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PMs first step on world stage a concern

3 March 2000

PMs first step on world stage a concern

New Zealanders should be very concerned that in her first step on the world stage as Prime Minister, Miss Clark is being described in Australia as the 'flakiest Prime Minister since David Lange', says Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley.

The Australian media are also accusing New Zealand of being 'an utterly unreliable, flaky player in security, with no strategic compass, no grip, no sense of responsibility'.

"The Labour Government must urgently prove that they are committed to an integrated defence force and to a continued close association with Australia on security matters when they make their defence strategy decisions, before long term damage to New Zealand's reputation is done.

"The next two weeks will be critical, with the imminent release of the Quigley report on the F16's. The Opposition will be keeping a close eye on the Government to ensure that the Prime Minister keeps to the assurance she gave John Howard - that New Zealand would 'keep our end up' in the defence relationship with Australia," Mrs Shipley said.

Ends


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