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National's security concerns proved correct

Murray McCully MP
National Party Foreign Affairs Spokesman

15 June 2006

National’s security concerns proved correct

National Party Foreign Affairs spokesman Murray McCully says the Prime Minister needs to explain her Government’s confusion over a matter of serious national security.

“Helen Clark needs to front up and explain why her Government refuses to accept there is a gaping hole in our defences against terrorism.”

Mr McCully is commenting after an embarrassing backdown this morning by the Police head of counter-terrorism, who admitted that he got it wrong.

“Assistant Police Commissioner John White, clearly has no understanding of the efforts by the Australian and Canadian governments to supplement the UN Security Council list of terrorists with their own.”

In Parliament yesterday, Helen Clark ducked for cover on the issue, and Police Minister Annette King accused National of providing false information to the public.

“The Minister and the Assistant Commissioner should have known that New Zealand is out of step with countries like Australia and Canada.

“Today we’re being told New Zealand is working closely with the Australians, but just yesterday the Police head of counter-terrorism didn’t even know who was on the terror suspects list of our nearest neighbours.

“That is deeply worrying. If Labour doesn’t understand that Australia, with whom we share a close border, has designated 88 terrorists that have not also been designated by New Zealand under our respective Terrorism Suppression Acts, then we have a serious problem.

“The answers provided in Parliament by the Government yesterday were incorrect and I expect a correction. Those answers demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of the issue, and the Prime Minister must now explain how Labour could get it so wrong,” says Mr McCully.


ENDS

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