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

 

Public consultation better than secrecy

Public consultation better than secrecy

The government’s decision to make public its initial offer in the latest round of General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) negotiations is a positive step away from the traditional secrecy surrounding international trade negotiations, PPTA president Phil Smith said today.

Mr Smith said the union was disappointed the government hadn’t delayed its initial offer to WTO members – a move PPTA and other unions had campaigned for to allow for more public consultation.

However, it was pleased that there had been some consultation with the sector leading up to the offer and that the government had reaffirmed its commitment to ongoing consultation with interested groups.

He added that the union was happy that the government had explicitly stated that public education was not included in the offer and that it was interpreting Article 1.3 in a way that should allow it to avoid subjecting public education and other public services to the same disciplines as private services with purely commercial objectives.

“Article 1.3 has concerned PPTA and other education unions throughout negotiations.

“We are pleased that the government has established its interpretation of this article as meaning that it can provide, regulate and fund public services in a manner that it determines best meets New Zealand society’s needs.

“However, Article 1.3 also contains the proviso that public services must also be ‘supplied neither on a commercial basis, nor in competition with one or more service suppliers’.

“Our concern is whether a panel of trade experts would consider, for example, whether New Zealand’s public education sector – with its commercial aspects such as competition for students and the ability to recruit foreign fee-paying students – would be completely exempt from GATS rules.

Mr Smith said PPTA would continue to campaign to protect public education from GATS as well as publicise the issues about the negotiation process that concerned it. “If these issues are in the public arena, there is less room for misunderstandings and scaremongering.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election