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Shipley's criticisms ridiculous and bizarre

26 February 2001 Media Statement

Shipley's criticisms ridiculous and bizarre

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today that National leader Jenny Shipley's criticism of the new New Zealand-Australia social security agreement was simply ridiculous.

"Mrs Shipley doesn't seem to know what she is talking about.

"If she seriously believes that the renegotiating of the trans-Tasman social security agreement represents a worsening of the New Zealand-Australia relationship, then perhaps she should explain why the agreement was renegotiated twice – in 1994 and 1996 – under National.

"More importantly, the negotiations concluded today began she was Prime Minister, in August 1999.

"Perhaps Mrs Shipley is suggesting that the New Zealand welfare system should continue to support not only New Zealanders in New Zealand, but New Zealanders living overseas now and for all time?

"Given her record as the person whose name is synonymous with the slashing of benefits and superannuation, that would be truly bizarre.

"Her criticisms only further outline that, once again, she knows very little about what she is talking about," Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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