Winston Peters says Government's $2.3 billion Poseidon aircraft spend avoids New Zealand ‘bludging on others’

Winston Peters has defended the Government's $2.3 billion purchase of Poseidon aircraft as an upgrade that will prevent existing military aircraft "plumeting out of the sky" and stop New Zealand "bludging on others all the time" in military operations.

Speaking on TVNZ1's Breakfast today the Acting Prime Minister also denied the purchase of the "submarine killing" Poseidon aircraft did not mark a transition from a New Zealand defensive military strategy to an offensive strategy.

"That's not correct. The previous utilities that we're using right now have that capability as well," Mr Peters said.

"What we're doing of course is ensuring that we are going to make the replacement changes as soon as we possibly can so that one doesn't go plummeting out of the sky at great loss to New Zealand."

The NZ First leader said all the Government has done in the purchase is "upgrade equipment that we've had around for some cases 50 years" and the $2.3 billion cost of the aircrafts would be spread over the next 35-years.

Mr Peters was also open about the fact New Zealand has "always chosen sides" in the US-China conflict, by the purchase of the US made Boeing Poseidon aircraft.

Mr Peters also denied New Zealand was eroding trust with our major trading partner, China, in the defence spend.

"Look, the Chinese ambassador made a statement the other day, and if I'm to read it correctly she is saying very clearly on behalf of her country that they don't engage in those sorts of practices, so I think the reaction for the media in this country has been some what over-empahsised when it comes to China's reaction."

The Acting PM has spoken about the Government’s huge defence spend on Poseidon aircraft. Source: Breakfast

Apartment builds likely to slow in Auckland over next 2-3 years

The number of apartments being built in Auckland is likely to slow down soon, the Auckland Property Investors Association warns, as the market flattens out for the next few years.

A report from commercial real estate group CBRE said while the number of apartments being built looks to be increasing year-on-year, the boom will likely not last long.

About 2700 new apartments will be completed in Auckland this year, up from 1650 last year, and about 3300 should be completed next year.

"Despite strong growth in the level of building consents to date, it appears that changes in the development market environment mean that continued growth is not sustainable," the report says.

The report said there have been much fewer new projects launched within the past year or so, and that "there is serious potential for the pipeline to shrink further unless there is a material increase in new project launches."

Speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast, APIA's President Andrew Bruce said the market is "cyclical" and that he wouldn't be surprised to see another 2-3 years of a flat market.

"In terms of building these larger-scale apartments, they can take four, five, six years from the time you've actually got the land under contract, through to when you actually get your resource consents, you design it up, you get your feasibilities and then you try to get your pre-sales," he said.

"Generally the property market works on about 7-10 year cycles so I wouldn't at all be surprised to see a flat market for the next 2-3 years.

"As this report has said, we're not likely to see too many more new big apartment complexes come on stream in this part of the cycle."

Andrew Bruce of the Auckland Property Investors Association says it could easily be another 2-3 years of a flat market. Source: Breakfast