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Brash welcomes new tsunami aid


10 January 2005

Brash welcomes new tsunami aid

National Party Leader Don Brash says he welcomes word of increased aid to tsunami-devastated Asia and hopes the new package will be more in line with New Zealanders' expectations.

He is commenting on an announcement this morning from Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff that a new aid package is expected to be announced within a week.

"The outpouring of donations from New Zealanders to those devastated by the Boxing Day tsunami makes me proud to be a New Zealander," says Dr Brash.

"But, to date, the Labour Government has been less than generous with its offering - equating to just $2.45 per person, compared with the Australian Government's contribution of $57.25 per person, and Japan's of $5.64 per person.

"I would be the last person to argue for frivolous Government spending but this is one of those cases where the Government response has been inadequate. New Zealanders are a generous people and would expect their Government to be more forthcoming.

"Many other countries have also announced a national day of mourning for the victims of the disaster. In the United States, all flags are to be flown at half-mast for a week. No such measures have been taken here.

"And to add to the national embarrassment, both of the Hercules transports sent to help broke down shortly after arriving in Indonesia. Labour made a calculated decision to downgrade the Air Force, a decision which has come back to haunt them.

"It's time for Helen Clark to acknowledge the enormity of the disaster by getting serious about our commitment to the rebuilding, and by ensuring we have the capacity to respond to future tragedies," says Dr Brash.

ENDS

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