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

 


Group Challenges Govt. Expenditure On APEC Gabfest

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE
13 November 2000

APEC Monitoring Group Challenges Government Participation, Expenditure in APEC Gabfest

“If Helen Clark thinks that APEC has run out of steam why is her government continuing the pretence that APEC is going somewhere and is worth supporting? As long as the government participates in it, it is clinging to a discredited free market economic model which aims to do to the whole Asia Pacific region what Rogernomics and Ruthanasia did to New Zealand”, says the Aotearoa/New Zealand APEC Monitoring Group, which campaigned against last year’s APEC meetings in New Zealand. “But APEC is a talkfest going nowhere fast.”

According to figures obtained under the Official Information Act, the government is spending $2,108712 on participation in APEC activities throughout 2000, including the costs of officials and politicians attending this week’s APEC Summit in Brunei.

“How on earth can it justify this expenditure?” asks the APEC Monitoring Group.

“Last year the Shipley government spent almost $50 million on hosting APEC and promised this would lead to all kinds of benefits and opportunities that have never eventuated.. At the time we said APEC would barely limp on into the new millennium, and that the Summit was a taxpayer-funded pre-election photo opportunity for the Shipley government. We have been proved to be right, and National lost the election.

“We warned that internal tensions among the 21 APEC members would paralyse efforts to speed up and broaden trade and investment liberalisation. Unlike the economic fundamentalism of successive New Zealand governments, many APEC members have long been critical of claims that economic liberalisation is the only alternative. Because of these conflicts and the inability to reach consensus APEC shunted off many issues to the WTO - which also failed to deal with them when the Seattle talks dissolved in disarray. Now both the WTO and APEC are engulfed by a serious crisis of legitimacy and credibility, and the multilateral trading system is struggling to keep its head above water.”

“In 1999 we pointed out that official moves to seek the “constructive participation” of “civil society” in APEC was merely public relations rhetoric to try to stave off mounting criticism of the forum and its free market goals

“Since last year’s APEC Summit in Auckland, peoples movements around the world have made it clear their response to continued attempts to push this narrow economic agenda on the world will no longer be so ‘civil’. There have been major protests in Seattle, Washington, Melbourne, Prague, Seoul and dozens of other cities around the world against meetings which promote free trade and investment. Meanwhile many governments, particularly in the Third World, are resisting pressure to implement further trade and investment liberalisation measures.

“The tide is turning internationally against the economic policy package that APEC and the WTO promote. But the Labour-led government is playing King Canute as it tries desperately to kickstart multilateral trade and investment liberalisation through a patchwork of bilateral deals with countries like Singapore and Hong Kong.

“It is high time the government stopped to rethink its position in relation to international trade and economic policy and the social, political, and environmental costs of free trade and investment ideology.”

For further comment, contact Aziz Choudry (03) 3662803 or 3484763; Radha D’Souza (09) 846 3227 or Maxine Gay/Robert Reid (04) 237 5062 or 3895399


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news