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Blood money should be refused

Blood money should be refused

Green MP Keith Locke is disappointed New Zealand hasn't been blacklisted for contracts to reconstruct Iraq.

United States Deputy Director of Defence Paul Wolfowitz has announced that critics of the war will be excluded from $NZ28.5 billion worth of contracts funded by the US Congress.

"We should turn down any of the prime contracts offered by the US in solidarity with France and Germany, who have been excluded because of their opposition to the war," said Mr Locke, Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson.

"The shameful thing is that New Zealand isn't on the blacklist, and it gives a lie to Helen Clark's pronouncements that in sending army engineers to Iraq we were not supporting the war and the subsequent US and British occupation.

"France and Germany, who give civilian aid to Iraq are blacklisted, whereas we are to be offered contracts because we have sent military personnel. In Mr Wolfowitz's statement we are listed as a 'force contributing nation'.

"This reinforces what the Greens have said from the beginning, that any New Zealand reconstruction aid should be through civilian agencies, not as part of the US and British military occupation force.

"Being left off the blacklist makes a mockery of New Zealand's antiwar stand.

"To accept a contract from US-run Coalition Provisional Authority now would be accepting blood money and giving support to the illegal war and the on-going occupation.

"The Government should make sure New Zealand firms don't bid for any of the contracts on offer, and refuse any if they are offered.

"Germany and France, who we added our voice to in opposing the war, have been sidelined. Even if only for solidarity we should stand with our diplomatic allies," said Mr Locke.

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