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NZ in chiller over foreign policies

Jenny Shipley Leader of the Opposition

10 August 2001

NZ in chiller over foreign policies

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's cancellation of his two-day visit to New Zealand in October is further evidence that New Zealand is being put in the chiller by Australia, Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"It is becoming increasingly obvious that the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia are making it clear that New Zealand's unwillingness to carry its share of the load is not going to go without consequence. "Blair's decision will be seen by many as distancing himself from the isolationist and narrow view that is being promoted in New Zealand.

"Two and a half years ago New Zealand was to be negotiating the pending Free Trade Agreement with Australia. Now Australia and the United States have been negotiating a Free Trade Agreement and New Zealand is totally out of the loop.

"The Howard Government warned there would be international consequences from the Clark Government's decision to rely on Australia for much of our defence needs. Tony Blair's cancellation is one of them.

"We have for some months been hearing informal messages out of Washington, the United Kingdom and the United States about the consequences of being distanced from our allies and trading partners. Labour must accept responsibility for this damaging and deteriorating situation," Jenny Shipley said.

Ends


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