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Lay Off Locke!

Media Release

14 March 2001


LAY OFF LOCKE!

At a time when Major McNutt’s family are endeavoring to come to terms with the loss of their loved one, Mr Keith Locke’s comments display a degree of insensitivity which is enormously regretful said Ron Mark MP, the New Zealand First Spokesman for Defence.

“There may well be a time when you can discuss your views of New Zealand’s participation in any of the 27 international operations that New Zealand Defence Force personnel are deployed on. But now is not the time to be demeaning or questioning the value of a deceased soldier’s contribution to a mission given to him by his government,” said Ron Mark.

“Service personnel like Major McNutt do not question the government’s intentions or political objectives, they simply do their best to understand and implement them - often whilst risking their own lives.

“When the worst happens, rather than seizing the opportunity to use the tragedy to highlight or champion a particular political mantra, it would be more appropriate that Mr Locke consider the effect that his comments may have on the family of the soldier.

“For Mr Locke to be sending messages to the bereaved family that their loved one’s death was pointless or of no value, is inappropriate, regretful, and heartless,” said Mr Mark.

ENDS

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