How’s this for small-minded prejudice from National Party backbencher Kate Wilkinson in a press release today complaining about the $84,000 dollars for a Labour Dept to help provide health and safety training for Chinese coal miners:
Ms Wilkinson says Kiwi taxpayers will clearly be surprised to learn that the New Zealand Government is effectively subsidising the Chinese coal industry.
I don’t know the total value of the Chinese coal industry, it’s probably in the trillions, but I am sure that NZ$84,000 wouldn’t go very far as a subsidy.
But that $84,000 will be absolutely priceless in terms of our future relations with China. Mine safety is a hugely important issue for China, and the programme also includes information about available technology for emissions reduction, which could have immense future economic benefits for New Zealand and environmental benefits for the world. Safety in Chinese mines is so important that the US is also investing $2.3million, Australia $4million and the EU $1million euros in the project. New Zealand unions were the pathbreakers.
Rangiora Kate should talk to her colleagues Tim Groser and John Hayes about the wider world and New Zealand’s place in it.