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Govt should help NZ Cricket stop tour of Zimbabwe


Government should help NZ Cricket stop it's tour of Zimbabwe

Green Party MP Keith Locke wants the Government to ensure the Black Caps tour of Zimbabwe doesn't go ahead.

New Zealand Cricket is saying it won't stop the tour on its own, and suffer penalties under International Cricket Council rules. The ICC, at its conference this week, decided that Zimbabwe Cricket would remain a part of the Future Tours Programme.

"Clearly, New Zealand Cricket won't move without our Government taking some action," Mr Locke, the party's spokesperson on foreign affairs and sport, says.

"Now is the time to do something, when there is a burgeoning international movement to get Mugabe to step down.

"I suggest the Government take steps with some urgency, to justify New Zealand Cricket cancelling the tour.

"Firstly, it should write to New Zealand Cricket expressing a strong view that the tour next July should not go ahead because it would be giving succour to the Mugabe regime.

"Secondly, it should point out that there is a very unstable situation in Zimbabwe, with massive human rights problems, which will create a security problem for the team. Tours are able to be cancelled on security grounds.

"Thirdly, it should offer the assistance of its diplomats to help convince ICC member states that the cancellation is valid, and that New Zealand Cricket should suffer no penalty.

"Finally, it should let New Zealand Cricket know that any steps towards cancelling the tour will be on behalf of the New Zealand people, and therefore the Government will stump up with funds to help cover any costs and penalties," Mr Locke says.

ends

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