We are concerned about the wellbeing of Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today, after he announced his plans to travel to Thailand this week. He will represent New Zealand at the annual APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting in Bangkok.
The last time we recorded ministerial travel plans was at the weekend. Phil Twyford – who is grandly named the Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth – would represent the Government at the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of Timor-Leste’s independence, and the inauguration of Dr Jose Ramos-Horta as Timor-Leste’s next President.
Next day the news was that Twyford had tested positive for COVID-19 and the trip was off.
Another Beehive announcement came from Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta, after the Maritime Powers Bill was given its third reading in Parliament.
This legislation gives Police, the New Zealand Defence Force, Customs and the Department of Conservation the power to stop, board, search and detain ships in international waters, including New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, where they have reasonable grounds to suspect a serious criminal offence has been committed.
It also enables the detention and arrest of suspects and the return of a ship to New Zealand to be searched for evidence.
Whether it will do what Mahuta says it will do – which is “help prevent serious criminal offending at sea”, including trafficking of humans, drugs, wildlife and arms – is a moot point.
If legislation could prevent crime, we should admonish our legislators for passing legislation which clearly doesn’t do that. Just ask the business people who have become victims of teenage ram raiders.
Latest from the Beehive
17 MAY 2022
Legislation that will help prevent serious criminal offending at sea, including trafficking of humans, drugs, wildlife and arms, has passed its third reading in Parliament today, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced.
Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor is set to travel to Thailand this week to represent New Zealand at the annual APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting in Bangkok.
Settlement of the first pay-equity agreement in the health sector is hugely significant, delivering pay rises of thousands of dollars for many hospital administration and clerical workers.