March 23 in history

March 23, 2019

1174 Jocelin, abbot of Melrose, was elected bishop of Glasgow.

1568 Peace of Longjumeau ended the Second War of Religion in France. Again Catherine de’ Medici and Charles IX of France make substantial concessions to the Huguenots.

1645 William Kidd, Scottish sailor, was born (d. 1701).

1708  James Francis Edward Stuart landed at the Firth of Forth.

1775 American Revolutionary War: Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech – “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” – at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia.

1801  Tsar Paul I of Russia was struck with a sword, then strangled, and finally trampled to death in his bedroom at St. Michael’s Castle.

1806  After traveling through the Louisiana Purchase and reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and their “Corps of Discovery” began their journey home.

1821 Battle and fall of city of Kalamata, Greek War of Independence.

1848 The immigrant ship John Wikcliffe anchored at Port Chalmers carrying the first Scottish settlers for Dunedin, New Zealand.

The John Wickliffe anchors at Port Chalmers

1848 Otago province was founded.

1857 Elisha Otis‘s first lift was installed at 488 Broadway New York City.

1862 The First Battle of Kernstown, Virginia, marked the start of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign.

1868 The University of California was founded.

1879 War of the Pacific  between Chile and the joint forces of Bolivia and Peru. Chile successfully took over Arica and Tarapacá leaving Bolivia as a landlocked country.

1889 – The free Woolwich Ferry officially opened in east London.

1889 The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was established by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Qadian India.

1896 The Raines Law was passed by the New York State Legislature, restricting Sunday sale of alcohol to hotels.

1903 The Wright Brothers applied for a patent on their invention of one of the first successful airplanes.

1905 Joan Crawford, American actress, was born (d. 1977).

1919  Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement.

1921 Donald Campbell, British car and motorboat racer, was born (d. 1967).

1929  Sir Roger Bannister, English runner, was born. (d. 1918).

1933 The Reichstag passed the Enabling act of 1933, making Adolf Hitlerdictator of Germany.

1935 Signing of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

1939 Hungarian air force attacked the headquarters of Slovak air force in the city of Spišská Nová Ves, killed 13 people and began the Slovak–Hungarian War.

1942 In the Indian Ocean, Japanese forces captured the Andaman Islands.

1949 Ric Ocasek, American musician (The Cars), was born.

1956 Pakistan becamesthe first Islamic republic in the world. (Republic Day in Pakistan).

1956 José Manuel Barroso, Portuguese politician, president of the European Commission, was born.

1962 – NS Savannah, the first nuclear-powered cargo-passenger ship, was launched as a showcase for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peaceinitiative.

1965  NASA launched Gemini 3, the United States’ first two-man space flight.

1980  Archbishop Óscar Romero of El Salvador gave his famous speech appealing to men of the El Salvadoran armed forces to stop killing the Salvadorans.

1982 Guatemala’s government, headed by Fernando Romeo Lucas Garcíawas overthrown in a military coup by right-wing General Efraín Ríos Montt.

1983 Strategic Defense Initiative: President Ronald Reagan made his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles.

1989 Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announced cold fusion at the University of Utah.

1994 Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was assassinated by Mario Aburto Martínez.

1994 – Aeroflot Flight 593 crashed in Siberia when the pilot’s fifteen-year old son accidentally disengaged the autopilot, killing all 75 people on board.

1994 – A United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 aircraft collided with a USAF C-130 at Pope Air Force Base and then crashed, killing 24 United States Army soldiers on the ground in the Green Ramp disaster.

1996 Taiwan held its first direct elections and elected Lee Teng-hui as President.

1999 Gunmen assassinated Paraguay’s Vice President Luis María Argaña.

2001 The Russian Mir space station was disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean.

2003 In Nasiriyah, Iraq, 11 soldiers of the 507th Maintenance Company and 18 U.S. Marines were killed during the first major conflict of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

2005 – A major explosion at the Texas City Refinery killed 15 workers.

2007 Burnley Tunnel catastrophe in Melbourne.

2007 – The Iranian Navy seizes Royal Navy personnel in the waters between Iran and Iraq.

2009 – FedEx Express Flight 80: A McDonnell Douglas MD-11 flying from Guangzhou, China crashed at Tokyo Narita International Airport, Japan, killing both the captain and the co-pilot.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


March 23 in history

March 23, 2018

1174 Jocelin, abbot of Melrose, was elected bishop of Glasgow.

1568 Peace of Longjumeau ended the Second War of Religion in France. Again Catherine de’ Medici and Charles IX of France make substantial concessions to the Huguenots.

1645 William Kidd, Scottish sailor, was born (d. 1701).

1708  James Francis Edward Stuart landed at the Firth of Forth.

1775 American Revolutionary War: Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech – “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” – at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia.

1801  Tsar Paul I of Russia was struck with a sword, then strangled, and finally trampled to death in his bedroom at St. Michael’s Castle.

1806  After traveling through the Louisiana Purchase and reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and their “Corps of Discovery” began their journey home.

1821 Battle and fall of city of Kalamata, Greek War of Independence.

1848 The immigrant ship John Wikcliffe anchored at Port Chalmerscarrying the first Scottish settlers for Dunedin, New Zealand.

The John Wickliffe anchors at Port Chalmers

1848 Otago province was founded.

1857 Elisha Otis‘s first lift was installed at 488 Broadway New York City.

1862 The First Battle of Kernstown, Virginia, marked the start of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign.

1868 The University of California was founded.

1879 War of the Pacific  between Chile and the joint forces of Bolivia and Peru. Chile successfully took over Arica and Tarapacá leaving Bolivia as a landlocked country.

1889 – The free Woolwich Ferry officially opened in east London.

1889 The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was established by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Qadian India.

1896 The Raines Law was passed by the New York State Legislature, restricting Sunday sale of alcohol to hotels.

1903 The Wright Brothers applied for a patent on their invention of one of the first successful airplanes.

1905 Joan Crawford, American actress, was born (d. 1977).

1919  Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement.

1921 Donald Campbell, British car and motorboat racer, was born (d. 1967).

1929  Sir Roger Bannister, English runner, was born. (d. 1918).

1933 The Reichstag passed the Enabling act of 1933, making Adolf Hitlerdictator of Germany.

1935 Signing of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

1939 Hungarian air force attacked the headquarters of Slovak air force in the city of Spišská Nová Ves, killed 13 people and began the Slovak–Hungarian War.

1942 In the Indian Ocean, Japanese forces captured the Andaman Islands.

1949 Ric Ocasek, American musician (The Cars), was born.

1956 Pakistan becamesthe first Islamic republic in the world. (Republic Day in Pakistan).

1956 José Manuel Barroso, Portuguese politician, president of the European Commission, was born.

1962 – NS Savannah, the first nuclear-powered cargo-passenger ship, was launched as a showcase for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peaceinitiative.

1965  NASA launched Gemini 3, the United States’ first two-man space flight.

1980  Archbishop Óscar Romero of El Salvador gave his famous speech appealing to men of the El Salvadoran armed forces to stop killing the Salvadorans.

1982 Guatemala’s government, headed by Fernando Romeo Lucas Garcíawas overthrown in a military coup by right-wing General Efraín Ríos Montt.

1983 Strategic Defense Initiative: President Ronald Reagan made his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles.

1989 Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announced cold fusion at the University of Utah.

1994 Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was assassinated by Mario Aburto Martínez.

1994 – Aeroflot Flight 593 crashed in Siberia when the pilot’s fifteen-year old son accidentally disengaged the autopilot, killing all 75 people on board.

1994 – A United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 aircraft collided with a USAF C-130 at Pope Air Force Base and then crashed, killing 24 United States Army soldiers on the ground in the Green Ramp disaster.

1996 Taiwan held its first direct elections and elected Lee Teng-hui as President.

1999 Gunmen assassinated Paraguay’s Vice President Luis María Argaña.

2001 The Russian Mir space station was disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean.

2003 In Nasiriyah, Iraq, 11 soldiers of the 507th Maintenance Company and 18 U.S. Marines were killed during the first major conflict of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

2005 – A major explosion at the Texas City Refinery killed 15 workers.

2007 Burnley Tunnel catastrophe in Melbourne.

2007 – The Iranian Navy seizes Royal Navy personnel in the waters between Iran and Iraq.

2009 – FedEx Express Flight 80: A McDonnell Douglas MD-11 flying from Guangzhou, China crashed at Tokyo Narita International Airport, Japan, killing both the captain and the co-pilot.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Quote of the day

March 23, 2017

You see in times of crisis that extremist forces, populist forces, have a better ground to oversimplify things and to manipulate feelings. Feelings of fear. – Jose Manuel Barroso who celebrates his 61st birthday today.


March 23 in history

March 23, 2017

1174 Jocelin, abbot of Melrose, was elected bishop of Glasgow.

1568 Peace of Longjumeau ended the Second War of Religion in France. Again Catherine de’ Medici and Charles IX of France make substantial concessions to the Huguenots.

1645 William Kidd, Scottish sailor, was born (d. 1701).

1708  James Francis Edward Stuart landed at the Firth of Forth.

1775 American Revolutionary War: Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech – “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” – at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia.

1801  Tsar Paul I of Russia was struck with a sword, then strangled, and finally trampled to death in his bedroom at St. Michael’s Castle.

1806  After traveling through the Louisiana Purchase and reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and their “Corps of Discovery” began their journey home.

1821 Battle and fall of city of Kalamata, Greek War of Independence.

1848 The immigrant ship John Wikcliffe anchored at Port Chalmerscarrying the first Scottish settlers for Dunedin, New Zealand.

The John Wickliffe anchors at Port Chalmers

1848 Otago province was founded.

1857 Elisha Otis‘s first lift was installed at 488 Broadway New York City.

1862 The First Battle of Kernstown, Virginia, marked the start of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign.

1868 The University of California was founded.

1879 War of the Pacific  between Chile and the joint forces of Bolivia and Peru. Chile successfully took over Arica and Tarapacá leaving Bolivia as a landlocked country.

1889 – The free Woolwich Ferry officially opened in east London.

1889 The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was established by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Qadian India.

1896 The Raines Law was passed by the New York State Legislature, restricting Sunday sale of alcohol to hotels.

1903 The Wright Brothers applied for a patent on their invention of one of the first successful airplanes.

1905 Joan Crawford, American actress, was born (d. 1977).

1919  Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement.

1921 Donald Campbell, British car and motorboat racer, was born (d. 1967).

1929  Sir Roger Bannister, English runner, was born.

1933 The Reichstag passed the Enabling act of 1933, making Adolf Hitlerdictator of Germany.

1935 Signing of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

1939 Hungarian air force attacked the headquarters of Slovak air force in the city of Spišská Nová Ves, killed 13 people and began the Slovak–Hungarian War.

1942 In the Indian Ocean, Japanese forces captured the Andaman Islands.

1949 Ric Ocasek, American musician (The Cars), was born.

1956 Pakistan becamesthe first Islamic republic in the world. (Republic Day in Pakistan).

1956 José Manuel Barroso, Portuguese politician, president of the European Commission, was born.

1962 – NS Savannah, the first nuclear-powered cargo-passenger ship, was launched as a showcase for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peaceinitiative.

1965  NASA launched Gemini 3, the United States’ first two-man space flight.

1980  Archbishop Óscar Romero of El Salvador gave his famous speech appealing to men of the El Salvadoran armed forces to stop killing the Salvadorans.

1982 Guatemala’s government, headed by Fernando Romeo Lucas Garcíawas overthrown in a military coup by right-wing General Efraín Ríos Montt.

1983 Strategic Defense Initiative: President Ronald Reagan made his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles.

1989 Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announced cold fusion at the University of Utah.

1994 Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was assassinated by Mario Aburto Martínez.

1994 – Aeroflot Flight 593 crashed in Siberia when the pilot’s fifteen-year old son accidentally disengaged the autopilot, killing all 75 people on board.

1994 – A United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 aircraft collided with a USAF C-130 at Pope Air Force Base and then crashed, killing 24 United States Army soldiers on the ground in the Green Ramp disaster.

1996 Taiwan held its first direct elections and elected Lee Teng-hui as President.

1999 Gunmen assassinated Paraguay’s Vice President Luis María Argaña.

2001 The Russian Mir space station was disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean.

2003 In Nasiriyah, Iraq, 11 soldiers of the 507th Maintenance Company and 18 U.S. Marines were killed during the first major conflict of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

2005 – A major explosion at the Texas City Refinery killed 15 workers.

2007 Burnley Tunnel catastrophe in Melbourne.

2007 – The Iranian Navy seizes Royal Navy personnel in the waters between Iran and Iraq.

2009 – FedEx Express Flight 80: A McDonnell Douglas MD-11 flying from Guangzhou, China crashed at Tokyo Narita International Airport, Japan, killing both the captain and the co-pilot.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


March 23 in history

March 23, 2016

1174 Jocelin, abbot of Melrose, was elected bishop of Glasgow.

1568 Peace of Longjumeau ended the Second War of Religion in France. Again Catherine de’ Medici and Charles IX of France make substantial concessions to the Huguenots.

1645 William Kidd, Scottish sailor, was born (d. 1701).

1708  James Francis Edward Stuart landed at the Firth of Forth.

1775 American Revolutionary War: Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech – “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” – at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia.

1801  Tsar Paul I of Russia was struck with a sword, then strangled, and finally trampled to death in his bedroom at St. Michael’s Castle.

1806  After traveling through the Louisiana Purchase and reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and their “Corps of Discovery” began their journey home.

1821 Battle and fall of city of Kalamata, Greek War of Independence.

1848 The immigrant ship John Wikcliffe anchored at Port Chalmerscarrying the first Scottish settlers for Dunedin, New Zealand.

The John Wickliffe anchors at Port Chalmers

1848 Otago province was founded.

1857 Elisha Otis‘s first lift was installed at 488 Broadway New York City.

1862 The First Battle of Kernstown, Virginia, marked the start of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign.

1868 The University of California was founded.

1879 War of the Pacific  between Chile and the joint forces of Bolivia and Peru. Chile successfully took over Arica and Tarapacá leaving Bolivia as a landlocked country.

1889 – The free Woolwich Ferry officially opened in east London.

1889 The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was established by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Qadian India.

1896 The Raines Law was passed by the New York State Legislature, restricting Sunday sale of alcohol to hotels.

1903 The Wright Brothers applied for a patent on their invention of one of the first successful airplanes.

1905 Joan Crawford, American actress, was born (d. 1977).

1919  Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement.

1921 Donald Campbell, British car and motorboat racer, was born (d. 1967).

1929  Sir Roger Bannister, English runner, was born.

1933 The Reichstag passed the Enabling act of 1933, making Adolf Hitlerdictator of Germany.

1935 Signing of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

1939 Hungarian air force attacked the headquarters of Slovak air force in the city of Spišská Nová Ves, killed 13 people and began the Slovak–Hungarian War.

1942 In the Indian Ocean, Japanese forces captured the Andaman Islands.

1949 Ric Ocasek, American musician (The Cars), was born.

1956 Pakistan becamesthe first Islamic republic in the world. (Republic Day in Pakistan).

1956 José Manuel Barroso, Portuguese politician, president of the European Commission, was born.

1962 – NS Savannah, the first nuclear-powered cargo-passenger ship, was launched as a showcase for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peaceinitiative.

1965  NASA launched Gemini 3, the United States’ first two-man space flight.

1980  Archbishop Óscar Romero of El Salvador gave his famous speech appealing to men of the El Salvadoran armed forces to stop killing the Salvadorans.

1982 Guatemala’s government, headed by Fernando Romeo Lucas Garcíawas overthrown in a military coup by right-wing General Efraín Ríos Montt.

1983 Strategic Defense Initiative: President Ronald Reagan made his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles.

1989 Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announced cold fusion at the University of Utah.

1994 Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was assassinated by Mario Aburto Martínez.

1994 – Aeroflot Flight 593 crashed in Siberia when the pilot’s fifteen-year old son accidentally disengaged the autopilot, killing all 75 people on board.

1994 – A United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 aircraft collided with a USAF C-130 at Pope Air Force Base and then crashed, killing 24 United States Army soldiers on the ground in the Green Ramp disaster.

1996 Taiwan held its first direct elections and elected Lee Teng-hui as President.

1999 Gunmen assassinated Paraguay’s Vice President Luis María Argaña.

2001 The Russian Mir space station was disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean.

2003 In Nasiriyah, Iraq, 11 soldiers of the 507th Maintenance Company and 18 U.S. Marines were killed during the first major conflict of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

2005 – A major explosion at the Texas City Refinery killed 15 workers.

2007 Burnley Tunnel catastrophe in Melbourne.

2007 – The Iranian Navy seizes Royal Navy personnel in the waters between Iran and Iraq.

2009 – FedEx Express Flight 80: A McDonnell Douglas MD-11 flying from Guangzhou, China crashed at Tokyo Narita International Airport, Japan, killing both the captain and the co-pilot.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


March 23 in history

March 23, 2015

1174 Jocelin, abbot of Melrose, was elected bishop of Glasgow.

1568 Peace of Longjumeau ended the Second War of Religion in France. Again Catherine de’ Medici and Charles IX of France make substantial concessions to the Huguenots.

1645 William Kidd, Scottish sailor, was born (d. 1701).

1708  James Francis Edward Stuart landed at the Firth of Forth.

1775 American Revolutionary War: Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech – “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” – at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia.

1801  Tsar Paul I of Russia was struck with a sword, then strangled, and finally trampled to death in his bedroom at St. Michael’s Castle.

1806  After traveling through the Louisiana Purchase and reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and their “Corps of Discovery” began their journey home.

1821 Battle and fall of city of Kalamata, Greek War of Independence.

1848 The immigrant ship John Wikcliffe anchored at Port Chalmers carrying the first Scottish settlers for Dunedin, New Zealand.

The John Wickliffe anchors at Port Chalmers

1848 Otago province was founded.

1857 Elisha Otis‘s first lift was installed at 488 Broadway New York City.

1862 The First Battle of Kernstown, Virginia, marked the start of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign.

1868 The University of California was founded.

1879 War of the Pacific  between Chile and the joint forces of Bolivia and Peru. Chile successfully took over Arica and Tarapacá leaving Bolivia as a landlocked country.

1889 – The free Woolwich Ferry officially opened in east London.

1889 The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was established by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Qadian India.

1896 The Raines Law was passed by the New York State Legislature, restricting Sunday sale of alcohol to hotels.

1903 The Wright Brothers applied for a patent on their invention of one of the first successful airplanes.

1905 Joan Crawford, American actress, was born (d. 1977).

1919  Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement.

1921 Donald Campbell, British car and motorboat racer, was born (d. 1967).

1929  Sir Roger Bannister, English runner, was born.

1933 The Reichstag passed the Enabling act of 1933, making Adolf Hitler dictator of Germany.

1935 Signing of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

1939 Hungarian air force attacked the headquarters of Slovak air force in the city of Spišská Nová Ves, killed 13 people and began the Slovak–Hungarian War.

1942 In the Indian Ocean, Japanese forces captured the Andaman Islands.

1949 Ric Ocasek, American musician (The Cars), was born.

1956 Pakistan becamesthe first Islamic republic in the world. (Republic Day in Pakistan).

1956 José Manuel Barroso, Portuguese politician, president of the European Commission, was born.

1962 – NS Savannah, the first nuclear-powered cargo-passenger ship, was launched as a showcase for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace initiative.

1965  NASA launched Gemini 3, the United States’ first two-man space flight.

1980  Archbishop Óscar Romero of El Salvador gave his famous speech appealing to men of the El Salvadoran armed forces to stop killing the Salvadorans.

1982 Guatemala’s government, headed by Fernando Romeo Lucas García was overthrown in a military coup by right-wing General Efraín Ríos Montt.

1983 Strategic Defense Initiative: President Ronald Reagan made his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles.

1989 Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announced cold fusion at the University of Utah.

1994 Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was assassinated by Mario Aburto Martínez.

1994 – Aeroflot Flight 593 crashed in Siberia when the pilot’s fifteen-year old son accidentally disengaged the autopilot, killing all 75 people on board.

1994 – A United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 aircraft collided with a USAF C-130 at Pope Air Force Base and then crashed, killing 24 United States Army soldiers on the ground in the Green Ramp disaster.

1996 Taiwan held its first direct elections and elected Lee Teng-hui as President.

1999 Gunmen assassinated Paraguay’s Vice President Luis María Argaña.

2001 The Russian Mir space station was disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean.

2003 In Nasiriyah, Iraq, 11 soldiers of the 507th Maintenance Company and 18 U.S. Marines were killed during the first major conflict of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

2005 – A major explosion at the Texas City Refinery killed 15 workers.

2007 Burnley Tunnel catastrophe in Melbourne.

2007 – The Iranian Navy seizes Royal Navy personnel in the waters between Iran and Iraq.

2009 – FedEx Express Flight 80: A McDonnell Douglas MD-11 flying from Guangzhou, China crashed at Tokyo Narita International Airport, Japan, killing both the captain and the co-pilot.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


EU-NZ free trade deal on table

March 26, 2014

Prime Minister John Key has more good news for trade:

New Zealand and the European Union are to pursue a free trade pact – but don’t expect any action until at least 2015.

Prime Minister John Key made the announcement in The Hague after meeting European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council president Herman Van Rompuy. He described it as “quite an important” meeting

Two-way trade between New Zealand and the 28 members of the EU totals $16 billion a year.

Key said the EU has, for the first time, agreed to consider a free trade agreement.

But he admitted an ambitious EU-US trade deal, as well as a pact with Canada, will take priority for the Europeans. 

Further progress is also not possible until after European Parliament elections this year, but officials will undertake a scoping study.

“We are actually seeing progress and a breakthrough that historically hasn’t been a option available to us,” Key said.

The deal has the support of both the British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who he met on the sidelines of the major international summit. . .

Some of the credit for this must go to the good relationship between them and Key.

Two-way trade between New Zealand and the EU is worth about $16bn a year and has the potential to rise to $20bn by 2020. 

But exporters are hamstrung by hefty tariffs – including 8.2 per cent on kiwifruit. By comparison, Chile pays nothing because it is already signed up to an FTA with the 28-country bloc.

“It is easy to look at Europe and think Greece and Spain and some of the well pronounced debt problems,” Key said. “But sitting in amongst that are hundreds of millions of very wealthy consumers who earn a lot, spend a lot and fundamentally are the target market for what we sell.” . . .

A free trade deal with the EU won’t happen quickly but it would bring benefits for producers and their consumers who are paying far more than they need to for our produce because of tariffs.

The EU is our third biggest trading partner in spite of the handicaps we face from duties imposed on our products.

Spain is our biggest market for kiwifruit, even with that 8.2% tariff. The only other New Zealand produce I’ve seen there was apples.

It’s not hard to find New Zealand lamb in the UK and our venison in Germany.

A free trade deal would make it easier for our produce to compete on price and give people their more choice at a lower cost.

It would allow us to put our trading eggs in more baskets which would give better security and bargaining power.


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