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Pre-Election Foreign Policy Forum

For Immediate Release

Pre-Election Foreign Policy Forum

The Minister of Defence and Trade, Hon Phil Goff and spokespeople from four other parties will outline their vision for New Zealand's foreign policy during a pre-election public forum on Wednesday 8 October.

"Over the last nine years, the Labour-led Government has strengthened New Zealand's reputation internationally as a country which thinks independently, has strong values and, despite its small size, makes a significant contribution to the world community as a good international citizen," says Mr. Goff. "I look forward to the NZIIA Forum which will allow parties to debate past track records and future visions."

Brian Lynch, Director, the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs (NZIIA) will chair the forum.

"New Zealand has no choice but to make its own way in a challenging international environment," says Mr. Lynch. "On the eve of a general election it is timely that those who aspire to lead the country in uncertain times should have the opportunity to explain where their priorities offshore would lie and why."

Most parties currently present 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.

"I have worked during my time as National Party spokesman on Foreign Affairs to try to achieve a bi-partisan framework for foreign policy in this country," says Hon Murray McCully, National Party. A "small nation, heavily dependent on trade, should attempt to achieve consistency in its policies, rather than seeing dramatic changes in position according to the vagaries of the electoral cycle."

"Impending global warming, the credit crash and rising food and oil prices are not things New Zealand can escape from," says Mr Keith Locke, Green Party. "Though a small nation we can show moral leadership and a way forward amid the global crises of our time. Our nuclear free status gives us a hearing on the world stage on peace, environmental and human rights issues."

Hon Jim Anderton, Leader, Progressive Party and Peter Tashkoff, ACT Candidate, Te Tai Tokerau will also be representing their parties at the forum.

The NZIIA's Auckland Branch and The University of Auckland Political Studies Department are hosting the forum, which will take place at 6:15pm on Wednesday 8 October at the University of Auckland Business School's Fisher and Paykel Appliances Auditorium in the Owen G. Glenn Building near 12 Grafton Road.

"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. There is paid parking at the Owen G. Glenn Building.


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