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Finalists Named For 2001 Roger Award

24 January 2002

Chief Reporter

FINALISTS NAMED FOR THE ROGER AWARD FOR THE WORST TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION IN NEW ZEALAND IN 2001

The US and its allies (including little old New Zealand) is currently reverting to a very old form of “globalisation”, namely that enforced at the point of a gun. Starting with Afghanistan, it is aiming to reshape the world into something more amenable to its wishes, and more profitable for its biggest of Big Businesses. Globalisation simply means the increasing domination of the global economy by transnational corporations (TNCs), whether achieved at gunpoint or bloodlessly. Nowhere is this more true than in New Zealand, where they exercise an even greater influence in the economy, despite our having a “Centre-Left” government. Little or nothing has been done to change the policies of the past 17 years.

The two Christchurch-based groups* which organise the annual Roger Award say that TNCs are the real “government” of New Zealand; we asked the public to nominate the worst of 2001, and now the finalists are off to the judges.

The six finalists are: Tranz Rail; Monsanto; Carter Holt Harvey; Mobil; United Water and British American Tobacco (BAT). This strong field contains the current titleholder and multiple winner; one other previous winner and a runner up, plus one brand new entrant. It should be an exciting contest.

The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational that has the most negative impact in New Zealand in each or all of the following fields: unemployment, monopoly, profiteering, abuse of workers/conditions, political interference/running an ideological crusade, environmental damage, cultural imperialism, impact on tangata whenua, impact on women, health and safety of workers and the public.

The judges are: Sukhi Turner, Mayor of Dunedin; Glenn Turner, world famous cricketer and coach (and Sukhi’s husband); Prue Hyman, academic and feminist, of Victoria University; and Michael Gilchrist, leading trade unionist, of Wellington. The winner(s) will be announced in Auckland, in April.

From politicians of all stripes, “experts” and the media (itself owned by a handful of transnational corporations) the public is constantly bombarded with the corporate agenda. Namely, that what is Good For Big Business is Good For New Zealand. We say that it ain’t necessarily so. The Roger Award holds an unflattering mirror up to the ugly side of Big Business and exposes the lie that unfettered corporate power is the best - and only - way. The Roger Award is part of our challenge to the “Centre-Left” Government - are you going to do anything to control and roll back the power of our real, unelected government, the transnational corporations?

Murray Horton for the organisers Ph/fax (03) 3663988

* The two groups are the Camapign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) and GATT Watchdog.

CAFCA Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa Box 2258, Christchurch, New Zealand cafca@chch.planet.org.nz www.cafca.org.nz


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