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Brash, in his own words

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

22 July 2005
Media statement

Brash, in his own words

Notwithstanding his equivocation and evasion, Dr Brash has in his own words highlighted for New Zealanders the clear choice that they are offered at the next election, says Foreign Minister Phil Goff.

“New Zealanders are proud of the stands our country has taken over time in international affairs. They are proud that we express our own values and our own views as a country," Mr Goff said.

“Don Brash threatens our reputation as a country that holds independent and principled views.

“He equivocates on whether New Zealand’s nuclear free legislation would be replaced by a National government. But there was no such equivocation when he told a group of visiting US senators that it would be ‘gone by lunchtime'.

“On the issue of Iraq, Dr Brash has stated ‘I would have done what President Bush did’ and reiterated on several occasions that he supported the invasion of Iraq.

“Now he equivocates on whether he would, if Prime Minister, commit young New Zealanders to fight in Iraq. The question is not, as he alleges, now just a matter of history. The conflict with Iraq is on-going and in recent months has got worse. Australia earlier this year was prevailed upon to send further troops to Iraq and did so.

“There is a real prospect that Dr Brash, having repeatedly expressed his support for the war in Iraq, would as Prime Minister be asked to turn his words into action and put New Zealand troops into Iraq.

“ His refusal to state his position on this issue before the election when voters can take this into account suggests he is being deceptive, or he is indecisive, or both. Neither is a great credential for a man who wants to be Prime Minister.

“The fact that he has repeatedly equivocated on, and evaded answering, this question suggests that he has something to hide. The issue is not, as he alleges, a diversion. It is a serious foreign policy question on which New Zealanders are entitled to an answer.

“On education, Dr Brash let slip the ideological values that in recent months he has tried so hard to disguise. In stating ‘I don’t care who owns the schools’, Dr Brash is clearly signalling a willingness and desire to shift to private education that will come at the expense of support for New Zealand’s traditional public education system.

"These billboards don’t distort Dr Brash. They reveal in his own words his real beliefs and agenda that his minders have been trying for months to cover up.

“In his own words, Dr Brash indicates an ideology and agenda that is anything but mainstream,” Mr Goff said.


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