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

Crowdsale And Crowdfunding Campaign: Help Create The Future Of Independent News

Two weeks to go! The Scoop 3.0 plan aims to create NZ’s first community-owned, distributed news and media intelligence ecosystem in 2019. We believe this ScoopPro media monetisation approach can be scaled and spread globally to support local and independent news efforts in regional New Zealand and around the world.

Scoop is an ecosystem, it would not exist without those who contribute to it, read it and rely on it for professional media purposes. Generous past support from this ecosystem has enabled us to come this far in developing our business model. Support our PledgeMe Campaign>>

 

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>

ALSO:

Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels