2 Sep 2014

Gone by lunchtime stoush erupts again

12:59 pm on 2 September 2014

A decade-old stoush between the former leader of the National Party, Don Brash, and Labour's foreign affairs spokesperson Phil Goff has erupted again.

In 2004, Mr Goff, the then Foreign Affairs Minister, released Ministry of Foreign Affairs briefing notes after saying Dr Brash had told US officials that under a National government New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy would be "gone by lunchtime".

Don Brash pictured in 2011.

Don Brash. Photo: RNZ

Mr Goff was today challenged over the matter on Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme, as he has been objecting to the SIS's release of briefing notes to him, regarding a security matter he maintains he was not told about.

The release of that information to blogger Cameron Slater is now the subject of an investigation ordered by Prime Minister John Key.

Mr Goff said the matters were different.

"Telling the truth to the public is really important when you're a politician and when I heard Dr Brash lie about not reversing the nuclear free policy when he'd promised it to the Americans - I believed that the public had right to know that."

But Dr Brash says he's been misrepresented - and never imagined he'd still have to be defending this issue a decade later.

"When the US Embassy sent cables to Washington released by Wikileaks some months ago now, they claimed that Lockwood Smith said it. I don't know who said it. I've consistently said I don't remember. For him to say I lied about it is absolutely untrue."

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