INDEPENDENT NEWS

Peters "An Insult" For Foreign Affairs

Published: Mon 17 Oct 2005 06:22 PM
Peters "An Insult" For Foreign Affairs
Labour's offer to make Winston Peters the Minister of Foreign Affairs outside of Cabinet is an insult to New Zealand's friends overseas, says ACT Defence spokesman Heather Roy.
"Winston Peters has done more to undermine New Zealand's international reputation than any other Member of Parliament.
"His comments on race and immigration make him unsuitable for the Foreign Affairs portfolio, and risk being seen as an outright insult, especially in Asia.
"What other conclusion can countries draw, when our foreign policy becomes something bargained off to placate a troublesome coalition partner?" Mrs Roy asked.
Mrs Roy also expressed concern about such an important portfolio being held by a Minister outside of Cabinet.
"We're a small country in an uncertain world.
"We rely on collective security and international trade to make New Zealand safe and prosperous.
"How can Winston Peters represent New Zealand overseas, when he's not even in Cabinet? Who would take him seriously?" Mrs Roy asked.
"Kiwis believe in being responsible global citizens. We deserve better than a token Foreign Affairs Minister, chosen to secure a coalition deal.
"If Labour didn't have anyone capable of filling the role, why not ask Lockwood Smith, Tim Groser or John Hayes?
"Winston has voted against the Labour party all his life, but has now become one of the 'clip-on's he railed against during the election campaign," Mrs Roy said.
ENDS

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