12 Jun 2011

Zimbabwe cricket tour OK - NZ Govt

11:58 am on 12 June 2011

The Government will not oppose a tour of New Zealand by the Zimbabwe cricket team next year.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says New Zealand Cricket has approached him about its proposed tour of Zimbabwe this year and a possible return tour by Zimbabwe of New Zealand next year.

Mr McCully says he will give visas to any Zimabwean cricketers who want to tour next year as long as neither they nor their managers have connections with Robert Mugabe's regime.

A power sharing arrangement is in place with Mr Mugabe and the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangerei.

Mr McCully says while that is proving imperfect, New Zealand needs to ask if allowing sporting contacts will help improve that and he thinks it will.

He thinks such contacts will help what he calls the 'good guys' encourage the return of democracy and the rule of law.