Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Wider Debate Vital As Trade Treaty Nears

Media Release – for immediate release
Princes Street (University Branch) New Zealand Labour Party
Thursday 14 September, 2000.

Wider Debate Vital As Trade Treaty Nears
Labour’s commitment to trade liberalisation needs to be debated within the party before any free trade agreement with Singapore is signed, says the party’s Princes Street (Auckland University) branch.

“We are very concerned by the parliamentary wing’s desire to push this agreement through without adequate discussion within the Party. There is very little understanding of the implications of this agreement both within the party and the electorate as a whole,” says branch Vice Chair Todd Bridgman.

“A free trade agreement with Singapore could be the most significant piece of legislation passed by this Government. We do not accept the argument that because most trade with Singapore is already free, we need not be concerned about it. The potential impact of the agreement on the services sector is as yet poorly understood.

“Trade Minister Jim Sutton has clearly expressed a desire for the Singapore agreement to be the precursor to a series of free trade agreements with other Asian nations. We are yet to be convinced that these free trade agreements would be in the interests of all New Zealanders.

“Once an international agreement is signed, it will bind not only this Government but future Governments. The Labour Party needs to have that debate before it heads irreversibly down the path of trade liberalisation,” said Todd Bridgman.

Branch Chair Jordan Carter, focusing on the process that has been followed so far in this area, noted that “it is a welcome change to see the Government prepared to disclose details of the proposed Treaty before it is signed, and subjected to a vote in the House.

“This debate raises the larger issue of how future treaties should be entered into. Our view is that Cabinet’s power to sign treaties is a hangover from the past, when Councillors advised the Monarch on foreign policy. We urge the Government to consider requiring all treaties to be examined by the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee, and then be approved by Parliament itself.

“International agreements come with conditions that are often not properly understood. By subjecting such agreements to Parliamentary scrutiny, the Government could ensure that a wider debate is held, and that no mistakes are made, now or in the future,” said Jordan Carter.

Todd Bridgman continued that “Labour was elected on a promise to change the free-market policies that have had such a detrimental effect on New Zealand society since 1984. This Government has done exceedingly well because it has delivered on these promises, as seen by its commitments to regional economic development, nation-building through the arts and the ‘Closing the Gaps’ initiative.

“We struggle to understand how an aggressive approach to free trade is consistent with these core policies. There certainly seems to be a contradiction between Labour’s commitment to nation-building and its stance on globalisation.

“We are constantly being told of the economic benefits that will flow from trade liberalisation. The question that needs to be asked is ‘how will those benefits be distributed, and are they big enough to be worth pursuing?’” concluded Todd Bridgman.

ENDS

Contact: Todd Bridgman, Vice Chair
09 373 7599 extn 7216 (work)
09 520 2128 (evenings)
t.bridgman@auckland.ac.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday].

Housing Minister Phil Twyford's office said he would not be commenting on Mr Barclay's resignation as it was an employment matter. Last month, Mr Twyford confirmed that Mr Barclay had not been at work for a number of weeks. More>>

 

Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>

ALSO:

DHBs "Prepared": Junior Doctors Strike Again

The needs of acute patients will be met during tomorrow's junior doctor strike, a DHB spokesperson says... Almost 3000 junior doctors are expected to walk off the job, which will affect all DHBs apart from West Coast District Health Board. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>

ALSO:

JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>

Earlier:

Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

Trainers: Taratahi Institute of Agriculture In Interim Liquidation

Taratahi employ 250 staff and this year has provided education to over 2500 students. Taratahi owns and manages 8 farms throughout the country. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Report: Complaints About Deputy Commissioner Wallace Haumaha

The Authority has found that DC Haumaha acted improperly by approaching staff and others to provide information to support him to refute the allegations about his 2016 conduct, or solicited other staff to do so on his behalf... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels