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Green GE position deceitful & threat to stability

18 October 2001

Green GE position deceitful and threat to political stability

New Zealand First is concerned that the Government continues to have confidence and supply in the event of the Greens withdrawing support over the GM issue as they have threatened to do today, Leader Winston Peters says.

"In this time of international and economic uncertainty and as our elite troops prepare to engage in the war against terrorism the last thing we want is political instability in New Zealand.

"New Zealanders voted for political change in 1999 and New Zealand First is alarmed at today's developments where the Greens are irresponsibly challenging the public's will. New Zealand First believes that the Government should serve out its three years. This is a time for certainty and stability.

"New Zealand First is as concerned about the safety and health of New Zealanders as any other party. Along with the Greens we demanded a Commission of Inquiry into genetic modification-and we got it. It cost $6.2m and we are prepared to work through the issues with the Government for the long-term benefit of all New Zealanders.

"The Greens' public position on GE is a lie and if put into effect would condemn to death tens of thousands of New Zealanders who rely on genetically modified products for the treatment of their maladies. 32,0000 New Zealanders for example depend on insulin derived from genetically modified organisms. In their submission to the Commission the Greens stated that there is no room for any genetically modified organism in New Zealand whatsoever.

"The Greens promised, prior to the Government being sworn in, unconditional support on confidence and supply. Now they are threatening to pull the plug on the coalition. Whilst naturally we have disquiet about many of the Government's policies, never the less we will not stand by and watch MMP be abused in this way. In the event of the Greens carrying out their threat, we will talk to the Government," concluded Mr Peters.

ENDS Enclosed: quotes from Commission's report.

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