Author: Nighthawk

So labour won the the 2020 election and winning a pretty much of a landslide with LABOUR 64 seats, NATIONAL 35 seats, ACT NZ 10 seats, GREENS 10 seats, and Maori Party one seat. Enough to govern alone.

So what does this mean for New Zealand and its defence force and the DCP-2019 that was also co-written by the New Zealand First party. Will the Labour government stick to it or will there be cutbacks.

One has to remember and for our overseas readers, Labour a centre left party and greens further left. National centre right and Act further right. The Maori Party are usually left wing.

The one good thing on this is there doesn't need to be a coalition government, meaning the Green New Zealand's may be looking in from the outside. Many of the Greens policies including the wealth tax was not wanted by Jacinda. However there was talk that the Labour party in general may want something like that. Most of Labour's extreme leftist have migrated to the Greens because they think Labour has become too centrist. Jacinda said during her campaigning that while she in in charge there will be no wealth tax.

But at the same token the one bad thing about this is there doesn't need to be coalition government. Meaning they can vote in any bizarre bill they wish to without a problem. They don't need the Greens to support it. 

The problem is, defence in general is hardly ever really talked about as subject in politics within New Zealand

So what does this mean for defence. Well it is pretty hard to tell, in the past, no matter what party gets in there has been a stagnation on defence which means the 20 billion dollar over 15 years that National started and the previous Labour lead coalition agreed to, could hit a brick wall which equates to 1.3 billion dollars a year over and above the defence budget and I have a feeling these are already being spent on the replacements already purchased.  But at the same token with the Greens out of the way and the far left views the more central labour party may keep this going further afield, it is very hard to tell. 

The problem is, defence in general is hardly ever really talked about as subject in politics within New Zealand, and it makes it hard for the general public to know what is going to happen or to expect on this. However the last budget I was surprised to see a defence increase, but I suspect that had something to do with NZ First as part of the coalition government deal. But I could be wrong on that we don't know what was talked about behind closed doors. 

Over the past few years there has been a growing concern of China and her belligerent behaviour towards her neighbours, expanding into the Pacific and China's human rights with Uyghurs as well as religious freedoms.

However overall my guess is we will keep whatever purchases are in progress ie; the P-8A Poseidon's, C-130J-30 Super Hercules, the Bushmasters PMV. 

The next major purchase in reality is the SOPV, with request for tender in 2022. This I am now not 100% confident with.  Industry engagement commences – 2020, Request for tender – 2022, Introduction into Service – 2027. But a lot of things can change even in 2 years, and request for tender in 2022, means it will most likely be the one of the last defence buys for the this government or next government that may have to make call on the SOPV in early 2024 after any changes are made to meet requirements or any cut backs and we find the actual budget required. But even labour must see we need a dedicate decent southern ocean patrol vessel that can patrol the Ross sea... 

After this is the replacement of the maritime helicopters. The current SH-2G(I) Super Sea Sprites due for replacement in 2028. But the all the decisions making on this will be made with the next government. Including the request for tender in 2024 for the Enhanced Sealift Vessel.

As for who is going to replace Ron Mark as Defence Minister, that I can not answer... But I will miss him as Defence Minister. What I will say though and I find disappointing, is that most governments only think of the next 3 years, not the next 15-20 especially with defence.

It is now just a waiting game to see who gets the defence ministry roll, and how the labour government deals with it. And it all depends on if Labour deals with the Greens or not, your guess is as good as mine. To be fair I would have said the same thing if National won in a landslide.

Article: http://www.nighthawk.nz
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