“The Government’s shambolic approach to Ukraine is descending into farce, with the Prime Minister arguing with herself about the definition of “lethal” or “non-lethal” aid,” says ACT’s Defence spokesperson James McDowall.

“Ukraine needs our support now. But instead we have a bickering Cabinet who is unable to make a decision.

“The Prime Minister claims the problem is because of an “artificial distinction” that has been made between what is “non-lethal” and what is “lethal” aid, despite her making that very distinction weeks ago when she announced “non-lethal military assistance”.

“ACT is willing to lend her a dictionary if that will help.

“When I today asked the Defence Minister Peeni Henare what lethal support options he had put forward to Cabinet, he needed three attempts at answering this simple question before simply giving up after some advice from the Speaker.

“He did however reveal to me, in reference to the Government ruling out sending Javelin anti-tank missiles yesterday, that “we haven’t made a decision specifically on that”. ACT encourages the Government to make the right call and send the Javelins, as ACT has been asking them to do for the past month.

“This is a desperate situation and Ukraine needs lethal aid as Ukrainians fight for their lives.

“We’re out of step with our traditional allies at a time when New Zealand cannot afford to be separate from the rest of the free world. The Government needs to pull it together and ensure New Zealand is doing its part with the rest of the free world.”