Editorials 19 April 2010

April 19th, 2010 at 11:14 am by David Farrar

The Herald focuses on media freedom in :

Two developments in Suva provide renewed evidence of the regime’s distaste for democracy in any real meaning of the word. They must surely have dismissed any thoughts among transtasman officials and politicians of achieving change by appeasement.

This is the unfortunate thing, with the timing. I think NZ, and , were edging towards a more constructive relationship. But this draft decreee pushes them in the other direction.

First, Fiji’s just-published draft of a Media Industry Development Decree would virtually eliminate freedom of expression in the country. It is a remarkable document, one which would make Zimbabwe proud and Singapore blush.

I am one of those who believe taking away a voice is worse than taking away a vote.

The decree protecting the regime from prosecution is a more abstract threat to democracy – a coup leader’s fantasy that surely, once this sorry interregnum is over, will be declared null and void by a legitimate court – with the case against him then reported by a free press. That time can come, though, only if New Zealand and Australia continue to hold hard to democratic principle and the regime is subjected to the greatest sanction, the decision of the Fijian people to call time on their dictator.

This is why I don’t think the Commodore will even surrender power. He has no exit plan which guarantees him immunity from prosecution.

The Dom Post looks at trade with the US:

The US has much to gain from improved access to Asian markets for its goods but it is an unsentimental dealmaker, which swaps its free trade principles for self-interest when it sits down at the negotiating table.

The new ambassador to Washington, Mike Moore, has work to do. So does Mr Key, who is hoping for a formal invitation to the White House later this year and the heft that will give him with US business and farming organisations.

And the ODT talks apples:

The Australian apple market is not huge and estimates for New Zealand exports range around $15 million to $20 million per annum, small but significant.

On the other hand Australian apple consumption is much lower than New Zealand’s and better prices and more competition could be what is needed to stimulate demand.

It can be a win-win,

Australia is in this instance, however, a blatant hypocrite.

It battles for free trade in agriculture while putting up several specific agricultural barriers to protect its own, including against New Zealand apples.

Yes, and if they refuse to act on this issue, will risk undermining their credibility as the can then approve trade sanctions against them.

3 Responses to “Editorials 19 April 2010”

  1. Bevan (3,399 comments) says:

    They must surely have dismissed any thoughts among transtasman officials and politicians of achieving change by appeasement.

    When you show weakness to tyrants wrapped up in the guise of ‘constructive dialogue, they do not open up – they just think you are weak.

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  2. freethinker (776 comments) says:

    Notice The Press is seldom referred to in editorials which is understandable as its content is usually a load of foul smelling excrement ( mustn’t use a naughty word).

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  3. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    What really suprised me about Australia since moving over here is how heavily protected and controlled industry is.

    Just two examples that spring to mind off the top of my head are the subsidies given to automotive vehicle manufacturers enjoy and ‘award wages’ which mandate how much workers at different levels in various fields are paid.

    In New Zealand, everyone knows what the minimum wage is but when you ask people here, noone knows. The usual response is “well, I’m a clerk so I’m supposed to get bla bla bla” or what have you.

    Interesting thing I found is that, dispite the governmental intervention in wages, were still getting 30% more here than in NZ on a PPP basis.

    The other example is the A$620 million per year subsidy the Australian govenment gives Holden. Divided by the population ratio between Australia and New Zealand, that is an Air NZ buyout, a-la 2001, every 4 years.

    It’s an interesting look into the style of the economy we are supposed to be catching up on. Upon reflection, it seems to me that the NZ Government is bringing an apple to a knife-fight.

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