National u-turns

National seem to working through a few u-turns as election year progresses.

Bringing soldiers’ remains back to New Zealand was announced on Monday:  Military personnel remains to be brought home

The families of New Zealand military personnel, and their dependants, buried overseas between 1955 and 1971 in Singapore and Malaysia will be offered the opportunity to repatriate their loved ones.

Veterans’ Affairs Minister David Bennett says this decision comes as a result of recommendations by the Veterans’ Advisory Board and the advocacy of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association and families affected, and has thanked them for their important contributions.

“Following the efforts by families to have their loved ones brought home, the Government last year asked the Veterans’ Advisory Board to look into New Zealand’s repatriation policy. The Board identified a number of inconsistencies, and the Government has listened.

“New Zealand had an inconsistent policy of repatriation between 1955 and 1971. Families could opt to meet repatriation costs themselves, but not all could afford to do so. Other civil servants were also repatriated. We want to restore fairness for those families affected.”

Mr Bennett says the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will also look at extending the offer to the families of New Zealanders interred as a result of a military burial between 1955 and 1971 in American Samoa, Australia, Fiji, Korea, and the United Kingdom, and all countries involved have been contacted.

The NZDF will oversee the repatriation process, including consultation with the families, and the planning and subsequent return of any bodies.

“The decision on whether or not to bring the bodies home will be the families’ to make,” Mr Bennett says.

“If they choose not to repatriate, the graves will continue to be cared for under current agreements. We will support the families through this process.”

And today Government u-turn on country of origin labelling

The National Party will support a Green MPs bill requiring country of origin labelling on single ingredient food such as fruit and meat in a u-turn Prime Minister Bill English said was due to consumer preferences.

Steffan Browning’s Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill will have its first reading in Parliament soon and is set to go to select committee after National agreed to support it.

It will require mandatory country of origin labelling for fresh single ingredient foods such as meat, fruit, vegetables and nuts as well as oils and flour.

That was a shift from National’s original decision to oppose it. English said there had been “quite a bit of discussion” in National’s caucus about it.

“It’s just reflecting pretty strong consumer preferences.”

And it probably reflects the desire of national to get back into Government.

English said National would decide after the select committee process whether to continue to support it into law. About 80 per cent of single ingredient foods were already labelled with the country of origin. “It is about whether it is feasible or desirable to require the rest of them to label.”

He said the initial decision to oppose it was because National was always sceptical about new regulation, especially if it felt most people’s needs were being met by the current regulation. There was also some concern about whether it would impact on trade agreements.

Browning said it was “fantastic news” for consumers if it went ahead and could help boost sales of New Zealand produce and meat.

I think that we should be accurately informed about country of origin of foods available for purchase.

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7 Comments

  1. Well some commonsense at last. A couple of crumbs for the peasants to keep them happy?
    My concern is the absence of integrity displayed by the parenting of the attack against Israel in the UN, purely to give NZ an opportunity to be a leader in UN opinion. The complete lack of morality in failing to support the right of Israel to exist because of perceived political gains goes entirely against the Kiwi perception of giving a “fair go” to the disadvantaged. The other significant problem that needs to be addressed is that it should be made clear that while interested groups may be given the right to be heard even though they have not been elected, they do not and can not be given the powers of an elected representative speaking for the electorate as a whole. That is one of the founding principles of our Democracy. When that principle is enshrined in our Constitutional Law, then the Maori seats and the Waitangi Tribunal become totally redundant, and our minority communities will have a right to be heard. That’s the way I will be voting.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  April 12, 2017

      “My concern is the absence of integrity displayed by the parenting of the attack against Israel in the UN, purely to give NZ an opportunity to be a leader in UN opinion.”

      Could I trouble you please for an explanation? Has the New Zealand position of being opposed to Israel’s continued building of illegal settlements on Palestinian land changed from our support of earlier resolutions opposed to this?

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  April 12, 2017

      “The complete lack of morality in failing to support the right of Israel to exist because of perceived political gains goes entirely against the Kiwi perception of giving a “fair go” to the disadvantaged”

      Could you then please show me where New Zealand has failed to support the right of Israel to exist?

      Reply
      • Trumpenreich

         /  April 12, 2017

        Israel would be impossible to defend or maintain as a functioning state if it was broken up in a “two state solution” – so that position in all practicality eliminates the right of Israel to exist.

        Its too bad Israel insist on open borders for white countries while the Jews understand that keeping mohammedans and Africans out of Israel is a must for the survival of the Jewish tribe.

        Reply
        • John Schmidt

           /  April 12, 2017

          Surely under a single state solution Isreal could ultimately be led by non Jews because under a democracy everyone gets to vote including the Arabs who could unite behind a single candidate verse a split vote for the jewish people allowing the Arab to win the vote. How is this a better solution for Isreal.

          Reply
  2. Zedd

     /  April 12, 2017

    another ‘shock’; Natz support a Green bill.. must be election year 😀

    under Key.. it was pretty much “NO” to anything from the opposition (members bills or even SOPS) English is maybe not as ‘staunch/zero tolerance’ ?

    Reply
  3. Nobody bats an eyelid when they do a U-Turn nowadays … par for the coarse …

    “That (only elected representation) is one of the founding principles of our Democracy”

    Well, actually, its one of the fairly recently adapted principles of a form of British or Westminster democracy that’s been imposed upon us here on Aotearoa NZ in Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, the South Pacific … 1892 universal suffrage, 1951 Chinese NZ’ers, 1974 18 year olds, and 1975 non-citizens …

    A Maori person, recognised in international law as an indigenous person and in NZ law as tangata whenua, but who constitutes only 15% of the population, cannot hope to have their concerns properly heard or enacted in law unless those concerns coincide with pakeha concerns, which on occasions they are unlikely to do given our colonial history of pakeha dominance and duplicity, plus the contention between te reo and English versions of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

    Hence a mechanism must be found for the voice of our Treaty partner to be heard …

    Why is there such great fear of this contemporary form of “affirmative action”? It clearly reminds some extreme Righties of “apartheid”, suddenly a most terrifying prospect, although they didn’t seem to have much problem with it when it was [Extreme Rightie] Whites violently oppressing Blacks in South Africa … [where’s the violence in NZ?] …

    Another terror tactic is that Maori representation will slow down Resource Consents …

    To oversimplify: We, the shared colonising & indigenous culture, might not be able to build things quite so quickly on our, the shared colonising & indigenous peoples’ land … be it retained by them, legally sold and privately owned, illegally confiscated or in dispute … although, to my knowledge, we have no evidence this will occur because it hasn’t actually been tried yet …

    Still, here we discover the clear and evident link between the two issues, Israel and indigenous minority representation …

    Reply

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