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National Party Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Gerry Brownlee has urged the Prime Minister to concentrate on getting her own government in order, rather than continuing to interfere in the domestic politics of our neighbours.

“The Australian Government is again having to defend its approach to dealing with illegal asylum seekers after Jacinda Ardern used a meeting with the Australian Opposition Leader to force the issue back onto the Australian political agenda.

“New Zealand has a long-standing offer to take 150 refugees but it is up to the Australian Government to take that up. The Australian Government is aware the offer is there, and is clearly frustrated by Ms Ardern’s repeated attempts to embarrass it into accepting it.

“While we should always be able to speak frankly and raise concerns, Ms Ardern should be giving more consideration to the difficulty of dealing with issues like asylum seekers, and asking herself whether her approach is in the best interests of New Zealand and New Zealanders.

“What might further frustrate the Australian Government is being lectured to by a Prime Minister whose own Government continues to lurch from shambles to shambles.

“We are entering another week of Parliament with little of Labour’s own legislation up for debate and the Government preparing to rush through laws under Urgency to take away $1060 a year from someone on the average wage.

“The Government continues to break its promises and to find itself unable to explain to New Zealanders its policies and direction.

“With business and farmer confidence dropping significantly, the Prime Minister should focus more of her attention on getting her own Government’s affairs in order before telling other leaders how to run theirs.”

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