Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Don’t put more Kiwi troops at risk

Don’t put more Kiwi troops at risk

The Green Party is delighted by the safe return of the New Zealand army contingent from Iraq but is calling on the Government not to put more Kiwi lives at risk just to shore-up relations with the White House.

“Our engineers deserve praise for the good work they did in Iraq,” said Green Co-leader, Rod Donald. “They carried out their reconstruction tasks in a thoroughly professional manner that will have impressed those Iraqis they came in contact with.

“But to the vast number of Iraqis in Basra they will have been just another unit in the British force that invaded and now occupies their country. The irony is, our engineers have been busy reconstructing the very infrastructure that their British and American colleagues blasted to smithereens.

“The New Zealand Government tried to placate George Bush for not backing his illegal invasion, by joining his ‘coalition of the willing’ after the event. It provided Mr Bush with some much-needed international support and it keeps alive our Government’s hope of an invitation to future trade talks.

“Unfortunately it also presents al-Qaeda with another potential target in this part of the world. When Iraq’s interim prime Minister, Iyad Allawi warned that Iraqi terrorists would ‘go to New Zealand’ he wasn’t suggesting they’d drop by to offer us flowers and thanks for all the help in rebuilding Basra’s water supply.

“To Mr Allawi, to al-Qaeda, to the people of Iraq and the rest of the Muslim world, New Zealand’s presence in Iraq was a military one. Our unit, however small and however well-intentioned, was a component of the British army of occupation, itself just a part of the hated US military machine.

“This Government’s desperate search for favour with Washington has already involved us in the increasingly dirty war in Afghanistan. Again, the great work of our reconstruction team in that country is being undone by the involvement of our SAS troops in brutal US military operations.

“The Green Party supports our highly skilled and dedicated carrying out reconstruction projects in Iraq and Afghanistan at some time in the future - but not as part of an army of occupation, but rather as invited and honoured guests of the people they are there to help.”

Green health spokesperson, Sue Kedgley also welcomed back the Iraqi engineers, but offered a note of warning about their possible exposure to depleted uranium.

“Basra has some of the highest exposure levels in Iraq, dating from the time of the first Gulf War,” said Ms Kedgley. “The Government is to be commended for offering free tests for the returning troops, but these tests have to be on-going as the horrible effects of depleted uranium can take many years to surface.”

Ms Kedgley called on the Government to offer the same free treatment and monitoring services as that made available to Vietnam veterans who had been exposed to Agent Orange.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election