The Herald reports that calls for Peters to be sacked as Foreign Minister (he could be moved to another portfolio) are growing. Business representatives who are still in
- Northern Employers and Manufacturers Association chief executive Alasdair Thompson
- Bob Fenwick, a past president of the NZ Export Institute
- Revenue Minister Peter Dunne
The fact Peters is not just quietly voting against (or abstaining) but has launched a high profile campaign in NZ against it with newspaper ads is what has them fuming, plus his insistence he will state his views against it when overseas as Foreign Minister.
Martin Kay in the Dom Post covers in more detail the Revenue Minister’s views on Peters:
Mr Dunne, UnitedFuture’s leader and revenue minister, said Mr Peters would fly in the face of “all conventions about good government” if he spoke out against the FTA as a minister. “I can’t see how you stay on that basis.”
… Mr Dunne told Newstalk ZB the FTA was central to the Government’s foreign policy and Mr Peters had to represent that.
Kay also covers the issue of Labour’s about-face on this:
Dr Cullen’s insistence that it is all right for Mr Peters to speak against the deal contradicts comments he made soon after Mr Peters was appointed, when he said the FTA was one of the “highest foreign policy goals”.
His insistence that Mr Peters is free to criticise the deal overseas also appears at odds with a Cabinet circular that says he must speak for the Government “on all issues” when out of the country.
Colin Espiner in The Press also quotes Dr Cullen yesterday:
“I think that people understand very clearly that the confidence and supply agreement provides that Mr Peters is bound on matters purely of foreign policy …”
Now recall that in 2005, Dr Cullen stated in Parliament that the China FTA was one of the Government’s “highest foreign policy goals”.