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Govt Misleading Public On Zimbabwe

27 June 2005

Govt misleading public on Zimbabwe

The Green Party has rejected the Government's claim that it is powerless to prevent the Black Caps' tour of Zimbabwe from going ahead.

"The ICC says it acknowledges the right of governments to impose sporting sanctions," Green Co-Leader Rod Donald said.

"It's time for our Government to adopt that course of action if it's serious about its opposition to the Mugabe regime. The Government should implement a comprehensive sporting boycott of Zimbabwe in light of that country's deteriorating human rights record.

"I urge Phil Goff to put pen to paper and tell the ICC and NZ Cricket that from now on, no cricketing ties between New Zealand and Zimbabwe will be tolerated. The ICC accepted the Indian Government's decision to do just this with respect to Pakistan, and I would be astonished if it ruled differently with respect to New Zealand and Zimbabwe.

"Taking this firm action would mean that the force majeure clause in NZ Cricket's contract would be invoked, allowing the tour to be cancelled at no financial penalty."

Mr Donald is also calling on the Government to release the legal advice it's using to justify its failure to intervene.

"The Government's approach to the Black Caps' tour to Zimbabwe appears to be based on legal advice that it has yet to release publicly. If it is confident that the legal advice bears scrutiny, then it should release it to the media so that it can be independently analysed. If it's not confident about the accuracy of its legal advice, then it should quickly reconsider its position.

"For weeks, the Government has said that it would have to revoke the passports of New Zealand cricketers in order to prevent the tour from going ahead. If this is the best legal advice the Government has got, then it completely lacks credibility.

"There is no record whatsoever of the Indian government having revoked the passports of its cricketers in order to impose a cricketing boycott on Pakistan. In fact, throughout the period of India's cricket boycott on Pakistan, its cricketers travelled the world freely playing cricket against other countries.

"It follows that no draconian measures such as revoking passports would be required to implement a complete cricket boycott against Zimbabwe."

ENDS


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