Labour deputy leader Annette King said the fact the Government has put the brakes on legislation around plain packaging for cigarettes, while it waits to see whether Australia is successfully sued by a tobacco company, has put doubt in people’s minds.
“It must also be in the Government’s mind at this point because why wouldn’t we pass (the legislation) if we can’t be sued.”
King is being deliberately misleading, The lawsuit in Australia that NZ is waiting to see the outcome of, is not under an investor state dispute settlement provision of an free trade agreement. It is under WTO rules and is not a company but a country suing – Ukraine, Honduras, Indonesia, Dominican Republic and Cuba.
These are the same dispute settlement provisions that allowed us to get a WTO ruling that Australia can’t block NZ apple imports on phony biosecurity grounds.
King said the Government had done an “appalling” job of handling public confidence and public information over the deal.
“Yes, everyone understands you don’t give away all the things you’re negotiating…but there has been a very high handed and arrogant approach.
“The vacuum (the Government) left by not bringing along the public in some respects has been filled by people who have got information from other sources. It’s their own fault they’ve ended up with a divided public over a deal that they tell us is going to be a high quality deal,” she said.
I love this – Labour scaremongers for months over the TPP, and then says it is the Government’s fault the public has had misleading information!