Tim Groser

Tim Groser Eats Legally Caught Yummy Fish

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This is what the headline should have said.

Chilean Sea Bass are not really even protected.  In fact this is what National Geographic had to say.

We believe it’s no longer necessary to “Take a wholesale pass on Chilean seabass.” Look for the blue eco-label of the Marine Stewardship Council, or ask where in the world it comes from. This will help you find the best and avoid the rest.

Tim Groser spent a meagre $300 at “Table for 7″ where just $35 was spent on the fish.  Read more »

Not just our trade affected by plain packaging, now Scotch is in the gun

I wrote earlier in eh week about Indonesia threatening retaliation for our $900 million export trade to Indonesia if plain packaging goes ahead. This would likely affect our wine exports and also milk…the two largest and with the milk the most sensitive.

Indonesia has also said to the UK that the lucrative Scotch Whisky trade will likely be retaliated against if plain packaging is implemented in the UK.

The same arguments that Tim Groser was putting forward about sovereign nations retaining rights to protect the health of its citizens can also apply to alcohol and infant formulas. In Indonesia’s case on alcohol they could simply use the fact they are a muslim nation and alcohol is forbidden in the Koran, so plain packaging is needed to reduce consumption…the same claims that plain packaging advocates use for implementation against tobacco.

SCOTCH whisky could be dragged into a tit-for-tat trade war because of plans to ­introduce plain packaging for cigarettes in Scotland and the rest of the UK, MPs fear.

The Indonesian government has proposed forcing Australian wine to be sold in plain packaging in retaliation for Australia introducing plain packs for cigarettes in December 2012.

Indonesia is expected to impose the same restrictions on New Zealand when that country introduces plain packs for tobacco products shortly.

The south-east Asian nation has called on other major tobacco-producing countries to follow its lead. Indonesia is one of the world’s largest producers and has a high rate of domestic cigarette consumption.

Legislation for plain cigarette packaging in Scotland is due to be introduced at Holyrood before the end of the current parliament. Prime Minister David Cameron has strongly hinted that laws for the measure south of the Border will be included in the Queen’s Speech in June.

This has led to speculation from MPs that whisky could join wine from Australia and New Zealand in being sold in plain packaging in tobacco-producing nations. Glasgow Central MP Anas Sarwar, who supports the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco, urged ministers to intervene with Indonesia to ensure Scotch is not dragged into the dispute.

The Labour MP, who is a member of the all party parliamentary group on Indonesia, said: “UK ministers need to protect the interests of Scotch whisky and must ensure that it is not dragged into any international dispute as a result of the government introducing plain packaging for cigarettes.”

Conservative MP Priti Patel, who chairs the all party parliamentary group for small shops, recently wrote to retailers across the UK asking them to lobby the UK and Scottish governments against the plans for plain cigarette packaging.

She said: “Ministers need to be aware of the wider consequences of legislation, including the effects on international trade as well as the problems it causes for small shops across the country.

“Plain packaging is a very blunt and ill-thought-out instrument for dealing with a health issue.”

Iman Pambagyo, the director general of international trade co-operation in Indonesia’s trade ministry, said the use of plain packaging for cigarettes was not backed by scientific evidence.

“If there is no scientific clarity, the policy should not be applied, because it can affect our other commodities,” he said.

He added that the Indonesian government could implement a plain packaging policy for alcoholic beverages from Australia.

This is of course the slippery slope, when the lobbyist win against tobacco they will start on plain packaging for alcohol, sugar, chocolate…almost anything that they deem to be unhealthy. It could even affect meat…eventually.

Branding will be destroyed, companies destroyed all because of state funded busy bodies who have no evidence.

Make no mistake the busy bodies are coming for your industry next, and they will use the same tactics against your company as they do against tobacco. Watch and learn as Chelsea Sugar is attacked as “Big Sugar”, as purveyors of poison…it is already happening, they are softening up the market before they start naming companies…Coca Cola and Frucor will be top of the list.

Told you plain packaging will extend beyond cigarettes, now it will be a trade weapon

I’ve been talking about it for ages, and commenters and other including politicians scoffed…Don’t be silly Cam, plain packaging legislation is for tobacco only.

Except it gives the antis a toehold and now we are seeing the results of that. On top of that tobacco producing countries can use it to conduct a trade war against our exporters.

New Zealand’s wine and dairy producers will be forced to export their products without branding in retaliation for Government’s introduction of plain packaging of cigarettes, tobacco firms are warning MPs.

A senior Indonesian official has been reported saying New Zealand exporters will pay a price for draconian law changes which will require tobacco producers to sell their products in plain packs with standardised fonts and colours.

Tobacco firms and lobbyists repeated the warning to a Parliamentary committee yesterday.

Emergency Committee for American Trade president Cal Cohen told MPs that plain packaging was likely to lead to restrictions of trademarks for other goods such as wine and dairy.

Tobacco giant Phillip Morris pointed to a letter by Indonesia’s former Minister of Trade Gita Wirjawan to New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, in which he said plain packaging breached WTO rules and would have an impact on New Zealand exports.

Wine and dairy…ouchy…I wonder what Fonterra and all the exporters of dairy products think about that…especially those exporting branded baby formula to China.

What about sugar containing products…will they be the next victims in the war of business?

The former minister, now the Indonesian Director General for International Trade Co-operation, made a similar warning in a local news report: “If the cigarettes we export there are not allowed to have brands, then the wine they sell here shouldn’t also.”

New Zealand’s exports to Indonesia were worth nearly $900 million, half of which came from dairy. Food and beverages made up 70 per cent of total exports.

Trade Minister Tim Groser said New Zealand was “exercising its normal rights” through the plain packaging legislation.

He told the Herald: “I’ve met numerous Indonesian officials since we initiated that action and no concern has been expressed to me personally.

“So I would be very surprised if I hear talk in the future of that.”

Be surprised Groser…it will happen. The health busybodies will move from tobacco to sugar, to alcohol to dairy…they will use the same tactics, the same denigration and on top of that use state funding and taxpayer money to do it all.

If tobacco producing countries retaliate they will use the very same arguments Groser is advancing…that [insert country] was “exercising its normal rights” through the plain packaging legislation against alcohol…which from a muslim country like Indonesia is perfectly defensible on religious grounds without any pesky scientific evidence, which is severely lacking in tobacco legislation.

Corporate New Zealand better gear up for a war with the state funded health busybodies, it is coming whether they like it or not and their silence against plain packaging simply emboldens them toa ttack harder.

Fran O’Sullivan on China, National and Labour nasty tactics

Fran O’Sullivan writes about John Key’s China triumph:

John Key has firmly put his personal stamp on the New Zealand-China relationship by forging a “trusted partner” status with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Xi heralded the co-operation between China and New Zealand as “pioneering and exemplary”, saying he believed Key’s tour would instil new vitality into the bilateral relationship.

The Chinese President not only made sure New Zealand media were present for all of his reassuring opening remarks at the onset of the two leaders’ bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People, but he also welcomed Key and his officials “as family” to a rare private dinner.

This is no mean feat, given Beijing’s barely disguised anger over the Fonterra botulism scare that last year resulted in scathing editorials in official news organs over the New Zealand Government’s perceived failure to rigorously police food safety standards.

Chinese consumers were justifiably angry over the Fonterra fiasco. It not only diminished their confidence in the safety of New Zealand infant formula but resulted in significant collateral damage to the smaller Kiwi exporters that had the foresight and wit (which Fonterra at that stage lacked) to manufacture New Zealand-branded infant formula for the Chinese market.

Key’s visit has drawn a line under that episode.

Which is why Labour and their flunkies in MFaT wanted to rain on the parade.

But the Opposition has been determined to try to ensure Key does not get to politically bank the positives from the deepening bilateral relationship.

This is a mistake, especially given Labour’s own groundbreaking role in forging bilateral ties with China.    Read more »

Busting myths: TPP

Patrick Smellie provides a useful list to help with busting the myths of the left wing losers who oppose everything and anything to do with free trade.

So, that’s No 1 in a list of the things that opponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement don’t want you to understand. The secrecy surrounding TPP negotiations is typical of any such exercise.

No 2: The bogey of corporations being able to sue governments is not only overblown, but corporations can do that now, without a TPP. Look across the Tasman, where Big Tobacco is suing the government over its plan to enforce plain packaging for cigarettes.

No 3: Corporations might try to sue but they’ll be whistling if the government is acting in the public interest. Raising new taxes, protecting the environment, or regulating for public-health reasons won’t be excuses to mount court action.

No 4: United States corporate interests are obviously among those seeking influence on the TPP agenda, but that doesn’t mean the US Senate and Congress are on board. That’s why US President Barack Obama is having such trouble getting “fast-track” authority to negotiate TPP.

No 5: US politicians know less about what’s in the TPP negotiating documents than US corporate lobbies. So it must be a plot, right? Well, actually, no. Politicians in the US, and in New Zealand for that matter, can agree to maintain confidentiality and be briefed on whatever they like with respect to TPP. Labour’s trade and foreign affairs spokesmen, Phil Goff and David Shearer, avail themselves of this benefit. They support TPP, along with Shane Jones and some other Labour heavy-hitters, even if leader David Cunliffe is a leaf in the wind as he tries to balance what he knows is right and what his backers on the Left of the Labour Party expect.  Read more »

Doctors playing politics… again

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Via the Tipline

APEC is vitally important to NZ; even more so as a tiny country reliant on exports at the bottom of the world. It shows that NZ is part of the Asia Pacific Region.

While it’s a shame Obama couldn’t make it, nearly every other leader turned up to Bali for this years’ APEC conference.  Most people would know that attending a conference like APEC takes some planning. As Prime Minister, you don’t wake up one morning and say “ok boys let’s go to APEC this week”. It takes months and months of planning and work to make sure NZ is seen as an active participant and Key’s meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jinping are quite important.   Read more »

When will Nathan Guy go?

Fonterra is making moves to mitigate the PR disaster that still swirls around them. They have sent two senior managers on leave.

One wonders how long before Nathan Guy gets the arse card?

It was telling that all the ‘splaining was left to Tim Groser and Nikki Kaye. If Nikki Kaye is preferred to speak on the issue instead of Nathan Guy then you know he is in trouble.

Fonterra has put two senior managers on leave as its probe into operational matters that led to a botulism bacteria scare deepens.

The move follows the resignation on Wednesday with immediate effect of Gary Romano, managing director of the dairy company’s New Zealand manufacturing operations.  Read more »

Borat’s home bans Fonterra

It looks like more countries are banning Fonterra products. Including Borat’s Kazakhstan:

Former Soviet republics Belarus and Kazakhstan have joined Russia in banning Fonterra dairy products in the wake of the dairy giant’s botulism scare, Trade Minister Tim Groser has confirmed.

A spokeswoman for Mr Groser said the two central Asian nations had placed “temporary restrictions” on Fonterra products, the same move taken by Russia last week.

The two countries were small markets for Fonterra, the spokeswoman said.  Read more »

Listen to reasoned explanations of the GCSB bill

Christopher Finlayson explains patiently and slowly what the GCSB Bill is actually about.

I makes the ranting and raving of Labour and the Green party and their paid flunkies look like a bunch of deliberate liars.

Read more »

The Nasty party returns, no surprises it is Sue Moroney

Tim Groser may not speak like the stable boys’ scrubber but I don;t think it was necessarily helpful for Sue Moroney to prove yet again that she is a nasty piece of work.

Read more »