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Greens Barking Up The Wrong Tree: Sutton

Press Release

20 June 2000


Trade NZ's commercial contract with Lifesciences Network was an operational matter, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry staff were not involved, he said.

A number of Trade NZ offices also operate as Consulates, including the Vancouver office, and New Zealand diplomatic letterhead is often used as an accepted and effective practice to open doors for New Zealand exporters.

The use of consular or Trade NZ letterhead does not provide an endorsement of the product or service involved, and in this case it was clearly stated that the survey was being carried out for the NZ Life Sciences Network.

The distribution of the questionnaire on behalf of a New Zealand organisation was not "promotion of a pro-GE stance", Mr Sutton said.

Mr Sutton said Ms Fitzsimons was also incorrect when she alleged that a cholera vaccine's introduction to New Zealand was illegal.

"The vaccine had been released before the Environmental Risk Management Authority had come into existence. It was judged to be safe and approved for release by the Health Ministry. It is nonsense to claim that it had been released illegally."


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