International relations

Why does the UN want immunity from prosecution for its Global Warming Fund?

The UN is pushing hard for agreements with nations to extend immunity from prosecution to their global warming piggy bank.

Why do they need this?

These sorts of rear guard actions lend credence tot he suspicion that there is some sort of misfeasance going on already and they are trying to head off prosecutions.

The Green Climate Fund, (GCF) a United Nations-affiliated piggy-bank? intended to finance climate change projects around the world, is determined to win sweeping U.N.-style immunities from prosecutions for its global operations–even though? the U.S., its biggest contributor, opposes the idea, and the U.N. itself says its own diplomatic immunities can?t cover the outfit.

The immunities issue could well spark even deeper opposition from Republican lawmakers in next year?s Congress to the Obama Administration?s aggressive climate change policies–which include a recent $3 billion pledge to the Fund.

?We would definitely be opposed to any extension of immunity to the Fund,? said a senior aide to Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who will chair the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works starting in January.

?What do they need protection from?? he asked. ?In essence, they are doing business development projects. If you look at the way millions of people do transactions across national borders, they do it without immunity and very successfully.?

Apparently undeterred, fund officials told Fox News that they are now trying to hammer out ?bilateral agreement templates? that could be laboriously negotiated with each country where it operates?a total that could eventually reach the great majority of? the U.N.?s 193 members.

The Fund has already negotiated one agreement of immunity?with its new host country, South Korea, as a condition of moving its headquarters there last year. ? Read more »

Free trade deal done with South Korea

While the left wing were marching in the streets opposing the TPPA another free trade deal has snuck under their radar.

New Zealand has completed a free trade deal with South Korea.

New Zealand and South Korea have concluded a free-trade agreement that’s expected to cut $230 million of export tariffs in New Zealand’s sixth-largest export market, including $65 million in the first year.

The deal, which was announced on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane, will initially eliminate tariffs on 48 percent of current New Zealand exports, with duties largely eliminated within 15 years. Two-way trade between the countries is worth about $4 billion.

South Korea has said it also aims to conclude FTAs with China and Vietnam before the end of the year, after agreeing recent deals with Australia and Canada. New Zealand is actively seeking such agreements after trade with China soared since an FTA was inked in 2008. The Korean FTA marks Prime Minister John Key’s first bilateral deal since being elected leader.

The Korean talks, begun in 2009, have previously stalled amid Korean concern about the impact of New Zealand agricultural exports on domestic producers.

“It has been a long, hard agreement to reach,” Key told reporters in Brisbane. “It’s a high quality deal. It was always going to be a tough negotiation but we have got ourselves now back into a level playing field with those countries that compete heavily in the Korean market and I think a lot of New Zealand industry will be happy about the outcome.”

Tariffs slated for elimination include a 45 percent rate on kiwifruit, 22.5 percent charged on sheep meat, a 40 percent levy on beef and an 89 percent tariff on butter.

Read more »

Is extradition to Germany actually Kim Dotcom’s card get out of jail free card?


There has been a lot of speculation about whether or not Kim Dotcom may be extradited if his residency is revoked for lying on his application.

There is also debate about where he would be sent to.

Some say Hong Kong as that is where he moved from to live in New Zealand….or to Germany…or to Finland….he holds passports in both of the latter jurisdictions.

Then you have to query David ‘Tainted’ Fisher’s expose…surely he knew about this already when he launched his dictated hagiography that he tried (and failed) to claim was work of journalism.

Could it perhaps be that ‘Tainted’ Fisher wrote the article to actually assist Kim Dotcom escaping justice by fleeing back to Germany? ?? Read more »

Another coup for Key. Turns G20 into G21


John Key gets criticised?for smoozing with Liz and playing golf with Bazza, but either through ignorance or willful sabotage, it is reported on as something negative.

A lot of deals get done on the back of good relations, and this involves ‘soft’ information and informal meetings.

John Key just hit a home run: ? Read more »

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott won’t interfere in grocery stoush

Tracey Watkins, who is so excited she’s allowed to go somewhere other than the coffee machine, reports making sure we all know it was “from Sydney”. ?(Good on her)

Country-of-origin labelling is being raised as an option for New Zealand shoppers wanting to protest at Australia’s snub of Kiwi-grown produce.

Some New Zealand companies are crying foul after two big Australian supermarkets axed their contracts to supply home-brand products in favour of Australian produce.

Prime Minister John Key raised the issue with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Sydney yesterday but left empty-handed.

Coles and Woolworths say they are giving their customers what they want – Australian-made produce and Australian jobs.

Labour MP Damien O’Connor said yesterday that the Australian supermarkets had used country-of-origin labelling to discriminate against New Zealand produce.

“It is now time to introduce country-of-origin labelling in New Zealand so Kiwis can know if they are buying Australian produce and return the sentiment.”

The Australian supermarket snub is being branded a breach of the spirit of its Closer Economic Relationship agreement with New Zealand – but Abbott made it clear yesterday he would not intervene.

Bit of ?a conundrum, isn’t it? ?How would we react in reverse if we were forced to stock Australian produce against our will? ?Is this a Closer Economic Relationship breach, or is this just an issue at supplier level?? Read more »

I’m not sure this is an endorsement I’d want

Barack Obama called John Key to thank him for chairing a TPP session.

David Cunliffe, who like to jump queues to shake the hands of American politicians like Bill Clinton might be a bit miffed, but John Key Is probably miffed too at the news that Obama called him has been broadcast.

The White House has issued a statement about Mr Obama’s phone call, in which he thanked Mr Key for chairing the talks.? Read more »

Targeting New Zealand now as back door to Australia

People smugglers appear to now be targeting New Zealand as a back door route to get into Australia rather than via boats.

People smugglers are concocting a new product to sell to asylum seekers: flying them into Australia on fake tourist visas to sidestep the harsh policies of both political parties aimed at people arriving on boats.

Three groups of Iranian asylum seekers in the Indonesian province of West Java have said smugglers’ agents have approached them in recent days with a plan that comes with a money-back guarantee.

For between $US15,000 ($16,350) and $US25,000 per person – three to five times the average boat fare – they will fly them from Indonesia to Thailand or Malaysia, then to Australia on a genuine but altered passport, probably from Europe.

The smugglers say their proposal avoids the Papua New Guinea solution and the opposition’s temporary resettlement plan.

Helen Kelly has no idea

Helen Kelly and the CTU are supporting terrorists. Sure they dress it up under the guise of supporting the removal of an alleged blockade, but they deny the simple cold hard facts that is the real Gaza.

I am very pleased to support the solidarity action ?Kia Ora Gaza?. The people of Gaza have suffered severely from the blockade of Gaza by Israel. This has included not only their inability to get the materials they need to rebuild after the last bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli army but also even the ability to get school supplies. The attack on the most recent flotilla was an act of piracy and the violence displayed was beyond belief. A supply of aid from the people of New Zealand is a way for us to send a real expression both of our disapproval of the blockade but also our solidarity with the people of Gaza. I wish it every success.

Helen Kelly
New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
Te Kauae Kaimahi

She obviously hasn’t seen the starving locals trying to find scarce food, or basic necessities at impoverished shops lacking stock because of evil Israeli blockades, or even trying to find a cool pool of water to take the edge off of the desert heat in the “prison camp”. This is the only “prison camp” in the world with a flash mall too. Lord only knows how they constructed all that with a blockade in place.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.