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Plight of Zimbabwe farmers and their families

Release: Richard Prebble

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs
PARLIAMENT HOUSE

Dear Minister

Plight of Zimbabwe farmers and their families

I write to raise with you my concern that your Government has waited until the Prime Minister reached London to make any statement about the horrendous plight of the white Zimbabwe farmers and their families under siege from President Mugabe and blacks invading their farms.

Two farmers have been brutally murdered and hundreds terrorised and forced from their land in the time it has taken for New Zealand to make any response on the situation. Indeed, the situation in Zimbabwe is now bordering on anarchy.

It was not until yesterday that the Government even hinted that it had a position on the issue or that any consideration had been given to offering a safe haven in New Zealand to farmers and their families fleeing the persecution.

I note that a letter from ACT MP Owen Jennings to you asking for the Government’s policy and position remains unanswered.

New Zealand has a proud tradition of taking a leadership role in the Commonwealth and the world to uphold the rule of law and to protect the innocent. We should do so again in this case.

The terror of Zimbabwe is being felt by friends and families in New Zealand who need to be reassured that this Government will do all it can through diplomacy and through offering a safe haven for farmers and their families needing to flee the violence.

I understand you are saying New Zealand is prepared to take some of the farmers and their families who need to escape. What is required from your Government now is a statement that clearly sets out what help New Zealand will be offering. These people need help now, not later.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely

Hon Richard Prebble, CBE LEADER, ACT NEW ZEALAND

c.c. Rt Hon Helen Clark, Prime Minister – Copy for your information.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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