Green MP Keith Locke says that government plans to import smallpox vaccine is an “over-reaction”, which will only fuel anti-terrorist hysteria.
“Just because the Bush administration is getting carried away with the alleged threat of smallpox terrorism, we don’t need to follow suit,” said Mr Locke.
“There is no good reason to import this vaccine at a time when Pharmac lacks the funding to buy drugs that would genuinely improve the life of some New Zealanders.
“As yet, there are no signs anyone is engaging in smallpox terrorism, or even has access to the virus.
“It suits George Bush’s agenda to hype up the terrorist threat, and use it as an excuse for more military spending and intervention around the world.
“New Zealand should be the voice of calm and moderation. The closest this country has ever come to a terrorist attack is the Rainbow Warrior bombing.
“The New Zealand Islamic community is getting the backlash from the current anti-terrorist scare-mongering and the government shouldn’t be adding fuel to this fire.
“Legitimate anti-terrorist measures, yes, but let’s not go overboard,” said Mr Locke.