Labour Whipping Up Anti-US Feeling Before APEC
ACT Leader Richard Prebble, one of the few MPs in Parliament to have personally known Norman Kirk, has accused Labour President Bob Harvey of whipping up anti-American feelings on the eve of APEC, with his absurd claim that the CIA murdered Norman Kirk.
"Norman Kirk was strongly in favour of ANZUS and New Zealand's alliance with America," Mr Prebble said. "Norman Kirk would not have agreed with the New Zealand Labour party's present foreign policy. I know, because Norman and I frequently discussed and argued about the issue.
"Bob Harvey's remarks are a deeply offensive reflection on Norman Kirk's doctors. There was never any suggestion that there was any doubt about the reasons for Norman's illness or death.
"He caught a gastric illness when visiting Bangladesh in the 1960s, as have thousands of others. Does Bob Harvey claim the CIA poisoned them all? Norman at the time wasn't Prime Minister, and there's no reason to suppose that the CIA would have had the slightest interest in him.
"So the question needs to be asked, why is Bob Harvey the president of a party that hopes to be government within three months publicly asking our Prime Minister to insult the US by asking, "Did you murder one of our Prime Ministers?"
"I know Labour is concerned that APEC may be a triumph for Jenny Shipley but that's no excuse for Mr Harvey's behaviour.
"I also find it offensive that people now claim after Norman Kirk's death to have been his confidants when a reading of the Kirk diaries published by his former secretary Margaret Hayward shows these claims are bogus."