Key on human rights and Iraq

Stuff reports:

In an unscripted speech on a marae today Prime Minister told Maori leaders that New Zealand are not going to turn the other cheek to the horrors being seen in the Middle East.

Key’s unprepared statement in the meeting house at Te Tii Waitangi Marae came with an attack on the left wing.

After a peaceful welcome on the marae, various Maori leaders addressed him including prominent leader Kingi Taurua who said Maori were suffering because of their service in fighting for “other people’s sovereignty” over the decades.

Key said he agreed in part.

“I am with you, we should not go and fight other people’s wars.”

Diplomacy was what was needed but New Zealand also needed to support other people around the world.

“The day before yesterday a Jordanian pilot was burned to death with petrol and yesterday some gay people were thrown off a building because ISIS don’t like their sexuality,” he said.

“A few weeks ago 10-year-old kids were rolled out to behead soldiers who were part of the Iraqi forces. “

Key said he heard from the left wing every time he went to countries with different human right’s records to New Zealand.

“I am regularly reminded by the left that they have an intimate knowledge of apartheid and the Springbok tour,” he said in reference to the 1981 Springbok rugby tour of New Zealand that divided the country.

Key has since admitted he does not remember where he stood on the tour.

“These are the very people (the left) who tell me their whole DNA is laced with human rights and standing up for people who cannot protect themselves, then they tell me to look the other way when people are being beheaded by kids, burnt alive and thrown off buildings.

“Well sorry, give me a break, basically New Zealand is not going to turn the other way,” he said.


Key absolutely nails it. Amazing that some on the left go on non stop about human rights, but then say we should do nothing about a state that burns people alive, throws gays off buildings and turns 10 year olds into killers. Making strong speeches at the UN won’t cut it.

New Zealand would not do anything silly.

“But we may join 60 or so other countries around  the world trying to protect people who cannot protect themselves because the do nothing other than live in a country they want to call home.

“I reckon that is doing something for human rights.”

Key said he had no intention of fighting other people’s wars “but I am not going to  turn the other way when people are being persecuted and say, as a leader, that it is other peoples’ problem.

“I don’t think that is the New Zealand way.”


At a later press conference Key said the speech was not something he had planned but came up when iwi leaders objected to fighting other people’s wars.

“We are a country that stands for human rights and I don’t know about you but when people are being burned with petrol I find it difficult to look the other way.”

Asked if he had attacked the left too strongly he denied that.

“I don’t know that it is laying into them. I simply made the point that when I go to those countries and people raise issues from the left, they raise issues of human rights.

“I think as a country we have a really proud record of human rights and when people can’t defend themselves, would we really turn the other cheek?”

The best lines often come when they are not pre-planned. I think Key hit the nail on the head. Not contributing to the global effort is pretty indefensible if you are a supporter of human rights.

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