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New Zealand Should Take Stand On Mugabe Issue

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, is calling on the Government to take a strong stand against the attendance of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe at next month's CHOGM Conference in Brisbane.

Mr Dunne is supporting calls by some Australian Federal MPs for Mr Mugabe to be prohibited form attending CHOGM because of the deteriorating human rights situation in Zimbabwe.

"New Zealand has been far from backward in supporting the exclusion of the likes of Fiji, Nigeria or Pakistan from participation in Commonwealth events when human and democratic rights have been attacked in those countries in the past, and it should be no different in the case of Zimbabwe."

"Mr Mugabe says he is a strong supporter and admirer of the Commonwealth and there is no doubt that he would be severely embarrassed by being excluded from CHOGM because of his unacceptable land resettlement policies, but it is a step countries like New Zealand should take to reinforce our opposition to such moves," he says.

Mr Dunne says he has been disappointed at the Government's silence on the issue.

"They seem neither to care, or show any real interest in the issue."

"Yet I am sure the Labour/Alliance Government would have been far more outspoken, with outrage mounting upon outrage, had it been a white-led Government dispossessing black landowners," he says.

Ends

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