New Zealand is a small Island country with a rather extensive coastline being long and skinny.
We have an EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) of 200 Nautical Miles. Which means New Zealand is required to look after and control this part of the world's ocean. 200 Nautical Miles from any New Zealand Coastline including the Chatham Islands, and the Kermadec Islands.
Who do we have looking out for them? Who do we turn to when in time of Need? We'll look into this.
The Coastguard has a vast setup with Regional Coastguards up and down the country. Coastguard is manned by Volunteers, and largely funded by the public. Whilst they provide a great service for what they do, They have a restriction of 12 Nautical Miles from a New Zealand Coastline. This is predominately because of the class of Vessels they operate.
Coastguard provide Search and Rescue functions along with other maritime Duties, including changing crew on larger vessels, supporting police in other maritime roles. and more. But there limitations means they don't cover much Ocean.
Who else could provide the services? Military?
Whilst the Military (Airforce and Navy) also do cover numerous tasks including Border Patrol, Search and Rescues etc. The Military can only act on Domestic Duties upon request from another agency.
The airforce own and operate 6 Airforce Orian's Specifically engineered for Search and Rescue, Border Patrol and other such events. However, our Airforce is under-resourced and has only the amount of resources to ever have 2 Airforce Orians in the air at any given time. This is alarming as the EEZ is so large.
The Navy operates a wide range of vessels and owns numerous inshore patrol vessels designed to cover the EEZ. However, some of these specifically designed vessels haven't left the wharf for years.
Then we hear about people disappearing and may have left to go to Australia and maybe held up there etc. Well newsflash. If people can leave unnoticed, then guess what, yes you guessed it, they can Arrive Unnoticed. This is highly alarming considering the way the world is today. The technology and the options are certainly there. But it requires investment from Central Government both Financially and with Personel
We have all the security at the Airport now, that I don't think a Terrorist would arrive in New Zealand by plane, but by Boat. But that's not all. If we can't locate when someone is leaving then how do we know when someone is arriving? Or Arriving and then Leaving again?
My Suggestion is we need to create an Armed Guard (Coast Guard) or something to work as an in-between Police and our Current Coastguard. This would help with numerous options including, Border Patrol, Search and Rescue, Fisheries Management, Harbour Management, Protection of submarine cables and more.
First published by D Blair, Hamilton @ 09:32PM 02/01/2017 Last updated @ 09:32PM 02/01/2017