5 Apr 2004

New Zealand and Australia accused of bullying Pacific Island Nations over trade deals

8:02 am on 5 April 2004

The Pacific Network on Globalisation, or PANG, says New Zealand and Australia have bullied Pacific Island nations into two trade deals which should be renegotiated.

The report called Big Brothers Behaving Badly, is by Auckland University Law Professor, Jane Kelsey, and looks at the PACER and PICTA deals, which provide for closer economic relations and free trade.

Australia and New Zealand, under the PACER deal, were not to become beneficiaries until 2011, unless triggered by the Island countries negotiating with the EU.

Professor Kelsey says Forum Trade Ministers, meeting this week in Papua New Guinea with the EU, will be asked by New Zealand and Australia to include them in PACER now.

She says the island countries won't be able to cope technically, economically, socially and politically.

Professor Kelsey says the deals need to be rethought.

"Is this the development model that the people of the Pacific actually see as appropriate themselves, So in addition to calling halt there needs to be proper debate and proper impact assessments that are carried out in the terms of the realities of the Pacific not some economic modelling that is abstracted by consultants."