Where To Now Mr Goff?
12 July 2000
WHERE TO NOW, MR GOFF?
United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says George Speight's apparent total victory in the Fijian coup leaves New Zealand looking silly.
“For weeks, Foreign Minister Phil Goff has railed against Speight and his cohorts as thugs and terrorists, and threatened all sorts of strong retributive action.”
“However, now that they seem to have won he seems reduced to lamenting the fact and talking about New Zealand not cutting off its nose to spite its face in terms of dealing with the new regime.”
“He has been left looking rather silly – the Minister who was all bluster and threat, but who caved in once the coupsters prevailed,” Mr Dunne says.
Mr Dunne says the turmoil in Fiji is unacceptable by any democratic standard, and New Zealand should take a strong ongoing stand to express its disapproval.
“At the very least we should suspend diplomatic links and cut all aid programmes until democratic government is restored.”
“That would show the Fijians the extent of our disapproval of Speight’s actions.”
“However, at the moment, because New Zealand’s actions have failed to match Mr Goff’s rhetoric we end up looking silly – the Pacific easybeats who can be relied on to always talk tough but do nothing when the crunch comes.”
“Well done, Mr Goff, you have made what should have been a humiliation for Fiji a humiliation for New Zealand instead,” he says.