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PM should focus on the issues, not personal abuse

Rt Hon Jenny Shipley
Leader of the Opposition
Thursday 28 September

PM should focus on the issues, not personal abuse

Helen Clark should deal with the issues confronting New Zealand and stop abusing anyone who has a contrary point of view to her Government, Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"Her suggestion that I was sabotaging her meeting with the Australian Prime Minister is ridiculous and shows a degree of paranoia.

"Three key issues - defence, currency union and immigration policy - which I have commented on after my meetings have all been widely discussed in the media in recent weeks.

"All three issues have been the subject of sharp public comments by Australian Ministers since mid-August. To have three such comments made publicly by Australian Ministers is unusual: John Moore on the decision of the New Zealand Government not to proceed with the Orions' upgrade; Peter Costello on New Zealand's interest in entering into a currency union; and Philip Ruddock on the risks to Australia as a result of the immigration amnesty announced by the New Zealand Government last week.

"The concerns and anxieties publicly expressed by Australian Ministers were naturally discussed in my meetings yesterday.

"All three are significant in terms of New Zealand's future economic and regional stability and success.

"I call on Helen Clark to debate the important issues of New Zealand's long -term defence arrangements between New Zealand and Australia and encourage her to facilitate public debate rather than abuse people like me who raise the issues," Mrs Shipley said.

Ends


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