Parliament

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

 

Officials bowed to pressure on Aussie agreement

Bill English National Deputy Leader

1 June 2001

Officials bowed to pressure on Aussie agreement

Treasury officials bowed to pressure from above in advising the Government over the Social Security Agreement which cut New Zealanders rights to benefits in Australia, National's Deputy Leader Bill English said today.

A mountain of Offiical Information Act papers was released to the media today, on the eve of a long holiday weekend to avoid scrutiny by journalists. They detail the background work of Treasury, Social Policy and Immigration officials leading up to the social security agreement signed with Australia in February.

The agreement cut permanent residency rights to New Zealanders in Australia, and Kiwis rights to benefits in Australia. Without permanent residency New Zealanders lose the rights to family tax relief, childcare and housing benefits, healthcare and even education for their children.

"Helen Clark called this a 'win-win' for Australia and New Zealand but the papers show her officials didn't think so and advised her and her Ministers against it.

"Helen Clark's 'win win' claim contradicts sharply with the Ministry of Social Policy paper: 'there will be a very sharp rise in the number of economically distressed New Zealanders living in Australia. Some of those who manage to struggle through and stay on in Australia will tend to drift down into an underclass status'.

"The same paper says Australia would 'cream off' a significant part of the professional and trade skills from New Zealand's workforce, adversely affecting the proportion of skilled workers left and New Zealand's long term productivity.

"Despite these warnings Clark folded to the Australians, as she often does when there is the slightest hint of pressure, and then she misled to the country about it claiming the deal was to New Zealanders' benefit.

"Not only were these papers dumped on a holiday weekend to avoid proper coverage, but many were only partly released so that New Zealanders can't find out what really went on behind the scenes before Helen Clark caved in to John Howard," Mr English said.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Principals' Federation:
End Of National Standards

Today the Minister of Education announced that the Government has stopped the controversial National Standards system of assessment and declared them an arbitrary measure which did not raise children's achievement as the previous Government intended.

"This is such a win for all the principals who never believed in national standards and who, for the past decade, have argued for what is morally right for our nation's young people and their learning," said Cormick. More>>

 

Public Good: People’s Report On Public Broadcasting And Media Presented

The People’s Commission on Public Broadcasting and Media, was crowdfunded and was informed by an extensive consultation, seeking the views of both those working in Media as well as gathering input both online and in person from ordinary Citizens. More>>

ALSO:

RBNZ To RNZB: PM's Press Conference

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern was joined by Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Minister for Children Tracey Martin to announce the appointment of Adrian Orr as the new Governor of the Reserve Bank and the name change of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children to ‘Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children’. More>>

ALSO:

'Taming Globalised Capital': Why Is Labour Supporting Investment Rules In WTO?

‘Today, we learned the new government has added New Zealand’s name to a proposal designed to lead to foreign investment rules in the WTO at this week’s ministerial meeting in Argentina,’ said Auckland University Professor Jane Kelsey. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Scaring Voters Back Into Line

Fear has always been a useful mobilising tool in politics… yet in 2017, bogeymen of all shapes and sizes seem to have fallen on hard times. For years, the National party had painted itself as being the only reliable defensive bastion against the terrifying prospect of a centre-left government… More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drinking Water As A Failure Of Political Leadership

It is almost possible to feel sorry for the Health Ministry in their terrible, no good, very bad week... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages