Friday, February 05, 2021

Who is in charge of our military?

The Defence Force is planning a 21-gun salute on Waitangi Day. But apparently this isn't a reminder of their colonial role in subjugating Māori; instead its a "traditional" celebration of the accession of their foreign monarch, which coincidentally falls on our national day.

Pretty obviously, someone needs to tell them to stop: guns have no place on Waitangi Day. You'd think that would be the job of defence Minister Peeni Henare. But apparently not:

The Minister of Defence's office referred Stuff to the New Zealand Defence Force as this was an “operational” matter.
Bullshit. Who NZDF celebrates is a matter of policy, and it is the Minister's job to decide that policy. If the Minister doesn't think so, then that raises questions of who is actually in charge of our military. And if the answer isn't "the Minister" (who is democratically elected and accountable to Parliament, and through them, to us), then maybe we shouldn't have a military at all.