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

 

NZ Trade Policy A Threat To Human Rights

PRESS RELEASE

26 August 1999

Robin Corner
Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

NZ TRADE POLICY A THREAT TO HUMAN RIGHTS

Mike Moore should certainly be congratulated on his appointment as Director-General of the WTO. He demonstrated rare political skill in his progress from rank-outsider to eventual appointee. With the WTO so much in the news, it is timely to examine New Zealand policy in relation to this increasingly influential organisation.

Last year the WTO issue that won the most press coverage was the decision of New Zealand to support China's application to join the organisation. The Christian Heritage Party believes one of the significant flaws in New Zealand policy relating to the WTO and APEC is the absolute separation of trade and human rights concerns in our relations with other nations. China's application highlighted the fact that no human rights compliance requirement exists for nations wishing to become members.

Numerous other abuses have been reported by the US based "Human Rights in China" organisation in articles and submissions to UN committees. A 1997 factory building collapse in Fujian province, which killed 31 workers and injured 79 is one example: the building had been built completely without building plan approval, building permits or inspections. Research also shows that at a very conservative estimate, China would have five million child labourers, many forced to work in extremely cramped, dangerous or outright abusive conditions. A 1994 report documented the use of political and 'common criminal' prisoners on forced labour from Beijing No.2 Prison making latex gloves for export to the US and other countries.

New Zealand companies, which all have extensive costs associated with health and safety and building compliance, and legitimate restrictions on how they can treat their staff, face unfair competition from Chinese companies with no such costs. Also New Zealand is in effect actively supporting tyranny.

Recently China's totally reprehensible threats to Taiwan, including the threat to fire missiles into Taiwan in retribution for Taiwan Premier Lee Teng-hui's declaration of Taiwanese statehood have been reported. Bullying of this nature should be dealt with, otherwise the bully nation, like bullies in a school playground, will just make more and more demands. By separating trade policy from every other consideration as the New Zealand Government is now doing, we are saying in effect, "It doesn't matter how you are behaving towards your own people, or towards neighbouring countries. We want to trade with you anyway."

The Christian Heritage Party calls for an end to this separation of trade from all other considerations. We should have the moral fortitude to stand with nations that are prepared to behave acceptably as world citizens, and against those who transgress. Our own companies and workers should not be exposed to competition from overseas companies from nations with unacceptable labour laws and human rights conditions.

The Prime Minister has said that the WTO and APEC are not appropriate forums for the raising of human rights concerns. The Christian Heritage Party disagrees. These strong concerns should be raised in every forum, until appropriate changes are made.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Rampant Pandering To The Farming Vote

What on earth has happened to the political parties n the centre-right? Once upon a time in the US, the party of Lincoln was a respectable political party before it devolved into the cult of Trump. Here at home, the National Parry used to be able to manage and administer the economic orthodoxy in a reasonably competent fashion. Now it can barely do simple addition and subtraction. Something must have gotten into the water, and not simply out on the farm... More>>

 

Winston Peters Speech: The Gathering Storm Clouds: Ihumatao

Frequently around New Zealand you hear people say that politicians are all the same. It’s a convenient way to dismiss any careful investigation of the truth of that statement. New Zealand First since its inception has been committed to ‘one law ... More>>

ALSO:

National Agriculture Policy: Will Restore Farmer Confidence And Pride

A National Government will reduce regulatory burden and give farmers confidence for the future. Leader of the National Party Judith Collins and Agriculture spokesperson David Bennett announced National’s Agriculture policy in Gisborne today. “Agriculture ... More>>

ALSO:

Shaw: Wealth Tax Not A Bottom Line For Green Party But They Will Push For It

Green Party co-leader James Shaw says one of his senior MPs misspoke under pressure when she said a wealth tax was one of the party's bottom lines. More>>

ALSO:

Government: More Border Exceptions For Critical Roles

The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s ... More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding ... More>>

ALSO:

Dunne Speaks: The Election Campaign Just Grinds Slowly On And On

With just over three weeks until the General Election, the release of the first major pre-election opinion poll this week confirmed what was already being reported about this year’s campaign. Although the gap between Labour and National has narrowed ... More>>

Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at vote.nz . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>

ALSO:

NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels