Why New Zealand should have its own military parade

OPINION: New Zealand is being left behind when it comes to public displays of flexing our military muscle.

So is it time to get the biceps out, or, in our case, the supple deltoids of peace.

We used to have military parades all the time, but they stopped somewhere in between our post-World War II euphoria and the anti-war protests of Vietnam and anti-nuclear flotillas.

We've become a nation of the anti-military, even the NZ defence force doesn't use the word 'soldiers' anymore; it likes to describe them as 'peacekeepers'.

A good old fashioned war parade might use up some of those long neglected roles of khaki cloth at Spotlight as well.

Imagine Queen St awash with military spectacle, minus, of course, a few decimals on the state funding scale.

Who leads the parade?

We'll need a mighty band, and our military has plenty of them. There's an Air Force, Army and Navy band, but I think we'd need to modernise the beats to appeal to the war-sceptical younger generations.

Those military beats would need to be bangers, so Lorde, who is basically named after some old geezer with a moustache who probably fought in a war, is the perfect choice to lead the band.

Her song 'Green Light' would also be a nice fit because khaki is basically a shade of green.

Up next: a parade of soldiers, artillery pieces or tanks?

Nope. New Zealand's very own artillery projectile, Rocket Lab. Our outer space black beauty could even launch another Humanity Star during the parade, the world's first rocket launch form a slow-moving float. 

Any self-respecting military parade also needs a sky-tearing flyover of formidable air power.

Unfortunately, since Aunty Helen sold off our Skyhawk jet fighters and our aging squadrons of Hercules, Orions and 757s are struggling just to get out of bed, we'll need to find another alternative.

Thank god for Middle Earth.

Sir Peter Jackson has collected an entire squadron of working WWI fighters at his aerodrome near Blenheim, and in these heady times of WWI commemoration, his Sopwith Camels and Fokker Triplanes would make a fitting fly over.

What a possible recruitment poster could look like.
What a possible recruitment poster could look like. Photo credit: Newshub

So how to end the parade?

I really think the Government needs to be represented somewhere, so how about a special 'hearts and minds' float co-driven by Willie Apiata and Richie McCaw, and carrying defence minister Ron Mark and a heavily pregnant Jacinda Ardern.

Both Mark and Ardern would be dressed in full military regalia of course, with Mark holding the $20b cheque book he has to restock New Zealand's rusting war machines.

The Prime Minister will surely be looking to cross a few zeros off that chequebook however, by the time the parade ends somewhere down around Britomart.

Tony Wright is a feature writer and producer for Newshub.