Tim Groser

Do you conflate diplomacy with your own distaste for Trump?

The $80,000 which Ambassador Tim Groser spent on a party in Washington DC to mark Donald Trump’s inauguration is money well spent.

Why some people are up in arms over the $80,000 figure is that they conflate diplomacy with their own distaste for Trump.

Those options are not open in the real world where NZ’s diplomats have to forge links with Governments to get things done and to protect our economic and security interests.

And in Washington those vital connections are frequently made over a drink.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirms the Inauguration Gala was hosted because of the Washington embassy’s critical role in pursuing New Zealand’s interests with the United States:

“The event was considered as a constituency building activity to position New Zealand’s interests effectively with the new US Administration and Congress.”

As indeed was blatantly obvious to anyone present at the NZ Embassy in Observatory Circle on the evening of January 17.

Groser in his opening remarks talked about Donald Trump’s achievements and the “stunning victory” he secured against tough competition starting with the contest between 17 contestants for the Republican primaries.

But Groser stressed the event was a celebration of the “democratic process” itself.

It may all be a waste if the Trump administration insists that the path to the White House runs through Israel, eh Murray? ?But at least there are still some part of our government that are trying to maintain a working relationship. ? Read more »


I’m not sure if I should feel sorry for the USA or not

Former Trade Minister Tim Groser doesn’t need to say he feels liberated: he exudes it.

His feet are resting on the coffee table in Parliament’s transition room as he contemplates his next move as a free man – a return to the diplomatic corps in the plum role as Ambassador to the United States.

It will not just be a life relatively free from the demands of near-constant travel, it will be a life, full-stop.

“My office worked out two or three years ago that I was overseas more than 200 days a year and boy, I’m not going to miss that,” he said.

“Constant travel – you have no life at all.”

He is looking forward to resuming a personal life, going to the movies, playing music, getting fit, things he found impossible to do while on the move.

It’s time to be put out to pasture on a cushy gig. ? Read more »


Greens are against the TPP because it doesn’t fix climate change

The fruit loops in the Green party have finally found something other than “neo-liberalism” to complain about over the TPP.

Apparently it?doesn’t satisfy their demands on climate change.

It’s appalling that the environment chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) does not explicitly cite climate change, the biggest threat to our global wellbeing, said the Green Party today.

“Climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity, yet there is no mention of it in a trade deal that affects 40 percent of the world?s economy,” said Green Party trade spokesperson, Kennedy Graham.

“The TPPA has been touted as the most important trade agreement of the modern age, so it is inexcusable the Government plans to sign an agreement that doesn?t even mention climate change. ?? Read more »


What precisely is Labour’s actual position in free trade these days?

Labour can’t seem to make up their mind on free trade these days.

They vehemently opposed the TPPA, then after the deal was done said it wasn’t good enough, but that they would probably support it, while Andrew Little said if he was in government he would ignore the bits he didn’t like.

Phil Goff has come out yesterday with clear support.

Senior Labour MP Phil Goff says it is unlikely the party would have to breach parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPPA) free trade deal if it came to power, with “more than one way to skin the cat” regarding its concerns.

Goff, a former Labour leader and the trade minister who signed a free trade agreement with China in 2008, told TV3’s Paul Henry?he had encouraged his party colleagues to consider the costs of opting out of the deal, which was “not the monster” that opponents were afraid of. ? Read more »

The left wing isn’t happy about Helen Clark becoming a ‘turncoat’

Chris Trotter has a bad case of the conniptions and has lashed out at Helen Clark for her stance over the TPPA:

THE MOMENT THE WORDS were out of her mouth the political wreckage began to pile up. On Radio Live, Sean Plunket positively whooped with delight. It took only a nanosecond for the right-wing shock-jock to register the implications of Helen Clark?s public endorsement of John Key?s position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Now that the ?Darling of the Left? had come out in its favour, Plunket reassured his talk-back audience, the TPP Debate is surely over. Someone, he said, should tell the ?tin-foil hat wearers?.

Those who cherish Clark?s memory as Labour?s most successful leader since Peter Fraser, have offered numerous excuses for her actions. She was misquoted, they insist. She didn?t understand how her words would be distorted, others say. Living in New York, she must have been unaware of the way the TPP debate had evolved in New Zealand. Helen Clark would never have knowingly delivered such a brutal blow to her own party.


Seven years after her defeat by John Key?s National Party, Clark?s interest in Labour remains undiminished. Kept informed of its every move by a coterie of loyal supporters, she cannot credibly claim to have been ignorant of the impact her little encomium on the importance of international trade would have.

?What always haunts a Prime Minister?, said Clark, ?is: ?Will there be a series of trade blocs develop that you are not part of?? Because that is unthinkable for New Zealand as an export-oriented, small trading nation. So of course New Zealand has to be in on the action with the TPP and go for the very best deal it can as the agreement expands beyond the original four economies to a wider regional agreement.?

John Key and his Trade Minister, Tim Groser, have yet to set out the argument for signing the TPP as succinctly as Clark did in New York ? or with more force. There is absolutely no way that such a well-considered statement could?ve just slipped out ? by mistake.

Read more »


I can’t wait for the TPP agreement to be signed

But mostly because I’m sick of it dominating the headlines and it doesn’t actually get anyone anywhere.

Talks by trade ministers involved in the Trans Pacific Partnership have been pushed out by a further day – a sign the agreement is on the verge of a breakthrough.
Prime Minister John Key leaves New York today while Trade Minister Tim Groser remains in Atlanta at the trade talks. Mr Key said those were due to end early this morning but had been pushed out to Saturday (Sunday NZT).

Mr Key said the deal would be worth it, but has recently been talking up the benefits of it non-dairy sectors and warning that it was not as favourable for dairy as other sectors.

“We model the tariff reductions, the change in quota access and all of the other ancillary benefits of free trade agreements. And we know in the case of China, the reduction in tariffs over a period of time were a bit over $100 million. And the other benefits were valued at over $1 billion. TPP is larger than that, even with the current dairy deal.” Read more »


Dirty Media – a nice bit of confusion over names, and just who or what is NZ Inc?


So far we have looked at the following in this series:
And so we begin
Telling the Truth about Fran O’Sullivan and Dirty Politics
Dirty Politics and Fran O?Sullivan?s ?Unethical Alliance? With Bloggers
Dirty Media – Who feeds Fran?

Let us start?explaining the players and links between each.

Fran2 Read more »

Two out of Two New Zealand Prime Ministers agree: TPPA is good for you

via 3 News

via 3 News

Former Prime Minister and current UN Development Programme head Ms Clark says the TPPA is an important balancing act for the Government. Read more »

Idiot Tim Groser says he is in a ?war? over the TPPA

Now, I?m not a diplomat, but even I know that trade negotiations shouldn?t be talked about in public as acrimonious.

That will do absolutely no good.

Trade Minister Tim Groser insists the government will win the political “war” on the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal once the facts and figures can be laid out on the table.

Talks in Hawaii have ended without a finalised agreement, and Mr Groser said the nations involved were down to three final issues, and will meet again soon to iron those out.

Mr Groser said he believed reasonable people were being “whipped up into a frenzy” over issues like pharmaceutical costs and investor-state dispute settlement, by people who oppose the deal for ideological reasons

“Look, this did not reach an agreement for other reasons,” he said of the lack of a deal after the latest talks.

He said the impasse was down to automotives, intellectual property and dairy.

The Minister said the government was fighting TPPA opponents with one hand tied behind its back, as it simply could not provide the real facts and figures while the discussions were still happening.

Read more »

Just when you didn’t think a newspaper could stoop any lower… [UPDATED]

Not content with dumbing down the main news section, a newspaper has brought in a gossip column for its business pages?and?Holly Ryan?the ?Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter is running the tawdry little gossip column.

No I’m not kidding.

Let us know …?

This is not a gossip column but….

The new weekly Page2 is a chance to share stories and pictures about business personalities and events so please drop us a line [email protected] We promise to be nice.”

Perhaps Holly need some tipoffs on NZME unhappiness? ? Read more »