Oz PM will not be allowed to address Kiwi Parliament

February 14th, 2011 - 12:43 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Feb 14 (ANI): Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard will not be allowed to address New Zealand’s Parliament during her visit to Wellington this week.

The New Zealand Green Party opposed a plan by the country’s National Party-led government to allow Gillard to talk directly to parliament this Wednesday, saying it would set an uncomfortable precedent.

“In New Zealand, no head of government or head of state has addressed a session of parliament and that’s a principle that we’re quite keen to keep,” Greens co-leader Russel Norman said.

“The governor-general isn’t even allowed onto the floor of parliament, our own head of state,” the AAP quoted him, as saying.

If it were allowed, it could permit future governments inviting “all sorts of unpleasant people, like (former United States president) George Bush, for example, they had in Australia, that I think a lot of members of parliament would be uncomfortable with”, he said.

However, in a compromise, Gillard will be allowed to speak in parliament’s debating chamber, becoming the first foreign leader to do so.

Gillard heads to New Zealand tomorrow on a two-day visit. (ANI)

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