Fail

Written By: - Date published: 5:10 pm, March 9th, 2009 - 32 comments
Categories: national/act government - Tags: , ,

So, ‘Crusher’ Collins has failed in her high profile campaign to have Barry Matthews sacked. How embarrassing, what with her staking her entire political reputation on it and all.

I doubt John Key will be particularly happy about being dragged into this whole sorry affair either. Less than two weeks ago the Herald reported:

The Prime Minister says the public should have no confidence in the Department of Corrections’ handling of parole procedures, and is backing Judith Collins’ efforts to remove its chief executive, Barry Matthews.

He won’t appreciate being made to look like a fool by one of his ministers.

UPDATE: Thanks to ‘gobsmacked’ in the comments for alerting us to this little gem from two weeks ago. Take it away, John Armstrong:

‘Collins now has too much political collateral invested in Matthews being sacked for her to pull back and accept that he stays in his job. The longer he clings on, the more embarrassing it becomes for her.

” If he doesn’t go, Collins will not only be seen as weak and a blowhard, she will be seen as losing a crucial battle and thus losing control of her portfolio. That is an image no minister can allow to take hold.’

32 comments on “Fail ”

  1. rodgeredgnome 1

    Perhaps they should sack Rennie and Matthews …….. or should we just accept that there is no accountability amongst the NZ public service.

    [lprent: Is this a new phase in your personality? The IP is extremely interesting. Anyway, I’m putting that psuedonym into anti-spam as being deliberately offensive. Find another one ]

  2. Rex Widerstrom 2

    What’s most embarrassing is that NZ’s chief executive appointment process is now seen to be a lackadaisical circus (or an old boys’ club, I’m not sure which), thrown into stark relief by a Minister who didn’t know (or perhaps care, or perhaps both) the limits of her own power and thus, as you correctly point out, is now in an embarrassing position.

    Barry Matthews was an utter failure when in charge of INCIS and then, somehow, managed to escape scrutiny by decamping to Western Australia to become Police Commissioner. He then exceeded his own record of arrogance and incompetence by creating an unworkable relationship with the then Minister [Michelle Roberts, ALP] and his own staff [the force effectively went on strike, handling only emergencies, and had to be ordered back to work].

    His tenure was summarised thusly by the Kennedy royal commission:

    …poor management within the service had allowed corruption to continue unimpeded…

    A single example that comes to mind is the time WA taxpayers got saddled with a $A100,000 legal bill for two police officers judged by courts to have been corrupt. The court’s findings were simply rejected by Matthews, who recommended no internal disciplining.

    Play this as an embarrasment for “Crusher” if you like, but it’s more than that. The fact that a reference check with his former employer (Roberts), his former subordinates or the independent watchdog – let alone his woeful performance while with the NZ police – should all have rung alarm bells loudly enough to prevent his appointment to Corrections makes the entire NZ public service appointment process, and the SSC, more of a laughing stock than the Minister.

    She, after all, was just inexpertly floundering around looking for a way to fix the mistakes of others.

    • lprent 2.1

      I think that point was that she was trying to “quick-fix” rather than to follow the process. Has tried to do the same in a couple of other areas. Not the right approach for a minister.

      • Chess Player 2.1.1

        But nice to know that she is well intentioned, given Matthews’s past performance, don’t you think?

  3. gobsmacked 3

    Quiz time.

    Who wrote this, a couple of weeks ago?

    “Collins now has too much political collateral invested in Matthews being sacked for her to pull back and accept that he stays in his job. The longer he clings on, the more embarrassing it becomes for her. … If he doesn’t go, Collins will not only be seen as weak and a blowhard, she will be seen as losing a crucial battle and thus losing control of her portfolio. That is an image no minister can allow to take hold.”

  4. higherstandard 4

    Rex it can be added to a long list of embarrassments which have happened over decades on both parties watches I suspect we only ever know about the tip of the iceberg – feck it’s depressing.

    • Rex Widerstrom 4.1

      Oh to be sure, to be sure…

      Though I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone as obviously incompetent as Matthews getting through the process. His failures weren’t so much an iceberg (and thus mostly hidden beneath the surface) as a flamin’ great illuminated lighthouse with “this way to the reef” blazing away in neon.

      I can quite understand a Minister wanting to be rid of an absolute numpty that’s mismanaging the department he or she is responsible for, and their frustration at finding they can’t. Since I’m amongst those who think Ministers should show a bit of accountability when their department screws up, it tends to derail that argument if said Minister has been saddled with a cretin who can’t or won’t run the department effectively.

      That doesn’t mean those lower down the food chain should be subject to political fiat (e.g. the Setchell case) but chief executives tend to answer directly to their board and chairman (Cabinet and Minister), not the HR consultant who recommended them in the first place.

      It is amusing, though, to see the excreable Christine Rankin mentioned in the same breath as Matthews in some parts, but somehow she’s pure as the driven snow because it was a nasty Labourite what done ‘er in.

      Anyway, I’m sure Matthews has a few spare banknotes out of the 375,000 we bung him each year on which to blow his nose.

  5. Janet 5

    John Key is now telling the head of Internal Affairs to sack one of his staff. Doesn’t he know that the public service is supposed to be independent of government?

    • Tigger 5.1

      No. None of them do. They’ve already made it clear to CEOs that they expect them to tow the NACT line or go.

      • Ari 5.1.1

        One “toes” the team line, not “tows” it, because as a sports metaphor, usually such lines are merely painted 😉

        • Tigger 5.1.1.1

          Or you could interpret it as CEOs needing to tow (ie. drag) the National line behind them…or that I was using the eggcorn version of the phrase…

          • Felix 5.1.1.1.1

            Do you mean to imply that you used “tow” deliberately – knowing it to be out of place in the phrase you were using – for some sort of ironic effect?

            *cough* bullshit *cough*

          • Tigger 5.1.1.1.2

            Note to self: put smiley face on any post meant to be read with irony or humour… 🙂

  6. BLiP 6

    Typical National – they just do not understand that the business of government is not, in fact, a business.

  7. stan 7

    Re Barry Matthews:
    It escapes my understanding why Labour keeps supporting this man?. Few of the Labour Parliamentarians are pausing to think about this issue before joining the stampede of leemings towards the cliff face. Matthews has led a department that has been dogged with failure and put the general public at risk because of its inability to operate properly. In any event I think the question of Matthews tenure is a misnomer given the impending privatisation of corrections.
    It is my belief that ACC will follow.
    My informants also tell me that things are looking extremely shaky for Helen at the U.N. Those who have the vote are suggesting that NZ has its turn over the years and are looking for leadership amongst candidates from an emerging Nation.
    I think Key has been very magnanimous with respect to Clark, who history will judge poorly.With the most recent Polls showing only 25% support for Labour it is time they stopped pointing fingers at others and put their house in order.At present they are facing a bleak landscape.
    Cheers
    Stan Blanch

    • lprent 7.1

      It isn’t so much that they support or don’t support Matthews. I have no opinion on him or his performance. What I have seen is the NACT’s getting themselves in a lather with figures that are so spurious that I immediately discount them. I suspect that is the McVicar influence (commonly pronounced as ‘Bullshit’).

      However Judith Collins I do have a distinct opinion on. She is incompetent as a minister and probably as an MP. I’ve formed that opinion since she took office, which is pretty impressive since it was about 4 months.

      Does that answer your question? At least from one labour member..

  8. Conor Roberts 8

    Remind me how many boy racer cars or chief executives has Crusher Collins crushed? Why does the media still give her this moniker?

    • Tane 8.1

      Beats me, but I think it’s hilarious. Crusher Collins – there’s a Tui billboard in that.

      • Tigger 8.1.1

        She’s crushing her own hopes and dreams of moving up the Cabinet rankings for sure…and crushing the chance of getting her hands on the Social Development portfolio…

        • Kevin Welsh 8.1.1.1

          Really enjoyed watching her squirm on the news last night. Still trying to sound tough in what is fast becoming a humiliating defeat.

          • TightyRighty 8.1.1.1.1

            if she is she could have only have learnt to do it by watching the labour party in the run up to the last election

  9. todd 9

    Personaly I think that Collins should just sack the useless sod and take the hit.how bloody useless do you have to be before you get the sack,its just an joke.And it makes her look stupid

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    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
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    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
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  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Making it easier to build granny flats
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
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    4 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
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  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
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  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
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  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
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    5 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
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    6 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
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    7 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
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    7 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
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    1 week ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
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    1 week ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
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    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
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    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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