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Alert ! International Treaties Bill 2000
3 November 2000
The International Treaties Bill 2000 is scheduled to have its first reading on Wednesday, 8 November. The purpose of the Bill is to ensure that the NZ government will not be able to enter into international treaties without parliament’s approval. This is in part to replace the existing Standing Orders which since 1998 have resulted in some international treaties (not bilateral treaties except at the Minister’s discretion) being ‘referred’ to parliament.
Among other things, the International Treaties Bill 2000 provides for the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade to present to parliament the text of draft treaties which are under negotiation - this would assist in preventing the type of secrecy around some international agreements, such as the MAI which the then NZ government could have become a party to without anyone else knowing of its existence.
This Bill is a private members bill put forward by Keith Locke (Green Party); and although the Green Party are confident the Bill will pass the first reading and be sent on to Select Committee stage, it may be useful for you to contact your local MP and urge them to support the passage of the Bill through its first reading.
If you would like a copy of the Bill, we can forward one to you by email.