12 Dec 2013

NZ reputation at stake if unable to send troops overseas

9:01 am on 12 December 2013

A former chief of the Defence Force says New Zealand's international reputation will be compromised if it is not able to send troops to where they are needed.

Sir Bruce Ferguson.

Sir Bruce Ferguson. Photo: ANDREW BURNS

The comment by Sir Bruce Ferguson followed a leaked Auditor-General's report that exposed skill shortages in the Army, Navy, and Air Force, and warned there is a risk they will not be able to deploy troops.

In 2010, the Government announced that Defence would be expected to find $350 million per year in savings, which resulted in hundreds of redundancies and resignations.

Sir Bruce said New Zealand's good reputation overseas will be tarnished if it can't keep helping when needed.

Former Army Chief Lou Gardiner said the cuts have caused problems, but he doubts Labour would have been able to provide more cash during a recession.