Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Give Trade a Chance Restart Russia Agreement

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
Member of Parliament for Northland

13 OCTOBER 2015


New Zealand should restart negotiations on the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Free Trade Agreement based around true free trade, says New Zealand First.

“With the risk of a new Cold War, are we benefitting politically or economically from our lack of meaningful engagement with Russia?” asks New Zealand FirstLeader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.

Major exporters such as Fonterra have been discouraged by the government from stepping in to fill the gap left by countries with trade sanctions on Russia.

“The government has just signed up to the TPPA on the basis that ‘something is better than nothing’. It ill behoves New Zealand to of late spend so much time kow-towing to Uncle Sam whilst our other trading interests are so seriously neglected.

“Russia is the world’s fifth largest food importer, which, before the sanctions, imported over $50 billion worth of food. It is also the world’s number two dairy importer, so it is madness for Mr Key not to use trade as a positive diplomatic tool.

“Disappointingly, in the month following Mr Groser blaming Russian slowness for lifting restrictions on Fonterra processing plants, we know that not one letter, email, note or fax, was exchanged between him and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“This lackadaisical approach forgets that the stellar run of New Zealand beef exports into the United States could slow after 2016, as the American beef herd rebuilds. Russia has strong potential to be a growth opportunity if we’re prepared to take it.

“No less than the US Department of Agriculture's Moscow bureau forecasts that Russian beef imports will rise as its domestic beef industry falls 40 per cent short of demand.

“The forecast is that in 2016, Russian beef imports will increase 5 per cent to 735,000 tonnes. That’s a prize worth striving for given New Zealand is currently lumped in with ‘other countries’ for a total frozen beef quota of just 407,000 tonnes.

“Not actively trading with Russia hasn’t altered Russia’s foreign policy, so it really is a time to give trade a chance,” says Mr Peters.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National Spreading Panic About The Economy

The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...


Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More

Labour: Grant Robertson To Retire From Parliament
Labour List MP and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will retire from Parliament next month, and later in the year take up the position of Vice Chancellor of the University of Otago... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.