12 May 2014

Nigerian girls need NZ help - Labour

10:37 am on 12 May 2014

Labour is urging the Government to join the international effort to rescue 300 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls.

The girls were abducted from their school in mid April by Boko Haram, an Islamist group, provoking international outrage.

British and American advisers are already helping the Nigerians hunt for the girls and the United States government is considering a Nigerian request for surveillance aircraft.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau. Photo: AFP / Boko Haram

Labour Party human rights spokesperson Maryan Street said New Zealand should be doing more to help.

She said the United Nation's Security Council has condemned the kidnapping, but from New Zealand, there had been nothing but a ringing silence.

Ms Street said New Zealand diplomats should be hooked into the international efforts to help Nigeria find the girls, particularly as New Zealand is seeking a seat on the UN Security Council.

"If we want to play with the big boys on the UN Security Council we've got to play our part."