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Govt Should Reconsider Stance On Zimbabwe Tour Law

Govt Should Reconsider Its Stance On Zimbabwe Tour Legislation

The Green Party is urging the Government to reconsider its stance on passing legislation to make the Black Caps' tour of Zimbabwe illegal.

A meeting between New Zealand diplomats and the International Cricket Council in London overnight resolved that the only way the tour could be stopped would be the passing of legislation to make it illegal.

"There is still time for the Government to reconsider the option of legislating to stop the tour," Green Co-Leader Rod Donald said. "The Green Party has drafted the Zimbabwe Sporting Sanction Bill, which could be passed under urgency when Parliament resumes in just over a week.

"I'm asking the Government to take a fresh look at the Bill because it now looks like the only way we can stop the tour, which is what the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders want."

Mr Donald said he believed the public would support a Government decision to pass legislation to stop the tour.

"Public opposition to the tour is enormous, and has got even stronger this week as Zimbabwean human rights activists Henry Olonga and Judith Todd have brought the anti-tour message directly to Kiwis up and down the country.

"Helen Clark and Phil Goff should feel confident that, if they decided to pass legislation to stop the tour, the public would swing in behind them and see the decision for what it would be: a slap in the face for Robert Mugabe."

Mr Donald said he hoped the Government would urgently seek legal advice on how legislation could be passed which was consistent with the Bill of Rights Act.

"I can understand that the Government is concerned that it doesn't want to appear to be infringing on Kiwis' fundamental human rights. However, I believe there are ways for us to legislate which are entirely consistent with our Bill of Rights Act."

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