Now landsmen all, whoever you may be, If you want to rise to the top of the tree, If your soul isn’t fettered to an office stool, Be careful to be guided by this golden rule. Stick close to your desks and never go to sea, And you all may be rulers of the Queen’s Navee!   HMS Pinafore Gilbert and Sullivan

“May our mountains ever be   Freedom’s ramparts on the sea…”  Because our newest patrol boats won’t be. They haven’t made it to sea in years, HMNZS Pukaki since the end of 2012 and Taupo since 2013.*

The in-shore patrol vessels entered into service in 2009 as part of the late Labour Government’s $500 million naval protection project, but recent Defence Force statistics show that they’ve been tied up and the project also jettisoned.

The Defence Minister has blamed the previous Government for buying the two vessels, calling them “unsuitable” for the rough New Zealand seas. Another opinion is that the two boats don’t have the trained crew needed to run them.

Either way it’s a very thrifty situation which will help balance the budget. First ships without crews, next hospitals without patients and schools without students. The sky’s the limit in terms of economising on labour and Labour costs, though it may not extend to a parliament without MPs.

All grist to the mill of the Labour Party’s Future of Work Commission.

A less than saline solution is to avoid sea water entirely, in order to reduce the rust ratio and also to avoid nasty rough seas, by having each boat patrol the lakes after which they were named.

Each boat would first need to be converted to an aquatic drone guided by a combination of automatic sensors, smart robots and dry land-based Navy desk jockeys, G&S style.

A new policy of inland naval deterrence would deter jet boat and jet ski speeding  on both lakes while flushing out freedom campers on the shoreline. Unused cabin space could be pressed into service in the Peak Chinese Tourist Season.

This would be a world class triple bottom line outcome without any fishhooks.


#Lyall Lukey 24 April 2016  My other (slightly) more serious blog


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