New Zealand's vegetable farmers are trying to remain positive as the "Buy Australian" supermarket campaign becomes aggressive in Australia.
Prime Minister John Key will be coming to Australia to discuss the effects of the campaign with Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Due to the "Buy Australian" campaign, supermarkets such as Woolworths and Coles have removed New Zealand's products from the shelves. According to Buy NZ Made Executive Scott Wilson, the supermarket chains are taking off the Kiwi-made goods from their in-house brands for being "non-Australian."
Wilson said fresh vegetables, cheese and frozen food from New Zealand were the most affected by the campaign. He added New Zealand will not take an aggressive stance and persuade people not to buy products not made in the country.
The New Zealand Food and Grocery Council was disappointed about the campaign and feared it will cost the food industry in the country millions of dollars.
Key remarked on Feb. 5 that the "Buy Australian" campaign violates the concept of Australia's trade relations with New Zealand. New Zealand's prime minister said he will be discussing the matter with Australia's prime minister.
Key believes the campaign may be breaching the Closer Economic Relations trade pact.
Kiwis Living In Australia Treated "Third-class Citizens"
Labor Leader David Cunliffe urged Key to take a tougher stance on the "Buy Australian" campaign and fight for the rights of Kiwis living in New Zealand.
According to Stuff.co.nz report, more than 200,000 New Zealanders who have moved to Australia after 2001 were not recognized as Australian citizens. Since they have no citizenship, they miss out on the benefits and rights of living in Australia as a citizen.
Tony Abbott has previously said he is happy with the current arrangement with New Zealanders living and working in Australia. But Cunliffe said it was time for Key to raise that Kiwis in Australia don't have the same rights as Australians living in New Zealand.
Cunliffe added Kiwis are being "treated like third-class citizens" despite their contribution to Australian society, including tax payments.
To contact the editor, e-mail: