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Brash promise unwise and ill thought-out

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

30 June 2005

Brash promise unwise and ill thought-out

Foreign Minister Phil Goff says National's promise to pay millions of taxpayers' dollars to Zimbabwe if the cricket tour does not go ahead is unwise and ill thought-out.

"Dr Brash is effectively promising to write a cheque to the Mugabe regime for the privilege of not touring his country.

"And it would not be a cheque for just $2.8 million. That $2.8 million is the minimum payment. With all other foregone profits, including international television rights, the payment demanded could be tens of millions of dollars.

"By making this promise, Dr Brash is undermining New Zealand's submissions to the ICC that no such payments should have to be made. No team should be compelled to tour a country in the midst of savage human rights abuses, and there should be no penalty for not doing so. Dr Brash is effectively telling the ICC that New Zealand is willing to pay the money.

"By offering in advance to underwrite the payment of any demands for compensation by the Zimbabweans, Dr Brash is effectively inviting them to pad out the supposed loss of profits which would be incurred by the tour not proceeding.

"This is not a simply a case of an Opposition party promising to pay for anything and everything asked of it, though of course National has already made $7.5 billion of promises.

"This is an inept, foolish and utterly premature undertaking by National that will have Zimbabwe laughing all the way to the bank," Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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