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Princes St decries Nat's backwards foreign policy

Princes Street decries National's backwards foreign policy

Princes Street decries National's backwards foreign policy Press Release: Princes Street Branch, NZ Labour Party

In a week that saw Donald Brash completely lose credibility with his deceitful stance on whether he would scrap New Zealand's progressive and visionary nuclear free policy, it was disappointing to also hear that a National-led government would forego our proudly independent foreign policy, said Conor Roberts the chair of Auckland University’s Princes Street Branch of the NZ Labour Party.

"Brash has said that he would prefer that nuclear-powered ships didn't visit New Zealand and called himself a 'peacenik and a conscientious objector.' If that is so, then why not leave the ban in place on nuclear powered ships?" Mr Roberts said.

"It's hard to judge what the National Party would do if it managed to get into government. On the one hand we hear that Dr Brash told visiting American senators that the ban would be gone by lunchtime, and on the other we hear that it would be up to the New Zealand public. When Dr Brash refuses to confirm (or deny) his thinking, or states he can't remember what was said, he shows he has no credibility on this important issue.

"When travelling overseas I was constantly reminded by people I met just how special it is that New Zealand is nuclear free. In addition to this I constantly got a sense of admiration for New Zealand’s independent, balanced and ethical foreign policy."

Mr Roberts was referring to the comments made by Simon Power, National spokesperson for Defence, who stated that a National Government would "without reservation" support the United States, Britain and Australia "when and wheresoever our commitment is called upon."

Mr Roberts stated that recent history has shown that this type of unreserved support would be at best ill-advised. He said "The war in Iraq was a war fought on the false pretence of the presence of weapons of mass destruction. The Labour led government and a vast majority of New Zealanders were right to insist that a multi-lateral / UN sanctioned resolution should be sought before this country committed troops to the hostilities. Our foreign policy should not be decided for us on the whim of people thousands of kilometres away."

"New Zealand’s proudly independent foreign policy gives us status in international relations greater than the relative size of our country. Blindly following the foreign policies of other countries would wipe away our credibility in the eyes of many of the world’s nations. I for one congratulate the government on its independent foreign policy decisions," Mr Roberts said.

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