Apr 23, 2008

Government Breaches International Commitments

New Zealand is a small economy dependent for its prosperity on international trade and upon foreign capital (which compensates for our poor domestic saving record and our current account deficit). International rules are particularly important for small countries. Without them we would be bullied all the time by the big guys. Because these rules our so important to us, it is critical that we abide by these rules ourselves and set a good example.

The Hive is therefore angry that the Government has chosen to ignore advice from officials and breach international obligations in an attempt to seek sort term electoral advantage over the Auckland airport sale decision. The only "recent" instances we can recall where the Government has knowingly breached our international treaty commitments were Nick Smith's decision to maintain the ban on domestic sales of trout - just prior to the 1999 election, and several Muldoon budgets in the 1970s - but with regard to those budgets we are not sure that the senior officials had the courage to advise Muldoon that he shouldn't be doing what he was doing, so maybe he just acted without any knowledge of the implications of what he was doing.

It will be interesting to see how National reacts to this confirmation of a breach. Tim Groser had Goff on the ropes last week in similar territory on the final day that Parliament sat before the break. In the meantime, this is an issue worthy of further analysis by the mainstream media.

We are particularly upset with Clayton Cosgrove who should have known better (we don't take Parker seriously anymore). Maybe Mike Moore can tell him how negative his action was for New Zealand's long term economic interests. Indeed we would welcome a Mike Moore think piece on this topic.