New Zealand First calls for a report into how NZ can best commemorate Passchendaele; Is Veterans' Affairs on the Ministerial cards?

We've got one. Winston Peters and New Zealand First - while deep in discussions with the National Party on Thursday morning - have revealed a desired worksteam for the next government.

A report into how we can best commemorate the battle of Passchendaele.

Perhaps Minister for Veterans' Affairs will be demanded? That's currently Hamilton East MP David Bennett, who also holds the Minister for Racing portfolio that was created for Peters in days gone by and which he's expected to get back.

So, Bennett might find himself with nothing else than the Food Safety portfolio.

You can read NZ First's press release below:

New Zealand First is calling for a report into how best New Zealand can commemorate the bloodiest and saddest day in the country’s military history, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“In just a few hours 843 men were killed at the battle of Passchendaele on October 12, 1917 and many of the 1860 wounded that day were grievously injured and did not recover.

“NZ History says Passchendaele has become a byword for the horrors of the Great War with the failed attack on Bellevue Spur on October 12 probably the greatest disaster in New Zealand’s history.

“For a small country of only one million people at the time the impact of this one day of war was immense.

“Anzac Day commemorates all wars and conflicts in which New Zealanders served with a special emphasis on the Gallipoli campaign.

“About seven thousand New Zealanders were killed or wounded at Gallipoli over a period of eight months. Future generations of New Zealanders should be aware of what happened at Passchendaele in a few hours on October 12, 1917,” says Mr Peters.

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19 Comments

I applaud NZF for their support of our Veterans and our Armed Forces. Hopefully Ron Mark will get the Minister of Defense role and the govt can start investing in defense and finally give our country a strong well equipped fighting force.

Some blankets and muskets provided by Guangzhou Textile Industry Union Import & Export Corporation

And a couple of Great Wall double cab utes.

Perhaps we can re-establish our air force again with some used Chengdu J7 or Q5 Fantan jets.

Do they come with a warranty?

What a waste of $s. In any event,

a) Its not physical warfare any more its economic and cyber warfare.

b) To be competitive in a war you need technological parity AND numbers parity, or excess numbers to proportional to compensating for technological inferiority (to a small extent), NZ can do neither.

On top of that we also have a growing public health demand that cant happen if we are also buying guns and toys to blow up.

Surprisingly naive comment Steven. Point A) can easily met at reasonable cost even in NZ, just good talent to drive protections systems. Point B) is misplaced. NZ can never be able to fully defend itself, but it can play a part in a wider world that protects the values we hold as desirable. The alternative? Well, how well do you speak mandarin, Cantonese or Korean?

I suggest Winnie would make a fine Minister for Veterans Affairs, he certainly couldn't do worse that that sorry lot of labourites who were on the protest lines when the Vietnam vets came home, and later came into Government and continued to betray those same veterans when they began to suffer the consequences of that service as a result of GOVERNMENT POLICY to send them there in the first place!

I am not sure what you are classing as naive here. a) as in spend money on aircraft and tanks? physical defence is simply a Q of massive costs NZ could not meet, nor sustain. Also as I said does it even need to even if it could? "warfare" has moved on from guns etc. Even if it did revert to guns etc we'd couldnt stop say China coming here if they wanted to. In terms of cyberwarfare if the US cant even catch or stop Russian (or so it is assumed) interfering with their election what chance has NZ. In terms of IT talent, frankly it doesnt exists here in the scale needed, nor willingless to pay for it, I see that frequently.

b) as in Trump's "english"? yeah some protection that would be.

So frankly it is you who are naive.

PS Mandarin is the official chinese language, the other 2 dont matter. So while you might prefer someone else to be dead than you being red, for myself I'll learn Mandarin.

PS in terms of a) NZ has no strategic asset worth the cost of capturing with physical warfare means. Anyone with some economic understanding would see that with a constant trade deficit the countries with a trade surplus in effect bleed the others dry over time ie its much more profitable long term to be a parasite on a willing host.

No Cyber security can be provided at far less cost than "conventional military" units, and need not be carried out by a military unit. Economic warfare - is for the politicians to regulate and negotiate to ensure the people of this country are protected. Admittedly something our politicians have a record of failing dismally at.

A conventional military provides opportunity to participate in international, UN sanctioned actions around the world. This participation builds bonds that can endure for centuries. As Vietnam, and Iraq have demonstrated a lack of UN sanction tends to lock countries into a quagmire that is hard to extricate from.

The problem is politicians tend to use them for their own aggrandisement and thus the above follies and many others in history. Also today's commemoration (Paschendale) should be a reminder of the cost that political ties can draw one into events that have a huge cost.

I believe your point A was cyber and economic warfare steven. It wouldn't take much investment to develop both better cyber defense and attacks, we as a country are very creative, and a bit of spend in IT would go a long way in terms of cyber attacks/defense.

Who will patrol NZ's exclusive economic zone, and with what? China already has more boats illegally fishing than NZ has to try and stop them. I can't think of a country that could better leverage drones for such a purpose than NZ, with maybe a couple of Reapers mixed in for enforcement.

Interested to see how much satellite time costs to support your Reapers. Also Reapers have no airframe de-icing so can't operate in icing conditions and there is a lack of satellite coverage the further you head south, so they are unable to patrol the southern oceans (not that they had the range to do that anyway or out to the islands come to think of it). But other than that, yay reapers...

Now that's the kind of number eight wire, punching above our weight attitude I like to.. Wait.

So, a fleet of OPVs with embarked helicopters, then?

The old saying "better dead than red" is going to need a revisit these days, what with National having a Chinese party member in power and helping the Nats oversee the sell-off of integrated supply chain assets to the mother country.

WP, "veterans affairs" might indeed be a great place to put him, out of otherwise harms way.

Your fictional namesake was an idiot and I can we'll see why you chose it. What would constitute "strong,well equipped fighting force and just who would it be used against?

I have been in Canada for the last month and find it utterly ridiculous that Peters and his crew can dictate who the next government will be. What a shambles.give him a super gold card and pension the old buggier off.

By jingoes

I think ANZAC Day is probably enough of a remembrance day for WW1. Passchendaele will mean little to the latest generation of NZers. As for ANZAC Day I went to a dawn parade about three years ago and my what a maudlin experience it was. They need to jazz it up with some marching, drumming and cannon fire and more flags.

I agree with you Zach, but forget the pageantry. Its maudlin for a reason.