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going to NZ « Previous | |Next »
April 13, 2008

I leave Adelaide for NZ via Melbourne late today for two weeks holiday in the South Island. So I thought that I'd begin to dip into NZ politics.I don't know know how often that I can post as it will depend on access to internet or cyber cafes.

It's election time and Winston Peters leader of the NZ First Party and the Foreign Affairs Minister, is campaigning on his opposition to trade with foreigners, his opposition to Asian foreigners being able to live here, and his opposition to people being able to sell property or shares to foreigners.

NZSlane.jpg Slane, NZ Herald

Labor are trailing, NZ is trying to sign a Free Trade Agreement with China and Winston opposes the FTA in the name of economic nationalism. There are calls for Peters to be sacked as Foreign Minister as the FTA is central to the Clarke Government’s foreign policy and Peters had to represent that. However under the “agree to disagree” clause in the agreements with Labour Peters may criticise the government in areas not related to his portfolios.

Helen Clark 's Labour party has been in government eight and a half years and they must be running out of puff and ideas. Are they compromising good Government on the Peters issue just to keep the numbers together? What has happened to collective responsibility Trade policy is a subset of foreign policy for Clarke Labor and the China free-trade deal is one of their highest foreign policy goals.

John Armstrong, writing in the NZ Herald, says that under the deal:

Peters is bound by collective ministerial responsibility when he talks about issues within his foreign affairs portfolio. He speaks for the Government and "as part of the Government" when he wears that hat.When he speaks about matters outside his portfolio, however, he speaks as a leader of a political party or an ordinary MP, rather than as a minister. With one caveat, he is essentially free to say what he likes. The exception is when he is overseas. Then, as the Government's representative, he is required to speak for the Government "on all issues" discussed with international counterparts.

It can be argued that trade policy is a subset of foreign policy for Clarke Labor and the China free-trade deal is one of their highest foreign policy goals.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:07 AM | | Comments (9)
Comments

Comments

If Mr Peters continues to speak his mind and express heterodox views he might give others the impression that democracy lives.

RumpoleQC
I'm inclined to agree. I don't know much about the free trade agreement between NZ and China or what it really involves, other than it is being seen to be very important for NZ.

Peters is the Kiwi version of Pauline Hanson and Clarke, and Clarke Labour, are too weak to do anything about him even if they wanted to. NZ needs a change of government round about now.

Lyn,
by 'Pauline Hanson' do you mean right wing populist nationalism opposed to globalization?

Gary,
Yes. His attitudes towards Asians and Muslims are also Hansonish and, like her, he used to be a member of the conservative National Party but they dumped him.

Lyn


Peters is the Kiwi version of Pauline Hanson and Clarke, and Clarke Labour, are too weak to do anything about him even if they wanted to

Oh dear. Haven't you learnt from the Hanson experience? What do you propose "Clarke Laour do?" Send him to the tower? guillotine? The Australian Luvvie Left wanted to do that to Pauline, but instead what they got was over a decade of Howard.

Multiculti has been on the nose for years. We should be thankful that working class people are finally getting a say in western democracies.

John,
not all working class in Australia or New Zealand are Anglo Saxon. Many are definitely non-Anglo-Saxon. As you well know.

Gary

Huh? Where have I said otherwise?

John,
you imply that the Australian working class is not a supporter of multiculturalism.