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Keith Locke's General Debate speech on his proposal that New Zealand accept some of the 78 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees on the ship Oceanic Viking, who sought to enter Australia.
New Zealand’s independent foreign policy would suffer if it entered into a joint military task force with Australia, the Green Party’s Defence spokesperson Keith Locke said today.
Keith Locke's speech in support of the Cultural Property (Protection in Armed Conflict) Bill, during its second reading.
5. KEITH LOCKE (Green) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Has he received any advice on whether a law curtailing women’s rights in Afghanistan has been “brought into line with the expectations of the international community” as he was promised by Hamid Karzai; if so, what was that advice?
Keith Locke speaks in support of the Green Party bill at its first reading.
KEITH LOCKE (Green) : I move, That the House take note of a matter of urgent public importance. That matter is the commitment by the Government of special forces to Afghanistan. The Green Party is strongly opposed to the Governments decision to send the SAS back to Afghanistan. We do not want our soldiers fighting and dying in an unjustifiable war that is not helping the Afghan people. It is very important that we have this debate today, because we as a Parliament should always debate the sending of New Zealand combat troops overseas to participate in foreign military conflicts. We should never lightly risk the lives of our soldiers, and we should never lightly participate in armed conflicts, which inevitably result in much death and destruction and have a huge impact on the lives of local people.
In around two weeks time the government will make an important decision on whether to send New Zealand's SAS troops back to Afghanistan. The government has in front of it a very significant foreign policy decision. At stake is whether New Zealand continues on a path towards a more independent foreign policy, constructively engaged in peacemaking and peacekeeping, or whether it falls back into a more subordinate role in a Western alliance structure led by the United States.
6. KEITH LOCKE (Green) to the Prime Minister: Will he be withdrawing New Zealand’s successful provincial reconstruction team from Afghanistan, and instead sending a deployment of the New Zealand Special Air Service; if so, why?
Any decision on whether New Zealand Special Forces should return to Afghanistan must be postponed pending an inquiry into whether there was mistreatment of prisoners the NZ Special Air Service (SAS) handed over to American forces in an earlier deployment, said Green Party MP Keith Locke.