Hundreds of containers of beef and sheep meat remain stranded at ports in China, with the Government insisting it has done all it can to resolve the block.
Last Thursday Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said new export certificates were being personally flown to China by officials from the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), and he was optimistic meat would be moving by the end of last week.
This morning he said 245 certifications under the name of the old New Zealand Food Safety Authority had been sent to China, but the meat was still not moving.
“At the end of the day we’re dealing with Chinese officials,” Guy told reporters in Parliament today.
“This was an error by MPI using the wrong form, so the error has been noticed by the Chinese, of course we’re rectifying that and reverting back to the old form so now we wait for the Chinese officials to release those containers.”
We went through all this back in the 1990s. Turns out a lot of those back-office public servants – who National loves to sack by the thousand on the grounds that they don’t actually do anything, approximately one hundred and fifty of whom were let go during the MPI merger – do genuinely do some things, like check export certificates.