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Statement From PM Re. Hostage Release

Statement From PM Re. Hostage Release

27 August 2006

Prime Minister Helen Clark today welcomed the release of the New Zealand cameraman held hostage in Gaza, Olaf Wiig, and his companion, American journalist Steve Centanni.

Helen Clark expressed the gratitude of the New Zealand government for the tremendous co-operation of the Palestinian authorities which, from the outset, had pursued the release of the two men.

"Today's release would not have been possible without the wholehearted support and hard work of the Palestinian authorities, and we are extremely grateful for their efforts.

"I also thank the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade staff and the New Zealand Police Inspector, who have worked tirelessly on the ground in Gaza for this release.

"This brings to an end an agonising period for Olaf Wiig's wife, Anita McNaught, and the Wiig family, along with the Centanni family. I am sure all New Zealanders wish them all a very happy reunion after this traumatic event," Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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