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Greens Reject NZ Becoming Australia's 7th State

30 April 2002

The Green Party has rejected the main recommendations of the Foreign Affairs Committee's report on New Zealand's economic and trade relationship with Australia, claiming their adoption would turn New Zealand into the seventh state of Australia.

"We support closer relations with Australia but not at the expense of New Zealand's interests", said Green Co-leader Rod Donald.

The main recommendation of the report, which is supported by Labour, National and NZ First, proposes the extension of CER into an Australia NZ Economic Community (ANZEC).

"The effect of this and other recommendations, including a common currency and the merger of the Australia NZ stock exchanges, is de facto political integration.

"The Green Party rejects this strategy by stealth and will fight any moves to reduce New Zealand's sovereignty and our ability to control our own destiny.

"Of course our futures will be together but they must be as two strong and independent nations, not with New Zealand being relegated to the status of Australia's seventh state.

"We can still work together where we have common cause but it is vital that we celebrate our distinctiveness and maintain our independence.

"One thing the committee should have learnt from this inquiry is that the Australian Government and Australian businesses have always put and will continue to put their interests ahead of New Zealand.

"It is naïve to think otherwise yet the committee eulogises closer economic relations without critically examining the downsides of the relationship to date or the negative consequences of their recommendations.

"At the very least the Government should undertake a full cost benefit analysis of the current relationship before considering closer ties.

"However there is one recommendation it should adopt straight away. The committee concluded that Australia has a very successful "Buy Australia Made" campaign and have recommended that our Government should adopt a strong 'Buy NZ made' campaign.

We think it is long overdue given the excessive trade deficit New Zealand has with Australia ($802M for the year to December).

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