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Prebble Gets It Wrong

“Be afraid – be very afraid – if Richard Prebble were ever to get close to the foreign affairs portfolios,” says Disarmament minister Matt Robson from Mexico today.

“Richard Prebble’s lack of knowledge when it comes to New Zealand’s role in the world is alarming.

“He is cavalier about New Zealand’s nuclear free policy, and doesn’t care if ships carrying nuclear weapons come here or not – he certainly doesn’t care if nuclear powered ships come into our harbours.

“And he appears to be under the illusion that we’re in a defence alliance with Egypt.

“If Mr Prebble can get such basic facts wrong, imagine the unthinkable - a National/Act government with Richard Prebble as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“For the record – (and for Mr Prebble) - New Zealand is a founding member of the New Agenda, which is a collection of countries committed to working towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.

“The New Agenda was founded in 1998 when National’s Don McKinnon was New Zealand’s Disarmament minister (someone should tell Bill English, who seems intend on sabotaging New Zealand’s nuclear free policy too).

“This means New Zealand works with the leaders of countries like Ireland, Sweden, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and Egypt towards nuclear disarmament.

“For the record we do have defence relationships with many countries, including Australia and the United States. We also willingly carry out our defence obligations to the United Nations,” says Matt Robson.

Matt Robson was talking from Mexico where he is representing New Zealand as the Minister in charge of aid at the United Nation conference on Financing for Development.

Ends

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