Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

What next?: Saudi sheep abattoir construction complete

Benedict Collins, Political Reporter

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is waiting for approval from the Saudi government before it ships an abattoir to a wealthy Saudi businessman.

Photo: RNZ Cosmo Kentish-Barnes

The abattoir is part of a plan by the former National government to secure a free trade deal with the Gulf States.

Dubbed the Saudi sheep scandal, the former government built Sheik Hmood Al-Khalaf an agrihub in the Saudi desert and gave him $4 million in cash.

It also flew 900 heavily pregnant sheep to his farm in the desert where many of the lambs immediately died.

In 2015, it also began building Mr Al-Khalaf a $2.5m abattoir, hoping the gifts would stop him blocking the trade deal.

NZTE spokesperson Andy Cameron said the abattoir was now complete and officials were waiting for installation permits to be issued by Saudi authorities.

Mr Al-Khalaf was annoyed after the previous Labour government banned live sheep exports after thousands of Australian sheep died aboard one of his ships.

This week, another of Mr Al-Khalaf's ships was prevented from leaving Australia after thousands of sheep died aboard the vessel on a voyage last year.

New Zealand has not signed a free trade agreement with the Gulf States.

When the former National government announced the Saudi agrihub, it claimed it would showcase New Zealand's agricultural expertise.

But it appears New Zealand now has little to do with the agrihub.

NZTE said the most recent visit by embassy officials was in December 2017.

Before that, NZTE said an official also visited Saudi Arabia in late 2016 and "and received positive indications from the local authorities about construction of the abattoir".


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Viva Scoop 3.0! Rounding Up 2018 And Looking Ahead

2018 has been quite a year for Scoop. We are so thrilled to have successfully met the funding target for the first stage of the ‘Scoop 3.0’ plan raising $36,000. This means we can now proceed with the planning phase for the delivery of this bold vision for a community-owned, participatory, independent newsroom... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether Trump Is Likely To Be Impeached

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and for wrapping a plea bargain under the Christmas tree for all ye formerly merry, Trump-connected gentlemen... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Australia’s Jerusalem “Compromise”

Morrison is a masterfully ignorant practitioner who finds himself in the arms of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yet still keen to press the idea that international law is being observed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Brexit & Huawei Clusterfudges

Come December 2019, the West’s social democracies could be gone through quite a few changes at the top. More>>

ALSO:

UN Rights Declaration At 70: We Are All Born Free And Equal

On Article 1 of the UDHR: Dignity is the foundation of all human rights. Human beings have rights, and should be treated with utmost care, precisely because each one possesses intrinsic worth. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The (Delayed) Judgment Day For Theresa May

When under stress, British PM Theresa May reportedly eats peanut butter straight from the jar. Crunch time is looming... More>>

ALSO: