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Corporates for TPP

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, March 22nd, 2014 - 47 comments
Categories: activism, assets, business, capitalism, class war, democratic participation, sustainability, trade, us politics, workers' rights - Tags:

New Zealanders have every reason to join next Saturday’s (29 March) Day of Action against TPP.  It’s an agreement being strongly pushed by various major US multinationals, including those of the motion picture industry, computer industries and “Big Pharma”.

TPPP Big Pharma

This article on the website for the Sunlight Foundation, “How Big Pharma (and others) began lobbying on the Trans-Pacific Partnership before you ever heard of it“.

Major players in the pharmaceutical industry have pushed long and hard for the TPP, and are considered to have been a major influence on the shape of the agreement:

It was an early clue as to which industry would take the most active role in trying to shape the trade agreement while it was still secret from the public. From 2009 until mid-2013 (the time during which the language of the agreement was still reasonably fluid), drug companies and associations mentioned the trade agreement in 251 separate lobbying reports – two and a half times more than the next most active industry (at least measured by lobbying reports).

It is an investment that appears to have paid off. The TPP is quite friendly to drug manufacturers, strengthening patent exclusivity and providing protections against bulk government purchasing (should it hurt profits). At the behest of the pharmaceutical industry, the U.S. is also pushing to limit the ability of national regulatory agencies to support generic drug development. All of this suggests that the active lobbying has paid off.

The articles linked in the above extract provide a grim scenario and indicate that NZ’s Pharmac will be under pressure to serve Big Pharma and disregard the needs and well-being of Kiwis.  This Huffington Post article, linked above, says the following:

Under the emerging Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement with the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim nations, drug companies will be able to challenge any restraint on their ability to price-gouge, including laws that empower public programs like Medicare and Medicaid to use their purchasing power to obtain lower prices.

The Sunlight Foundation article also provides graphic information about which industries and which corporations have campaigned for the TPP in their own interests, and for how long. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America have been the strongest and longest lobbyists for the TPP.

Looking at the top 20 organizations (Figure 2 below) tells a similar picture: PhRMA, the pharmaceutical industry’s trade association, tops the list at 44 reports mentioning the trade agreement, followed closely by drug giant Pfizer at 42. The Chamber of Commerce comes in third, with 34 reports, followed by the Dairy Farmers of America, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association and Yahoo!, all at 29 reports.

The requisite caveat is these counts are based on voluntary disclosures, and they rely on the organization to specifically mention the trade agreement by name in its lobbying disclosure forms (as opposed to something like “trade issues”). Still, the lobbying patterns shouldn’t come as a surprise: They largely reflect the interests that are most likely to be affected by the trade agreement.

Corporations for TPP

Which organisations lobbied the most for TPP–  Bigger image at the link


Other organisations that have lobbied strongly for the TPP include Hollywood corporates, car makers, the textile industry, and the dairy sector.  The US representatives of the latter, are explicitly concerned about the possibility of opening up the US dairy sector to NZ exporters.

See the It’s Our Future Website for details on protests planned next Saturday in places throughout NZ.

Page One events at – all beginning at 1pm (At the links, there are links to each event giving beginning meet-up point).

29 Mar 2014 -1pm

Tauranga, Whanganui, Wellington, Whangarei, Palmerston North, Nelson, Hamilton, Hokianga

Page Two events at:

Dunedin, Auckland

TPPA poster March 29 2014

47 comments on “Corporates for TPP”

  1. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1

    Just in case someone hasn’t come across it yet:

    There is a petition created by the SumOfUs to show leaders of the political parties of this country how many people feel strongly that the TPP is wrong.

    http://act.sumofus.org/go/3859?t=4&akid=4438.1853073.CQZoEv

    [On signing the petition you will receive other emails containing petition requests from SumOfUs, they are usually based on the subject of dodgy corporate agenda – such as Monsanto attempting to reverse court rulings designed to protect bees from their noxious-to-bees products.

    If you scroll down the email there is an ‘unsubscribe’ link you can press if you don’t want to receive these emails

    Link to About the SumOfUs ]

    • Rosie 1.1

      Thanks blue leopard. That sumofus petition arrived in my inbox last week, and was promptly signed!

      Good to see that Avaaz and change.org have also been keeping the pressure up on Monsanto’s efforts to reverse the European Courts decision to ban bee killing insecticides and they are also trying to counter the Monsanto propaganda machine – that is Monsanto are trying to hush up the publication of new research that has proven that their Round Up herbicide is also harmful to bee’s.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.1.1

        Cheers Rosie,

        I was initially apprehensive about joining these petition site lists, however I am glad I did – I find being part of these movements helps keep one informed as to what is going on about things that we just don’t get informed about in NZ.

        The anti-bee action by Monsanto was an extraordinary example of narrow self interest destructiveness – along with many other monopolistic and anti-life stances Monsanto seem to specialise in.

        Corporate monopoly is one of the single biggest obstacles we have toward an effective expression of democracy in this country and beyond.

        • Rosie 1.1.1.1

          I have some slight reservations about the click – ti- vism sites, mainly to do with their real life impact, but on the whole I see no harm in them.

          Avaaz in particular seem to back their site work with actual activities.For instance they were very active around the Bangladesh Rana Plaza industrial disaster last year and worked alongside international labour rights groups to bring justice for the survivors and for the families of the victims. Eventually tighter factory safety laws were put in place and most companies signed up to the new accord (with the continuing exception of Gap Clothing)

          And you’re right, these sites do highlight serious issues that don’t get much air here, mainly the corporate monopoly you speak of as well as human rights abuses and environmental harm.

  2. Rosie 2

    Thanks for another well researched and interesting article karol.

    I was a bit intrigued to see that a organisation representing a collective of Unions covering 6 trades areas and 12.5 million American workers, AFL- CIO, was featured as one of the pro TPP lobby groups, and sat around the halfway mark on the tables illustrated in the link you provided.

    http://www.aflcio.org/About/AFL-CIO-Unions

    Where as here in NZ we have the FIRST Union supporting the “It’s our future” campaign.

    http://www.firstunion.org.nz/

    I understand that workers would be concerned about an agreement such as the TPP because there is the risk jobs in smaller weaker partner countries such as ours may be lost to more powerful larger countries. I’m wondering do American workers see this agreement as something that would benefit them and boost their industries, therefore they support such an agreement?

    How does it work?

    • karol 2.1

      Thanks, Rosie.

      I didn’t actually do much extra research for this post. The main article featured was linked in a tweet, I think from Helen Kelly this morning. I just read the article, checked the websites and read the linked articles. It looked like a very good resource and that it would make a relevant reminder about next week’s Day of Action.

  3. Chooky 3

    +100 …thanks for that karol….a very good reference

  4. greywarbler 4

    I have been getting emails fro mAvaaz but don’t know much about them. Are they good and on the level? Is there any bad feedback about them?

    And on the most lobbying it is interesting to see how amongst the top 20 listed which are said to be the most prolific –

    1st and 2nd + – Pharmaceutical entity representing the trade tops the list, a firm comes 2nd (Pfizer) (The total number for the sector, is five out of the 20.)

    3rd Chambers of Commerce, catch-all representing most USA business interests. (One high in the 20.)

    4th Dairy Farmers of America (plus another at No.13 the American Farm Bureau) (One +1, high in the 20 + another, so 2 in 20.)

    5th see Pharma.

    6th On-line computer services and additional – Yahoo! Inc (Online computer services also 16th Net Coalition) and Motion Picture Assn of America. (So this sector, three out of 20.)

    7th Clothing – and Price-cutting department stores. 7 Hanesbrands (Clothings & accessories)
    10 Walmart 11 Target, (department stores), 15 Nike (Shoes & leather products), 19 American Footwear Assn, 20 American Manufacturing Trade Action (Teextiles & fabrics)
    The total number for sector, six out of 20.)

    8th United Steelworkers (Manufacturing), and 12 AFL-CIO (Labour unions) Two out of 20)

    14th Ford Motor Co.

    • Rosie 4.1

      “I have been getting emails fro mAvaaz but don’t know much about them. Are they good and on the level? Is there any bad feedback about them?”

      Hi there Warbly. My response to blue leopard above at 1.1.1.1 covers a little of your question. In short, I do feel they are on the level. I can’t provide any bad feedback but others may have differing views.

    • karol 4.2

      I was interested in the lobbying by unions. I didn’t have time to check it this morning.

      Basically, it looks like their lobbying is against the TPP, with concerns for the way it will undermine the rights of US workers.

      From the AFL-CIO website. – 14 March 2014

      The U.S.–Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS–FTA) turns 2 years old Saturday and imports from Korea continue to flood into the United States, costing workers their jobs.
      [..]
      Despite promises of U.S. job growth and improvements in trade balances (similar to what we’re hearing about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement [TPP])—Gerard says imports from Korea are up by 4% and:
      [..]
      He warns that if TPP has the same negative and growing impact as KORUS, America’s job losses and the effect of trade imbalances will multiply.

      • greywarbler 4.2.1

        It’s a point that USA workers should fear TPPA. Perhaps we could link with the anti TPPA USA citizens. It’s the little people against Mr Creosote (Monty Python reference – have a look, before having dinner.)

        Just thought suitable marching song for the Saturday 29 March protest –

        I said
        Don’t it always seem to go
        That you don’t know what you’ve got
        ‘Til it’s gone
        They paved paradise
        And put up a parking lot

        They paved paradise
        And put up a parking lot
        They paved paradise
        And put up a parking lot

        Everyone would know that and it would be a meaningful noise representing what we are afraid of – losing our country and rights to do things we want and them having all the rights.

        I like ‘pay paradise’.
        The pay paradise put up a parking lot
        With a big hotel and a swinging hot spot
        Don’t it always seem to go
        that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,
        The pay paradise put up a parking lot.j

      • Rosie 4.2.2

        Thanks again karol – I should have looked a bit harder. I also made the mistake of making an assumption – that the US Union movement was for the TPP.

        btw, as for the topic of research – I saw your discussion with Pete George over on Open Mike. It’s good that you question him on the strength of his research capabilities for Politicheck.

    • Murray Olsen 4.3

      I take Avaaz on an issue by issue basis. On some things they seem very good, but I’ve also seen them promote stuff by right wing groups in Brazil wanting the return of a military government. As with any issue, I like to have a good look myself before I take a stand on anything. Of course, that doesn’t make me infallible, but it means I do have reasonably informed prejudices :-)

  5. Tracey 5

    thanks again karol. much appreciated. john armstrong thinks the gcsb and tpp are things that dont affect everyday people. we need to help he and others understand that he has it completely tge wrong way roubd. it is an incidious corporate proffiting venture by stealth to milk us in private to fleece us in public.

    • karol 5.1

      Yes., Tracey – things like the way it will affect access to and cost of medicines, undermine workers’ rights, cost of living etc, should be stressed to Kiwis.

  6. Melb 6

    Surely some of your post should be congratulating the current Govt for opposing the draconian measures proposed by the US, as shown by the wikileaked drafts.

    • karol 6.1

      That’s not as straight forward as you make it seem.

      Yes, wikileaks material shows there have been disagreements between the US, and NZ – and many other countries – as in this November 2013 report by Nicky Hager in the NZ Herald. He says the gulf is so wide, someone will need to back down – given the power of the US, and the fact that they prioritise deals with powerful countries like Japan over NZ, you have to wonder what there is in the TPP for NZ.

      This article by Jane Kelsey – feb 2014, (from the It’s Our Future site linked to in my post) says that a lot of the areas of contention have been whittled down.

      ‘By the start of the officials’ meetings on Monday the 100-plus points of disagreement in last year’s intellectual property text had already been whittled away. I understand there have been further major decisions already this week, even before the ministers meet’, Kelsey said.
      ‘There is talk about the US making compromises and showing flexibility. This is an old trick. They set the original threshold outrageously high. Then they agree to “concessions” that are still far beyond the status quo. The result is new rules that profit Big Pharma at the expense of access to affordable medicines and protection of public health’.

      One of the most crucial remaining decisions for TPPA ministers is the US demand for new rules that would give the pharmaceutical companies longer monopoly terms, including for patents, and delay the entry of new generic medicines to treat diseases like cancer and diabetes.

      Basically, Kelsey is skeptical that Grosser/the NZ government will not back down in the face of US corporate power.

      More From Jane Kelsey on the current state of play in her blog post this month. In this she explains why we need to keep up pressure on the current government, and Labour if they lead the government after the election, to tell them why they should not sell out Kiws in the TPPA.

    • karol 6.2

      And Martyn Bradbury, in an op ed in today’s NZ Herald, says this:

      Unfortunately for the prime minister, Wikileaks obtained the cable from our chief negotiator, Mark Sinclair, admitting privately that managing the fact we would gain little from the deal was its biggest challenge.
      […]

      Take Pharmac. The ground Key will give to get some extra dairy into America is to let US pharmaceuticals threaten Pharmac with legal action if Pharmac doesn’t take their overpriced medicines. Pharmac becomes obliged to consider legal action by these corporations as part of its costings so that although cheaper medicines may exist, the added cost of legal threats means cheaper drugs are ruled out.

      The effect of this is more expensive medicines for all of us, just so dairy farmers (who are already polluting our rivers to saturation point) can sell a little bit more to the US.

  7. Murray Olsen 7

    On what basis do the corporates lobby for the TPPA? Does this mean they wrote it, or that they have actually read it, when none of us are allowed within a bull’s roar of the filthy document?

    As for trusting our politicians to negotiate anything – if the seppo’s are asking for 10, this probably means they expect 5, but will settle for 3. “Our” representatives are more likely to hand over 9.8 (NAct) or 9.5 (Labour) and claim a great victory.

    • adam 7.1

      Murry it has been the liberal parties of the left which have run to support these arguments, more willingly than the right. Hence why corporate dollars fall into the lap of labour so well. I think the protest should be directed at labour, and their offices and if that not acceptable, then at the very least no one from labour should be allowed to speak.

      • Murray Olsen 7.1.1

        Thanks, but people are putting pressure on both sides. At the moment, NAct is the hand holding the pen, so it makes more immediate sense to pressure them. As for who supports these sort of agreements more, I’d say it’s pretty much equal these days. NAct no longer hold any vestige of economic nationalism or sovereignty, and only a few in Labour do. I will admit Labour may have signed more deals, purely on the basis that they’re more competent at running capitalism than NAct is. Please note that I don’t mean that last bit as any sort of recommendation.

      • karol 7.1.2

        Hence why corporate dollars fall into the lap of labour so well.

        This needs explanation and citations. While there is some lack of transparency, most of the evidenve I’ve seen points to National getting way more of the corporate dollars than Labour.

        I have no faith that Labour would oppose the TPP while in government. So far they have only asked that Kiwis see the agreement before the government accepts it.

    • karol 7.2

      I have read several reports stating that corporate people have read the full TPP drafts, while citizens and members of governments have not.

      Stated here for instance:

      We only know about the TPP’s threats thanks to leaks – the public is not allowed to see the draft TPP text. Even members of Congress, after being denied the text for years, are now only provided limited access. Meanwhile, more than 600 official corporate “trade advisors” have special access.

      Here on RT

      Operatives of top global corporations, which spend great amounts of cash to lobby Congress, are also part of a small group in the US outside the Obama administration that can access working plans on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

      […]
      Thus far in the multi-year negotiations of TPP, a small cadre of people have had open access to the working documents involved in the various sections of the trade pact. On the contrary, members of the US Congress, for example, must visit the offices of the United States Trade Representative to review the provisions. They are not allowed to bring anyone with them, nor can they make copies of any documents pertaining to the working agreement.

      Yet aside from those in the Obama administration, only members of the United States Trade Representative’s advisory system, including the 18-member Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (ITAC-15), can freely access TPP negotiation documents on intellectual property.

  8. RedBaronCV 8

    How do we reverse or back out of TPP if this government is stupid enough to sign this. And is this behind the “NZ Flag” editorial of the New York times (in today’s Herald). I just don’t believe that international treaties can’t be cancelled at some level, perhaps all countries could put withdrawal rights in.

  9. RedBaronCV 9

    Do we pass a law right now requiring parliamentary ratification of external treaties? Are there enough supporters in the current parliament.

  10. tricledrown 10

    Even Tim Hazeldine says we shouldn’t rush to sign free trade deals.
    As what happens is our manufacturing gets gutted .
    Our democratic rights get undermined.
    Its better to pay a bit more for things and be a little poorer than be a slave to much bigger countries.
    How much more cheap junk can we buy from these countries.
    While we fritter away democracy.

    • Wayne 10.1

      If Tim Hazeldine is saying it, then I know we should be doing FTA’s.

      But I appreciate, that like Bomber Bradbury item in the Herald, this site is for those who oppose FTA’s.

      Another good reason why John Key needs to be the Prime Minister through to 2017.

      • McFlock 10.1.1

        :roll:

      • Tracey 10.1.2

        this from the man who has never opposed one and cannot say when an fta or tpp will trickle down to things like higher low wages, closing the gap between rich and poor, and preventing another economic collapse such as 1987 and 2007/2008….

        • Wayne 10.1.2.1

          Tracey,

          It is true that I have never opposed a FTA negotiated by a NZ govt. But that because NZ govts have always negotiated sensible FTA’s. Negotiations are only ever started with countries with whom it is reasonable to negotiate a FTA.

          Whereas I suspect you have opposed every single one, or would if you knew they were happening. Some slip by pretty much unnoticed like the recent one with Taiwan.

          • geoff 10.1.2.1.1

            TPPA ≠ FTA.

            Why do you keep pretending that it is, Wayne Mapp?

          • Tracey 10.1.2.1.2

            Given the number of ftas wayne when do you predict the impact of the tpp if signed off by dec 14 will flow to higher low wages and closing the gap betw rich and poor?

            Do you understand the tpp is not an fta?

        • srylands 10.1.2.2

          So you are saying you oppose FTAs? Incredible.

          • McFlock 10.1.2.2.1

            it’s only incredible to you because you’re so disconnected from New Zealand.
            Probably because you’re an aussie.

          • Tracey 10.1.2.2.2

            Do you understand that tpp is not an fta?

            Trickledown and wayne may think they are but I am surprised that someone as intellectually well read as you thinks so.

      • lprent 10.1.3

        Ha. I’ve never opposed a single FTA. However the TPP is a restriction of trade agreement. So far I haven’t seen a single thing in it that improves trade for NZ.

        Can’t quite understand why you’re supporting a RTA.

        But that is the problem with the TPP. Its lack of transparency compared with any of the previous FTAs and its apparent scope well beyond the scope of a trade agreement makes the only available analogy being CER. That too was well scrutinised by a wider audience than the usual.

        The difference is that the key parts of that agreement were clearly known by the public well before the executive approved it and had a broad consensus of support. The TPP process by comparison has been obsessively secretive and what has leaked has been outright disturbing for anyone interested in supporting FREE TRADE. It appears to be a political agreement rather than a trade agreement

        • Tracey 10.1.3.1

          thats just semantics to wayne. he doesnt need to know any details to know he loves it. to hell with the leaks which point to significant concessions by nz legislature to major global companies.

      • thatguynz 10.1.4

        “Another”? You mean there was a reason to start with Wayne?

        Your unfailing support of “FTA’s” highlights a lot that is wrong with the National party.

    • srylands 10.2

      Welcome back to 1978. You are on the wrong side of history son.

      • McFlock 10.2.1

        Historical determinism? Libertarians are indeed lazy marxists…

      • Tracey 10.2.2

        do you know how many global financial meltdowns there were between the great depression and 1978 and between 1979 and 2008?

  11. tricledrown 11

    Wayne your full of crap where’s your reasoning just following along blindly with no questions.
    Democracy is about everyone having a say.
    You and your ilk sspylands don’t want anyone to have an opinion say or put forward evidence that
    some free trade deals aren’t that good.
    Dairy exports to the US at the expense of pharmac .
    The US can produce dairy products cheaper than NZ.
    We can’t even produce most of the pharmaceuticals we use so we would be at a huge disadvantage.
    The rights of huge corporates to sue us is another undermining of democratic rights.
    Wayne you were useless as an MP.
    Your only marginally better as a blogger.

  12. Yossarian 12

    +1000

    Dear Karol

    Bravo!

    Another Triumph!

    It’s not often I read such well written articles as yours Karole. I can only think that your abilities must of been honed somewhere other than The Standard. Have you ever worked in the “MSM” as a journalist or dare I say it an editor? I have always been interested in journalism my entire life but I could never write anything as well as you Ckarole. I am beginning to think your talents are wasted on this site.You could easily get yourself a position as a journalist in any of the MSM outlets in this country or dare I say the world, even in the uk where as you most probably know already, because you are that well informed they could do with a few as some of their past ones are facing jail time. Orrr perhaps a speech writer for one of the up and coming mps in our forthcoming election!? Or actually join & contribute to a political party!?..Nooooo, why don’t you just get up there Ckarolee and run for leader..after all, we on this site recognise your leadership appeal!???

    Now I know I have seen the occasional detractor on the site but Carolina they don’t know a thing when it comes to politics, not like you do. At the very least you should ignore them and if that’s not enough perhaps you could ask the site owner to dispatch them by totally banning them from the site. I hear shes got this ability,on any person that might have the timerity to question you….feel the power Karol …Let it sink into your very nerve endings and realise there is never enough, such well formed and succinctly written comments as your own being questioned by mear plebs.

    I ask you What sort of place would it be if the mear mortals of this world came in here and questioned you? Your work stands in its own right and has no need to be robustly debated!

    [lprent: Wrong gender and I suggest that you read the policy carefully about your required behaviour towards authors. I hadn’t particularly noticed you before this comment except as a bit of irritant. But I’ve now had a look back through your comments and I see that you have a bit of a history of attacking karol in a snarky underhanded way. I’d suggest that you desist but I can’t see any point since you are clearly a complete dickhead. Banned. ]

  13. Tautoko Viper 13

    Wayne,
    Can you explain how you think NZ would deal with the investor-state dispute settlement procedure? Can you use an example, say of the effect on the rights of a regional area of NZ declaring itself GM free? (I realise that the National Government is trying to remove that right at present.)

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    22 May 2015 Punakaiki Fund will soon be presenting an offer through the Snowball Effect platform. We are pleased to announce that we have selected Snowball Effect to present our fund raising offer to members of the public. Equity crowdfunding… ...
    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    1 day ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Game review: Republique
    Score: 6/10 Republique is an episodic stealth game set in a dystopian society. You play a hacker who is aiding the escape of Hope, a young woman trapped in this world. Though the games attempt to deal with heavy themes… ...
    1 day ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    1 day ago
  • Labour MPs are taking it to the Government in the House over their destruct...
    ...
    1 day ago
  • The price of rotten cops IV
    Remember the Nelson Red Devils case? Back in 2012, drugs and firearms charges against 28 alleged gang members were thrown out because police abused the court process by forging a search warrant and an arrest warrant to build the credibility… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Best and worst New Zealand flag designs
    Dan Taipua, Dave Bell and Lucy Zee review some of the designs submitted for the for the new New Zealand flag. Check out the full gallery of designs here. ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Friday May 22
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • A hard rain is a’gonna fall.
    Although I am loathe to prognosticate on fluid situations and current events, I have been thinking about how the conflict in Iraq has been going. Although I do not believe that the Islamic State (IS) is anywhere close to being… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Got business out of town? Need a hire car?
    Whether you are heading of town for a conference or taking a break and need a hire car, your TEU Member Advantage program has you covered.  Use your member benefits to access either reduced car hire rates or excess on… ...
    1 day ago
  • An abuse of the OIA
    In the wake of revelations that Prime Minister John Key had systematically and repeatedly bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted a cafe waitress, the New Zealand Herald published a piece exposing the victim. It seemed like retribution, and the involvement of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    1 day ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
    There’s often a lot of discussion around the future of transport – particularly in cities. We’ve talked many times before about how transport trends are changing, how we’re seeing people drive less and catch PT more, how changing preferences amongst younger people in… ...
    1 day ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    1 day ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    1 day ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
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  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
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  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    2 days ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    2 days ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
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    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
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    2 days ago

  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    8 hours ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    11 hours ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    1 day ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 day ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    1 day ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    1 day ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 day ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    1 day ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    1 day ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    3 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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