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Former Shortland Street actor continues hunger strike

an ex Shortland Street The Christchurch actor protesting New Zealand’s response to the Gaza conflict says he is not convinced a meeting with government officials will change anything.

Will Alexander hasn’t consumed calories for six days and says he won’t eat until the government meets his three demands.

He wants the coalition to withdraw New Zealand troops from the Red Sea and maintain, and then double, its contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Alexander met on Thursday with two senior advisers to Foreign Minister Winston Peters and a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“We talked about these three demands and where the New Zealand government is with them,” Alexander said.

“We are mainly focused on UNRWA and why we have not funded UNRWA before, when other countries like Japan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland and most of the countries that withdrew their funding from UNRWA have actually restored it later of a UN report saying that the accusations made by Israel against UNRWA were unfounded.”

Israel had accused at least 12 workers from UNRWA – the UN agency for Palestinian refugees – of being involved in the Hamas attack on October 7.

“I was saying we need to bring forward that funding because UNRWA doesn’t need it in June or the end of June, it needs it now,” Alexander said.

“It is already having effects on the ground in Rafah. They have stopped distributing aid in Rafah due to lack of supplies, so they need our funding now.”

Peters has not made a decision on whether New Zealand’s next contribution to UNRWA will be made on June 30.

“The only thing standing between us making the funding payment is having Winston Peters evaluate a report. It’s an internal investigation, that’s what they’ve said, but in reality it’s just a bureaucratic process that we need to speed up.”

Alexander wasn’t convinced Thursday’s meeting would make a difference.

“I feel like they nodded a lot and smiled and wrote things down, but I don’t know if it made any difference or if the message got through.”

In a post on all.

“This meeting was intended for Mr Alexander to express his views to the minister’s representatives and for him to hear in return the New Zealand government’s approach to the issues it has raised in recent days regarding the Middle East,” the statement said. publication.

Alexander said his hunger strike would continue.

“I will continue to hunger strike. I will continue and I hope we see that it makes a difference soon. At the moment I have only been on strike for six days and I hope that when I feel quite bad this will put more pressure on them.”

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