Documents released by the Israel Institute of NZ appear to show a final moral failing by Nanaia Mahuta that casts shame on behalf of all New Zealand,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“When Hamas began attacks on Israel, Mahuta was advised by MFAT that she should tweet:

‘Aotearoa New Zealand [flag] unequivocally condemns rocket and terror attacks from Gaza into Israel and calls for their immediate cessation. With a high risk of escalation, the protection of civilians, and upholding of international humanitarian law is essential.’

“Mahuta rejected this advice, instead tweeting:

'Aotearoa New Zealand [flag] is deeply concerned at the outbreak of conflict between Israel and Gaza. We call for the immediate cessation of violence. The protection of all civilians, and upholding of international humanitarian law is essential.'

“She was later overruled by Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, and issued a stronger statement more in line with the original advice from MFAT.

“Mahuta had a clear option to denounce barbaric aggression but chose not to. Why? She needs to explain these actions on her last day as Minister. She owes New Zealand that much.

“The situation in the Middle East is horrific, and New Zealand’s influence over that horrific situation is limited to its moral authority. When our Foreign Minister cannot make clear moral judgements, even when the right thing to do is literally spelled out to her, it harms our whole country.”

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