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

 


Government Faces US Lawsuit Floodgates

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs
20 April 2012

Government Faces US Lawsuit Floodgates

New Zealand First says veiled legal threats against the Government’s plans for plain packaging on cigarettes by the tobacco industry is just the tip of a litigious iceberg that US interests will launch under a new trade deal being negotiated.

New Zealand First leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Rt Hon Winston Peters says the lawsuit-floodgates could open when the Government ratifies the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) later this year.


“This is just the start of what threatens to be an expensive exercise for New Zealand.
“The TPPA is a free trade agreement between nine countries, but revolves around the US. It empowers multinational companies to sue the New Zealand Government whenever the companies believe their interests are being threatened by government policy.

“It locks in successive New Zealand governments who will forever be glancing over their shoulder as foreign barons circle with multi-million dollar lawsuits glinting in their eyes,’’ says Mr Peters.

The Australian Government is currently involved in High Court action with major tobacco companies after being the first country to introduce tough legislation last year.

Tobacco companies based in New Zealand claim plain cigarette packaging infringes their respective intellectual property rights and would see some of their profits go up in smoke.

“New Zealand First supports measures to cut smoking rates amongst Kiwis but committing to a free trade agreement that sets up the Government as a sitting target for multinationals should not play a part.

“Whether plain packaging is a stupid idea or not, this is about our sovereignty,” says Mr Peters.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

Five new marine reserves were officially opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast of the South Island to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news