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PM’s United States Visit ‘Scary’, Says Internet Party

MEDIA RELEASE
June 17, 2014

PM’s United States Visit ‘Scary’, Says Internet Party

The Internet Party is sounding alarm bells over John Key’s week-long trip to the United States because the Prime Minister does not have safe hands when it comes to protecting New Zealand’s sovereignty.

“There is so much at stake at these meetings in the US,” said Internet Party leader Laila Harré – referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, New Zealand’s potential involvement in Iraq, the ongoing and costly campaign for a seat on the United Nations Security Council and the country’s place in the increasingly tense Asia-Pacific region.

“The Prime Minister doesn’t have a track record of saying no to the Americans, be they government or corporate interests. It’s only reasonable that New Zealanders should ask, ‘who’s pulling the strings?’.”

Ms Harre said Mr Key had become a lackey to the United States by refusing to challenge President Barack Obama on mass surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency and the Five Eyes spy network, of which New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau is part.

“He won’t even bring up the topic. Then there’s the Warner Bros deal, where New Zealand labour laws were changed in one short meeting.”

Secrecy around the TPPA was a major concern for Kiwis, with big corporates having too much influence in negotiations.

“It’s the low cost of medicine to Kiwis that is on the line, along with our ability to determine investment, competition and copyright for our benefit. The Prime Minister’s attitude of ‘trust me, I know what I’m doing’ is undemocratic and downright scary. If the talks held a win for all New Zealanders then Mr Key would tell us what he is up to.

“The fact is they don’t, and he knows it.”

The Internet Party is also worried about the possibility of New Zealand’s involvement in Iraq should the US step up military action to quell civil unrest, with Acting Prime Minister Bill English declaring New Zealand was poised to “pull its weight”.

“That declaration was made not long after the Prime Minister left New Zealand for the United States,” said Ms Harré. “Talk about cynical timing.”

New Zealand needed a Prime Minister who would strongly assert the country’s independence and sovereignty.

“Our main chance for a seat on the United Nations Security Council is independent thinking – once the hallmark of New Zealand foreign policy. The Prime Minister has a habit of agreeing with the powerful to the detriment of New Zealanders. He is playing fast and loose with New Zealand’s independence for current and future generations.”

ENDS

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