The breath-taking voter deceit of Winston Peters has been laid bare over his apparent satisfaction that minor changes to Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses in the Comprehensive and Progress Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) were the key to New Zealand First supporting the deal, National Foreign Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee says.
“Putting to one side the admission that the New Zealand Government will still be open to legal action by foreign companies in the updated trade deal – the abolition of which was apparently a sacred bottom line for New Zealand First support – Mr Peters is also now supporting greater access to New Zealand assets for his life-long bête noir, the Chinese.
“Never one to sweat the detail in his Cabinet papers, the impact of the CPTPP on countries that have Most Favoured Nation status through Free Trade Agreements with New Zealand, such as China, will have completely escaped Mr Peters’ attention.
“Certainly it will come as a huge surprise to New Zealand First’s few remaining supporters that the threshold for Overseas Investment Act approval for Chinese companies purchasing New Zealand assets will double when Mr Peters’ party helps enact the CPTPP.
“That’s because buried in the deal he clearly hadn’t read was a doubling of the investment threshold for CPTPP countries from $100 million to $200 million – a salient fact his more studious colleague, the Trade Minister David Parker, no doubt concluded Mr Peters didn’t need to know when negotiating New Zealand First support for the deal.
“Either that, or this is just another case of Mr Peters saying one thing about New Zealand First’s core beliefs to voters but doing the opposite when the baubles of office present themselves.
“National looks forward to Mr Peters explaining this and his many other inconsistencies in respect of the CPTPP when the full text is released and it is debated in Parliament, before the March 8 signing in Chile, which his colleague Mr Parker has promised,” Mr Brownlee says.