While chaos reigns on the streets of Seattle and though party may have lost the general election, caretaker National Party Trade Minister Lockwood Smith is still playing a key role in the world of International politics.
In a statement this afternoon newly appointed WTO director general Mike Moore announced his "gratitude" over Smith's agreement to serve as a "Friend of the Chair" in the WTO's Seattle Ministerial Conference.
Smith will head up discussions aimed at bridging differences among WTO Members on thouse elements of the Ministerial Declaration concerned with the so-called "Singapore Agenda" - which involveds investment, competition, government procurement and trade facilitation negotiations.
Meanwhile in the latest news from the streets of Seattle - now being broadcast live on CNN - police are pushing protestors out of the central city where a State of Emergency has been declared. A day of protests has led to the National Guard being called in and to running battles on the streets, and the use of water cannons, rubber and wooden bullets and tear-gas against protestors.
Police appear to be gathering in larger numbers in the city and recently pushed back a crowd which had attacked a Starbucks coffee shop nearby the hotel where President Clinton is due to arrive close to midnight local time around 8pm NZT.