Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Concluding TPP govt’s top trade priority, says Key

Concluding TPP govt’s top trade priority, says Key

By Pattrick Smellie

Jan. 28 (BusinessDesk) – The government’s top trade priority this year will be concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but Prime Minister John Key’s speech for today’s opening of Parliament suggests it’s given up on expecting to pass fundamental reform to environmental law.

While Key rattled off a list of areas in which the government would “advance legislation” this year, his reference to its desire to change the settings of Sections 6 and 7, currently opposed by its support partners United Future and the Maori Party, will not be met.

“The government will progress the remainder of its resource management reforms, which among other things, will reduce the number of consent applications that are required, reduce costs and reduce the length of time involved in processing consents,” he said.

However, Key expected a new National Objectives Framework for freshwater quality improvement would be introduced this year.

In speech notes to which he only occasionally referred in an attacking political speech on the first sitting of Parliament, Key outlined plans to “progress legislation” in areas including a new “flexible, risk-based food safety system”, a more transparent and enforceable animal welfare system, trans-Tasman mobile phone roaming, discourage cartel behaviour, and create a new professional body to replace the Teachers’ Council.

On the trade front, a review of the Customs and Excise Act is on the books for this year, and “at least seven” air service negotiations will be pursued. A new Trade Single Window will be rolled out as part of improved border management. An extension of the SmartGate automated border control system will be evaluated.

“Our top priority will be to seek an outcome to the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations” to include “comprehensive duty-free access to markets together with improved conditions for services, investment and government procurement markets.”

Improved access to Japan and the US would be two major outcomes of a successfully concluded TPP.

Speaking beyond his official notes in Parliament, Key sought to contrast what he said was his government’s intention to “responsibly manage finances” with Labour allegedly finding “$1.5 billion at the end of a rainbow” to promise new policies.

He derided Labour’s new policy to pay $60 a week to families with new babies, saying the upper household income threshold of $150,000 was “Labour’s new definition of poverty.”

“It doesn’t add up.”

In reply, Labour leader David Cunliffe accused the government of “clinging to business as usual while more and more Kiwis find themselves struggling.”

While the economy might recover this year, it would be based on “insurance cheques from the disaster in Christchurch and some good prices for milksolids”, and the government would be “making sure it goes to the top few”.

“Take a devastated city and the price of milk out of the equation, and what are you left with?” said Cunliffe.

Green Party leader Russel Norman said this year’s election represented a historic opportunity to elect the first “truly progressive government” since the 1972 election won by Labour under Norman Kirk, while NZ First leader Winston Peters played on a narrow-based economic recovery.

“We have an economy characterised by one dominant export product - milk powder; one dominant export company – Fonterra; one dominant export market – China; and one dominant import – people – immigration.”

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Export Values Down: NZ Posts Biggest Annual Trade Deficit In 7 Years

New Zealand has recorded its biggest annual trade deficit since April 2009, reflecting weaker prices of agricultural commodities such as dairy products, beef and lamb, and increased imports of vehicles and machinery. More>>

ALSO:

Currency Events: NZ's New $5 Note Wins International Banknote Award

New Zealand’s new Brighter Money $5 note has been named Banknote of the Year in a prestigious international competition. The $5 note was awarded the IBNS Banknote of the Year title at the International Bank Note Society’s annual meeting. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news