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'Retract that statement': Nash and Mitchell clash over Hong Kong justice

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 20 February 2019, 9:53a.m.
Stuart Nash criticised the Chinese justicesystem.

It was a fiery clash between Police Minister Stuart Nash and National MP Mark Mitchell as they met for their weekly politics 

Mitchell is currently in Hong Kong for a series of meetings on justice.

It comes amidst cooling relations between New Zealand and China, with discontent over a ban on Huawei sparking tension.

Mitchell says that it has been interesting talking to their justice spokespeople about drugs. 

The comment sparked a comeback from Nash, who says that we won't be copying their policy.

"I think hanging people is something we won't be doing in New Zealand." 

He added that "the death penalty and shooting and hanging people is probably something best left in the 1950s."

Mitchell jumped on the comment, saying that statements like that are what has caused our tense relations. 

"The problem that we're running into with foreign policy is simply that. A comment from a cabinet minister who doesn't understand that Hong Kong doesn't have a death penalty. They have a very developed justice system , and you've got a cabinet minister criticising them, telling them they've got a death penalty. They don't."

Mitchell accused Nash of insulting them, and says he needs to retract his statement. 

However, Nash brushed aside concerns and said he was just talking about their drug policy. 

"I think going to China to learn about justice is like going to Saudi Arabia to learn about sheep farming."

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