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Slanging matches no way to improve US/NZ relations

Dunne: slanging matches not the way to improve US/NZ relations

United Future leader, Peter Dunne, today called for an end to public slanging matches by both the left and the right of the political spectrum if the relationship between New Zealand and the United States is to be greatly improved.

Mr Dunne, who also chairs Parliament's select committee on foreign affairs, defence and trade, said what was needed now was 'hard behind-the-scenes work, not a lot of bellowing back and forth' if the two countries were to get back to their formerly warm and friendly relations.

"Naturally, New Zealanders want to retain their own sovereignty and to make their own decisions, but that does not exclude our working very hard to stay friends.

"Let's take a reality check. New Zealand survives by world trade. The United States is the world's biggest economy. We need them more than they need us. It's just commonsense that we use every positive endeavour to make sure the USA regards us warmly.

"The political bellowing from all sides of the last couple of weeks has done nothing for United States-New Zealand relations, and is becoming tiresome and pathetic.

"I commend Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton and his officials for the work they are putting in already and I urge them to redouble their efforts for the greater benefit of all New Zealanders.

"In the end, actions always speak louder than words," said Mr Dunne.

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