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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (September 18, 1998 - The Press)--- Foreign Affairs Minister Don McKinnon has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work brokering the Bougainville peace accord.

Maori Affairs Minister Tau Henare confirmed yesterday that he had nominated Mr. McKinnon for the award.

"I put it in six or seven months ago and I'm still hopeful that he'll get it. I think he deserves it.

"As a representative of New Zealand, I think New Zealand deserves it as well, because of the effort and time put into it."

Mr. Henare said that more than 20,000 people had died in the nine-year civil war in Bougainville, more than had died in Bosnia or in Northern Ireland.

"We get on our high horses about those, but this one is on our back doorstep, that we had a large input in securing a peace deal, thanks to the leadership of Don McKinnon," he said.

He did not know when the prize would be awarded, but he was still hopeful.

Mr. McKinnon is overseas and was unavailable for comment. (Mr. McKinnon currently is in New York, attending the United Nations General Assembly.)

The Nobel prizes -- five, for peace, literature, chemistry, physics, and medicine -- are worth 7.6 million Swedish crowns (about $NZ 1,928,000; US$ 970,748) each.

There are usually about 120 nominations each year, though the prize committee does not make public the number of nominations or comment on candidates.

This public article was forwarded by NOBBY:

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