Geographical Indications are among the sensitive issues for NZ in free-trade talks with EU

Trade  Minister  Damien  O’Connor  has  revived hopes  that  New Zealand  can  land  a free  trade  agreement  with the  UK  this  year  and another one subsequently  with  the  EU, following  his just- concluded  mission  to  European capitals.

Farm lobbies  had  not been  confident   when  he  set  out.  In  the case  of the  UK  we had been beaten to the punch by  Australia.

It  seemed  unlikely  NZ  could  get  anything better  than their  Australian counterparts  who  appeared willing to  accept  a  long  phaseout on duties  on,  in particular,  most farm products, including dairy.

Since then Australia  has  entered  the  AUKUS  pact,  which  particularly  riled France’s President Macron because Australia’s decision to  acquire  nuclear submarines  from the US   meant cancellation of  a  previous  (very expensive)  deal to  buy French   diesel-powered submarines.

So  one  of  the major thrusts of  O’Connor’s  mission  became advancing  free trade negotiations with the EU.

Continue reading “Geographical Indications are among the sensitive issues for NZ in free-trade talks with EU”

Not enough GPs: Our Health Minister is on the case but we will have to wait to hear what he intends prescribing

The latest Beehive news of most interest to business people is the detail of Trade Minister Damien O’Connor’s trip to London, Paris and Brussels to try to hasten progress on free trade negotiations.

But the matter of concern to everybody – at least, it’s a matter that is likely to affect everybody at some point in their lives – can be found in a speech delivered by Health Minister Andrew Little.

Addressing the Medical Association General Practitioners’ Conference, Little focused on GP shortages, rising levels of medical workforce burnout, a funding model that has not been reviewed for some time, and more and more people coming through the doctors’ doors with increasingly complicated health conditions.

Little recalled recently outlining his vision of a national health service for New Zealand

 …  that focuses on treating people before they get so sick they have to be sent to hospital, that strips away unnecessary bureaucracy and duplication… 

It would be … Continue reading “Not enough GPs: Our Health Minister is on the case but we will have to wait to hear what he intends prescribing”