I agree with reviving navigation aids not based on GPS, but is it feasible to jam all the GPS signals, and would it actually help much? GPS signals are line of sight, so it would be very difficult to jam the signals received by a ship over the horizon. Anyone invading us is also likely to have navigation aids not based on GPS as well.

    Trevor.

  10. Yep, thought so BJ; it was the ‘County’ reference that fooled me – still i wouldn’t expect it to stop the thread dead hey?…..must be something I said…..young a lot of these Greenies are, doesn’t promote confidence I suppose.

  11. You are correct – Queens County is NYC.

    Long-Island has Brooklyn and Queens as part of the city. Nassau and Suffolk are further out.

    respectfully
    BJ

  12. they just didn’t have the economic means to do so, or to field sufficient troops. Neither do we.

    If they had had even a few equivalent ships with which to fight we might not even BE here.

    If you want to own/control your own country you had best be ready to fight for it. The Maori got peace and a treaty and were relatively successful compared with American Indian or the Australian Aborigine.

    We’re not so impoverished except by the actions of the banks, and THAT is a correctable mistake. We can certainly afford the 1% hit without falling apart. We can’t afford not.

    Given all that has been stolen from us, one has to ask whether, were we to give up that preparedness to have that 1% back in our budget, we would see even 0.1% of it in the hands of the people who need it?

    In other words, don’t take money from our defense and put it where the thieves can get it, take it from the thieves.

    Peaceful resolution of disputes DEPENDS on civilized behaviour… and of all things that history teaches us, that this is not reliable is the most damning to the pacifist.

    We support it while it lasts… but we do not assume and imagine it will continue forever.

    BJ

  13. And now over to the Kiwi lines – where they have taken enough truth serum to break wind freely and stop with bulldust….nothing there….old radio’s, Officers from the American Civil War – but they leave cartons of their DB mineral water all over – the women seem to like it….and then I’m taking that Claymore tv I stole last week back – yeah it lit up just fine – killed the mother-in-law and three buffalo stone dead – god we miss them buffalo.
    I’m gonna pinch one of their new wide-screen ones instead – see how that goes.
    Talk to ya tomorrow
    cheers
    Charlie

  14. Bedcheck Charlie – checkin yr wires. Tirelessly onward us Christian Soldiers.
    Vis a vis the good ol’ Kiwi wars – hilly, it is, NZ.
    Poor old pommies didn’t have cannon that could shoot that far uphill.
    S’why Te Rauparaha could sit atop Kapiti island – giving the reverse peace sign to all below and deflowering virgins as was his penchant.
    It still rankles me somewhat that our so-called haka was his work – the song of NZ’s greatest criminal/terrorist.
    I admit it’s impressive – but so was Hitler
    and no one sings ‘Deutschland Uber Alles’ all that loudly today.

    Somehow we need change (leadership) – are the current mob up to it? – Well I can put my best sheepdog on the job – but Moggy will probably crack that sheepish grin and blunder the whole flock over some Bluff (without the oysters)

    Oh well – we’ll just grin and bare it I guess….sufficient unto the day etc…

  15. “You continue to refer to indigenous people’s losses, who had no equivalent weapons”

    Actually Maori did have equivalent weapons for the most part, and were certainly capable of obtaining those they lacked, they just didn’t have the economic means to do so, or to field sufficient troops. Neither do we.

  16. Har – do it as you please dear fellow; personally I have adopted and kept a laconic Australian accent that I find hugely amusing – it even used to fold my aussie friends in half with laughter.
    It’s not hard to confuse some of my countrymen – not even in a playful sporting sense – the best have kept an innate sharpness that I greatly respect – but a good number have lived off the tales of gossip and fishwives so long – well a local copper who flagged me for an immoderate speed one night said it “From the look of your Car, I thought a drugged-up boy-racer would be at the wheel”
    We both had a bit of a chuckle, but the truth remains – we are only as free as our thinking permits – in the minds of too many Kiwi’s we are confined to a small bare space.
    I don’t even want to mention ‘power and control’ issues anymore.
    Nor the popular brainwashing of the local ‘infotainment’.
    Last time the All Blacks lost a Game the local teens left my house to find someone to bash – narrow? Yep!
    Stupid? – endemic – and I say that with a good deal of love – but sideways, in a lazy Ozzie way…..
    Pray inform this ignorant Kiwi – Queens County would be in NYC?
    I seem to have lost God’s phone number – but the Devil Incarnate continues to advertise everywhere – with no small degree of success I note – guess he(she) can afford to survive Bill’s Budget.
    But you demonstrate that not all Greens are incompetent regarding the Defense or Economy issues NZ must work through.
    A bit like the Aussie Cricket Team, we need new faces, new ideas.
    But it’s not urgent – tomorrow at 8.30am will do fine.
    Semper Fi (though it’s possibly not lucky to quote Romans – I mean – all we have are ruins now!)
    Best Wishes
    Mark

  17. Thanks for the link SPC.

    Mark, I really ought to “talk like an American” having been born in Queens County Hospital almost 60 years ago. I may take on the NZ citizenship but please God and the Devil Incarnate I hope never to take on a NZ accent 🙂

    Something about there being more than two vowels in the language does please me, but it confuses some of the people I meet here. 🙂

    respectfully
    BJ

  18. SPC – I have not heard that there is a plan to replace the Frigates, I am simply mindful of the timing and the requirement. Which was all I was referring to… they do need replacement, we should start now, it takes a dozen years to do.

    Sam – You continue to refer to indigenous people’s losses, who had no equivalent weapons but do not concern yourself with other conflicts, where there were ships, and force being projected over a distance.

    Your notion of being ungovernable is not a first option. It is a last resort. Being exterminated is not an unlikely result if there are no more places to run and no ability to fight. I will not offer my children such a poor chance willingly… and as I pointed out earlier, neither will 90 percent of the population.

    I don’t see any certainty that our contribution to global policing will be repaid.

    I see… so you don’t reckon that we should help the Australians if they should need help and you don’t expect them to feel some kinship to us and come to our aid if we do.

    That relationship has not one damned thing to do with the idea that we are “contributing to global policing”. It is clear you disapprove of that and I agree a little, because some of it is at the behest of fools in the USA, and the UN is not a lot better.

    …but it has nothing to do with Australia and New Zealand. I can’t imagine that they would do “nothing” to assist us unless their own forces were already completely engaged… and we share the Tasman Sea with them. It is not a small consideration.

    The idea of planning our future around the expectation of international order break-down and nations providing for their own security

    The idea of NOT planning for a possible breakdown of international order given the stresses of economic failures, climate change and peak energy is simply irresponsible wishful thinking. Adopting such a stance we would DESERVE to be kicked out of Parliament and it has nothing to do with being Green. It has to do with the survival of the nation, which is OUR key to survival in a logic that is as old as our civilization.

    Nations do provide for their own security as I have noticed. Usually within limits. The USA and Oz both use higher limits than the 1% we’ve allocated and I am not arguing for higher limits. I have however, heard every excuse for disarming that I expected to hear here…. and I know without question that if the party had adopted those excuses rather than the defense policy it took on, I would have left it and not looked back.

    Survival stands above the 4 pillars, supported by them. Survival of Nation, Tribe, Family, Individual… It is the purpose unacknowledged by our charter. I know it and most of the rest of NZ know it. Which rather well explains our lack of success at the polls.

    respectfully
    BJ

  19. Here am I….trying to get off the CPU and I read this; someone may appreciate the 90 seconds it cost me!

    “War provides an outlet for every evil element in man’s nature.
    It enfranchises cupidity and greed gives a charter to petty tyranny, glorifies cruelty and places in positions of power the vulgar and base.”

    Cyril Edwin Mitchinson Joad,
    Guide to Modern Wickedness

  20. The current defence plan (the current projected 1% GDP) includes replacing the frigates with new ships and includes investment in improved coast-guard capability. We have 3 ships now, one is the multi-purpose ship.

    This navy policy is consistent with a continued multi-lateral peacekeeping type military capability from the defence budget.

    This is consistent with a foreign policy to maintain the semi-civilised order we have now.

    The idea of planning our future around the expectation of international order break-down and nations providing for their own security, a veritable arms-race premised on necessary security paranoia for the “sake of the children” is one I reject.

  21. Yer – our defense plan ought to include turning the poor loose on any invader…..brrr….I already feel sorry for them!
    “You talk like an American” BJ?
    Should someone say something about intolerable racism?
    Yeah, that Mark fella wants to catch a few Japanese for ‘scientific’ purposes….it is insulting to be so openly lied to I suppose – but that notion rests on the idea that one respects the progenitor….not guilty here!
    I was deeply quizzed about NZ’s perceived loyalty, whilst travelling the US; all I could really do was assure those friends that whilst we have (so-called) banned nukes in NZ – this should, in no way, be interpreted as a loss of the traditional love and respect I believe our two cultures share – cool huh?

    Whatever the perceived shortcomings of the Green Party may be – I must say this Blog provides some of the more interesting reading to be found in NZ – anyway – I’ve been invaded by a Kiwi (again) and must be about my bizzo – but yes – thanks for the Blog Frog – I visited the other parties sites out of mild interest a while ago – and found them to be a virtual definition of a waste of time.
    Best regards and thanks
    Mark

  22. “Or is this business of letting the international community doing the police work an entirely one-way transaction?”

    Quite probably. I don’t see any certainty that our contribution to global policing will be repaid.

    “Strange that it didn’t work that way when they attacked the colonies in the Americas. War of Independence? War of 1812?”

    Well, the Americans lost their sovereignty early on and have never regained it. And as I pointed out aboove, the war of independence, when the colonists demanded sovereignty while making damn sure the Iroquois and others never regained their’s, was back in the days when a good musket made you a match for anyone. Nowadays you need to spend billions just to be at the table.

    “Nor is it reasonable to make your opponent’s job easier by giving up ahead of time.”

    Not suggesting giving up, suggesting abandoning conventional military response as it’s a poor option.

  23. When objections to the use of military force as a means of gaining an economic advantage last broke down on a global scale (the 19th century), we quickly lost our sovereignty to the British.

    Is that what is bothering you? Strange that it didn’t work that way when they attacked the colonies in the Americas. War of Independence? War of 1812?

    A military response didn’t suceed then, and it won’t suceed in the future.

    Maybe because the Maori didn’t have any ships of their own to challenge the British? I am not at all clear on the conflict to which you refer.

    What can happen in the future is not entirely unknowable. We can expect things to get worse. You frame this as someone bigger than NZ beating us up or invading us and THAT isn’t necessarily the threat we will be facing. Nor is it reasonable to make your opponent’s job easier by giving up ahead of time.

    If Australia gets into trouble, will we not assist THEM? Or is this business of letting the international community doing the police work an entirely one-way transaction?

    A military response didn’t suceed then, and it won’t suceed in the future.

    Sorry, it’s not that easy to predict what will and won’t happen.

    Each conflict is unique. Having better arms to start with gives our kids a better chance to end up in charge of their own destinies.

    BJ

  24. Defending our island may be more effective from our shores, than with 3 ships.

    Beats trying to do it with two.

    I haven’t suggested reducing naval capabilities.

    Nor have I argued to increase them. I suggested DAMMIT that the two Frigates were not suited to the mission statement inherent in our defense policy and would be very old (even decrepit) as warships go, when the threat that looks to be increasing from 2020 onwards is peaking. Not replacing them is basically to disarm us.

    I suggested replacing them with something more suitable. I suggested replacement and I got a knee jerk argument about it.

    Concede control of the sea between us and our principle natural ally without even trying? I am trying to imagine this as a winning strategy for an island nation.

    Framing this in terms of an organized invasion by an intact opponent with more resources than we possess and no assistance from Oz isn’t IMHO, the only threat description that applies. It is only one of many.

    BJ

  25. “The idea that we can’t contribute anything meaningful to our own defense – is simply an excuse and a false one, and it is being offered to remove from our children any meaningful chance of defending themselves”

    At present our defence depends on the world being relatively civilised, if, as yu suggest, that comes to a halt, we have the same chance as any other small nation in a dog-eat-dog world in which first-rate military technology is incredibly complex and expensive (this isn’t ther 19th century when anyone who could cough up for decent musket was going to be on par with anyone else, at least, as good as anyone else who couldn’t deploy ship-borne artillery) – absolutely none in terms of conventional military defence.

    Nor can we rely on the idea that the Aussies (or anyone else) will come and save us, so long as we do our bit. They may have other priorities, or just see us as a resource to be mined. At present, ‘doing our bit’ is inreasingly dragging us into conflicts we would have done better to stay out of.

    Like it or not, we rely on civilised behaviour among nation-states (which mostly stems from a preferance for a ‘cold war’, or what is effectively a highly armed stand-off, rather than open conflict, as a better situation for business). When objections to the use of military force as a means of gaining an economic advantage last broke down on a global scale (the 19th century), we quickly lost our sovereignty to the British.

    A military response didn’t suceed then, and it won’t suceed in the future. The only real hope is to be well equipped to make ourselves ungovernable, which means a high level of awareness of civil disobedience tactics, non-cooperation, international solidarity and general bloody mindedness. Can’t see any government wanting to teach its population to do that though.

    Possum is OK if buthered properly, can’t say its a dish I favour though. Likewise rat. Wild goat and rabbit on the other hand is dead yummy. And we do still have quite a few of those woolly things, which aren’t going to vanish in the wake of a financial collapse or suchlike. I’d say a lack of grains are going to be our biggest problem if the international trading system sinks completely.

  26. People are too quick to stereotype the Greens.
    “Not to maintain naval capabilities disarms our kids” I haven’t suggested reducing naval capabilities. In fact I suggested increasing the capabilities of the coastguard. This could even include bigger “pop guns” and gps jamming whathaveyous.
    It’s just unclear to me who we would be bigger and nastier than with “2 or 3 Corvettes with rather different capabilities”.
    Defending our island may be more effective from our shores, than with 3 ships.

    Turning down organic bush-meat, without even trying it!! Maybe the strong taste is the 1080 residue?.. oh no apparently that would taste like salt and vinegar http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/files/file/factsheet_1080.pdf

  27. Mmmm Fin?

    Look up a bit on the thread – my response to Phil –

    “As for the fish. Is it our responsibility to defend them? Not to be sure, a good reason to spend lives. I would rather go vegetarian than fight someone for fish to be sure. Can’t. “

    …and I don’t think I’d want to eat possum. The taste is reputed to be really really strong, would rather go Vegan 🙂

    However MY KIDS should have choices, not me making choices for them. That is a very clear point here. Not to maintain naval capabilities disarms our kids. Who may well be inhabiting a much more threatening world.

    Good luck finding even 10% of the population who would accept that. Most realize that this IS an island and it needs a navy. I personally would bolt the party if complete pacifism became policy, and I don’t doubt that the effect would be to drive the party below 5%.

    …and you know well enough that I am an expat American – a soon to be New Zealander.

    then it’s just a matter of who’s got the biggest, nastiest ships
    …. that was rather the point I was making.

    Depending on who has any of them left after whatever conflicts occur to the North.

    I would not want to bet against a Nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan… Nor against warfare involving China and the USA and the two Koreas and Japan. I would not bet against quite an involved set of conflicts going on all around the world as the oil runs out and food runs out and droughts and floods cut into even the “lifestyle choices” of the wealthy.

    …we’d do well to revive navigational aids NOT based on GPS, and be able to jam GPS signals… any country’s GPS.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GLONASS

    https://nationalspacestudiescenter.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/china-attempts-to-rival-gps/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_%28satellite_navigation%29

    Just one of those little details.

    respectfully
    BJ

  28. With respect bj, your comments sound like they’re coming from an American.
    If we are to imagine a future, very different from today…
    An older gentleman foretold a future to me recently of boatloads of Asians inundating our shores. He suggested the only way to keep our sovereignty was with machine guns position around our coastline.

    Of course that won’t help to protect the EEZ. But if the coastguard (who could do with more funding) can’t protect the EEZ with diplomatic/legal ways, then it’s just a matter of who’s got the biggest, nastiest ships. Perhaps we’d be better off (in this hypothetical future) foregoing the fish that are left, and protecting the possum.

  29. Well – I would suggest the vast majority of Green supporters – (and the potential ones) are a good deal more realistic than to apply the principles of ‘peace and love’ to our defense and economic purposes.
    The main objection people abjure the ‘Green Vote’ is a perceived weakness in both these areas.
    Economy and Defense – whereas the real truth is we need to get honest like never before – in a way the gnact/labour Parties have been unwilling to address for decades.
    ie;’ we are perceived as a bunch stoned-out tree hugging hippies to whom realism is unavailable.

    Well – stereotypic thinking is just poo to a goose!

    Now if you’ll pardon me, I feel a real Gnact headache (seasonal) is abroad

    Fie! I must learn to Duck and Weave, much like the Great Economists – much has been said about Mr (thick) Hyde – but the looming ghost of Dr Roger Jekyll worries me a little more.
    A spectre of open, public ruin – like a child at the Cinema I shout to the ‘good guys’
    “WATCH OUT!”
    It never changed the Movie – only possession of the camera can do that

  30. If Australia, arming itself as ANZUS deputy, cannot deter any threat, we’re not going to make any difference. Whatever we do.

    Sounds like an echo of the argument that we shouldn’t do anything to prevent Global Warming because our contribution to it is so small that we aren’t going to make any difference. It is certainly not any more correct.

    The difference between having enough and nasty-enough ships available to do the job, and not having quite enough of them, is a lot of dead sailors and sunken ships. The Australians have 6 submarines and 14 frigates and they have a lot of coastline to cover. Nor can one assume that all 14 will be available to meet any given threat. Assume better that no more than a third would be able to help us anywhere at all, and that is taking optimism to a high level. If we add even 2 or 3 Corvettes with rather different capabilities to the mix…

    http://www.defenseworld.net/go/detailinterview.jsp?id=27&h=Russia%92s%20latest%20stealth%20corvette%20%93Steregushchy%94

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visby_class_corvette

    …it adds to the flexibility of the defense.

    We concentrate on our own waters.

    We stick with our defined priorities in terms of our defense policy.

    We don’t unilaterally disarm ourselves.

    The idea that we can’t contribute anything meaningful to our own defense – is simply an excuse and a false one, and it is being offered to remove from our children any meaningful chance of defending themselves… because WE are at peace (sort-of) now.

    One of the principle reasons this party consistently has trouble polling in double digits is a very real suspicion that it would happily unilaterally disarm the country. Clearly some members would.

    I am not made more optimistic about our future by this exchange.

  31. SPC; Right on! Our ‘fisheries’ have been depleted in the last 50 years as if a blight had settled upon our marine life – and indeed it has – the Japanese fishing fleet had anything up to 60 ships docked in Wgtn when our limit was 50 miles – in my lifetime – acceptable catching size has been reduced from 20″ to 10″ which is is now (sadly) considered a fine catch.
    The question becomes more like – “Do we leave our children anything at all?”
    We were entirely vulnerable until Muldoon moved our fishing limits from 50 to 300 miles (possibly his finest, albeit,sleeved decision)
    WE have a role in protecting our own marine life – we have a definite duty to protect OUR marine assets and indeed, we have accomplished a good measure of redress – my question is the one I hold to any National government; are they really unconcerned about signing our rights away?
    Indeed if former govt’s had been more assertive, our current issues would not be so Topical

  32. We are actually a perfectly viable destination if someone involved in the movement of refugees spent some time working out the requirements. It would be ENTIRELY too easy.

    The only thing that saves us at present is that Oz is easier.

    respectfully
    BJ

  33. If Australia, arming itself as ANZUS deputy, cannot deter any threat, we’re not going to make any difference. Whatever we do. They are in the way you know. Any threat we could combat on our own won’t try and go past them.

    They take our educated for free – this helps them afford their 2% GDP defence, we in return use them as our shield and work co-operatively with them to sustain it.

    We have both more immediate and greater things to worry about.

  34. One More Time –

    Replacing the Frigates with something that isn’t designed to integrate into someone else’s Carrier Battle group but is more suitable for our expected current and future missions, is sensible.

    The Frigates are going to have to be sold soon or will wind up being sent to the breakers before they are useful to anyone… and if we haven’t got their replacements in place, our children will be at the mercy of anyone who can muster a single obsolete tin-can to allow them to force their way onshore.

    BJ

  35. Not inevitable at all – or do we know that Australia will ‘harden up’. It’s hardly going to be a commerciialy viable operation to ship refugees all the way to NZ, and commercial viability seems to drive most serious maritime refugee movements

    You are still judging the risk by what pertains now. Not to a more difficult time. NOW the situation is economic and relatively benign.

    …but more serious problems with civilization in far off lands will come to our shores without money changing hands. It will not resemble a “business” proposition… or, just not one we are currently familiar with.

    Are you placing peace ‘in the discard’?

    We would have to have it in order to be able to discard it….:-) but I take your meaning.

    I will, hell yes! , discard “peace” if it is purchased at the price of our sovereignty as a nation.

    Survival comes AHEAD of the stated principles of the Green Party in this case. It should be acknowledged in the charter, whose principles support survival but never mention it. Clearly not mentioned yet it is the overarching requirement. We have to survive if we are to make any difference.

    As for fishing fleets, what country has a distance fishing fleet and a navy we could ever hope to beat? We ain’t going to be building a navy that can take on China or the US.

    We don’t need to beat them as long as the world is playing at being civilized. When it stops being so self-controlled however….

    Nor can we to expect to beat them on our own if they are at their full strength. We will need help from Australia at least.

    The Otago and the Wellington are for policing the EEZ. This they can do until things get worse. However, as soon as someone decides to pick up some sort of escort to prevent their interference, they’re finished unless there is a significantly nastier backup available. They do not have the ability to go toe-to-toe with someone who decides to contest the the rules.

    respectfully
    BJ

    BUF = Big Ugly F#%! = B-52

  36. Well I prefer focus on the needs of children today, rather than the fear of a supposed threat to children of tomorrow. Neglect of their needs is the greater threat to our future.

    The greatest threat to our fishery is that it might not survive another 20 years, not that we will be facing foreign fleets acting in breach of internatiional law (we could trade sanction any nation involved to deter them or use international bodies to censure them).

    And as pointed out, illegal refugee movement water is a commercial operation – and we are not a viable destination.

  37. Not really – I was concerned with the kind of eco-military quandary Enzed faces today. And our history of ‘modern’ war.

    Though losing several family members dating back two centuries of Imperial War – I honestly think their Lives wasted – indeed a few of them died before ersatz firing squads. No debate precedent.

    I leave out the so-called ‘Maori Wars’ most definitely – you may well be a student of history as am I – what happened to the Maori has no mitigating feature.

    I refer exclusively to our modern stance over whaling – boat people (mia).

    If you wish to debate New Zealand’s internal wars. may I respectively suggest, that is a whole other subject – which, if you wish to discuss, I am happy to do.

    I was concerned, not with the unchangeable past – but what the future may hold……………………..and I still want a fleet of F16’s

    personally – the last time I was asked for my RACE(this week)- my answer was at it has always been – I do not make that discrimination – I am a KIWI – apparently a race your govt. has never heard of.
    Why is this such a sad lost and divided nation? By Design of course!

  38. “‘peace’ is something you (we) must show a willingness to fight for”
    Oxymoronic.

    “NZ has rather a fine history of not killing people – but taking them under arrest or sending them forth with good wishes and clear advice.”

    Eh? Presumably you mean apart from the Northern War, the Taranaki wars, the Waikato war, the Boer war, the First World War, The Mau War, the Second World War, the Korean War, ther Viet Nam War, the Malayan War, the second Gulf War, the Afghanistan War, and various other military operations?

  39. Maybe the US could sell us a few second-hand Boomers – cash on the barrel eh?
    There is a Skyhawk’s Club of millionaires of ex-flyers in the US that will possibly take our squadron away. Just out of nostalgia.

    Sam – your comments are appreciated here – but ‘peace’ is something you (we) must show a willingness to fight for; found that out the hard way haven’t we?

    Apart from blindly following the US-Australia line; NZ has rather a fine history of not killing people – but taking them under arrest or sending them forth with good wishes and clear advice.

    The question that Phil brings to the table (for mine) is whether we are prepared to employ our assets to protect whales (other assets that belong to the earth)or not.

    We can chicken out and turn Kaikoura into a desolate mining town – or we can insist on sanctuary value for threatened species – much like the quandary over rhinoceros horn or blood diamonds.

    Mine own sympathies lie with the Whales and yes, I’d be happy to be at the Bow of any ship that wishes to stop our Jap friends from committing these crimes

    Australia keeps it’s ‘boat people in un-air-conditioned, barbed wire, concentration camps – most of those protesting want to go home….the Ozzies that protest are asking for Humane treatment….ie; if they kept their animals in such conditions they would be pilloried and publicized.

    Thing is immigrants are usefull and profitable – just your average public servant can’t sort out the wheat from the chaff – and when talking families, perhaps they shouldn’t be trying.

    Short answer, OZ does not know wtf to do with these people, and their erstwhile treatment has a good chance of bringing down the government.

    NZ should gather the gonads to resist whalers – is Jon up for it?

  40. “Don’t give up the things you take so much for granted, without first examining what you are placing in the discard.”

    Are you placing peace ‘in the discard’?

  41. “You do not see them now, but as Australia hardens up it is inevitable that we will, and the fishing fleets as well, possibly with their own escort craft.”

    Not inevitable at all – or do we know that Australia will ‘harden up’. It’s hardly going to be a commerciialy viable operation to ship refugees all the way to NZ, and commercial viability seems to drive most serious maritime refugee movements (people laren’t going to be getting here in rubber boats or homemade rafts).

    As for fishing fleets, what country has a distance fishing fleet and a navy we could ever hope to beat? We ain’t going to be building a navy that can take on China or the US.

    “The reason they are hard to justify is that the combat radius for anything smaller than a BUF keeps the air threat too far away to be a threat.”

    The Skyhawks were strike aircraft – they weren’t intended to counter an air threat. What’s a BUF?

  42. We don’t have a strike wing anymore – we never used the Skyhawks, so its pretty hard to justify one.

    Not because we never used them.

    The reason they are hard to justify is that the combat radius for anything smaller than a BUF keeps the air threat too far away to be a threat.

    There is a possible role for something that can shoot at ships, but any clearly thought through mission statement for our military for the past couple of decades would have found that capacity to be unnecessary for the assigned missions. Same will likely be true for the next decade, more or less. I don’t look forward further than that to guess at risks.

    However, it is far easier to buy strike aircraft than it is to buy a ship, and I suspect we’ll have time to notice the world getting more dangerous when it does.

    You don’t regard being prepared for something that might happen but doesn’t, as a waste. You can’t know ahead of time. You buy insurance, and it is also a waste… until you get unlucky.

    The business with the Skyhawks, they should have been sold when the Berlin Wall came down… at that point they COULD have been, and it would have been a useful amount of money. Now we could probably scavenge one of those engines to build GAG machine of our very own.

    BJ

  43. Given our isolation, I don’t see a whole bunch of refugees making their way to NZ in the near future, but in any case, refugees and fisheries are not an argument for a defence force, but for a professional coastguard. As is search and rescue.

    You do not see them now, but as Australia hardens up it is inevitable that we will, and the fishing fleets as well, possibly with their own escort craft.

    The popguns on the police boats… Project Protector… do not give us the ability to control the ocean to any degree, and we have eschewed the strike aircraft.

    respectfully
    BJ

  44. One prepares or one leaves our children helpless, and one hopes to be able to defeat what comes if it comes to that.

    I would expect it to be pretty well broken by the time it reaches us if it comes… and I do not expect there to be another round of procurement past this one, in all fairness. Not for a thousand years.

    …and Artillery and a good negotiator will get you more than a good negotiator alone.

    The timing is such that we have gotten almost all of the useful life out of the frigates we own now… trade ’em to the Philippine Navy perhaps.

    A 10-15 year procurement will mean that they are very nearly brand spanking new as we enter the critical years from 2025-2050. After 2050 I doubt that anyone will have much organized military left… resource wars can be ugly.

    Who do we expect to beat. I don’t know. I only know that if we do not have any weapons at all then we have no choice but to accept the rule of the people who turn up and DO have weapons, and they may well speak neither English nor Maori… nor would it really be any better if they did.

    Keeping our democracy, our society, whole in the face of the expected stresses is not a trivial thing to do. If we cannot properly defend it, it is an impossible thing to do.

    Don’t give up the things you take so much for granted, without first examining what you are placing in the discard.

    BJ

  45. but b.j..by your own reckoning…

    ..these new warships will be obsolete 20 yrs after their building…

    ..necessitating yet another multi-squillion purchase..

    i mean..f.f.s. bj..!..back to my first question..

    ..who could we possibly hope to defeat…?

    ..that you advocate such wholesale pissing away of resources..

    ..casts yet another shadow over yr self-titled ‘genius’-moniker…

    ..b.t.w….does genius bring commonsense along for the ride..?

    ..yours seems to have forgotten yours…

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

  46. Phil

    What our children actually do, and decide to do, is up to them and I do not envy them the choices that will be left. Lifeboat ethics is the ethics of necessity, and it is not something we can imagine as we are still quite comfortable in our little paradise.

    When that ceases to be the case, the boatloads of refugees and fishing boats may have escorts. May not too, and there is no knowing.

    What is clear is that we cannot accept unlimited numbers. Not from Japan, not from America, not from Vietnam, not from England, not from India, not from Somalia we can’t. Moreover, the Maori have a right to say no more, and likely would do so. Nor is it possible for Australia to handle such an influx and we may see people moving here from Oz as the weather there becomes more extreme.

    Short version Phil, is that I can’t decide for my children. I don’t have the right, and leaving them without any defenses at all is to decide for them. It would be irresponsible.

    I would not be looking for more Frigates. Yet we should have ships that can police the Southern Ocean, and smaller ships have a harder time in that environment. Not our job to decide “what”. We have to define the mission and let professionals decide “what”. I once pointed at the Visby corvettes as a possible replacement, I might instead look to a Russian design, for the better seakeeping and ice capabilities they build into their ships and the Indians build the Russian ships now. None of this is up to us.

    As for the fish. Is it our responsibility to defend them? Not to be sure, a good reason to spend lives. I would rather go vegetarian than fight someone for fish to be sure. Can’t.

    I’ve tried to explain the culture I married into. I am still trying to get the meat out of the Freezer (meat that has not been cooked or eaten, just bought and stored against shortages of which I have no experience). That massive backlog of meat appeared within days.

    I am not against this change. It is however, extremely difficult to effect it.

    BJ

  47. “I don’t think it is the fact that we aren’t up with the really lavish big spenders, it is more the fact that we are being very cheap.”

    We are well above average defence spenders both in per capita and absolute terms. Not ‘lavish’ perhaps, but certainly not cheapskates either.

    “We don’t have an Air Force anymore, and in spite of having to maintain one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones in the world, our Navy is an embarassment.”

    We do have an airforce – they run the Hercules, Orions, Iroquois, assorted trainers, the VIP transport and are partly responsible for the Seasprites. We don’t have a strike wing anymore – we never used the Skyhawks, so its pretty hard to justify one.

    By small nation standards, the navy is pretty significant – many countries stick to OPVs and other patrol craft these days, running frigates is getting to be rare.

    “our principle issue will initially be refugees and fisheries…”

    Given our isolation, I don’t see a whole bunch of refugees making their way to NZ in the near future, but in any case, refugees and fisheries are not an argument for a defence force, but for a professional coastguard. As is search and rescue.

    We’ve been wating a whole bunch of money for decades on things such as maintaining an anti-submarine capacity (the Orions); a warfighting blue water navy (the frigates); combat helicopters (Seasprites), which haven’t been required for the actual duties they are performing (policing operations AKA ‘peacekeeping’, disaster relief, search and rescue, fisheries protection – which has actually been a very small, but much hyped, part of the navy and airforce operations).

    If we look at the reality of the armed forces work, we should be looking at equipment with much less combat capability and much more ability to do useful work at long distance. Keep the Orions but strip out much of the electronics, ditto the Hercules, drop frigates for fast patrol ships with merchant hulls, limited armament and an ability to operate in the southern ocean and drop the Seasprites (and the new NH-90s) for utility helicopters. And combine the three arms, add in civil defence, and call it an Emergency Response Organisation or suchlike.

    “genuine pacifists… but that particular philosophy has no recorded history of actually being survival positive for a nation.”

    Demilitarisation isn’t pacifism. Iceland, Costa Rica and much of the Pacific Island Countries seem to get on OK without defence forces. As Moriori and others have noted, turning to military solutions often destroys your own nation. Well, anything worthwhile about them anyway.

  48. anyway b.j…at the current rate the fish stocks will be fished out…

    ..so..nothing to defend…

    ..go vegan b.j..!

    ..how many signs/signals do you need…?

    ..i see the other day you conceeded i am ‘right’ on that issue…

    ..and that ‘right’ is becoming more self-evident by the day…

    ..so why aren’t you factoring that in…?

    ..instead of calling for warships to defend ever-dwindling stocks…

    ..that..anyway..will defend just until some bigger warships heave to..

    …eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  49. so..bj..humanitarian concerns/imperatives to one side..

    …you advocate blowing economic/environmental refugees out of the water…?

    ..if not that…what..?

    and surely you wouldn’t need bristling warships for that…?

    …a fast/armed coastal-patrol-force would be far more efficient…’

    …n’est ce pas…?

    ..or..you could take on board the japanese description of new zealand as ‘the empty isles’…

    ..and realise that if the shit really hits the fan..

    …we will just have to move over/make room for such refugees…

    ..neither way needs relic-of-imperial-empire-behemoth-war-ships…

    ..good luck with that one in green circles…eh…?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  50. Thanks for those links BJ; – I get the impression our Personnel get to use the Hardware of our Allies a good deal (conversely they get our personnel).
    But I did stop when I met a guy in a New Zealand Silent Service (Submarines)Uniform a couple of years ago. There was an element of ‘don’t ask’ to our conversation – but I couldn’t resist asking whether he belonged to a large service and served on an Enzed vessel. The answer to both questions was ‘yes’ – but that is entirely anecdotal, not evidentiary.
    I think your posts on the Visby are about on the mark for our future surface vessels.
    Boat People will always find Australia an easier target – and indeed the radar I have seen surveilles our coastline in hi-def for a good long distance.

  51. Further, if WE suggest such a thing it will positively stun people who “think” they know us. Shaking their thinking up in all manner of ways in the run up to an election is not necessarily a bad plan.

    We have a strong social justice platform, we can bring forward financial reform proposals and cannabis law reform in the same breath, but people who dismiss us for mis-perceptions of our pacifist natures, and there are no few of them, would find themselves forced to re-think their prejudice.

    The downside is that genuine pacifists who currently adhere to the party may be dismayed by this and leave. I am not too happy about that, but that particular philosophy has no recorded history of actually being survival positive for a nation.

    Frogs with teeth? 🙂

    respectfully
    BJ

  52. SPC

    As I pointed out, our principle issue will initially be refugees and fisheries… and you cannot protect or deflect either by asking someone else to do it for you.

    WHEN the excrement hits the rotating ventilation device it is unlikely that effective aid will be available against an aggressor nation or corporation that has access to military hardware.

    Once the slide into chaos begins our children will only have only the tools we provide for them today and whatever anyone else provides as charity. I would rather they have some tools of their own.

    We do not have world government OR peace. We will I suspect, have less of both in 20 years time.

    Defense spending appears to be hitting on the 1% GDP according to wiki (GDP reports are invariably in percent rise and fall or per-capita for some reason )… I know however, that ships are damned expensive and have very long lead times, and we have two aging frigates which will be, almost exactly, at the absolute end of their service life at almost exactly the time we can expect to have troubles which require them.

    I would not favor a “cap”. A target but not so absolute as a cap. I don’t have a problem with 1% of GDP(except for using GDP to measure anything at all). It seems enough. I would however, prefer to set mission descriptions up for the professionals and get them to tell us what they think they need to do the job.

    Without description of the mission and analysis of the threat we are guessing… and we don’t have enough data to do that accurately at all.

    However, we are NOT guessing about how old the frigates are or the mission they were designed to do. So if we were to trade them in on something newer, it would be a very timely thing to be doing NOW.

    There is a difference between paranoia and preparation. Right now we have a real benign environment to work with. I didn’t advocate additional spending, I would however like to get the trade worked out that sells the frigates on before they become so old that we can’t trade them for anything.

    The fate of the Skyhawks is instructive.

    respectfully
    BJ

  53. It’s not goodwill, but commonsense that the international community could not allow the takeover of the Oz/Enzed resources, nor lose two multi-lateral support players.

    And any power which could force this outcome on the world is not one Oz let alone us could defend against.

    Besides the sort of paranoia about nations needing to beg self-reliant creates military spending binges that are harmful to the world – it starves us of the resources for progressive investment.

    PS We can maintain current military capacity within the 1% cap.

  54. My point about Australia is poorly made. The point is that with Australia there is a more basic bond than the international community offers us in goodwill. If either of Australia or NZ were to suffer some attack it would be almost unthinkable that the other would ignore it. So when I say my children should be able to defend themselves, I don’t expect them to have to do so entirely alone.

    Whereas reliance on the international community and the goodwill that our aid buys us is a lot more tenuous.

    BJ

  55. Should focus on the security of ourselves be greater than our concern for the well-being of others?

    I think that in the end it is. I don’t think that’s going to be all that popular an answer on this forum, but it remains what I think, and it is definitely a matter of opinion.

    More to the point, how much we SPEND on something is not just a matter of how much we value it, but also a matter of how much it minimally costs to have it at all.

    Aid is bought in bushels of wheat at $10 / bushel, and each lasts a few days.

    Defense is bought in frigates and corvettes that cost $500,000,000 each and the service lifetime is 20-30 years.

    …and you can’t buy half of one.

    There can be no known threat to our national security that we could respond to (have time to do so), if the world aware of it could not act to do so via collective multi-lateral security.

    My children should have the means to defend themselves, and the threats to our national security some 20 years from now are going to be somewhat different from the very benign threat environment that currently obtains. Imagining that this corner of the world is going to be as nice and organized and peaceful as it is currently is NOT how you prepare a defense.

    It isn’t a good idea for us to think in terms of unilateral defense, our major partner however is Australia and is a thousand NAUTICAL miles away and we have fisheries that incorporate massive amounts of ocean.

    It might be a good idea to be able to protect those nautical miles just a bit…

    respectfully
    BJ

  56. PS There is no plan to change the naval make-up at the next procurement cycle – having more localised patrol craft is already in the mix.

    The most likely climate change refugees we’ll take in willingly (Pacific) – the economic refugees go to Oz. The real issue is whether we want to protect our fishery or not and that’s more likely a need that would occur should we reduce legal quotas and need to deter illegal fishing resulting from dissent at this change.

  57. bj chip

    The relationship is in both principle and detail.

    Should focus on the security of ourselves be greater than our concern for the well-being of others?

    We spend 1% of GDP on defence and this is projected to continue – be sufficient to maintain the defence force we now have – and maintain its capability/function/modernity.

    We promised to spend .7% of GDP on foreign aid back in the 1970’s (there is of course private foreign aid given independently of government).

    There can be no known threat to our national security that we could respond to (have time to do so), if the world aware of it could not act to do so via collective multi-lateral security. This speaks as to why regard for the well-being of others, via foreign aid (and peacekeeping) is not simply altruism but enlightened self-interest – and example in support of multi-lateralism in support of others.

  58. Phil

    your whole we-must-uprade argument is based on the premise that we would be able to defeat an invading military force…

    No… I am not expecting to be fighting with people who have large forces to throw at us, nor am I expecting to fighting people all on our own.

    I am looking forward to resource wars with fishing in the southern oceans, in our protected fisheries being the principle issue.

    I am expecting the frigates to get too old to serve and they are already quite long-in-the-tooth and I am expecting the more significant problems to start within the next 20 years. With a minimum 10 year procurement cycle that means that to have relatively recent hardware at the point of conflict starting we have to START that process now.

    When you’ve figured out who you’re about to fight it is way too late to start thinking about buying/building the ships to do it with. What we buy are the tools and weapons that our kids will have to use and the thing that comes over the horizon at us is unlikely to be as organized as a real navy, but it may well have some combat vessels in the mixture.

    I expect problems with climate refugees… and we have a very hard problem with the lifeboats that come our way, because turning people away may turn into a form of death sentence for them, and not turning them away may be the same but for us as well. The same in some ways, goes for protection of the fishing zones.

    This is the sort of problem our children will face. Having the ships gives them a choice and a chance.

    Finally if there is a more major breakdown in world order we will still wish to protect the trans-Tasman trade routes.

    I don’t expect us to face an organized invasion Phil. Not of the country itself. The ships we currently have (the frigates) are however, answers to entirely unlikely threats to our well-being. Replacing them with ships that DO address the defense of our local waters, the trade route between here and Oz, and the fisheries… rather than establishing us as a player in global force projection games… in a timely fashion is critical to our children’s future.

    Is that more clear?

    respectfully
    BJ

  59. No arguement from me Chippie; – so who can tell me what constitutes our Submarine force – (I’ve seen the Uniform, and not in a museum)
    All above citations are good reasons to have a flight of F16’s handy – probably get them from an LA car yard for about $4,000 each.
    We are too weak for a war for the whales?
    Treaties Do cover the roaring forties – but not in NZ or Australian interests – which qualifies the whale hunters as ecological rapists.

  60. We shouldn’t spend more on defence than we do on foreign aid.

    Why should these two numbers should have any relationship at all.

    It is a nice thing to say but it is a setting of priorities in terms of money, when the balancing of risks, and the relative costs of the tools that matter in terms of aid and defense, both come into play in this. Supposing we are threatened with invasion, should we THEN spend more on defense? Why does additional risk influence the balance?

    I don’t think there is a relationship here. I can’t see a connection to be made. The two things are orthogonal for me. The tools/weapons required to defend the nation are expensive things in these days. They are never cheap, and of the expensive tools the ships of a Navy are the most expensive and have the longest procurement cycle of all. They are cheaper than buying a new country however, and we need to have them up-to-date rather than completely worn out in 2020.

    BJ

  61. We do have an obligation to maintain a Naval Search and Rescue capability as we are responsible for quite a large area of ocean.

    Trevor.

  62. PS Our navy is not desgned to fight another navy – as anyone capable of dispatching a navy here would overpower any that our economic capacity could afford.

    The number of frigates we have is sufficient, a multi-purpose ship is a good idea in principle. Greater focus on patrol craft otherwise is appropriate. The rest is a matter of better design, capability and sufficent sea-worthiness for our area.

  63. Whales – a major earner (the live one’s) are perhaps not a bad example – can we? should we? protect them – I say yes.
    But within one month of the Australian PM mentioning military protection for them he was deposed – anyone want to bet Julia Gillard will make the same commitment?
    No – serious allies must be fed whale according their wish.
    We – can have Guantanamo – which I’m in favour of – long as I get to determine WHO is a danger, and who was a Pakistani on holiday (the Cia were paying 5K per foreigner for that prison – got sold a lot of entrepreneurial Londoners from what I read…..
    The biggest mortal danger in NZ is your basic drink-addict…
    Too many Cops Pollies and Judges involved to even go there

  64. Defend our economic zone from poachers – first we would have to be willing to limit fishing by foreign boats with access to our quota etc …

  65. “Neat cool and sexy” – it’s why we must have them BJ.
    The CIA keep insisting Indonesia are a viable threat to NZ (and have a fairly impressive military (both parties incidentally) – chiefly there to keep their govt in place.
    Democracy could break out any time – however – as one who has spent considerable time travelling Indonesia – I can’t agree.
    I feel we are in far more danger for fooling (and I do mean fooling) round in Iraq/Afghanistan – and they don’t fight fair.
    So our KIA’s there can be measured in pounds of butter – time they advertised for Mercenary’s and left ‘the Great Nation ‘ right out of it hey?

  66. bj..your whole we-must-uprade argument is based on the premise that we would be able to defeat an invading military force…

    …who did you have in mind..?

    ..y’know…!..who we would have slightly more than a snowballs chance of beating..?

    ..fiji..?..

    ..maybe..?

    ..it’s just yr mutually-assured-destruction/cold-war gene rearing its’ ugly head again..

    ..eh…?

    “..we need the ability to control the Tasman …”

    as ide from the obvious question/statement ‘can i have some of what you’re smoking?’..

    ..i ask again…against who…?

    ..who could we possibly ‘beat’..?..there..b.j…?

    ..we are in a permanent state of ‘big hat-no cattle’…

    ..it is our fate…

    ..we are a minnow…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    phil

  67. We shouldn’t spend more on defence than we do on foreign aid.

    Except that our defence force does much more than just defend. Our navy has to patrol one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones in the world, and there is no point in trying to protect unique fisheries from poachers if we do not have the firepower to back it up.

  68. We shouldn’t spend more on defence than we do on foreign aid.

    And we spend about 1% on defence and is it yet .3% on foreign aid? (we promised to spend .7% on foreign aid back in the 1970’s – does our word mean nothing to us?).

    PS We did not use the Skyhawks and have not required the unpurchased planes on offer in 1999.

  69. A combat air wing based in NZ will have nobody to fight unless those people come to us with an aircraft carrier… which makes them a much much larger opponent than we are apt to encounter unaided except at worlds end… which is going to be rather rougher on the more complex systems (like aircraft carriers) in general.

    In short, one doesn’t expect to face that particular threat. Nor should we be spending heavily on that capability. We might establish, with Australia, a base from which Aussie planes or US planes could fly. We can’t justify the sort of expense a combat air wing requires of us, as neat and cool and sexy as those aircraft are, it does not make SENSE for us.

    The Navy needs upgrades… the destroyers are past their use-by dates already and we can and should sell them on and get something more suitable to our particular roles here. We need the ability to operate in the southern ocean and we need the ability to control the Tasman along with the Australians. Other things in terms of peacekeeping and policing, not actual military roles. The current set of ships from Protector appear to be OK, but lacking the real hard-core force projection necessary to actually fight another country’s navy. The Navy is the most expensive service, but as an island nation we must have ships.

    I would not be inclined to call it an embarrassment. Room for improvement exists.

    respectfully
    BJ

  70. hmm good one; not only the earning power in Australia – but the associated issue of the Price of goods. In general Kiwi’s pay @ 40 – 60% for the same items. The equation gets real interesting.
    Sadly not only are the Aussies delighted to skim our best, but those Kiwi’s I know who have made the move – couldn’t be happier with the choice….
    I still think a small flight of F-16 Falcon’s would do nicely for an air force – and naval power has been governed by electronic detection lately – to the point where stealth isn’t as important as strength.
    We do have airborne assetts, but I think our Heli’s are associated with the Navy – and I didn’t know we owned submarines until recently – must be u-boats I guess…

  71. Which makes the frequent comparisons between NZ’s spending and Australia’s rather dubious – basically we are told we don’t spend enough on defence because we aren’t up there with the really lavish big spenders.

    I don’t think it is the fact that we aren’t up with the really lavish big spenders, it is more the fact that we are being very cheap. We don’t have an Air Force anymore, and in spite of having to maintain one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones in the world, our Navy is an embarassment. We don’t need to spend an arm and a leg every year, but at the very least, we should be able to make an effort to maintain our own defence forces.

  72. So our MP’s justify their pay increase and its back-dating 6 months on the grounds it was determined independently.

    They now get $135,000 salary and $15,000 untaxed allowance (for general costs related to their work) + travel allowance + housing allowance + their subsidised super scheme.

    However, it should be noted the independent body chosen has a history of awarding the public service elite increases in pay way above that given to workers in their departments. This is because they are expected to allow the “global premium for top level staff” to be reflected in their decisions. So the chosen “independent” body will have a bias to upward pay increases.

    The only fair system is that used in Canada – there politicians salaries are indexed to the average of all the large private sector union pay rises for the year in review – so they only get what “joe average Canuck” gets in the way of an increase. Also they have legislated that they get no pay rise while Canada is working itself out of the recession.

    (Parliament of Canada website, which says “However, in accordance with the Jobs and Economic Growth Act (Bill C-9), the sessional allowance and additional salaries were frozen at the 2009-2010 levels.”

    John Key says one thing, but what happens is something different.

    Our MP’s are not first class on this issue and would seem to have to be dragged kicking and screaming on every issue of pay every step of the way.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/4493766/MPs-resigned-to-1-4pc-pay-rise

  73. hee-hee; I’ll handle the insinuating part then – he makes Bob Marley look like Bill O’Reilly!
    Seriously nice place Hawaii; – NZ not good enough hey? (too expensive).

    Well one of his nick-names is ‘Moggy’ – and he is rather fond of that Green Tie…..enough to get your house searched/wrecked in NZ….eh?

  74. hawaii..and i don’t insinuate that he smokes…

    ..(i wouldn’t have a clue about that…)

    i just find him frolicking/living in a prohibition-free country…

    ..while his police here bust bust people…

    ..somewhat of a peak/(nadir?) of personal hypocrisy on his part..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  75. Holidays where Phil? And does he have a bit of a puff then? The old electric puha eh?

    If the Rugby World Cup doesn’t save the day – small business in NZ will disappear under the weight of huge overheads/no sales….

    And would the thumbs-downer like to articulate what is so bad with me having a toy F16? Thats why I don’t like this facility Frog – it allows the speechlessly cowardly ignorant an opinion – and really and truly…well…s’not Really an even playing field is it? – it’s a hangover from a barbaric ancient Rome and should have been left there – in ruins, imho.
    Besides if people cannot be bothered to voice their opinions – why air them at all?

  76. does anyone else find it kinda incongruous that john key has his holiday home in a country/place with far more leniant cannabis laws than here…?

    ..and a place fast-tracking to full legalisation…

    ..so key sees all around him…the results of ending prohibition…

    …and how society hasn’t imploded/collapsed….

    ..meanwhile…while he holidays there..

    …his police here are locking up/criminalising kids/people for dope…

    ..dosen’t that both suck and blow..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  77. i have had contact with o/s travellers recently…

    they confirm what a rip off place new zealand is….

    ..how our retailing sector makes us pat ’till our eyes water…

    …and everything is galloping up…

    ..a packet of vita-brits..at pak ‘n save…

    …over $5…up about 25%….

    …whoar…!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  78. ‘I have been looking forward to a rant from Keith Locke or some greenie on John Key’s
    “Spies seek new powers for World Cup” crap.’

    The Green Party is not given to ‘ranting’ ime JC.

    Australia has been convinced that Indonesia is a mortal threat – hence the number and placement of their military assets.

    Still – I wouldn’t mind a flock of old F16’s for Chrissy Jon – go on – unzip the old pocket eh? Probably need a bit of oiling do they? (the Zippers I mean)

  79. Norway have so much oil wealth (and have set up a Sovereign Wealth Fund that is rather large) that they invest in defence (apart from economic zone protection) to provide international peacekeeper back up to their diplomatic service for hire policy (part of a domestic cluster built around their Nobel peace prize tradition).

  80. Greece is number eight on the list of military spending per capita – I noticed a little while ago that despite all the coverage of their financial crisis, and lots and lots about their pensions and other welfare schemes, their recent massive arms spend up (in competition with Turkey) didn’t get a mention.

  81. I have been looking forward to a rant from Keith Locke or some greenie on John Key’s
    “Spies seek new powers for World Cup” crap.

    Have I missed it? Or are you so angry you can’t assemble a coherent phrase about it? Or like me, it all just more crap heaped on more crap and it all makes you feel so depressed you can hardly be bothered?

  82. I like that we don’t even figure on that graph. The real sad thing is that if the US spent half of those funds on humanitarian causes, we wouldn’t have any homelessness or starvation in the world.

    In other news:

    It’s changed from a rescue of bodies at Pike River to a rescue of the coal mine; good to see they’ve got their priorities in order huh! Echoing concerns with the mining industry, a report saying oil safety inspectors are woefully under manned and resourced comes out and two recent oil spills go largely unreported. Natz silence is overwhelming.

    There were no quakes of magnitude 8.5 or stronger in the 1970’s, 80’s or 90’s, but already 4 in the 2000’s. Quakes 8.0 and greater also register more since 2000, with 6 in the 1970s, 4 in the 1980s and 6 in the 1990s, yet already 13 in the 2000s. On the 21st Dec another powerful earthquake hits south-east Iran. Meanwhile it’s drill baby drill as usual, nothing to see here. Just frack off OK!

    The convener of the New Zealand Law Society committee on ACC law, Don Rennie, says insurers are not geared towards handling long-term ACC claimants, and competition in the work place will not work. Looks like another Natz con job to me. Sell sell sell!

    One news undertakes a poll in a Natz strong hold to show that despite two national disasters, bold faced lies, a worsening economy, more debt under their governance, a sacked minister, reneging on their promises and selling the country off; the right wing is still climbing and could “govern” alone. According to this pole, the Greens have fallen below the 5% threshold. Meanwhile the Greens win in the recent Wellington Council elections. Interesting that. Points towards biased reporting huh!

    Clark refutes evidence that troops were sent to Iraq so that dairy company Fonterra could secure a United Nations contract. Securing contracts by putting Kiwis lives in danger does look pretty bad. Clark’s obviously lost face and isn’t happy about it, not much point arguing against the facts though love.

    Hobbit used in mafia stand over tactic to steal Millions from New Zealand tax payers. Mr Key said the total taxpayer subsidy for the two movies, of about $100m, was far less than the $300m claimed for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, making The Hobbit deal better value. Oh well that’s OK then, as long as we have value in our extortion dollar, we should be sweat!

    The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faithful has clarified the Popes remarks in recently published interviews. He said condoms could reduce the risk of HIV infection in certain cases, such as for male prostitution. However the Pope did not back condom use… More gay prostitutes with aids, is a good thing?

    Northern Ireland is set for one of its coldest nights on record with temperatures due to fall to -20C in some parts, according to the Met Office. Climate change, what climate-change? It’s just a brisk walk in the park for the likes of Captain Capitalism.

  83. Interesting to note that Australia – despite not having one of the larger populations on the planet – comes in at number 12 on the military spending graph mentioned above.

    Which makes the frequent comparisons between NZ’s spending and Australia’s rather dubious – basically we are told we don’t spend enough on defence because we aren’t up there with the really lavish big spenders.

    Maybe we should be looking at a per capita spend closer to more moderate spenders, such as Iran. Last I looked their defence spending was about a quarter of NZ’s.

  84. Speaking of motorways, the NZTA’s planned road through Kapiti, that’s the new monster as opposed to the new local road that was in the works before the government decided to trump it with its ‘motorway’ card’, has two proposed options. One goes through an old urupa site, the other goes through more houses. NZTA has offered this ‘choice’ to the public.

    Seems to me either a very deliberate divide and rule strategy, designed to pit Maori against rednecks, with others being forced to back one miserable choice or the other, or just a case of NZTA trying to duck responsibility. Could we report the NZTA to the race relations conciliator for stirring up trouble?

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