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


GATS threatens councils' push to buy local

GATS threatens councils' push to buy local

Green MP Mike Ward today warned local government bodies that their attempts to support local businesses may be thwarted by the Government's commitment to GATS.

Many councils have 'local procurement' policies and support New Zealand-owned businesses through the contracting of services, but the Green Party's Local Government spokesperson warned these policies could breach the terms of the General Agreement on Trade in Services.

Government procurement policies are under negotiation in World Trade Organisation, which could lead to local bodies being taken to a WTO 'court' if they are seen to favour local service providers over foreign-owned providers.

"Many local authorities have realised there are significant advantages for their communities from sourcing their needs locally," said Mr Ward, a former Nelson City Councillor.

"GATS threatens an important Council capacity to encourage community economic development. Their multi-million dollar budgets for services can provide employment opportunities within the local community - keeping the people employed who pay the rates - or that money can disappear into offshore pockets."

Mr Ward called on the Government to reveal the details of negotiations to ensure communities and local authorities have a say in their economic wellbeing.

"The haste in which the Government has rushed through the GATS negotiations and the lack of consultation and consideration for the needs of local government is depressingly short-sighted.

"Local bodies are rightly concerned about the economic viability of their communities and should have full say in how they wish to manage their future. It should not be up to a three-person panel at the WTO in Geneva to decide that for them."

Mr Ward said councils should write to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and urge that the Government defends the ability of local authorities to have local procurement policies.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Decision Day: Peters Chooses Labour

Winston Peters says he will form a Government in coalition with Labour and the Greens giving confidence and supply.

Peters said he had been offered the position of Deputy Prime Minister and a number of other ministerial posts would go to his colleagues

He said economic and monetary policy changes were needed to face a coming economic downturn.>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election