NZ govt not to stop Zimbabwe tour

New Zealand government will not legislate to halt the national cricket team's scheduled tour to Zimbabwe.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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Wellington:New Zealand government will not legislate to halt the national cricket team's scheduled tour to Zimbabwe, despite polls showing public support for such a move, Prime Minister Helen Clark said today. A poll by Wellington's Dominion Post newspaper, published on Monday, showed 53 per cent of respondents favored any move which would make the August and September tour unlawful. A total of 41 per cent were opposed and six per cent of 1,055 respondents had no opinion. Human rights abuses Clark said her government, which has objected to human rights abuses in Zimbabwe under the rule of Robert Mugabe, would continue to advocate that the New Zealand team did not tour. However, it would not attempt to rush a law through Parliament that would make the tour unlawful, Clark said. "The proposition put to the government was that there should be legislation under urgency to prevent national sports teams traveling to another country," Clark said. "That is territory no New Zealand government has ever entered into and we don't propose to," she added. Contractual obligation New Zealand Cricket has repeatedly stated it must make the scheduled tour as a contractual obligation under the International Cricket Council's future tours program. Failure to do so would result in severe financial penalties and fines. The ICC has said the tour could only be called off without penalty if there were safety concerns. New Zealand Cricket has said its security experts have dismissed safety concerns and no other circumstances have arisen to prevent the tour from taking place. (AP)

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