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

 

Picket Outside "Farcical" Chch Govt Trade Briefing

25 October 2001

Picket To Be Held Outside "Farcical" Christchurch Government Trade Briefing

GATT Watchdog is organising a picket of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade briefing on World Trade Organisation Trade Strategy outside the boardroom of the Canterbury Manufacturers' Association, corner of Cambridge Terrace and Manchester Street, at 2pm tomorrow Friday, October 26.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has announced that it will hold a briefing in Christchurch tomorrow on progress towards launching a new WTO round at Doha. The Ministry's intention is to outline the New Zealand government's rationale for supporting an extension of the existing free trade regime."

"This is the latest in a series of so-called briefings and consultations on trade and investment agreements. They are a direct response to the growing opposition to the free market, free trade and investment agenda, and a cosmetic exercise in manufacturing the appearance of consent" says Leigh Cookson, of GATT Watchdog.

"MFAT claims this is public consultation. In reality ordinary people have no real say or influence over the government's position at the WTO. These meetings are little more than a propaganda effort to sell the government's zealous commitment to free trade and investment."

We have seen from previous consultation exercises, like those on the Singapore and Hong Kong free trade and investment agreements that MFAT is not interested in debating the wisdom of free trade and investment agreements. The government has already made its decisions. It is like asking people to name their poison rather than giving them a choice whether they should be poisoned at all."

"At APEC last weekend, Helen Clark made it very clear that New Zealand still sees itself at the forefront of commitments to free trade and investment. The next WTO Ministerial starts in only a fortnight. Tomorrow's briefing is merely an 11th hour cosmetic afterthought to attempt to stave off criticism of the anti-democratic way in which New Zealand continues to pursue discredited free market goals. This policy has failed to deliver real benefits to the majority of the population".

"New Zealand continues to put itself at the extreme end of trade and investment liberalisation in the positions the government takes in international agreements. The WTO promotes the same kinds of free market policies which the Labour-led government was elected to reject, and which once again puts the interests of big business before people. The government should declare a moratorium on negotiating any further trade and investment agreements instead of clinging to a discredited free market ideology."

"This trade briefing is an utter farce. We will not participate in the government's insulting charm offensive and will take the debate on these issues to the streets and back into our communities" says Ms Cookson.


GATT Watchdog is working with a number of other organisations planning education and action activities opposed to the WTO in November, including a protest on Friday November 9 in Christchurch, the first day of the WTO Ministerial Meeting to be held in Qatar or Singapore.

For further comment please contact Leigh Cookson, GATT Watchdog, ph (03) 3396341 or 025 6627174

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Who Decides On The Priority List For Vaccines

During the past week, the nation has gone through a range of mixed feelings about south Auckland. Understandably, there’s been a hankering in some quarters to punish a few of the rule breakers who plunged all of Auckland back into lockdown…Yet alongside that impulse there also been compassion for the way that poverty and overcrowding make south Aucklanders extremely vulnerable to the spread of the virus... More>>


 


Government: Next Stage Of COVID-19 Support For Business And Workers

The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend... More>>

ALSO:




Government: PHARMAC Review Announced

The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Main Benefits To Increase In Line With Wages

All measures of child poverty were trending downwards, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, across the two years since year ended June 2018, Stats NZ said today. The COVID-19 lockdown in late March 2020 affected Stats NZ’s ability to collect data from households ... More>>


Covid-19: Auckland Back To Alert Level Three After One New Community Case Revealed

Auckland will move to alert level three for a week at 6am tomorrow morning after two new Covid-19 community cases announced this evening could not be directly linked to earlier cases, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
The rest of the country will move to level two.... More>>

NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

The Dig: An Illogical Ideological Struggle

Dig beneath all the trade wars and the arguments to the effect that the USA should not permit China to achieve economic and technological superiority, or even parity, and you find the real reason behind the conflict... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels