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Insensitive Politics From Hide Over Hercules

Press Release
Southern Young Nationals


“Perhaps the most blatant, insensitive attempt at political mileage I have ever seen,” said Stuart Jordan, Southern Regional Chair of the Young Nationals. He was responding to ACT MP Rodney Hide’s attack on the use of an Air Force Hercules to aid in a civilian emergency.

In that incident, the Air Force Hercules was used to carry a New Zealand citizen back home from Samoa after his daughter was involved in a horrific car accident that she was not expected to recover from. No civilian aircraft were available at the time.

“National MP Katherine Rich, who approached the government and requested aid for the Dunedin family, should be congratulated, not denigrated, for going in to bat for a family in her electorate. She was not seeking political mileage when she did this, and no press release was issued nor credit sought for doing so. It was simply an act of goodwill.

“What is even more ironic about this is that ACT supported the Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade select committee enquiry into defence beyond 2000. That enquiry clearly supported an increased emphasis on civilian support type operations by the New Zealand Military. There can be no doubt that this incident falls under that umbrella.”

This was a tragedy that both National and the Government were able to work together on, yet Mr Hide somehow sees fit to use it as a political football. No person with half an iota of compassion would deny a father the last opportunity he may have had to see his daughter alive. To oppose this and blatantly attempt to gain political mileage really shows the calibre of Rodney Hide. I am sure if it had been his own daughter, he would view the situation in a whole new light. I challenge him to visit the family concerned and explain his reasons for this stance.”

ENDS

Stuart Jordan
Southern Regional Chair
New Zealand Young Nationals

Ph 021 2541341

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