Parliament

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

 

$15 million writ an attack on free speech

Hon Nick Smith
National Party Building spokesman

23 December 2005

$15 million writ an attack on free speech

National's Building spokesman, Nick Smith, is horrified that he and timber preservation scientist Dr Robin Wakeling have received legal writs for $15 million from American chemical company Osmose for expressing concerns in July about a surface treated timber product known as T1.2.

"This $15 million writ is an attack on free speech. It is just crass that this company has chosen to do so on the eve of Christmas.

"It is also bully boy tactics to target us as individuals while leaving many companies and organisations that also expressed concern about this product out of legal proceedings.

"Dr Robin Wakeling and myself expressed concerns about the surface treated T1.2 framing product because it does not comply with the New Zealand standard for timber treatment and because it was not being used as specified.

"It is outrageous that we are now being personally sued for raising quite legitimate concerns and being asked to pay this multinational for their lost profits on the product.

"We have 15,000 homes rotting because of failings in the building industry, with everyone ducking for cover. The regulatory system for timber treatment has a history of serious failures, and scientists like Dr Wakeling and MPs like myself had a public duty to raise legitimate concerns that had come from the building industry about this product.

"I would have thought after the McLibel fiasco earlier in the year that American companies would have learnt that attacks on free speech are counter-productive and often backfire.

"I will be defending this action with every bone in my body. I stand by my concerns about this product and would not use it in my home. The right to express such views is fundamental in a free society," says Dr Smith.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election