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Clark a hypocrite on F-16s

Press Release - for immediate release

Clark a hypocrite on F-16s

“Prime Minister Helen Clark is threatening to turn NZ in to a joke on the world stage with the planned cancellation of the F-16 contract,” Young Nationals Policy Chair Grant Tyrrell stated this morning.

“On one hand she says that she is ‘fully committed to the ANZAC defence alliance’, yet actions speak louder than words. The cancellation of the F-16 contract is Labour’s next step in reducing New Zealand’s defence forces to a third rate army relying on the good will of other counties’ for our security.

“With this ‘bludger’ attitude it is little wonder that Clark is under increasing criticism from across the Tasman. With embarrassing ineptness Clark told The Australian newspaper that NZ was a ‘sovereign nation’ and that she was ‘not prepared to sign away the New Zealand national interest’. This is simple hypocrisy. I challenge Helen Clark to explain how breaking a contract, ignoring our regional and global security responsibilities and alienating our closest allies is protecting the actions of a sovereign nation protecting its national interest,” Grant Tyrrell questioned.

“I expect Helen Clark to come under increasing pressure over the F-16s – and New Zealand’s overall (lack) of commitment to regional security as she meets with her Australian counterparts. I call on John Howard to remind Clark that Australia can not be expected to continue to carry New Zealand in matters of regional security.

“New Zealand stands at a cross roads – whether to take our place as a first world citizen, with the responsibilities that this entails or to continue as bludgers. The ball is in Helen Clark’s court.

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