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O'Connor Sitting Duck Over Whale Comments

West Coast Tasman MP Damien O'Connor is a 'sitting duck' for a Prime Ministerial edict censoring his comments supporting the World Council of Whalers Conference, Nelson MP Nick Smith said today.

The conference promotes the rights of indigenous people to whale and to trade in whale products.

"Ms Clark believes the World Council of Whalers has a much more sinister agenda and has made it clear that the Government doesn't welcome the World Council of Whalers Conference being held in this country.

"Just last week Ms Clark issued an edict preventing a Government Press Secretary from taking part in a panel at the conference. The Press Secretary resigned from his job the next day.

"Mr Goff was obviously given the same edict as he announced his intention to decline an invitation to speak at the conference late yesterday after refusing to commit to an answer last week.

"Damien O'Connor is on record saying he believes that the conference will allow New Zealand to 'reinforce our position as one of leading indigenous rights and entrenchment of those throughout the world'.

"When will the edict be issued to Mr O'Connor so he starts singing the Government line or has he been given an exemption for his good behaviour over the Government's forestry policy on the West Coast?" Dr Smith said.


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