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

 

Media: Julian Wilcox Leaves Māori TV

Māori Television has confirmed the resignation of Head of News and Production Julian Wilcox. Mr Maxwell acknowledged Mr Wilcox’s significant contribution to Māori Television since joining the organisation in 2004. More>>

ALSO:

Genetics: New Heat Tolerant Cow Developed

Hamilton, New Zealand-based Dairy Solutionz Ltd has led an expert genetics team to develop a new dairy cow breed conditioned to thrive in lower elevation tropical climates and achieve high milk production under heat stress. More>>

Fractals: Thousands More Business Cards Needed To Build Giant Sponge

New Zealand is taking part in a global event this weekend to build a Menger Sponge using 15 million business cards but local organisers say they are thousands of business cards short. More>>

Scoop Business: NZ Net Migration Rises To Annual Record In September

New Zealand’s annual net migration rose to a record in September, beating government forecasts, as the inflow was spurred by student arrivals from India and Kiwis returning home from Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Fletcher To Close Its Christchurch Insulation Plant, Cut 29 Jobs

Fletcher Building, New Zealand’s largest listed company, will close its Christchurch insulation factory, as it consolidates its Tasman Insulations operations in a “highly competitive market”. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Novartis Adds Nine New Treatments Under Pharmac Deal

Novartis New Zealand, the local unit of the global pharmaceuticals firm, has added nine new treatments in a far-ranging agreement with government drug buying agency, Pharmac. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Wary On Tax Take, Could Threaten Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning the tax take may come in below forecast in the current financial year, as figures released today confirm it was short by nearly $1 billion in the year to June 30 and English warned of the potential impact of slumping receipts from agricultural exports. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news