For Want of a Nail…Thursday, Apr 3, 2003
Every disaster relies on innumerable little events. Any of them could have been side-stepped, and a disaster averted.
For a country as reliant on trade as NZ is, those little disasters, in terms of fraying trade relationships, are accumulating. Such that today’s announcement of the missed WTO deadline for agriculture trade reforms must be sounding a loud warning that this governments desire to embrace multilateral to the exclusion of bi lateral international trade partnerships is placing NZ’s future farm profitability in jeopardy.
NZ farming has ceased to be a “low cost” producer of bulk farm commodities. Farm profitability rests with the proportion of total production that our marketers succeed in selling into to the few available high priced markets. Currently those markets are undergoing a restructure for the benefit of the group that NZ has chosen to isolate from.
Smart allecy intellectual political debate from our leaders is no substitute for substance, predictability and reliability necessary to underwrite our international trade dealings.
For want of action now a price will be paid by producers in the future.
For those who have forgotten the nursery rhyme - it went something like this:
FOR WANT OF A NAIL
For want of a nail the shoe was lost:
For want of the shoe the horse was lost;
For want of the horse the rider was lost;
For want of the rider the battle was lost;
For want of the battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a nail.