Air NZ ferries Australian troops to Kuwait...

Lance's picture
Submitted by Lance on Wed, 2007-08-15 07:02

And there is uproar. Some say it is inappropriate as Air NZ is a (partially) state owned enterprise, and their involvement (however indirect) goes against the policies of the state that owns them. A very good indicator of why the state should NOT be in business!

Further, and this is what prompted my posting, on the TV One coverage of the story, some cowardly little vermin, some pant piddling pissant, suggested that Air NZ's involvement was inappropriate as it could potentially make New Zealand a 'target'. At that point hot tea was sprayed, my cup was slammed on the table and I stormed outside for a smoke. I still have not calmed down.

If they (Islamo-fascists) are that easily goaded (which they are) and if they are that scary (which they are) and if you are that afraid of them (which you SHOULD be) then why isn't our government SUPPORTING THE GODDAMN WAR!?

I wish I had caught the guys name, and in what capacity he made his statement. I'll look at the TVNZ site later to see if I can find out.

Edit: The cowardly, pant piddling, pissant was Keith Locke, Foreign Affairs spokesperson for the Green Party, surprise surprise.

Further Edit: A little about Keith:

His political enemies have referred to him during question period as "Pol Pot" or "the Honourable Member for Cambodia" due to supportive articles he wrote while editor of the New Zealand Socialist Action newspaper about the Khmer Rouge regime under the headline; Cambodia liberated: victory for humanity. Locke has claimed his initial support for the Khmer Rouge was because "...many people thought the Khmer Rouge were an adjunct of the Vietnamese communist forces" and that he thought they "...would be better than the regimes they replaced."

Similarly, while he opposed the 2001 war in Afghanistan to remove the Taliban, he wrote an article (in Socialist Action) entitled "Why workers should support Soviet action in Afghanistan" in 1980.


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Isn't that hypocrisy?

Marcus's picture

"We have some nation-building types over there in "peacenik" roles like landmine detection and stuff."

The NZ Government doesn't mind indirectly supporting the war in Iraq by nation building - however using the national Airline for troop transport is beyond the pale?

"Did you hear about NZSAS Corporal Apiata getting the VC?"

Yes I did, but only from NZers. If it was mentioned in the UK press I must have missed it. Just a minute - I did a search and found one UK newspaper article in the Guardian from last July. Therefore, the news was in the category of "blink and you will miss it." Sad, but true.

"New Zealand soldier awarded Victoria Cross
Associated Press in Wellington

Tuesday July 3, 2007
The Guardian

A 35-year-old corporal who carried a badly wounded colleague to safety across a battlefield in Afghanistan has been awarded the Victoria Cross.

Corporal William Apiata became the first New Zealander to win the medal since the second world war, the prime minister, Helen Clark, said yesterday, announcing the award and praising Cpl Apiata's actions.

"Cpl Apiata carried a severely wounded comrade over 70 metres across broken, rocky and fire-swept ground, fully exposed to the glare of battle, heavy opposing fire and into the face of return fire from the main New Zealand troops' position," Ms Clark told reporters.

"This brave action saved his comrade's life," she said."

"But that's OK because Helen

Lance's picture

"But that's OK because Helen says NZ exists in a benign security environment..."
And we do, we're so damn nice to everyone, and so careful not to offend, who could possibly want to attack little old us? Best pass us by and attack those nasty Australians over there, they are the ones supporting the war!

On the other hand...

Robert's picture

In one sense, we did the US/UK a favour by not sending troops that would have to be equipped by them, thus further shorting their troops of body & vehicle armour & ammunition.

Despite all the Hoopla about the acquistion of the LAVs NZ's Army is ~still~ lacking in indirect fire weapons, heavy machineguns, tactical communications, night fighting gear, body & vehicle armour, anti-air & anti-tank guided missiles and christ knows what else.

They are finally replacing the RNZAFs Vietnam-era UH-1s Helicopters for god's sake! They were old when Jim Bolger was PM! The PC-3 Orions and Hercules we operate must be held together with chewing gum and duck-tape by now.

But that's OK because Helen says NZ exists in a benign security environment...

Hell no, we won't go!

Jameson's picture

Comrade Clark is most definitely not interested in helping our American allies. In Iraq at least. We have some nation-building types over there in "peacenik" roles like landmine detection and stuff. The NZ government has made a distinction though; we have SAS kicking some butt in Afghanistan because that was deemed ‘legitimate’. Did you hear about NZSAS Corporal Apiata getting the VC?

Since when has NZ been "officially" against the Iraq war?

Marcus's picture

I was under the impression that at the outset of the Iraq war that the NZ army sent some engineers or something.

Was I wrong?

Air NZ

Chris R's picture

I am frequently annoyed with the standard of service one receives from our national carrier.It is akin to NZ Railways of the 1950s. But this time I am very impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit revealed by their entering into a contract to transport foreign troops. I didn't believe they (Air NZ) had it in them!

How it can possibly be interpreted as a form of support for the war evades me.How the socialist Locke can conceive this belief defies rational thought.

I personally would be quite happy for volunteer NZ personnel to be fully engaged in the combat! I do not expect this while we have a government which appeases and apologises to tyrants!

PS I have seen two polls today which both reveal a circa 75/25 split in favour of the airline's actions.

Excellent points, lads...

Jameson's picture

It's like there's a pack of jackals roaming outside our tent and Comrade Locke is saying "Shhhh... don't let them know we're in here..."

As you say, this a) acknowledges there is indeed a threat, and b) that the best course of action is to shut the fuck up and let them move on to terrorise someone else's tent. Utter, utter cowardice!!!

Alice Worsley, the radio

Lance's picture

Alice Worsley, the radio co-host (with Martin Crump) who follows Lindsay Perigo on Radio Pacific, had the nerve to suggest that perhaps the reason Qantas was not providing transport to Australian troops was that Australia was too afraid to use their national airline. How dare she accuse them of being afraid?

Mr Locke's press release

Lance's picture

Press Release:

"Air NZ ferrying of Australian troops to Iraq ‘appalling’

Keith Locke MP, Green Party Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

15th August 2007

The revelations in the latest Investigate magazine that Air New Zealand has been flying Australian combat troops across the Pacific and up to the Iraqi border is an appalling piece of misjudgement by the airline, Green Party Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Keith Locke says.

“You would have thought that the national carrier would know what our national policy was concerning New Zealand's combat role in Iraq. From the outset, the Government has wisely chosen not to get militarily involved in Iraq. Air New Zealand has now made this country complicit in the occupation of Iraq,” Mr Locke says.

“One reason we have not been exposed to the terrorism threats experienced by the US, Australia and Britain is that we have supported the UN stance, and not been part of the so-called Coalition of the Willing. For the sake of a few dollars of business, Air New Zealand has now exposed the airline, its travellers and the country to an extra risk of revenge attacks.

“In recent weeks, Labour MPs have made a meal out of John Key’s flip flops on whether the National Party did, or didn’t, support being militarily involvement in Iraq. This Air New Zealand involvement has now exposed the Government to the same charge of inconsistency.

“The Government has been more than happy to publicly reap the rewards of keeping this country out of the Iraqi quagmire - when behind the scenes, the airline in which it retains a controlling interest has been just as happy to pursue and win tenders to ferry foreign troops to the war zone.

“Labour says Ministers were not informed, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was. At the very least, the Government must initiate an inquiry as to what happened and bring to account those responsible. There should be a shake-up at Air New Zealand, given some of its executives seem to have lost their moral compass.

“The Government must do more than indicate its disapproval to the airline. It must state that it is ethically repugnant for our national carrier to contribute to the disastrous war in Iraq, and it must never happen again.

“It should not be merely a commercial decision for the airline,” Mr Locke says."

That's it.
Now when he says
"Air New Zealand has now exposed the airline, its travellers and the country to an extra risk of revenge attacks."
he is acknowledging a prior threat, that this is an "extra risk". I don't disagree, yes this adds to the risk of attacks, but Mr Locke, simply being a free(somewhat) and secular society exposes us to the risk of attacks. That is the very reason we should be outright in support of the war. That risk is currently small thanks only to our size and isolation. If/when the US decides to make a move against Iran, or any other state controlled by a theocratic dictator that threatens free nations and supports those people who want to kill you simply for being free, that again is the very reason we should be in outright support of that war too. No matter how much you condemn the US for the war in Iraq, or attempt to promote Islam as a religion of peace the murderous savages would gladly slit your throat if you refused to convert and worship their all seeing sky fairy.

"The other reason the

Lance's picture

"The other reason the Government should not be in business is the ignorant claim they, as majority shareholder, can do nothing about it."

I hadn't thought that far ahead, but it's a bloody good point. There may have been something in the purchase agreement about the government being unable to influence or make business decisions.


Elijah Lineberry's picture

this is another thing for the Labour/Green/NZ First Government traitors to get hysterical about.

The other reason the Government should not be in business is the ignorant claim they, as majority shareholder, can do nothing about it.

(Correct me if I am wrong I have only been majority shareholder and Director of various companies for a decade)...but I was under the impression that owning a company gave you a great deal of influence?

I can just imagine Richard Branson, in response to a problem with Virgin Atlantic, replying "I will send them a mealy mouthed wimpy letter but despite being majority shareholder I have very little influence"

It has always been my view we should have sent 2000 or so troops to Iraq to assist our American and British allies, rather than pandering to savages by being neutral.

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