Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


President Bush Downplays Tensions

President Bush Downplays Tensions

Thursday 16 Oct 2003 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Foreign Affairs & Defence

In desperation, Labour is reading too much into US President George Bush's off-the-cuff comments before the APEC summit. A seasoned politician would never say anything inflammatory while on his way to an international forum, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"President Bush was caught on the spot, button-holed on his way into the summit - of course he was going to make conciliatory and assuaging comments. What Labour should be heeding is US Ambassador Swindell's speech - a carefully constructed statement, with clear messages approved by Washington," Mr Shirley said.

"Prime Minister Helen Clark, however, will dismiss Ambassador Swindell's speech out of hand, and use President Bush's comments to try to convince the public that our ban on nuclear-powered ships is not damaging to our strategic and economic interests.

"What Labour doesn't seem to realise is that President Bush did not contradict Ambassador Swindell - who clearly stated that, while New Zealand and the US were friends, `friends and allies are not the same thing'. He also stated that, on the topic of our nuclear policy, `the United States is not going to just get over it'.

"President Bush's comments, no doubt, have Ms Clark giggling like a schoolgirl. I'm sure she can't wait to corner him during the Apec morning break. She will take his comments to mean that everything is all right, and ignore Mr Swindell's firm message from the US executive administration.

"Labour must stop viewing the world through rose-tinted glasses. Ms Clark should weigh up the evidence. We are our own worst enemy on US-NZ relations - Labour says the US will not even consider negotiating an FTA with New Zealand in the foreseeable future.

"Australia, however, is advancing rapidly and, when complete, CER will be nothing more than a minor irritant from an Australian perspective. New Zealanders should be greatly alarmed by the course we are on," Mr Shirley said.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What Triggered The Carnage In Gaza

At last count, 195 Palestinians have reportedly died in the latest round of violence, 55 of them children. Roughly ten times that number have been wounded, and thousands made homeless. On the Israeli side, 8 people have died from rockets fired from Gaza. The imbalance in casualties reflects the vast gap in weaponry between the two sides. The Israelis are carrying out air strikes with impunity on densely populated civilian neighbourhoods... More>>


Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

KiwiSaver: Default Provider Scheme Improvements Slash Fees, Boosts Savings

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. More>>


Government: Hundreds Of New Electric Cars For State Sector

Total of 422 new electric vehicles and charging infrastructure across the state sector $5.1 million for the Department of Conservation to buy 148 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure $1.1 million to help Kāinga Ora buy 40 electric ... More>>

Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>





InfoPages News Channels