Green Party MP Keith Locke wants New Zealand to back Britain in getting Zimbabwe cricket kicked out of the World Twenty20 next year.
“We’ve got to use every bit of leverage we have against the Mugabe regime,” said Mr Locke, the Green Party’s Sports Spokesperson.
“Following the English example would also mean cancelling the Black Caps planned tour of Zimbabwe next July.
“Mugabe’s thugs have just destroyed the run-off election, showing that he will stop at nothing to stay in power.
“The maximum international pressure now must be exerted on the regime, with New Zealand doing what it can to help.
“Sporting sanctions are where New Zealand can have the greatest impact.
“First, we should support the English efforts to stop Zimbabwe playing in the Twenty20 tournament next June. The England and Wales Cricket Board is taking the lead in this.
“The Board has already cancelled Zimbabwe’s cricket tour of Britain next May after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown expressed his objection.
“I am appealing to New Zealand Cricket to stand squarely behind the England and Wales Board in this matter at the International Cricket Council annual conference this week. Our Government should back New Zealand cricket in taking such a strong stand.
“This is the least we can do to help the suffering people of Zimbabwe.”