PM Announces Terms Of Reference For F-16 Inquiry

  • Helen Clark
Prime Minister

Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today that Hon Derek Quigley will conduct an independent review of the F-16 lease arrangement and report back to the Government by 6 March 2000.

“We have asked Mr Quigley to take a thorough look at all aspects of the lease arrangement entered into by the previous government, including its impact on defence capital expenditure plans for the future,” Helen Clark said.

The terms of reference for Mr Quigley’s review are to:

* Provide a description of the project: equipment, timeframes, legal and financial structure;

* Assess the costs: already committed and through life; timing of cost increments;

* Consider the impact of the project on the current defence capital equipment expenditure plans and on the total level of Defence expenditure in the current and following fiscal years;

* Outline by what process New Zealand could cancel, defer, amend or confirm the project;

* Assess the consequences of cancellation, deferment, amendment or confirmation of the project: fiscal cost, diplomatic and legal considerations;

* Examine the implications of decisions on the F-16 project for retention of a broader air strike capability;

* Identify costs and benefits of continuing to maintain the A-4 Skyhawk capability; and the costs and benefits of early disposal; and

* Draw conclusions and propose recommendations in light of the above review for consideration by Cabinet by 6 March 2000.

Mr Quigley will convene at his request meetings of Chief Executives or their deputies of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ministry of Defence, the New Zealand Defence Force, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Treasury, where he requires that assistance with the review.

“The Quigley Review is an important step towards a thorough re-examination of New Zealand’s defence policy,” said Helen Clark.

Contact: David Lewis 025-409 492, Mark Watts 025-822 734