Labour foreign affairs disconnect

Another example of two Labour MPs working against each other, but this time it’s the spokesperson and the associate spokesperson for foreign affairs at odds.

Labour criticises UN bid as Shearer lobbies for support

The Labour Party has criticised the Government’s UN Security Council campaign at the same time as its foreign affairs spokesperson David Shearer is in New York lobbying for support.

At a parliamentary select committee, Mr Shearer’s associate foreign affairs spokesperson, Maryan Street, raised questions about the Government’s use of foreign aid in its campaign for a seat on the Security Council in 2015-16.

Mr Shearer was, meanwhile, lobbying representatives of the Palestinian Authority and Somalia, among others, at the United Nations. He says New Zealand’s bid is based on its reputation as a small country with an independent foreign policy.

The chief executive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, John Allen, dismisses Ms Street’s suggestion aid is being used to win a Security Council seat.

What is the official Labour position? Who speaks for Labour on this? Or do individual MPs say whatever they like.

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  1. As a Foreign Policy and National Security specialist I am horrified to hear this. I certainly don’t want that in any sitting government – it’s too dangerous a game to play – if this keeps up many countries will look at NZ as a bunch of nutters! Our voice on the Security Council is important – consistency needs to be seen in supporting this move, not back-stabbing and point-scoring. How pathetically immature can MPs get?

  2. Maryan Street

     /  6th December 2013

    I didn’t criticise the SC bid. I support it. I think Shearer is doing good work in NY right now. What I did ask, in case you are interested in the facts, was whether or not there was a firewall between our disbursement of foreign aid and the SC bid campaign. In other words, has McCully been using aid money to lubricate our SC bid. A legitimate question. John Allen said no, he hasn’t. Good answer.

  1. Street clarifies aid money question | Your NZ

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