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Blunder Of Potentially Epic Proportions

Blunder Of Potentially Epic Proportions

Friday 30 Jul 2004 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Foreign Affairs & Defence

ACT New Zealand Foreign Affairs Spokesman Ken Shirley today noted with dismay Cabinet Minister Marian Hobbs' hosting of a special screening of Michael Moore's film `Fahrenheit 9/11' next Wednesday.

"I suspect Ms Hobbs has not thought this through," Mr Shirley said.

"Here we have a Cabinet Minister in the governing party of New Zealand hosting - presumably as a fundraiser - a special screening of a highly controversial film that cuts to the core of the US political divide running up to the presidential elections.

"This move has the potential to further sour our relationship with the US - particularly the Republican administration of the US which, following Prime Minister Helen Clark's Al Gore gaffe, could be excused for thinking that New Zealand's Labour Government is antagonistic towards them.

"Such a stance will certainly not assist any preliminary negotiations towards a free trade agreement.

"The Minister is well-known as a peace activist but, when she carries her responsibilities as Cabinet Minister, she should be more circumspect before aligning herself and her Cabinet with such a controversial and biased film," Mr Shirley said.


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