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New Zealand Thumbs its Nose at Friends

New Zealand Thumbs its Nose at Friends

Tuesday 8th May 2001 Gerry Eckhoff Media Release -- Other

The Coalition Government has taken a major step to non-alignment and isolationism, ACT Defence Spokesman MP Owen Jennings said today.

“Helen Clark has thumbed her nose at Australia, the nations of the Five Power Defence Arrangement, the United States and the rest of the western nations.

“Collective security has been the important basis for New Zealand’s defence for over fifty years. Now that has been abandoned. New Zealand has taken the dangerous, unprecedented step of breaking the strong arrangements that have demonstrated our commitment to international security.

“ACT believes the decimation of the airforce and the navy planned by this Coalition Government is an act of irresponsibility, letting down our allies and friends.

“There will be consequences from this ideological experiment. Every exporter will know instinctively that their interests have been betrayed today.

“We cannot expect to free-load on security and not pay the cost. This extraordinary measure is being railroaded through by the Coalition Government without public consultation. To contend that consultation that took place under a previous Government about different priorities is a travesty.

“The Coalition Government is resorting to smoke and mirrors. There is, in fact, no extra money being allocated to defence compared to past commitments.

“This is a sad day for New Zealand. A country that has proudly pulled its weight internationally and regionally has snubbed its friends and turned its back on its past sacrifices given in blood and tears,” Owen Jennings said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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