Wellington, June 8 NZPA - The proposal to appoint former prime minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer to head an inquiry into the raid on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla a week ago reflects well on Sir Geoffrey's achievement's and New Zealand's record, John Key says.
However, Israel has rejected the proposal for an international probe led by Sir Geoffrey saying it will do its own.
Defence Minister Ehud Barak told Israel's Parliament in response to a no-confidence motion over the May 31 raid which lawmakers later rejected, that "we intend to carry out an investigation of the events," Reuters reported.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported at the weekend that Sir Geoffrey was proposed by the United Nations head Ban Ki Moon to head the inquiry and other members would include representatives from the United States, Turkey and Israel.
Mr Key said New Zealand supported an international investigation led by the UN.
"We want to find out actually what went on and the UN is probably the right body to do that," he told Breakfast on TV One.
Mr Key said Sir Geoffrey had done a tremendous job representing New Zealand on the International Whaling Commission.
"He's a very, very intelligent man and has a great knowledge of the law and I think it is (also) a recognition that New Zealand is seen as an honest broker, we don't take sides between Palestine and Israel.
"I think it would be great for New Zealand if it took place."
Nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed when Israeli marines stormed a Turkish ship a week ago as a flotilla moved to breach the blockade to supply aid to residents in Gaza. New Zealander Nicola Enchmarch was among the passengers and crew who were captured and detained in Israeli custody before being deported.