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Frozen meat

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, May 20th, 2013 - 92 comments
Categories: trade - Tags:

The Right’s fairytale machine makes a lot of Key’s supposed ability to charm foreign leaders and open doors for Kiwi trade (despite the fact that none of the FTA talks he has begun show signs of conclusion). Well, the door slammed shut for meat exports to China at the end of April. National managed to keep that secret until after the budget. No wonder, it exposes the failure of Key’s international relations style.

Just going around, having your photo taken with famous people, wearing silly hats, and filling in the rest of your time with photo-ops like (seriously) going to a Chinese pizzeria that stocks Kiwi ice cream, isn’t actually diplomacy. O’Sullivan and co like to spin that Key has made deep personal relationships with foreign leaders. But think about it, if you were the leader of a major world power and Key visited you, would he leave any lasting impression? He might be nice, but so what, you’re responsible for the direction of a world power – nice don’t enter into it. Only strategic interests matter.

As we’ve now discovered, all the clowning around in the world doesn’t mean that Key and his ministers can get the Chinese government to listen to them when the shit hits the fan. Some level of the Chinese government (presumably a senior one) has decided that it is in its domestic interests to be seen to block Kiwi meat imports and protect its own farmers (the ministry name change is obviously a pretext). Or, perhaps, they’re just testing our response.

How long will the exclusion go on for? Who knows. China doesn’t need New Zealand’s meat imports and trying to explain the ministry name change to the officials hasn’t worked in the past three weeks.

Of course, in some ways, the blame goes back before Key. The neoliberal governments gave away our bargaining power in trade and, just as importantly, the culture of realism in trade relations. We lowered all our trade barriers unilaterally rather than as part of FTAs, so now we have nothing to put back up on China for violation of its FTA with us.

And we don’t even have the culture of eye for eye that you need to be respected on the world stage. Why don’t our officials suddenly create a paperwork catch-22 for Chinese agricultural imports that sees the $200m a year of such goods that they send here blocked at the border?

Don’t give me that ‘peashooter on a battlefield’ argument – when it comes to trade (and exchange rate) when can trade blows with much larger countries because our trade flows to and from each other are of comparable scale.

So, why aren’t we fighting fire with fire?

Because we don’t know how to play rough anymore. We can’t even imagine it. For China, and anyone else, that’s an invitation to work all over us whenever it suits them.

….. on the domestic front, Nathan Guy’s career is surely over. He hid this from the Kiwi public until after the Budget on purpose and now he has made the fatal mistake of failing to front to media. They smell blood.

92 comments on “Frozen meat”

  1. A naive judgement to partner up with China. Lest we forget.

  2. The PM is dead meat.

    • aerobubble 2.1

      A CEO of any company that altered the brand (this case MAF) and hadn’t got downstream buy in (China) would be fired by the board.

  3. Dv 3

    Why did not some one think that the name change could cause an issue?

    AND is the Zespri issue related, where a NZ company seemed to create dual invoices to avoid duty.
    And then these “NEW” export certificates show up for the meat.

    China has been difficult to trade with for a long time.
    I have read many articles about business people who have come to grief in china.

    Does anyone think that Nikki Kaye and Nathan Guy can sort it out?

    • tricledrown 3.1

      yeah remember the hoovercraft designer who was ripped off by by patsy wongs husband and jenny shipleys company!

    • Poission 3.2

      Why did not some one think that the name change could cause an issue?

      They did,however these positions were disestablished by MFAT and MAF.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.2.1

        Incompetence, or a deliberate attempt to smash the government?

        Let’s worry about the niceties of the National Party’s motivation when we have our foot on their throat.

  4. BM 4

    Another government department fuck up.
    Fucking useless, no wonder no one has any respect for the public service.

    • tricledrown 4.1

      BM its their leadership under Nactional that is at fault who changed the name Nactional!
      Shifting the blame is your silly game!

      • BM 4.1.1

        Nonsense, this is just another government dept cock up, must drive ministers mad having to rely on such drek.
        Public servants seem to have this amazing ability to fuck up even the most simplists of tasks.

        • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1.1

          ” … even the most simplists of tasks”

          Like being able to write in English?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.1.2

          In fact, your mate Slippery has owned up: he says he demanded the Chinese fast track some meat factories and this is their response.

        • tricledrown 4.1.1.3

          well Big Mouth you seem to be able to f up the simple lists in your sentences and obviously being a supporter of this bungling govt the evidence is that your an example of your govts incompetency!

    • prism 4.2

      BM You agree that you are no-one!

    • Te Reo Putake 4.3

      Another BM f+ck up. F+cking useless, no wonder no one has any respect for BM.

      http://www.readersdigest.co.nz/new-zealands-most-trusted-professions-2012

    • Lightly 4.4

      If it really is a naming problem, then this is what you get when you don’t spend the money you need to on your public service.

      But it’s more likely a sounding out of our responsiveness to trade war tactics.

    • felix 4.5

      “Another government department fuck up.”

      Yep, they’re pretty much continuous under National. Guess they shouldn’t have sacked so many of the people who used to do this work.

    • Murray Olsen 4.6

      MFAT was working OK before it was downsized, rebranded, restructured, renamed, and made more efficient. Public servants didn’t do that.
      On another point: the type of FTA deals that our governments sign never seem to open too many foreign doors, but they do leave ours blowing in the wind.

      • McFlock 4.6.1

        most of the public service was doing a solid job under labour – a few exceptions, but the exception rather than the rule.

        It’s amazing how shite it becomes when you fire large chunks of the public sector and make up legislation and organisations as you go along

        • BM 4.6.1.1

          I have a sneaky suspicion all the socialists within the public service are purposely trying to undermine the government by doing an even more crappier job than usual.

          Might be about time the NZSIS had a look into the backgrounds of some of these “public servants”, find out who these individuals are really working for.

          • Arfamo 4.6.1.1.1

            Nobody could do as a good a job of undermining the government as their supporters. Downsizing with consequent headless chookery is to be expected and is being delivered courtesy of National.

            • BM 4.6.1.1.1.1

              Lots of really suspicious stuff going on in the public service.
              Endless “leaks” and fuck ups seem to be the order of the day, one starts to get the feeling that there are elements within the public service that are actively working against the government and the people of NZ.
              These individuals need to be rooted out and destroyed.

              • Arfamo

                No, one gets the impression having been through similar previous public service downsizing and restructurings that there are now too few staff to do the job properly and too many dipstick managers who have no freakin idea what resources are actually needed or what their staff do.

              • fender

                You say the stupidest things BM. People risking their jobs just to stick it up Nact?
                Whatever conspiracy boy. There are so many jobs around to be had you must be correct.

                Key is the one who needs to be spied on, he’s not trustworthy and the Chinese have picked up on his lying eyes.

                • BM

                  Fanatics aren’t really renown for their logical thinking.
                  Plenty of labour/green nutbars out there ready to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the COLLECTIVE!!!

                  • Arfamo

                    “Fanatics aren’t really renown for their logical thinking.”

                    As you consistently exemplify. Your paranoia needs treatment, not expression.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You do realise the Collective includes you, right?

                  • Clockie

                    Bloody subversive pinko commies (“grunt-slaver-oink”), time to have a house committee investigation into un Noo Zild activities in the public sector, to be quickly followed by mobile death-squads throughout the land.

                    • NickS

                      BM is pretty much incapable of understanding why and how to co-operate and the role of co-operation in building human society over history in zero-sum interactions. Thus, I recommend mentally kill-filing him unless you’re feeling evil.

                    • NickS

                      And that reply went to the wrong place…

                  • McFlock

                    As opposed to the logic that suggests that growing failures in a system are due to hidden socialists rather than the massive cuts over the last four years.

                    Fuck off to whaleoil, he wants his bullshit back.

              • Colonial Viper

                These individuals need to be rooted out and destroyed.

                Ahhhh…the NACT leadership philosophy:

                “There shall be daily beatings until morale improves!!!”

              • Clockie

                @ BM 7.09

                “These individuals need to be rooted out and destroyed.”

                YES ! Lets turn the SIS and GCIS into the NKVD..

                I can think of a number of right wing politicians and functionaries who would love to step up to the plate in order to carry out the interrogations, beatings and executions..

              • Murray Olsen

                Yes, let’s start with Paula Bennett who leaked private citizen details. She should be rooted out and destroyed.
                Then we can move on to Michelle Boag. Good thinking, BM.

              • Roy

                ‘These individuals need to be rooted out and destroyed.’
                Now you are sounding like Josef Stalin.

  5. ghostrider888 5

    Behave towards everyone as if receiving a great guest.

    Learning without thought is labour lost. Thought without learning is perilous.

    Straightforwardness, without the rules of propriety, becomes rudeness.

    (imagine, if you will, how the powerful Chinese authorities perceive our Prime Minister and trade politicians).

  6. One Anonymous Knucklehead 6

    Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to destroy the public service with no regard for the consequences, using threats of unemployment to silence independent advice.

    • ghostrider888 7.1

      interesting that Tim Ritchie, of the Meat Industry Association, was not so relaxed about the matter; some spin or what.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.2

      Nice of him to admit this is the Chinese authorities’ response to his demands.

      • ghostrider888 7.2.1

        I thought that was hilarious OAK; does he think NZ is stupid, oh wait…it was Radio Live.

  7. prism 8

    I’m on a Terry Pratchett Discworld study of how to conduct devious dealings. Lord Vetinari would know that such things as the Chinese hold-up could occur and have aces up his sleeve.
    We have ACT, the little guys with big mouths, as simple and limited in their understanding of what matters and what standards we should hold as guys playing a sports game. Sports have many regulations and can be scammed. Trade individual and country to country, has infinite possible complications.

    And the first item I heard about this meat business was that it had been known about for a month.
    As further news came along the time was whittled down – so soon it will be ‘a number of days’.

    In NZ those who succeed at something then think that automatically they know about everything. Whereas research (can’t remember where) showed that generally NZ businesspeople get enough to have a big house, a beamer and overseas holidays staying at expensive venues – then their thinking brain shuts down, and only the most primitive part of the amgydala operates.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/a/amygdala.htm

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Maslows Hierarchy of Needs

      What is interesting are the wealthy types who can’t ever get beyond their base needs like food, clothing and shelter. When they should have enough of those things they simple choose to get into ever more expensive and refined tastes in food, clothing and shelter, instead of moving into social, emotional and spiritual development.

      • Populuxe1 8.1.1

        And what did you have for dinner, CV? Ortolan? Veal stuffed with foie gras and caviar? Baby panda in it’s mother’s milk? With a Château Lafite Rothschild 1982? I’m sure your wife’s father’s money affords much “social, emotional and spiritual development”.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          Thanks for making my point.

          btw Veuve Clicquot (NV) is fine for a Monday. Anything more could be considered extravagant.

          • NickS 8.1.1.1.1

            And amusingly enough, much of the hype/taste claims about really high end wines are empirically bullshit ;)

            So for NZ$30-40 on a wine you’ll do fine, anything above that is just wasted money on keeping up with teh Joneses or foolishly trying to appear sophisticated.

  8. Dv 9

    But it doesnt make sense.
    Meat had access before keys trip to China.

    >He said in his recent trip to China, he put pressure on the country to authorise a few of New Zealand’s production plants because of the high quality. “The Chinese accommodated us, but the paperwork hadn’t caught up,” he told RadioLive.

    Paper work for plants? Not meat!!!

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1

      “Put pressure”.

      Is he serious? Yeah, I bet they felt really pressurised. Then they decided to pop him like a zit.

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      What the Chinese really want to see now is the firing of independent government meat inspectors, and the introduction of private sector self inspection in our meatworks.

      Go for gold Key!!! You can do it lad!

  9. Pete 10

    Prime Ministers, Trade Ministers and Ministers of Foreign Affairs don’t do diplomacy, they do photo-ops. All that messy, technical detail is hashed out by public servants negotiating with their counterparts and then it’s sent upstairs for approval. Of course, if you kneecap your diplomatic corps, you’re going to suffer some serious consequences sooner or later.

    Edit: this may be either a case of the Chinese being exceedingly bureaucratic, or they may be trying to send us a message on several issues. The Dalai Lama is visiting the country soon. Further, they may be concerned about our rapprochement with the US as the Americans pivot their foreign policy towards Asia. Of course, the policy wonks at MFAT have been decimated, so who’s going to read those particular tea leaves?

    • prism 10.1

      Pete
      Taiwan is moving faster to an agreement with us before it gets boxed out by the TPP or that’s what I picked up from the news. How is the ‘rapprochement’ between them an China now?
      We tend to get our tea leaves from Sri Lanka now, so they’re out for info.

      And we’ll get on down and crawl along the red carpet after the Yanks, the Nacts have always loved them, so glamorous, and they speak English or nearly. And they have never been charged a poll tax to come to NZ, so have been the bees knees.

      • Tim 10.1.1

        “And we’ll get on down and crawl along the red carpet after the Yanks, the Nacts have always loved them, so glamorous, and they speak English or nearly” …..

        and of course they’re Masters of the Universe – the disposition John Key likes to display whilst on his little jaunts with his wannabe Masters of the Universe during ‘talks’ and ‘foto-ops’.

        It’s a disposition that often goes down like a cup of cold sick by his hosts, though diplomacy and good manners often prevent those hosts from saying so (not that John Key would hear them anyway).

      • History of Violence 10.1.2

        Send the shipment to Taiwan as a trade sweetener at a discount We will end up discounting it anyway or dumping it, lets make our own statement. That will piss them off.
        Let them eat their own plastic milk powder as well.
        Previous poster was correct its just the chinks putting their foot on our throat because that’s the way they operate, they aren’t nice, like crocodiles they will just wait for these chances with a smile.
        Classic Asian MO, from experience stand up,to them hard.
        Many years ago brought container of batteries from China, just crap, told supplier was going to drop off outside Chinese Embassy, loaded into truck sent photo was on way, low level brinksmanship but worked. Was going to as we’ll.
        Who’s idea was it to rebrand MFAT anyway, why? How much? Still thinks its a good idea?
        Guys a joke, lets make 5 November Guy Fucks Up Day. Don’t blow up Parliament though we will need it next year.

  10. Ancient Ruin 11

    Has this anything to do with a trade deal with Taiwan? China finding a way to spite that particular transaction?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8691400/NZ-close-to-Taiwan-free-trade-agreement

    • Arfamo 11.1

      Good point.

      From your link: “Sources say negotiations have been progressing smoothly and the most complicated issues, including the vexed issue of Taiwan’s complicated relationship with mainland China, are already largely resolved.”

      Perhaps the “sources” were unreliable spin-meisters?

  11. emergency mike 12

    “Some level of the Chinese government (presumably a senior one) has decided that it is in its domestic interests to be seen to block Kiwi meat imports and protect its own farmers (the ministry name change is obviously a pretext).”

    So is this the same John Key that was recently a guest in China and took the opportunity to announce that his country would fight against China’s ally North Korea?

  12. prism 13

    emergency mike
    You are making it so hard for Key with your rotten questions. /sarc Soon he’ll be at the stage where he wakes up in the morning but can’t make up his mind to get out and face the day. What to do? Which way to go? What should I say that will give me the biggest advantage?

  13. ropata 14

    The only solution is to sell more NZ farms to China, that way they will obtain more meat and dairy from our fair unpolluted lands, without the need for pesky trade rules (or employment contracts or RMA)

    /sarc

  14. ak 15

    Snuggling up to Taiwan.

    Stating military support for South Korea.

    But most directly insulting, and probably never forgotten; talking publicly about China “extending its tentacles in the South Pacific”.

    Thanks Johnny. Decades of work down the drain with one ignorant wank.

    • Arfamo 15.1

      I think you may be onto something here. A simple notification of a name change of a certifying authority should have been easy to arrange. I don’t think that’s the problem. Is is not a fairly common PRC government approach when they are unhappy with statements by the leaders of other countries to suddenly do something like this? As a very effective way of letting the offending country know not to insult them and make them lose face like this again?

      • ak 15.1.1

        Correct, Arfa. I’d suspect some additional gruesome emission has slipped from the gob of the greasy geek who’s just visited – and they might’ve also learned well from our own dear old poms, who used to use even more slippery excuses to placate and pamper their own cockies.

    • kiwicommie 15.2

      Yep, piss off the Chinese leadership; great foreign policy John.

  15. Steve 16

    Funny how Audrey Young, of the Herald (John Keys chief cheerleader) has gone silent.Here were her China headlines a month ago.”A new era of trust with China” “Key raises a glass to China friendship” “New Zealand gets a lot of attention” “Charm and NZ-China friendship need boost of Fifth Milestone” Yeah Right

    • kiwicommie 16.1

      I think the media are starting to realize their cheerleading is no longer bringing them the flowers it used to. Check the comments in the Herald or on Stuff, the most thumbs up are usually for comments that disagree with the government. ;)

  16. Steve 17

    The problem won’t be solved till they sort out the paperwork I.e. Many large paper bags filled with cash like the suitcases for Zespri.

  17. fambo 18

    Time to boycott $2 shops!

    • kiwicommie 18.1

      Why not go there more often, the more pressure on National the better.

  18. BeeDee 19

    “Has this anything to do with a trade deal with Taiwan? China finding a way to spite that particular transaction?” and “talking publicly about China “extending its tentacles in the South Pacific”.”
    To which add bad publicity over university papers being written and sold for Chinese students’ to pass degrees in NZ. Loss of face in our media, when China would expect censorship of such matters.

    • kiwicommie 19.1

      I think the Chinese government has given up trying to understand National, since this meat disaster I wouldn’t be surprised if China is looking forward to a change of government in New Zealand too.

  19. Arfamo 20

    On reflection, and reading comments above, John Key has said and done a number of things that the Chinese government will not be at all happy about. They have waited until the right moment and retaliated, just to let him (and successive NZ governments) know who actually holds the cards and what is expected to be said (or not said), and done (or not done) in respect of trade and diplomatic relationships with PRC. I think they have given John Key a lesson in realpolitik. And look at how effective it has been. He made their officials and leaders look less important than other leaders and officials he courts – like the US. Now they have done the same to him and his officials.

    • kiwicommie 20.1

      They don’t like John Key sucking up the US in several matters, John Key unraveled all the careful work Helen Clark and Winston Peters did in foreign policy i.e. keeping the US happy, while keeping China and others happy. I wouldn’t describe the last Labour government’s foreign policy as a perfect balancing act, but they couldn’t have made as big a blunder as National has done with this meat issue, they understood that there is only so far you can go in befriending a nation before you upset other nations.

  20. Myrlock 21

    I would like to know if the meat is really frozen or if the meat is live? We export live cows to China now.

  21. freedom 22

    Nathan Guy in full patronizing mode on NAtRad

    ‘You have to understand Kathryn, we are a trading Nation”

    WTF

  22. Poission 23

    China has been using the Farrar school of statistics methodology in their BOP Accounts.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-20/china-trade-surplus-seen-by-bofa-at-one-tenth-official-figure.html

  23. unicus 24

    Key like all delusional individuals has swallowed his own bullshit – he thought the Chinese liked him – he tried to leverage influence off the reputation’s of real New Zealand leaders ( Rewi Alley – Helen Clarke et al ) – they have spat in his face and good on them .

  24. Poission 25

    in RNZ ag report there was an interesting development..

    Namely that the meme promoted by Key,that meat exports are being held due to the name change on the phytosanitary certificates was the reason.As the same name change has not affected other exports such as dairy etc implies that Key is misleading the media and public once again.

    • Arfamo 25.1

      Exactly. I think John Key is being given a lesson by the PRC government. Part of the lesson requires that he think about why he’s being given a lesson, another part requires that he be made to look like an impotent fool to the NZ public.

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