INDEPENDENT NEWS

Squabbling Detracts From Singapore Agreement

Published: Tue 7 Nov 2000 11:45 AM
Petty Squabbling Threatens To Detract From Importance Of Singapore Trade Deal
United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says petty squabbling over the inclusion of a Treaty of Waitangi clause is distracting from the real importance of the Singapore free trade deal to New Zealand.
"This is a massive opportunity for New Zealand which we should be embracing wholeheartedly."
"As a small, isolated trading nation we live by our ability to sell our products on world markets, and the opportunity for access to new markets is one we can never turn away from."
"Singapore is the world's ultimate trading state, and access to that market and those beyond is a massive opportunity New Zealand should not overlook."
"Yet we look like becoming bogged down in a petty squabble over a Treaty of Waitangi clause which is meaningless in the big picture and should be ignored."
"But by becoming embroiled in silly political argument over it we send an unfortunate signal to both Singapore and other trading partners that maybe we are not all that committed to broadening trade opportunities."
"No-one owes us a living, and if we do not promote our case strongly, no-one else will."
"The more we become side-tracked by the Treaty of Waitangi issue, the more our trading partners will scratch their heads in wonder about how seriously we are taking the process," Mr Dunne says.
Ends

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