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

 


Plan Spells More Mutton Flaps and Conflict

Tuesday 22 March, 2005

Plan Spells More Mutton Flaps and Conflict for Pacific

The push for free trade in the Pacific contained in the Draft Plan of the Pacific Islands Forum risks exacerbating poverty, inequality, and conflict in the Pacific, says Peter Zwart of the Catholic agency, Caritas.

Caritas has expressed concern at the provisions which push ahead free trade negotiations both among Pacific Island countries themselves, and between this group and Australia and New Zealand.

“Pacific countries experience a particular vulnerability given their isolation, high cost of transport, small population and land mass, and a fragile ecological resource base. The idea there could ever be a fair and level playing field between Pacific Island countries and Australia or New Zealand is not only ludicrous, it is also dangerous,” says Mr Zwart.

“The experience of New Zealand in trade liberalisation has been a substantial rise in poverty and inequality. The same experience in the Pacific would deepen poverty in both urban and isolated or rural areas and add to existing social tensions. It would also lead inevitably to increased foreign ownership of the natural resource base and production, which in the Pacific has been one of the most persistent causes of conflict wherever you look, from West Papua, Bougainville and PNG, Fiji, or Solomon Islands.”

“Some proposals such as that to help reduce the cost of imported foods appear directly designed to undermine both the position of Pacific farmers growing traditional foods, and to deepen the dependence of Pacific people on less nutritious and unhealthy imported foods.”

“It is a recipe for more rural poverty and mutton flaps for the Pacific, with the associated health problems that come with them,” said Mr Zwart.

Background Information The Pacific Plan has been released by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat for general consultation. The Secretary General of the Forum, Australian, Greg Urwin, is currently in New Zealand where he attended a consultation meeting in Wellington today and will continue this process in Auckland tomorrow. The Plan can be found at the following link: www.mfat.govt.nz.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

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:

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>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news