The Greens are blocking Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's speech to Parliament.
Ms Gillard arrives tomorrow for her two-day visit. On Wednesday she will become the first foreign leader to speak in Parliament's debating chamber, but Prime Minister John Key said there was some opposition to her proposed speech.
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said no international head of state had ever addressed Parliament and allowing Ms Gillard to speak would set a precedent.
"The government of the day could invite all sorts of unpleasant people, like (former United States president) George Bush for example they had in Australia, that I think a lot of Members of Parliament would be uncomfortable with and so we thought the best thing was to keep a simple precedent."
Instead of that, Ms Gillard will speak tomorrow at an informal sitting of Parliament, because the Greens would not grant leave for history to be made.
We believe that this is an incredibly petty and short-sighted decision by Russel Norman and his fellow Greens. Given his reference to "unpleasant" former US President George Bush, we can only speculate that there is a political motivation behind this decision, given Australia's support for the US-led invasion of Iraq and participation in the war against the Taleban in Afghanistan.
A Facebook friend has made an interesting suggestion, saying:
If only enough people thought enough not to vote green - then we can block them from speaking in parliament also.
That's a very good thought. Wouldn't it be ironic if the Greens' determination to keep Parliament's debating chamber Kiwi-only led to the Greens losing their places in it? We'll keep everything crossed!