If Tim Groser is successful with his WTO ambition – who will take over as NZ’s Minister of Trade?

April 15, 2013

Your much-admired MP’s Cabinet ambitions have just been rekindled.

Is there a vacancy?

Not yet. But before too long, Trade Minister Tim Groser’s job could be up for grabs because he is saying (here) his bid to become the next director-general of the World Trade Organisation is no longer “a long shot”.

Why he has shared this information with the NZ Herald before confiding in Alf is somewhat disappointing.

But here’s wishing him all the best.

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John Hayes and Tim Groser are mentioned but someone (shamefully) again is cold-shouldered

August 30, 2012

The bloody press gallery hacks whose reportage appears at Stuff have done it again.

They have failed to mention Alf – not even in the smallest of fonts – in their coverage of events in the House (in one case) and Rarotonga yesterday.

The Manawatu Standard (here) today reports that three of the five MPs who represent the wider Manawatu in Parliament have voted in favour of gay marriage.

How wide they have spread their Manawatu net is a matter of serious disappointment.

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McCully is munificent – but it’s easy to treat guests to posh wine and oysters with public money

July 30, 2010

Alf is bound to observe (at the risk of offending colleagues) he has always been bothered by the Government’s curious urge to have a Rugby World Cup Minister, a portfolio he regards as thoroughly unnecessary and surplus to requirements at the best of times, let alone when we are tightening the old budgetary belt.

If the Government was plush with the spending stuff, of course, and if someone really has to be the Rugby World Cup Minister, then that someone really should be Alf.

An element of self-interest, accordingly, might taint what follows.

What follows happens to be a spluttering of profound outrage on learning from the Herald that Murray McCully …

has snatched the dubious record for the most expensive wine bought at the taxpayers’ expense with not one but four bottles of $185pinot noir while hosting a dinner for the International Rugby Board this year.

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Tim’s toils for trade deserve better than a ticking off for tippling

June 5, 2010

Alf feels strong sympathy for Trade Minister Tim Groser this morning. He’s a decent bloke, but he’s been hard done by.

Thanks to some so far unnamed snitch who ratted to the PM about Tim’s tippling on an airliner, he has been warned about his behaviour.

Alf is not sure what Tim is expected not to do. No more drinking? Singing? Joking?

Tim has had his mile-high activities highlighted in the newspaper this morning by a Herald hack who (we must presume) behaves impeccably on international flights.

The warning was sounded not by The Boss, who delegated the task to a bloody flunkey from his office.
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Icecream has melted from today’s news from Cathedral Cove – so has the grumblers’ credibility

December 30, 2009

Alf is pleased to bring you this follow-up to his post yesterday about the march of progress into Cathedral Cove.

Despite angering some locals, young entrepreneur Shanan Laird says he has had good feedback from tourists visiting his gazebo at Cathedral Cove.

He’s come under fire from angry locals for buggering up the scenery, but he tells us tourists are relieved to see him at the end of a long, hot walk, and that he is leaving the white-sand beach cleaner than he finds it each day.

Shanan Laird, 31, said he had had nothing but positive feedback from visitors – and only two negative comments from locals – since he began selling drinks and sandwiches at the untouched spot, 30 minutes’ walk from the road.

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US-Canada trade war is bad news for NZ

May 16, 2009

It sounded like the stuff for celebration, especially in farm communities keen to have American trade barriers knocked down.

Barack Obama and Alf’s boss chatted on the phone for 15 minutes on Thursday, and the American President is reported to have been sympathetic to free trade with New Zealand.

Or rather, seemed sympathetic. You miss out on the body language, in a phone call.

“I raised with him the issues of free trade and pointed out to him that it was very important to New Zealand,” Mr Key said. “He seemed sympathetic to that, I thought, and made it clear it was something that was on the agenda for us …”

The Herald reminded us the Obama Administration has yet to decide whether it will continue with talks in the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that began with New Zealand and Singapore, then Brunei and Chile.

The United States, Australia, Peru, and Vietnam said last year they wanted to join.
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Another Kiwi to chair WTO agriculture negotiations

April 9, 2009

Good news from Trade Minister Tim Groser.

There is a consensus among World Trade Organisation members to appoint New Zealand’s Ambassador to the WTO, Dr David Walker, as the new chair of the WTO Doha Round Agriculture Negotiations.

Walker will be the third successive New Zealander to chair the agriculture negotiations.

He replaces Crawford Falconer, who finishes his assignment in Geneva at the end of this month and will return to New Zealand to take up the role of Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Falconer took over from Groser in 2005, when Groser gave up the ambassadorship to come home and become a National Party politician. And a fine one, too.

Walker is expected to be formally elected to the job at the next meeting of the Special Session of the Committee on Agriculture.
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