Ukraine’s heroic president Zelenskyy has won worldwide acclaim for his staunch defence of his country. Turning down an offer of safe passage out of the war zone from the USA and friends, Zelenskyy has vowed to fight to the finish alongside his countrymen against the Russian invaders.
He says the best thing supportive countries can do is supply munitions. His commitment has spawned a worldwide meme supporting Ukraine: “We need ammo, not a ride”.
Even the famous US gunmaker Remington has picked up the call, selling T shirts with the slogan: ‘All profits to aid Ukraine’.
So what has innovative little old NZ done? Our PM, after talking with Zelenskyy and hearing that he needs arms and munitions…she doles out $5 million bucks. Cash is next to useless for Ukraine in its hour of need. The President clearly said that he needed arms.
NZ apparently has a cache of useful munitions, including the devastatingly effect Javelin missiles that have wreaked havoc on Russian tanks.
Does NZ give any to Ukraine? Ah, no. Just the measly cash. A fraction of what this government has frittered away on any number of wasted causes.
Ardern’s supposed reason for playing dog-in-the-manger with useful weapons is that it apparently takes three years to get new ones.
So when, exactly, is NZ likely to need tank-destroying missiles in the next three years…or ever, for that matter? They are most likely going to sit gathering dust till their expiry date and be wasted.
Not only that, my well-informed defence sources tell me that there are other, more modern guided missile options available that are more advanced and will be available in about eight months that would be perfect replacements.
And we have such a namby pamby approach to confrontations we’re unlikely to ever fire one in anger. We, as a country, took 23 long days to turf a bunch of disorganised antivaxxers (or whatever they were supposed to represent), off the Parliament front lawn.
I can’t see Australia or the Chathams invading us between now and Christmas, so there’s not any rush to replace those missiles, plus it makes an easy upgrade opportunity for us; if we think we still need tank-destroying armaments. The tenacious Ukraine fighters are well accustomed to using the Javelin and this would be the perfect way for NZ to help.
It’s ridiculous that the PM could swipe aside a genuine call for arms from a desperate democracy, try to brush it under the mat by waving a bit of cash, like a bogan parent trying to get rid of pestering kids by dishing out the parking meter money so they can go down the corner shop and buy lollies.
Or, ironically, jet planes.
NZ needs to grow a pair and offer meaningful support, urgently, not play stingy politics with loose change.
We have the exact weapons sitting around going mouldy, that are vital to the Ukraine defence effort and the least we could do is give the man the ammo.
That’s what he needs, not a ride – and certainly not the insulting cash.
Thanks for your letters
Lastly, thanks to all of you who made the effort to write in Letters to Editor in the last few weeks. We’ve had a barrage of response to Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s decision to delay Local Body Elections for the Tauranga City Council until July 2024. See our Letters pages 10-11 and also check out Sunlive.co.nz and click the ‘Letters’ tab to find those we couldn’t squeeze in this week. You can throw your view into the mix at: firstname.lastname@example.org