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Mallard's Answers On Parallel Importing Do Not Add

15 May 2000


United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says answers to Written Parliamentary Questions from Acting Commerce Minister Trevor Mallard on parallel importing do not add up.

In answer to Written Question 8421 Mr Mallard states:

“The Government’s objectives in looking at a limited ban on parallel importing for creative industries products (musical recordings, videos and films, books and software) is (sic) to consider whether such measures would increase foreign investment in, and promotion of, New Zealand creative industries products.”

And in answer to Written Question 8414 Mr Mallard states:

“I am due to receive advice from the Ministry of Economic Development on the potential for a ban on parallel importing in each of the creative industries identified (musical recordings, videos and films, books and software) to increase foreign investment in, and promotion of, New Zealand creative products.”

“In other words, the Government is embarking upon a major change to our laws on parallel importing in the pious hope that it will have an impact on foreign investment in the creative sector, but with no evidence that this will be the case.”

“These are extraordinary admissions from the Minister that his policy is prejudice based on blind faith, rather than on common sense or defined evidence.”

“It is highly unusual for a Government to have committed itself to a major policy shift without any evidence that the policy will in fact achieve what the Government is hoping for.”

“This strange turn of events confirms the suspicion that the Government’s agenda in repealing the parallel importing laws has far more to do with patching up a shaky relationship with the United States in the light of the F16 cancellation than any other factor.”

“That is why Mr Mallard was so quick to hail the United States’ decision to remove New Zealand from its ‘301 Special Watch List” once the parallel importing ban was announced.”

“Policy made solely to appease foreign interests without any information about its local impact is policy that sells New Zealand short,” says Mr Dunne.

New Zealand’s Liberal Party

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