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Greens misguided on Chinese Workers - Goff

Greens misguided on Chinese Workers - Goff

Trade Minister Phil Goff describes comments made today by the Green Party on Chinese workers as uninformed and misguided.

"The Greens clearly misunderstand both the nature and process of the negotiations", said Mr Goff.

"The New Zealand government is not in the business of contemplating anything which would prove a threat to the wages and conditions of New Zealand workers.

"New Zealand's minimum wage and labour, health and safety laws are not negotiable in any circumstances.

"China has expressed an interest in facilitating the temporary entry of its skilled workers to fill gaps in the New Zealand labour market.

"It is entitled to make the request but this does not indicate the request will be met.

"China has as yet given no indication of making the sort of high quality access offer for New Zealand services to suggest that New Zealand is under any pressure to meet its request.

"While specialist areas such as traditional Chinese medicine, chefs and teachers of Mandarin as well as a working holiday scheme for qualified Chinese young people may be considered, were China to provide a high quality package, responding to New Zealand's interests. Requests for temporary skilled worker access over wider categories will be treated with caution.

"As always in trade negotiations, any request is considered against the standard of how it may benefit, or conversely impact, New Zealand's interests and what reciprocal offers are being made", Mr Goff said.


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