Welcome to DefenceTalk.com Forum!

By registering with us, you'll be able to discuss, share and private message with other members of our community.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

NZDF General discussion thread

Discussion in 'Geostrategic Issues' started by NZLAV, Apr 14, 2007.

Share This Page

  1. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,587
    Likes Received:
    716
    Location:
    Behind a Desk
    We do indeed. I wonder when the bleeding obvious sets in and the GOTD realises that. Defence Policy over the last 20 years has been a mix of "An Unfortunate Experiment" at best and "An Orchestrated Litany of Lies" at worse to quote respectively Justice Cartwright and Justice Mahon of the past.
     
    robsta83 likes this.
  2. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    6,603
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    In the rum store
    I'd go back 27 years to Ruth Richardson's "Mother of all Budgets".
     
    robsta83 likes this.
  3. Rob c

    Rob c Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    120
    Location:
    Marton NZ
    Yes, that was the start of it all, dropping the defence budget from 1.6% to 1.0% GDP approx, But this just allowed the following pollies to cement the 1.0%i in place and I blame all the following governments for not correcting this outlandish mistake. Defence has always suffered in economic downturns with the excuse that it has to soldier its fair share, but when the economy improves, the defence budget is kept at the depressed level until the next downturn when it is slashed again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  4. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,587
    Likes Received:
    716
    Location:
    Behind a Desk
    Of course defence funding and defence policy settings are different. Though Richardson as FinMin took an axe to defence funding in 91/92 and it sank to 1.0% of GDP - the policy settings of a balanced force as per the DWP's of the 1990's did not change and they were on track to get both F-16s via the lease to buy deal and the 3rd Frigate in 2005 for just NZ$355m. Years ago before he retired as an opposition MP former DefMin Max Bradford strongly argued that there was going to be enough funding between 2000-2005 to get the third Frigate and keep the ACF using the new leased F-16's if they did not over-do the NZLAV buy and iirc kept numbers at the 82 recommended post DWP97.
     
    tongan_yam likes this.
  5. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    6,603
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    In the rum store
    Disagree because that loss of funding basically started the gutting of NZDF and meant that there were cuts all around.

    I was in at the time and we lost capability and people. Morale hit rock bottom and people started voting with their feet, especially when the base closures started. I saw the ANZAC FFG plans in 1991 and on them there was kit that said Australia only and that reduced the NZ capability. Was not good for RNZN morale and we regarded it as absolute govt shite. The Andovers weren't replaced because of funding cuts - more capability lost. Skyhawks should have been replaced earlier in the 1990s but weren't because of funding cuts - looked what happened. Then there was the shite about the M113 APCs deploying to Balkans without proper kit because we didn't have the gear. Had to borrow add on armour from the ADF. And the APCs were stuffed completely and the only thing keeping them together was the rust holding hands.

    So yes that started the rot and any claims that we had a balanced force in the 1990s was absolute bull crap. Yep balanced against what? The 1939 NZ Defence TOE (Table Of Equipment)? It was and is all political spin and has been ever since, no matter what side of the house the pollie(s) spouting it was / is sitting on, and based on some airy fairy ideology learnt from a book, that doesn't at all relate to the real world and does nothing for the sailor, soldier airman, airwoman, who always have to sort the mess out that pollies always make when they stuff up the diplomacy.

    Most if not all pollies wouldn't know the first thing about defence and security and if they do, my 8 year old grandson would be better qualified after studying some Battler Britain and Commando training manuals (war comics) :D.
     
  6. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,587
    Likes Received:
    716
    Location:
    Behind a Desk
    You are arguing about funding - there is a difference between policy orientation and the difference in funding that policy orientation. The first did not change during the 1990's but the second did. I have no argument about that they did not fund the policy posture from the DWP's of the 1990's.

    Here is the rub - and you will not like it. The NZDF did need to change in the 1990's. It did need to be be moulded into greater efficiency. Some of those bases that closed like Te Rapa, Sylvia Park, Hobsonville, Shelly Bay and Hopahopa were well passed their relevancy. Wigram or Woodburn? They only needed a single base in the South. Nostalgia is not a compelling rationale for saving both. (The reality is that base rationalisation plans first came about in the 1980's following the policy work of Derek Quigley and his Strategos Consulting Group which went to the Lange cabinet in 1988).

    The issue in the 1990's, was a weak DefMin in Cooper, Razor Ruth and a PM in Bolger who was basically disinterested. Allow me to have a judgement on some of the personalities I knew and spoke to then and after. This wont change your own personal biases but Shipley was when she became PM in 1997 was interested and more so as she developed in the job, Bill 'Mogadon' Birch did manage to hold the line even when the Asia Crisis hit in 97-98 when budgets across all GOTD departments were being hit and Max Bradford tried bloody hard to get us the F-16's and the 3rd Frigate. Happy to discredit the first three but the last 3 mentioned should be distinguished from the 3 in the early-mid 1990's - Ships, Brad and the Mog were not as useless as you try to paint them and took their roles seriously even when up against immense fiscal and political challenges. It was not their fault Winston grandstanded in Cabinet over the 3rd Anzac and that they only had 18 months to attempt to turn around damage done before Clark & Co came in.

    The NZDF was a small balanced force from the 1960's onwards. The policy orientation and ability to provide a deployable air combat squadron, air surveillance capability, four frigates, an all arms battalion group and special forces capability with air transport and rotary transport support has been in that context - a small balanced force. In essence a combat capability for deployment generated from each of the 3 services to be a component within a larger unified command. That was the agreed policy context of a small balanced force for a nation that was mostly around 3-4 million in population at the time since the days when Gen Thornton and VADM Phipps as CDS's advised the Holyoake government and continued by subsequent governments but for the exception of the Clark era onward. It was that Bolger & Co did not fund it. The Shipley lot really wanted to - and did indeed recognise the thawing relationship with the US in the later Clinton era and unlike the Nats in recent years did get that FTA's and Defence were symbiotic - especially with the US.

    You can be miffed that it was not funded adequately - I am too - but that fundamental policy posture existed until the late 1990's. Note that I not once reverted to mentioning bovine effluent in my analysis.
     
    Cadredave and tongan_yam like this.
  7. Rob c

    Rob c Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    120
    Location:
    Marton NZ
    Agree with most of what you say Mr C and I think I remember that there was talk of an increase in def funding at the end of the Shipley government. The Clark government put the boot in, with dislike of the Air force ACF and frigates and instead supported the army and it's peacekeeping role over anything else. I think she already had eyes on a top UN job and did it to improve her credentials in this regard. This was done with a callous disregard of any advice she received or the long term future of NZ's security.
     
  8. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
    3,385
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    NSW
    Speaking of balanced forces the current force is out of lockstep with resource to maintain a concurrent expeditionary force.

    Ron Marks seems to see that combat capability is out of balance, do you think he can get it over the line for extra frigates larger number/capable airlift transport & increased amphibious capability, move from a light infantry force to an all motorised/Mechanized force?
     
  9. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,587
    Likes Received:
    716
    Location:
    Behind a Desk
    But my take on the base closures your not so convinced eh! ;)

    There were some influential, smart people around. Hensley as Def Sec for one who was very highly thought after by the Shipley cabinet and taught them or at least those with a worldview bigger than their electorate who could get it, that regional Defence & Security relationships, Diplomacy and Trade are inseparable within the context of the US and our regional partners. Hensley was a prime architect of the DWP's of that era - the one which hinted that the Post Cold War world was not going to be as rosy as 5 years earlier and particularly significant was DWP97 and that NZ needed to retain combat capability from its three service arms as contributions to the regional security umbrella.

    They were very aware of the importance of Australia and maintaining a positive relationship with the Howard government viz the Nowra agreement and the ANZAC build. They realised that NZ had to offer something quid pro quo to re-establish the damage with the ANZUS fallout before they could get the ear of Congress, the Senate and the White House with respect to the trade relationship. NZ wanted an FTA with the Clinton White House and by 1999 things were going along fairly well, with the US side working on the thorny issue of the then protectionist US agricultural sector. Clintons visit in 1999 timed with APEC and the developing Timor Leste situation were a diplomatic high point in the relationship that soon faulted following a change in Government.

    In the context of the above - there was a clear realisation that they had to invest to maintain its standing contribution to the above fore-mentioned security umbrella which would put New Zealand much better placed for building its trade relationships that were there to anchor the long term economic security for the nation.
     
  10. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,587
    Likes Received:
    716
    Location:
    Behind a Desk
  11. Rob c

    Rob c Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    120
    Location:
    Marton NZ
    The only bases that I know something about are the air force ones and Waiouru. (parents had a business there) While we had a lot of fun at Shelly bay while working at Def HQ I really did not have any problems with the closures, though I did think that flying training should have gone straight to Woodbourne as was later planned if we had retained the ACF. Hobsonville was a nice base to be at, but not a good reason to keep it. Hell I was on Clark air base for a short time and you could have fitted the entire NZ defence force on it and still had plenty of spare room, so being reduced down to what we have is not a big problem, given that ,except for the Navy there is of slack at certain bases for expansion for both the Air force and the army.
     
  12. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    6,603
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    In the rum store
    Yes I am somewhat miffed about the lack of funding and being a country boy and from the lower deck I sometimes tend to use the vernacular, and what I said was the real polite version. I have little regard for pollies, but unfortunately they are a necessary evil in a democracy. I twice swore an oath of loyalty to HM The Queen, not to any pollie or political party, and along with my own family, my loyalty is also to my brothers and sisters, past and present in uniform. That's where I come from and it is the lens through which I view NZ defence and security. 99% of the time I use the skills I acquired as a geographer, working in the environmental sciences, to analyse said defence and security. However, it is still viewed through that lens, just as you view it through a different lens. We each bring something different to the discourse and we don't always agree. I just tend to cut straight to the point now and again.

    Yes I didn't like the base closures, especially Wigram - Wigram was the birthplace of the RNZAF. I saw no reason for Wigram being closed nor Woodbourne for that matter either. Shelly Bay, Te Rapa and Hobsonville yes that was rationalisation and whilst I saw the logic of it, I didn't have to like it. People outside of the services generally don't understand service traditions and history. That is why I was cranky about Wigram and whilst I have suggested that the DNB be closed and the RNZN be moved elsewhere, I am fully aware of the emotional and cultural wrench that such a closure will cause naval personnel past and present, so it's something that I had given a great deal of thought and soul searching to before I suggested it.
     
  13. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,587
    Likes Received:
    716
    Location:
    Behind a Desk
    I have had my Malcolm Tucker moments with one or two so I am no saint. ;)


    Sometimes things have to be done for the greater good thus I agree DNB should eventually go and that WP likely wont be around in 20 years as it is getting surrounded. Military bases surrounded by large residential populations don't mix that well.
     
  14. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    6,603
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    In the rum store
    I thought that you'd lean more towards the Sir Humphrey side of the spectrum :D LOL
    Yep I know, but some things I don't have to like. I do agree that WP & DNB will eventually go and yes military bases in residential areas don't mix well with the NIMBY's getting their nimby well and truly wound up. I remember at Wigram they'd ring whinging about the Harvards night flying which only happened once a month. thing was they moved into the area well after the Harvard had arrived. @Rob c will remember the joker who always used to ring up OH complaining about the A-4s low flying. He lived in the low flying area.
     
  15. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,587
    Likes Received:
    716
    Location:
    Behind a Desk
    There is no argument to be had here. There are 2 facts to consider, one in which we agree - funding or lack and the other which is the defence policy orientation of the Government of the time in which for the period of 1991-1997 was a complete disconnect. The principal architect of maintaining the policy was the then DefSec Gerald Hensley, who unfortunately was not also the then TresSec and later ACT candidate Dr Graham Scott.;)
     
  16. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,587
    Likes Received:
    716
    Location:
    Behind a Desk
    Yes. But occasionally one loses patience with stupidity.

    What was Jim Andertons take on the Wigram closure as he was the local MP at the time iirc? Like all things it is usually just not one event that brings things on. At Wigram, Ngai Tahu were keen on the land, the CCC was looking for more residential space as the city was growing around it, the nimby's were scared of a plane or two crashing on their houses and the noise and would complain to their local member, and of course it was the most valuable QV of any NZDF site which obviously pleased Treasury and Razor Ruth.
     
  17. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    6,603
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    In the rum store
    Had to look it up. He was the MP for Sydenham and he was in the Alliance at the time. I think Wigram was in the Sydenham electorate then. I couldn't find a detailed enough map. In 1996 the Sydenham electorate was abolished and the Wigram one established, which he won. Can't remember what Jim's take on it was, but wouldn't surprise me if he was pleased, him being a rabid left winger and all. Couldn't stand him meself.
     
  18. Rob c

    Rob c Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    120
    Location:
    Marton NZ
    Yes remember the low flying complainer. There was also one who brought a house in Sanson, then immediately started to complain about the jets on approach. He still lives there and starts up again when overseas air forces comes with combat jets. talk about a Johnny come lately. I do take the View that the Air Force was their first and if you move into the area you need to take into account what was there before you arrived.
    As for Wigram, it was too constrained by development around it as unlike Ohakea defence did not own the surrounding land (for those who are unaware, the land surrounding Ohakea is defence owned and leased to the occupiers).
    Talking of Wigram, I remember when down there on my SNCO course in the mid to late 70's We ( the course participants ) had a run in with the base SWO. At the time the Air force was changing from the old separate winter and summer uniforms dating from WW2 to the new all seasons uniform which you just put on what was appropriate for the weather. We at Ohakea had changed over to the new, but Wigram had not and had just gone into winter uniform (battle Dress). During the course we had a hot day and had remove our jerseys until we walked passed the the base WO's office, when he flew out, threw his toys out of his cot and accused us of walking around his base half undressed. Even when we pointed out that this was perfectly legal with the new uniform and that he needed to read the new reg's he would have none of it and ordered us to put our jerseys back on even though it was plus 20 degrees. He evidently complained to Ohakea about what a scruffy lot we were and the informed him that he was wrong and we were right. We got a terse ok, we could remove our jerseys from him but that he was going to keep a close eye on us. We were hoping that he would come to the SNCO's mess while we were there, but after that we never did see him again.
     
  19. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    4,231
    Likes Received:
    332
    Location:
    Vancouver and Toronto
    When Toronto’s Malton Airport (now Pearson International) and DND’s Downsview Airport were conceived back in the 1940s(maybe earlier), there was nothing around them. The nothing around was in turn surrounded by even more nothing. No surprise pollies rezoned lands near these airports with the NIMBY crap starting thereafter. Federal government solution, cave in and sell off Downview for a fraction of its worth to appease supporters. Malton-Pearson solution, not moving and if you can’t stand the noise, pi$$ off. Luckily for the bitcher and moaner NIMBY types, jet engine noise levels have diminished greatly.
     
  20. RegR

    RegR Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,002
    Likes Received:
    77
    Location:
    In Transit
    I'm pretty sure they don't own the land directly in front between the base and the bridge as I seem to remember plans for new army style apartment barracks in front of supply mainstore and a smaller downgraded museum option across the road from the gate guardian corner that supposedly never got off the ground so to speak because the farmer wanted an arm and a leg for the land. Think he claimed it would downsize his farm too much even though he has his own speedway smack bang in the middle of it.