Editorials 14 April 2010

April 14th, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald chomps into the apple debate:

Apple-growers from China, the United States and Chile are queuing to sell their fruit in .

They, especially, will be interested in New Zealand’s reported success in persuading the World Trade Organisation to overturn Australia’s long-running ban on the importing of apples from this country.

But they, too, are the reason Australia is bound to use every conceivable delaying tactic to deny the benefits of that verdict to New Zealand orchardists.

Protection of struggling Australian producers has become the only rationale for the ban in the latter years of its 90 years’ existence.

Hypocrisy for a nation which has championed free trade in agriculture.

In the process, however, Australia is besmirching its reputation as a promoter of free trade. At the moment, its trade practices are the subject of 10 complaints from other countries.

New Zealand has no such cases against it.

Yay.

The Press also takes up the cudgels on apples:

The reported World Trade Organisation decision which would allow New Zealand to export apples across the Tasman is not just a victory for our pipfruit industry. It is also a big win for New Zealand trade officials and for the cause of free trade itself. For Australia to have used spurious science to block for so long New Zealand apples was nonsensical and a complete contradiction of its otherwise strong free-trade credentials.

If Australia do not accept the ruling, once final, then NZ can apply for and get trade sanctions against Australia. That would be very damaging to the relationship, but may be necessary if Australia refuses to comply with the rules it signed up to.

The Dominion Post focuses on the Three:

Father Murnane believes it unlikely that the Government will pursue a lawsuit against them because, he says, they don’t have much money and civil action would cost taxpayers too much.

He is right that yet more court proceedings would not be cheap. But sometimes protesters need to accept that principles can come at a cost.

Messrs Murnane, Leason and Land would surely be prepared to pay that price? If principles are worth standing up for – and they almost always are – those who hold them dear must be willing to go down to the wire to uphold them. If that means having an attachment order assigned to their income, or a lien placed against their property, to meet the cost of paying for damage to public property, so be it. And if the jury verdict was as popular as the triumvirate believes, their supporters will obviously be willing to help fund any damages awarded against them.

The solicitor-general should proceed. Taxpayers should not have to stump up the cash to fund this pointless protest.

The news their claimed poverty didn’t include half a million dollars of land, does make a civil case more appealing.

The ODT looks at competitive

Comparisons can help human beings, a competitive species, strive to do better – whether in NCEA pass rates or scholarship numbers or in provincial education correlations.

They give schools and communities the chance for pride, often well earned, or for motivation to do better next time.

Sometimes, too, they provide opportunities for finding reasons, often valid, why performances are down the scale. Even if bald results taken at face value can be misleading, they are a part of the information mix.

Except for those who want to ban them.

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11 Responses to “Editorials 14 April 2010”

  1. Murray (8,842 comments) says:

    I see the Australian reaction is as reasoned and mature as always. “Awww… nah, thats not they said eh.”

    We gave you Jo Bjelke Petersen and Russell Crowe now you get our fireblight so suck it up Oz!

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  2. ben (2,414 comments) says:

    Prosecute the Waihopai Three. It is right and proper that such protests be rationed to those willing to pay a price reflecting the protest’s costs.

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  3. davidp (3,557 comments) says:

    >And if the jury verdict was as popular as the triumvirate believes, their supporters will obviously be willing to help fund any damages awarded against them.

    I’d like to see their actions commemorated. The ideal way to do this would be to install 3 new domes at Waihopai and name them Murnane, Leason and Land. Then rename the whole facility to the Bryan Law Defence Intelligence Station. Have a big sign out front proclaiming the new name. And announce intelligence successes, such as well targeted Reaper strikes that blow up bad guys, with the Bryan Law DIS’s contribution.

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  4. CJD (334 comments) says:

    The Australian version of free trade has always been slanted towards advantaging Austrlian business to the detriment of others. We narrowly missed the deply flawed Trans Tasman Therapeutics Bill that was sold to us as a glorious opportunity for Trans Tasman co operation, but which in fact would have obliterated a number of New Zealand companies.

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  5. emmess (1,398 comments) says:

    How about confiscating the Waihopai three’s land and building more spy bases on it?
    That would really piss them off

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  6. niggly (813 comments) says:

    Tee hee there davidp & emmess!

    Another funny thing, did anyone pick up what Peter Murnane said in the Sunday Star Times?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3570413/Waihopai-duo-hold-properties-worth-half-a-million

    Quote:
    “Murnane told the Star-Times yesterday that the trio felt it “very, very unlikely” the Crown would pursue a suit because they didn’t have much money and a civil trial would cost taxpayers too much. As far as he knew, the family home was “sacrosanct” in civil cases”.

    “We’re quite prepared to face up to this because it’s been documented that that base contributed to horrendous crimes against humanity.”

    Fantastic! I am really looking forward to Peter Murnane and the Waihopai Twits producing documented evidence that the base actually contributes to horrendous crimes, in places like Iraq as they claimed!!!!

    Can’t wait to see documented evidence that links Waihopai with innocents being killed or eaten by the Satin West and NZ’s complicity!

    This way everyone can all see proof that they were telling the truth or simply telling a load of sh** to get off the charges!!!

    Can’t wait, bring it on!

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  7. davidp (3,557 comments) says:

    Cool idea emmess… One of them has a farm that would make a great bombing range, a flame thrower testing facility, or a transit air base for B52s on their way to Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Needless to say it would be named the Bryan Law Flamethrower Testing Facility. And a nearby restaurant could sell fried lamb.

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  8. wreck1080 (3,809 comments) says:

    Pass a retrospective law to allow the family trust funds to be taken.

    I’m disgusted with these people.

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  9. Yvette (2,745 comments) says:

    Why is any further court case pandering to the Waihopia three’s publicity needs required?
    They have confessed to doing the damage so the appropriate government department should now just bill them a third each for the costs and pursue the matter as any other debt – install a boot-clamp on a wheel of any vehicle owned by them, follow normal procedure
    – Hire of venue for protest meeting $ 500, transport to get there $ 200, fines stopping them from going $ 366,667

    Other wise when will the next member of the lower economic grouping, faced with reparation or fines over any crime, not be charged because prior knowledge indicates they can not pay?

    There was the defence used by the three to get off.
    Next there will be the Waihopia Fine Defence, which you claim because you don’t have the money to pay a fine?

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  10. Paulus (2,565 comments) says:

    The Waihopai trio should be bankrupted if they cannot pay the fines.

    Bankrupts find it difficult to obtain such as a credit card or mortgage without be subject to strict oversight.

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  11. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    emmess – I like the cut of your jib, sir!

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