Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


ACT Demands A Real Debate

“If the Government was serious on debating the proposed free trade agreement with Singapore, it would have accepted the ACT party’s request for a debate today, said ACT Leader, Hon Richard Prebble.

The ACT party sought an urgent debate in the House today, because of reported ‘historic’ and ‘precedent-setting’ inclusions in a trade agreement with Singapore. The debate was rejected, and the Government subsequently issued press statements supporting a treaty debate in Parliament.

“The Government’s is offering nothing but a Clayton’s debate.

“Under New Zealand law treaties are signed by the Cabinet and have the effect of statute law. The offer by the Deputy Prime Minister, Jim Anderton, and Trade Minister, Jim Sutton, to discuss the new trade treaty, after they’ve signed it, is nothing more than a public relations exercise.

“The ACT party, who the government is relying on to back the agreement because of our strong track record of free trade support, is considering voting against the Singapore treaty. We believe certain provisions will damage New Zealand’s reputation as a reliable country with which to do business.

“ACT understands that the Government, in response to pressure from the so-called Maori caucus, has included a provision stating that the trade agreement will be subject to the provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi. This appears to enable any Maori group to insist on a free ride out of any investment flowing from the trade agreement.

“Frankly we are surprised that the Singapore government would be prepared to sign an agreement which could get them involved in the treaty grievance industry.

“ACT has a further concern. Usually reliable sources state that this trade agreement is in fact a partnership agreement. This is an idea of the Alliance party. ACT’s view is that it is complete folly to sign a partnership agreement with Singapore.

“New Zealand wants a trading relationship, not a partnership which implies that each country is in some way sharing control.

“What has happened is that a good idea of freeing up trade between Singapore and New Zealand has become side-tracked by the coalition’s internal politics.

“As treaties have the effect of law passed by parliament, and as the government is proposing a radical departure from any treaty ever signed, it is essential that the issue is debated now,” said Hon Richard Prebble. ENDS

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>




InfoPages News Channels