While Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee is in China pushing a taxpayer funded deal to bring two pandas to New Zealand, the country’s military look set to be hit with a pay freeze, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.
“Gerry Brownlee is supposed to be in China on Defence Force business, not on a secret panda-buying mission.
The Government must seek an urgent explanation from the Australian Government about the treatment of New Zealand citizens being held in detention centres after the tragic death in custody of Junior Togatuki, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.
“For the past week we have heard harrowing stories of New Zealand-born Australian residents – who have served their time – being shipped off in the dead of night to detention centres hundreds of miles away from their families.
John Key’s latest pet project, which will see taxpayers’ money spent on bringing pandas to Wellington, is a cynical distraction from serious issues facing this country, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.
“Spending taxpayer dollars to bring two pandas to Wellington Zoo is a waste of money, especially at a time when we are facing serious economic headwinds, cutting scientists from AgResearch and our state houses are in serious disrepair.
There is still time to fix the flag referendum to give all New Zealanders a say despite John Key today refusing to allow a Labour Member’s Bill to be tabled which would have added Red Peak and a Yes/No question into the first referendum, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.
“Our bill may have been refused today but I have written a letter in good faith to the Prime Minister urging him to meet with me to find a joint solution with no pre-conditions to that meeting.
The Prime Minister must explain why Housing New Zealand is set to pay the Government $454 million in dividends in the next financial year – four times more than expected, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.
The Prime Minister’s refusal to raise the refugee quota in the face of an international humanitarian crisis shows a lack of empathy and moral leadership, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.
“There are times in politics when you are faced with stark moral choices between right and wrong. This is one of those times. Raising the quota is the right thing to do. Doing nothing, as John Key is doing, is morally wrong.