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


No Place For Party Politics On Lamb


16 June 1999


"There is no place for the Labour Party's petty politics over the threat of trade restrictions against the New Zealand lamb industry," said Trade Minister Lockwood Smith today.

"Today's statement from Labour's Leader Helen Clark and her agriculture spokesman Jim Sutton reflects poor judgement at this crucial time for New Zealand farmers," Dr Smith said.

"The Labour Party's approach to the threat of trade restrictions has had nothing to do with helping farmers, and everything to do with taking cheap political potshots from the side-lines.

"In February 1999, Mr Sutton demonstrated his ignorance by suggesting that the International Trade Commission (ITC) had recommended trade restrictions as a result of the Prime Minister's visit to Washington to discuss trade with President Clinton.

"Last week Helen Clark wondered out loud if the Prime Minister would "go the extra mile" and call President Clinton on behalf of New Zealand farmers, when the call had already been made.

"Today's statement from Ms Clark and Mr Sutton demonstrates the Labour Party's ongoing ignorance of international trade negotiations and its commitment to petty politics.

"The Government's campaign to fight the trade restrictions has been comprehensive, and has included close co-ordination of a broad range of individuals and farming industry organisations within New Zealand. The campaign here has been emulated in Australia, with a similar commitment across a broad range of interests.

"In criticising this Government's efforts on lamb, Ms Clark also criticises the determined efforts of Meat New Zealand, Federated Farmers, and the hundreds of farmers that have articulated their views on this issue, all at their own expense. If this is Ms Clark's intention, then she should come right out and say this.

"Ms Clark would also do well to remember that it has been admitted in the US that efforts to fight trade restrictions by New Zealand and Australia has been one of the most effective campaigns it has ever encountered.

"Hopefully, Ms Clark is able to grasp this reality, show a bit of back-bone and resist the temptation to take further pot-shots for political ends, particularly when there is so much at stake for New Zealand farmers," Dr Smith concluded.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

UK Cabinet Backs Deal: Gordon Campbell On The Latest Roll Of The Brexit Dice

Brexit has left the British public looking like a nation of Wellington bus commuters. In both cases, the unholy mess bears no resemblance to what people were promised or the spin being used to justify it.

In both cases, the only sane response – to go back to the way things were and write the whole thing off as a ghastly mistake – is deemed to be utterly out of the question. More>>


14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>


Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>


Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>


Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>


Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>


Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>


"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>





InfoPages News Channels