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Mixed meat messages raise alarm bells

Mixed meat messages raise alarm bells

Contradictory explanations from John Key and Nathan Guy about why New Zealand meat is being blocked from entering China only add to the suspicion that there’s more to the issue than the Government is letting on, Labour’s Primary Industry spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.

“The timid and naive statements from Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy that this is about ‘documentation’ and ‘very technical information’ that he doesn’t understand are at odds with the Prime Minister’s comments that the port lockdown is a result of the Chinese checking for counterfeit meat.

“Mr Guy has been unable - or unwilling - to provide straight answers to any questions put to him, despite a fortnight of growing tension on the issue and assurances that officials have been working for days to solve the problem.

“John Key asked for the fast-tracking of certification for meat plants in New Zealand, while he was in China recently.

“He might now like to tell Kiwis what those demands have cost in terms of damage to New Zealand’s export markets.

“Something has gone seriously wrong here. The Government has a duty to clearly explain what has happened, now, not later.”

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