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Boo Boo Of Epic Proportions

Boo Boo Of Epic Proportions

Friday 4 Jun 2004

Ken Shirley - Press Releases - Foreign Affairs & Defence

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley today demanded that Prime Minister Helen Clark publicly explain whether slinging insults at both New Zealand and the US was acceptable behaviour for an Acting Foreign Affairs Minister.

"Yesterday, Minister Marian Hobbs dismissed public support for scrapping the ban on nuclear-propelled ship visits, and effectively painted the New Zealand public as unprincipled and greedy:

`...we believe in the multi-lateral institutions, not let's be friends with the United States because they are the biggest in the world and will provide us with all the goodies ... if the reason for going for nuclear propulsion (is a trade deal) I think that is a step down the greasy slope of being subservient to American foreign policy ...'

"Equally her analogy of NZ being a pimple on a US pumpkin is offensive to both nations.

"This is outrageous. After a recent poll revealed that most New Zealanders support changes to our fundamentally flawed nuclear policy, the Minister is basically telling the country that the Labour Government has no intention of abandoning its staunch anti-American stance.

"At the same time, she makes Kiwis look as though they don't really know what they're talking about, while painting the US as some sort of evil entity trying to buy the souls of the New Zealand public.

"The fact of the matter is that New Zealand is suffering because of Clause 11 of our nuclear-free legislation. Thanks to this Labour Government we are becoming increasingly alienated from our traditional allies, and have been overlooked for inclusion in a FTA with the US.

"By using such intemperate and foolhardy language, the Minister has demonstrated that diplomacy certainly is not her strongpoint, and that Labour still adheres to Prime Minister Helen Clark's staunch anti-American ideology - regardless of what the public wants.

"While it is doubtful the Prime Minister will have anything constructive to say on the nuclear issue, New Zealanders still deserve an explanation for Ms Hobbs' behaviour. We need to know if the Minister currently handling our foreign affairs actually knows what she's doing and, if the Prime Minister agrees with her sentiments," Mr Shirley said.

ENDS

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