Parliament

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

 

GATS offer goes too far


GATS offer goes too far

The Government's initial GATS offer contained little to reassure New Zealanders that essential services will remain in kiwi hands, Green Party Co-leader Rod Donald said today.

"We're pleased that pressure from the Greens and the CTU has forced the Government to make public its initial General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) offer," Rod Donald commented. "Especially as it had resolutely refused to delay tabling this offer in Geneva to allow for proper public consultation in New Zealand.

"However, even a cursory glance through the document reveals holes that a horde of foreign bankers and businesses could drive a fleet of limousines through.

"The statement on the protection of public services from foreign interference reads well but is only contained in the introduction to the paper, carries no legal weight and is not binding on the Government.

"If the Government was serious about protecting public services it would - as the European Union has done - introduce a 'reservation' in its commitment schedule that would state explicitly that public services were excluded from the GATS.

"The lack of such a reservation casts doubt on the Government's willingness to fight to keep public services in public hands.

"The absence of a specific reservation for non-commercial Maori services such as kohanga reo and iwi radio means that Government support for these services can be challenged by foreign companies on the basis of preferential treatment for Maori.

"This initial offer also exposes the Government's lack of commitment to New Zealand music and film-making," Rod Donald pointed out. "The Government has failed to include a reservation that would enable it to introduce a mandatory local content quota for audio-visual services, in the event of the failure of a voluntary quota.

"Now that the Government has made its initial offer public, we challenge it to engage in a proper consultation process with the community and to allow proper parliamentary debate on the GATS."


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election