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Oxfam political debate in Wellington

Oxfam political debate in Wellington

International development agency Oxfam New Zealand is hosting three political debates this month in the lead up to the 2008 Election. Relevant spokespeople from the major parties will be on the panel to front up on their plans to tackle the big global challenges: climate change, New Zealand’s foreign policy and international trade.

Wellington media are invited to cover the debate

Make Trade Fair on Tuesday, October 14 at 5.30 - 6.30pm.
Panel: Minister Phil Goff (Labour), Tim Groser (National), Ken Graham (Greens)
Moderator: Oxfam Executive Director Barry Coates
Venue: Room GBLT2, Government Buildings, Pipitea Campus, 15 Lambton Quay, Victoria University

The format for each debate is modelled on the UK’s BBC production ‘Question Time’. Party spokespeople will be invited to respond to questions put forward by members of the public.

Why is Oxfam hosting the debates?

Oxfam New Zealand aims to stimulate more discussion on key international issues prior to the forthcoming election. New Zealand is inextricably linked to a world which faces serious crises. This election must address the interlinked crises of climate change, high food prices and energy, deepening poverty experienced by over a billion people and the recent financial turmoil. These are issues that a future government will need to deal with and voters need to be able to understand where the parties stand.

Oxfam New Zealand is one of 13 Oxfam affiliates working in more than 100 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. Oxfam New Zealand works in the Pacific, East Asia and Africa supporting developing communities to access safe water and sanitation, to build sustainable livelihoods, to provide education and healthcare and to live free from persecution and violence.

Make Trade Fair

Fair rules on international trade are vital for New Zealand’s prosperity, but also for the lives of millions of people in the developing world. The next government will be responsible for negotiating a number of trade agreements that are already underway. Negotiations in the World Trade Organisation for a ‘development round’ have stalled, as major powers such as the US and EU have refused to reform their agricultural policies, while demanding deep concessions from developing countries.

Meanwhile New Zealand has embarked on a diverse range of free trade negotiations that may improve access for commodity exporters, but also undermine pressure for trade reform and prospects for a multilateral agreement.

In the Pacific, New Zealand and Australia are pressing for a reciprocal agreement with small island nations that could increase New Zealand’s exports, but could also create serious problems for vulnerable Pacific economies.

To help set the scene for the trade debate, at 5.30pm Oxfam will be presenting Minister Phil Goff and other speakers with a petition in the form of a Pacific-style lei signed by 2400 New Zealanders calling on the government to make trade fair for people living in poverty, especially our Pacific neighbours. The Lei petition is part of a wide-reaching Make Trade Fair campaign signed by 20,000 New Zealanders and more than 20 million people worldwide.

For your information Oxfam is also hosting two debates in Auckland:

Monday, October 13, 6- 7pm - Tackling Climate Poverty
Moderator: Wallace Chapman
Panel: David Parker (Labour), Nick Smith (National), Jeanette Fitzsimons (Greens), Kath McCabe (ACT)
Venue: Lecture room WA 220, WA building AUT, Wellesley St East

Tuesday, October 21, 7- 8pm - Ending Global Poverty and Building a Safer World
Moderator: Bill Ralston
Panel: Minister Phil Goff (Labour), Keith Locke (Greens), Kath McCabe (ACT), National Party representative, yet to be confirmed
Venue: Lecture room WA 220, WA building AUT, Wellesley St East

Oxfam is not affiliated to any political party and we are committed to working with all political parties to promote the achievement of poverty reduction and international justice.


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