MPs deny anti-growth comments

By Sophie Price

1 comment
National MP Craig Foss has accused Hawke's Bay Labour MPs of being anti-growth.
National MP Craig Foss has accused Hawke's Bay Labour MPs of being anti-growth.

Hawke's Bay Labour MPs have brushed off comments from National MP Craig Foss who accused them of being anti-growth.

With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) set to be signed today, Mr Foss has urged Napier MP Stuart Nash and Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri to back the region's exporters by backing the agreement.

Mr Foss said if the Labour MPs were really committed to seeing growth in the Bay's local horticultural industry then they would support the TPP and the job opportunities it would create in Hawke's Bay.

"The TPP will open up huge new opportunities for our exporters," he said.

"It would be inconceivable for New Zealand and Hawke's Bay not to be part of a trading bloc that represents 40 per cent of global gross domestic product.

"If Mr Nash is committed to the future of Hawke's Bay's pipfruit industry then he should support the TPP."

However, Mr Nash said he was all for trade, that as a trader for eight years he understood the importance of trade to the New Zealand economy.

"The concerns that Labour does have about the TPP is the erosion of sovereignty," Mr Nash said.

"I would have thought that Mr Foss also shared those concerns considering that a great number of his constituents over the years have expressed similar concerns about foreigners buying farms and speculators driving up house prices."

His Ikaroa-Rāwhiti counterpart echoed his comments, saying Labour's opposition to the agreement in no way conflicted with their support of free trade and the continued growth of Hawke's Bay's horticultural industry.

The Tukituki MP said he was backing our exporters as one of the world's best producers of quality value-added products and services.

However, Ms Whaitiri stood strong, saying the agreement could stop a future government passing laws in the best interests of Kiwis.

"Foreign corporations could sue the Government over policy changes and our access to life-saving drugs could be restricted."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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