Helen Clark and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have quickly sought to distance the government from the criticisms that Duty Minister Jim Anderton has made of the US role in Iraq. Anderton's comments were relatively mild and probably in line with majority opinion, and so it's informative to see Clark and Peters' reactions. Even though Anderton had been specifically asked to make a comment as Duty Minister during the holiday period, Helen Clark later said that he was speaking on behalf of his own party rather than the Government. Peters went further to say his comments were 'ill-informed and regrettable'. This is clearly a government that is divided on the issue, but led by those determined not to have the US criticised for Iraq.
UPDATE: The Dominion Post reports that there has been a Groundswell of support for Iraq comments with 80% of survey respondents agreeing that Iraq was becoming another Vietnam.