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Unwise Shipley on flimsy ground

29 March 2000

Unwise Shipley on flimsy ground

The Minister in charge of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, Helen Clark, said today she deplored the trivial politicisation of security issues by the Leader of the Opposition.

"By attacking Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton over the Alliance's intention to vote against one subclause in the Radiocommunications Amendment Bill, Mrs Shipley is setting off down a new and dangerous path," Helen Clark said.

"Traditionally in the New Zealand Parliament the two major parties have handled security issues in a measured manner.

"As Leader of the Opposition I did not politicise security issues and I am surprised that Mrs Shipley now choosing to do so on a flimsy pretext.

"Her argument that Mr Anderton is not fit to sit on Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee is without foundation. When Bill English was health minister, his strong anti-abortion views did not prevent him from presiding over a health system offering abortion services.

"There is a majority for the disputed clause in the Radiocommunications Amendment Bill. What is different about this government is that we don't try and bludgeon people into voting for measures they do not agree with.

"If Mrs Shipley and her colleagues had been mindful of that, they might still be presiding over a coalition government," Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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