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


Letter reveals MFAT hit-list

Letter reveals MFAT hit-list

A letter made public by the Green Party today indicates that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been colluding with the British Government to get rid of "unsympathetic" trade officials within the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The letter, from Dr Elaine Drage of the British Department of Trade and Industry, is addressed to Robert Hole, a Counsellor at the New Zealand High Commission in London.

It alludes to a recent meeting between the two and sets out their concerns about "protectionist" trade views within the Secretariat and accuses one official, Roman Grynberg, of "preaching essentially protectionism and isolationism" to small Pacific countries.

"Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon has already expressed his outrage at this interference in the Secretariat's internal staffing policies," said Green party Co-leader, Rod Donald. "We can only mirror that outrage.

"It is completely unacceptable for MFAT to conspire to replace officials of the Commonwealth Secretariat with ones who back the free trade ideology of the New Zealand government.

"In the case of Mr Grynberg, it appears he's been found guilty of the heinous crime of having 'consistently gone around discouraging developing countries from agreeing to a new [trade] round.'

"The Secretariat works for all Commonwealth countries, not just the rich Western ones," said Rod Donald. "So, why is the New Zealand Government undermining this work by attempting to remove officials who advocate for the interests of poor countries, many of which do not agree with unrestricted free trade?

"On the one hand the New Zealand Government preaches a rules-based free trade credo, on the other we enter into a dirty little conspiracy with the British to silence the voices of those who disagree with them."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news