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Launch of NZ US Parliamentary Friendship Group

NEW ZEALAND UNITED STATES COUNCIL
www.nzuscouncil.com

Media release – 15 November 2006

NZ US Council welcomes launch of NZ US Parliamentary Friendship Group

The New Zealand United States Council today welcomed the launch of the NZ US Parliamentary Friendship Group in the 48th Parliament at a function held in the Grand Hall on 15 November.

NZ US Council Chairman Rt Hon Jim Bolger congratulated Group Chairman Gerry Brownlee and Deputy Chairman Shane Jones, as well as MPs from both sides of the House who had joined the Friendship Group in recognition of the importance of New Zealand’s relationship with the United States.

“Making progress on global issues New Zealanders care deeply about requires engagement with the world’s leading super power and largest consumer market. That engagement is assisted when our political leaders express bipartisan support for closer co-operation. It doesn’t mean we have to agree with the United States about everything. It does mean we see value in the relationship for our national interests”.

Mr Bolger said that the Parliamentary Friendship Group provided a useful counterpart to the Friends of New Zealand Congressional Caucus in Washington DC.

“New Zealand benefits enormously from influential friends in the US Congress. As power has shifted following the recent Congressional election, it is good to know that New Zealand has friends on both sides of the political divide in Washington”.

Mr Bolger also welcomed the continuing strengthening of the relationship with the United States which had been evident this past year.

“At the inaugural NZ US Partnership Forum in Washington last April it was evident that both governments saw value in improving the relationship and we are delighted to see the progress now being made. The launch of the Parliamentary Friendship Group provides another useful strand in the relationship”.

ENDS

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