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Govt needs to get creative to stop Zimbabwe tour

Govt needs to get creative to stop Zimbabwe tour

The Greens are proposing a creative way to get the Black Caps' tour of Zimbabwe called off at no financial penalty to NZ Cricket.

"The Government seems unwilling to explore all avenues open to it to give effect to New Zealanders' overwhelming opposition to the Black Caps' tour of Zimbabwe," Co-Leader Rod Donald says.

"We have taken legal advice which suggests there are creative ways for the Government to prohibit the Black Caps' tour of Zimbabwe without draconian steps such as withholding passports.

"One such creative measure to give effect to the sports boycott we have been calling for would be to inform NZ Cricket that its government funding would be withheld if the Black Caps' tour to Zimbabwe went ahead.

"The purpose of doing this would not be to punish NZ Cricket, but to get it off the hook. Our legal advice suggests that placing a restriction on government funding could be enough to invoke the force majeure clause in NZ Cricket's contract, thus allowing it to pull out of the Zimbabwe tour without financial penalty.

"The New Zealand Government provides funding for many national sporting bodies, including NZ Cricket, through Sports and Recreation NZ (SPARC). In addition to declaring a comprehensive sporting boycott on Zimbabwe, the Government should direct SPARC to withhold funding from any sporting bodies that sent teams to Zimbabwe."

Mr Donald called on Foreign Affairs Minister Goff to publicly release the legal advice he is relying on to claim the Government is unable to block the tour.

"Mr Goff keeps repeating that he has legal advice which suggests the Government is powerless to stop the tour, yet he has so far refused to release that advice to the public. He is being evasive on this issue, but the public has a right to know how good the information is that the Government is basing its decisions on.

"The Government should be searching for ways to stop the tour, not merely pontificating. The legal advice on which its decision is based needs to be opened up to the public so our country's best legal minds can try to find creative ways to get NZ Cricket off the Zimbabwe hook," says Mr Donald.

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