Turia lines NZ up for WTO slapping


Typical at this time of year, you get pollies trying to look as though they’re doing something.  Tariana Turia is one such pollie. It isn’t called the silly season for nothing.

While the vast majority of Kiwis are thinking about Christmas and the holidays, word out of Wellington is that Turia was so incensed at not getting her prized plain packaging of tobacco products bill onto the Order Paper before Parliament rose, that she demanded her bill be dropped on the Clerk of the House before Christmas.

Maybe the NZ Herald needs to re-print their Editorial: Smokers don’t give a fag about plain packaging

But John Key’s not going to fall for that old trick. Quick as a fast, he’s poured cold water on the idea saying;

“”But it’s very, very unlikely it will be passed. In fact, in my view it shouldn’t be passed until we’ve actually had a ruling out of Australia.

“We think it’s prudent to wait till we see a ruling out of Australia. If there’s a successful legal challenge out of Australia, that would guide us how legislation might be drafted in New Zealand.

Turia tends to forget that New Zealand is a little country at the bottom of the world that relies heavily on trading its wears to the world. Getting all uppity about plain packaging for fags that ends up getting NZ hauled before the WTO to face trade sanctions is not a bright idea in anyone’s books.

Especially when the Government’s own advice says;


Letting Australia get slapped in the chook by the WTO before lining up NZ for a slap is a much better idea.


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  • blokeintakapuna

    Agree – let Aussie lead the way to the slapping…

    However, we’re a friggin’ sovereign nation! If our country decides, through the democratically elected representatives we appoint to create our sovereign legislation, that NZ will not allow individuals or Corporations to profit from, or sell known poisons to Kiwi’s – WTF does and why do the WTO have a say in our sovereign legislation?

    • ex-JAFA

      I imagine the WTO is responsible for enforcing international trademark and other intellectual property laws. That’s the angle the tobacco manufacturers are using to counter the plain packaging proposal – their trademarks would become less valuable. Whether we agree or disagree that that’s a good or a bad thing (and there’s a strong suggestion that smokers don’t care one way or t’other, so long as they can get their fix), the WTO has to put the case.

      • blokeintakapuna

        Yes, but as a sovereign nation, surely we get to choose our own laws and legislation rather than the tobacco Corporations through the WTO?

        • Ghost

          Agreed, but in some ways we need to play in the sand pit with others as a trading nations, and also we have probably had a faceless minion of New Zealand Inc sign up to a WTO contract stating what we (NZ) can and cant do. Bit of a bugger actually.

    • unitedtribes

      I just wish a Govt would pass a law to ban smoking to all 15 years and under. No one can say it effects them other than the merchants of doom. A 15 year old shouldn’t as yet be addicted so no problems there and those older than 15
      shouldn’t be effected unless they intend poisoning their kids

    • Kimbo

      ALERT! Normally reliable sensible-thinking right-winger blokeintakapuna has has his body taken over by Green taliban aliens!

      We may be sovereign, but with CER and other free trade agreements, we exercise our sovereignty in concert and consultation with others, rather than as capricious lefties would have us act.

    • Possibly something to do with respecting property rights and the sanctity of contracts, Bloke. Although, it did go well for Mugabe when he followed your broad policies

    • mick le prick

      Note Turia the racist cow has changed her wording now as originally it was smokes kill xyz Maori now she is using words like Kills xyz New Zealanders.
      BUTT the truth is its race driven.

    • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

      Fair enough, but that assumes that our representatives are all democratically elected. Tariana’s rotten-borough “constituency” doesn’t meet that criteria.

  • Cowgirl

    Let the Aussies take the fall on this one – we’ll learn from their mistakes

    • LabTested

      like letting the Greens near government

    • Bretto

      We didn’t learn from their mistakes when we let Wussel in…

  • tarkwin

    That photo of Tariana is one of the worst examples of plain packaging I’ve ever seen.

    • thor42

      My pick for “quote of the day”…… :)

    • Agent BallSack

      Hah! Great snigger.

    • phronesis

      That’s not plain packaging, it’s the warning label.

  • thor42

    FFS Turia.

    Go and have a bloody big glass of booze and stop inflicting your hissy-fit on the country.

  • Hughesy

    Can someone remind me on what Turia’s and the Maori Party’s position on banning smoking in prisions?

  • Jaffa

    They will just put plain packaging on the outside, which you rip off to display the pretty branding inside, same old packet.

  • LionKing

    Typical, dump the controversial stuff just before Christmas in the hope that no one will notice. Good to see Key stamp on this quickly before those tobacco lawyers line up Turia and the Govt for a round or ten at some WTO hearing.

    Letting Australia take a few rounds for the team is a good idea.

  • Justsayn

    Form a cue… bit like Winston’s mate I saw at KFC for lunch

  • Hillary Green

    This didn’t get much media attention yesterday. Pleased to see WO holding politicians to account despite everyone else going on holiday.

    What this Minister never mentions is why, despite the millions and millions of dollars going into stop smoking programmes targeting Maori, Maori still have high smoking rates. It’s as if the money isn’t making the slightest bit of difference, yet they keep handing it over to them.

  • DLM

    So the Government is admitting that the policy has not be tested or assessed to ensure the Bill’s provisions are workable. This will get all the anti tobacco nazis fired up to somehow show that this idea will work. I wonder how they’ll do that… oh that’s right they’ll say that children are turned off by plain packs.

    What’s the current age of purchase for tobacco?

  • timemagazine

    Maybe people could use the money spend on cigarets on food and clothes for their kids. We all would be better off.

    • Bretto

      Haven’t you heard? There’s free food at the Auckland City Mission! Probably free buses to get there as well, as it makes for a good story for the Herald.

  • cows4me

    Why don’t these fascist zealots just fuck off. Tobacco companies have every right to package their product how they wish. Geez the poor bastards have to keep it in a locked fucking cupboard as it is. Why doesn’t the old cow push to have tobacco outlawed and be done with it. How would she feel if all Maori Party branding had to be in plain packaging. This is simply fascism and the confiscation of property rights something the Maori Party is always accusing white New Zealand of, the cow should look in the mirror.

    • Don W

      Tobacco is the easiest plant to grow producing 1000s o seeds. if it was banned it would be another industry for Tariana and Hone’s mates , the gangs to have another lucrative industry in which to make loads of tax free dosh

  • Daniel Church

    Tobacco displays in shops have already been banned – so why do we need plain packaging?