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Nats desperate to avoid foreign policy debate

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs

7 September 2005 Media Statement

Nats desperate to avoid foreign policy debate


National is so desperate to avoid a debate on foreign policy that Lockwood Smith is denying his party's policy is much different from Labour's, Foreign Minister Phil Goff today.

"Two days ago, National sneaked out its foreign policy on its website without a press statement, hoping it would not be noticed," Mr Goff said.

"Lockwood Smith's comment today is a long way from the truth. Time and again National has exposed itself as privately having a different agenda – on dumping New Zealand's nuclear-free policy; on committing troops to the war on Iraq, and on withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol.

"In line with the leaked email from its advisers that National needed to be 'sloppy, soft and wet', it is trying to project an image quite different from the reality.

"It talks about not changing the nuclear ships policy but then allows a mechanism by way of referendum, to do so. That smacks of hypocrisy.

"Dr Brash does not deny, but claims not to remember, telling American senators that the nuclear-free legislation would be 'gone by lunchtime'

"Dr Smith admits he talked about an American think tank helping with a campaign against the legislation, but suggests that somehow he was misunderstood.

"Its policy makes no undertaking about not becoming involved with combat forces in the war in Iraq.

"Dr Brash does not deny supporting the military invasion of Iraq but 'cannot at this point conceive' of committing troops there. Why would he not, if requested, given that he thinks the war was a good idea?

"Under National, New Zealand would become a deputy sheriff following the policies of other countries. Under Labour, New Zealanders can be sure the country will continue to act on its own principles and to stand up for what we believe in," Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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