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Government’s response simply a reaction to headlines

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It is disgraceful that the Government is all of a sudden expressing outrage that a diplomat invoked diplomatic privilege to escape facing criminal prosecution, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.

“It’s clear that if this incident had not hit the headlines the Government would have been content for it to slide without mention.

“It is only because of media attention we have now learned the name of the diplomat and the country he is from.

“The diplomat involved left New Zealand at the end of May. Since then, and until the story broke on the weekend, the government has said nothing. That smacks of double standards.

“New Zealanders understand diplomatic immunity but they detest the idea of someone escaping justice.

“They also expect a government to stand up for New Zealanders who have been wronged and do the right thing.

“What we have in this instance is a hasty reaction to understandable public outcry.

“The Government should stand up for Kiwis irrespective of whether the issue is in the public arena or not,” David Shearer said.