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NZ and Australia part ways

NZ and Australia part ways

The developing gulf between New Zealand and Australia on security and intelligence issues is sobering when both countries are about to again recognise their closeness during previous wars, says National Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dr Wayne Mapp.

An incisive article in the Sydney Morning Herald today says the countries are "increasingly ... going their own ways on security and intelligence issues" and that New Zealand's decision to back away from the coalition of the willing was "a surprising stance for a physically isolated nation of just under 4 million inhabitants". "It is ironic that New Zealanders all over the country will be commemorating Anzac Day in just a couple of days. On Friday we will all again remember the strong bond of New Zealanders standing alongside Australians in battle.

"As this article points out though, things have changed because the Prime Minister opted New Zealand out of the coalition of the willing, when we should have been standing alongside Australia, Britain and the United States to liberate Iraq.

"That decision, even before Helen Clark's hopeless apology debacle, writes off New Zealand developing a better relationship with the United States, including any improved security arrangement. A free trade agreement with the US is off the agenda so long as Helen Clark is the Prime Minister.

"It is ironic that our international relations have deteriorated to such a point under the current Government, that a few days before Anzac Day we have to deal with these issues rather than focus on remembrance," says Dr Mapp.

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