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Pre-Election Foreign Affairs Forum

Tuesday, 2 August 2005,

Pre-Election Foreign Affairs Forum

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Phil Goff and spokespeople from six other parties will outline their vision for New Zealand’s foreign policy during a pre-election forum.

“A range of foreign policy issues will be strongly debated during this election campaign,” says Mr Goff. “Whether New Zealand's nuclear free legislation should be gone by lunchtime and whether combat forces should be sent to Iraq are just two of the controversial issues that separate the major parties. The NZIIA forum will allow parties to put their cases with the opportunity for the audience to ask its questions directly to the party spokespeople.”

Gavin Ellis former editor-in-chief, The New Zealand Herald will chair the forum.

“The opening salvos in the foreign policy debate were fired well in advance of the announcement of election day,” says Mr Ellis. “It was a clear indication that New Zealand's external relations will form a significant part of the campaign for major parties. This debate could well be the foreign affairs centre- piece of the election.”

Almost all parties in parliament will be represented at the forum.

Each speaker will have time to outline their party’s message before addressing questions from the floor.

“Security of our nation is one of the first responsibilities of any Government,” says Dr the Hon Lockwood Smith, National Party spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade. “It depends on our international relations. It's great to see that the NZIIA is helping New Zealand see how the major parties are handling this.”

The New Zealand Institute of International Affairs (NZIIA) is hosting the forum, which will take place at The University of Auckland library lecture theatre (B28) on August 16 from 6pm to 8pm.

This forum will be an excellent opportunity to introduce anyone interested in New Zealand foreign affairs to the NZIIA,” says Dr Jian Yang, chairperson, Auckland branch NZIIA and Political Studies senior lecturer The University of Auckland.

The forum is free and open to all.

ENDS

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