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Clark's Gaffes Mean Goff Should Take Over

Clark's Gaffes Mean Goff Should Take Over Says Peters

New Zealand First has urged Helen Clark to hand all matters of foreign affairs and trade to her Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff who has a safer pair of hands in international matters.

Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters said today that Miss Clark’s repeated gaffes about the United States and Britain in relation to the Iraq issue have severely damaged New Zealand’s position in international affairs – particularly in America.

“It was not wrong to come out against the invasion of Iraq but it was stupid of her to make comments about what would have happened if Al Gore had been president, about the war not going to plan and other unfortunate remarks.”

Mr Peters said that Phil Goff had been far more measured and circumspect with his comments – as befitting a foreign affairs spokesperson – and the Prime Minister should have let him handle the issue at press conferences.

“Helen Clark spoke standing up, off the cuff without any thought and captured bad headlines for New Zealand around the world.

“Mr Goff did not make the same mistakes and while we do not necessarily agree with him over all issues he generally keeps his feet out of his mouth on the world stage. We suggest that he start trying to clean up the mess left by his leader,” said Mr Peters.

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