Threat to spoil Condi's party

Police to students: don't do it

Last updated 06:35 25/07/2008

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Condoleezza Rice's flying visit to New Zealand marks just the second visit by a United States Secretary of State in a decade.

One of the world's most powerful women, the 53-year-old has been US President George W Bush's Secretary of State since 2005.

Dr Rice will hold meetings with Prime Minister Helen Clark and Opposition leader John Key in Auckland tomorrow before flying out to Samoa with Foreign Minister Winston Peters.

While her visit is viewed as a coup for Mr Peters, domestic politics threaten to overshadow it. It could also be disrupted by protest over the Iraq war.

A $5000 reward is being offered to any Auckland University student who can make a successful citizen's arrest of Dr Rice during her visit. Student Association president David Do said the arrest would be for her role in "overseeing the illegal invasion and continued occupation" of Iraq.

Auckland police said they were disturbed by the $5,000 offer.

District Commander Superintendent Brett England said the consequences of anyone trying to penetrate police securty could be "very serious indeed".

"We are obliged to ensure the safety and security of the visiting guest and we will not shirk from that task," he said.

"Operational planning for this visit has been in the making for several months and there are highly effective security measures in place, so I would strongly advise the association representatives who've put this challenge out, to withdraw it immediately so as to avoid being caught up in something much bigger than they may have anticipated."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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