Last year, the government announced it wanted to spend $20 billion on new toys for the defence force. Now, Labour is suggesting that that money could be put to other purposes:
A $20 billion Defence Force upgrade already underway could not be guaranteed under a Labour-led government.
Labour leader Andrew Little has refused to commit to following through on the 15-year modernisation plan if he became prime minister, saying spending on housing and education would always take priority.
"That's an area we'd have to look at and see what the commitment is about that $20bn.
"But I have to tell you when it comes down to a choice between doing stuff that's going to give people a chance to either get a roof over their head, get the kids set up for opportunities for the future, then that's got to come first," Mr Little said.
Good. As I pointed out last year, NZDF's gold-plated shopping list is aimed at status weapons, outdated cold war thinking, and "interoperability" - AKA "fighting other people's wars". And its doing that at the cost of just under a billion dollars a year - which is basicly a full year of paid parental leave, the elimination of student fees, a massive state house-building programme, or a reversal of National's stealth health cuts. And when you put it like that, it's crystal clear that Little is right and this money is better spent elsewhere.