The New Zealand Government has decided to abandon attempts to sell the 17 Royal Air Force (RNZAF) mothballed Skyhawk fighter jets, Defence Minister Wayne Mapp has said.

“Every effort has been made to sell the fleet, but no acceptable offers have been received,” he added.

The RNZAF’s strike wing was scrapped by the previous government in 2001 and since then attempts to sell the fleet has failed to attract a buyer.

Of the 17 planes, eight will be offered to museums in New Zealand and one in Australia for heritage and display purposes.

The remaining aircraft are likely to be reduced to spares, which could be sold overseas.

Since they were decommissioned, the storage and maintenance of Skyhawks has cost $34m.