Radio: Across The Ditch – NZ Seeks Leverage off the Australia-China FTA + Record Cold Wave Hits NZ

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Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.

Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.
Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.

FiveAA Australia/EveningReport: Across The Ditch – This week Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning discuss how New Zealand is leveraging off Australia’s free trade agreement with China to get a better deal. Also, record low temperatures hit New Zealand’s South Island. Recorded LIVE on 25/06/15.

ITEM ONE:
Trans-Tasman FTA Rivalry.

New Zealand is looking to apply some leverage off the Australia-China free trade agreement in an attempt to get China to relax an export volume cap – above which tariffs are applied to dairy exports.

New Zealand’s trade minister Tim Grosser said this week: “Ours was the first FTA they did with any developed country. Things have moved on and we are using the Australian FTA as part of the structure of an argument as to why we know need to upgrade China’s first FTA. That is underway.”

The New Zealand Herald reported this week Prime Minister John Key said the main aim was to try to remove the thresholds at which China can impose extra tariffs on products such as dairy.

Under terms of the China-New Zealand free trade agreement, China can apply extra tariffs if the gross volume of exported dairy products exceeds an agreed to level.

The cap was agreed to in 2008 when the then Labour-led Government’s trade minister Phil Goff struck the deal with the People’s Republic.

Since then, the value of total two-way exports have exceeded expectations of both countries and remain on an upward trajectory, and are expected to exceed $30 billion in two-way trade by 2020.

This means China is applying costly tariffs to New Zealand exports.

New Zealand’s trade diplomats have been arguing that the Australia-China FTA sees the eventual removal of 96 percent of tariffs and that New Zealand wants to amend its FTA so two-way trade between NZ and China remains competitive.

Fonterra, New Zealand’s dairy export conglomerate, has significant investment in Australia’s dairy sector so believes it will not be negatively affected by Australia having better access to Chinese consumer markets.

But with Kiwi farmers suffering from a collapse in dairy commodity prices, especially with milk powder exports, FONTERRA and the NZ Government are determined to get a result.

ITEM TWO
Record Cold Temperatures in South Island.

This week New Zealand has been recovering from severe floods that struck last week in Whanganui, Hokitika and Dunedin.With the more settled weather have come clear skies and below zero temperatures.

We often discuss the weather and snow conditions, but check out these temperatures from around the country, as,reported in the NZ Herald:

      On Tuesday night some records were broken…In the North Island, the coldest spot was Taumaranui with -4.9C about 7am.

In the South Island, the coldest spot was Tara Hills near Omarama with -21.0C at 8.30amThe main centres were also very cold.Auckland (Whenuapai) -2.1C between 7am and 8am

Hamilton (airport) -1.1C between 3am and 4am

Tauranga (airport) 3.3C between 6am and 7am

Wellington (Kelburn) 5.7C between 11pm and midnight

Christchurch (airport) -3.6C between 5am to 6am

Dunedin (city) -0.7C at 6am and (airport) -6.9C between 8am and 9am

(Source: MetService)

Across The Ditch broadcasts weekly on FiveAA Australia and webcasts on EveningReport.nz LiveNews.co.nz and ForeignAffairs.co.nz.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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