They may not have an option, as a quick airborne invasion of NZ and the country may be in alternate hands within hours as we don't have anything in NZ to stop it. Simply follow up with escorted shipping to seal the deal.Certainly the Oz Govt would not stand for NZ becoming an 'enemy' asset, but the ADF would by & large defend Australian interests in NZ from Australia... the supply train across the width of the Tasman Sea is too fragile due to extreme distance. Having said that I'm sure we'd get RAN subs cruising our waters in that scenario.
I don't know were the 14% came from? I remember Helen Clark saying 10% to operate strike wing, which included the Macchi's , the previous (from Memory) defence review had stated that 75sqn cost $50 mill per year and 14sqn $20 - 30. However they provided well in excess of any of those figures in their raw defence ability. and likely provided more deterrent ability than the rest of defence combined.No doubt. I just cant see it happening budget wise. Air combat forces are expensive to retain and operate (The A-4s took 14 per cent of the NZDF budget). That was simply upkeep for an already established capability. Fuel alone costs $4000 per hour of operation.
The fuel cost, was that per aircraft or for the unit? I cannot remember the price of aviation F34 fuel at that time, but I remember that an A4 would use about 8 to 9000lbs in a trip across to Australia.