“New Zealand’s ancient Boeing 757s are falling to bits because the Government is underinvesting in Defence,” says ACT’s Defence spokesperson Dr James McDowall.

“Responses to written parliamentary questions asked by ACT paint a picture of a couple of rust buckets that are arguably unsafe.

“ACT can reveal that since 1 October 2017 there have been:

  • 4,234 “mechanical failures” with these two aircraft
  • Six safety incidences that “required the aircraft to divert or the task to be aborted”
  • $71.3 million spent on “maintenance and repair”.

“We’re underinvesting in Defence. At the moment we’re lucky to be able to successfully get off the tarmac let alone defend ourselves, our allies and our values in today’s increasingly volatile strategic environment.

“ACT would address this by committing two per cent of GDP to Defence spending.

“The target of two per cent of GDP is what all of our traditional allies, including Australia, are committed to and would demonstrate the seriousness with which we take our defence obligations.

“This is the kind of valuable spending that government should be doing, protecting our country and aligning us with our allies.”

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James McDowall