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Joint Statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, August 22nd, 2012 - 73 comments
Categories: capitalism, greens, International - Tags: , , ,

Sunday, 19 August 2012, 7:00 pm
Press Release: Green Party

Joint Statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, Australian Greens, Green Party of Canada)

As the Green parliamentary political parties of three nations whose governments are currently in the process of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), we are issuing this joint statement to express our serious concern at the fundamentally undemocratic and non-transparent nature of the agreement. Following the leaking of the draft investment chapter of the TPPA the Greens are extremely concerned that the TPPA agreement has the potential to undermine the ability of our governments to perform effectively. More than just another trade agreement, the TPPA provisions could hinder access to safe, affordable medicines, weaken local content rules for media, stifle high-tech innovation, and even restrict the ability of future governments to legislate for the good of public health and the environment.

We believe that the process should be transparent. This agreement has been negotiated behind closed doors with a level of secrecy that is completely unacceptable in a democratic society.

The Right To Set Our Own Laws

The governments of Australia, Canada and New Zealand traditionally have the right to set down their own laws for the good of public health, consumers, workers and the environment.

Leaked details of the TPPA reveal that, foreign investors and firms could sue Canada or New Zealand in a private international tribunal if their parliaments or local councils pass laws that reduce their profits or adversely affect their businesses. This could include laws such as:
– a requirement for large graphic warnings or plain packaging of cigarettes and other tobacco products (such as in Canada and Australia, and forthcoming in NZ);
– laws requiring labelling of genetically-modified food and drink (NZ); and
– retention of agricultural regulations such as Canada’s supply management system for dairy, which aims to preserve farmers’ livelihoods.

The current Australian government has indicated it will not agree to these clauses intended to protect multinational businesses from the impact of policy decisions, but New Zealand and Canada’s leaders refuse to do the same (even after Canada was on the receiving end of costly lawsuits under NAFTA).

The End of a Free Internet

We believe the TPPA is being used to sneak in measures to bind its member countries to extensive and harsh laws on Internet use that wouldn’t be acceptable at the domestic level – including harsher criminal penalties for minor, non-commercial copyright infringements, a ‘take-down and ask questions later’ approach to pages and content alleged to breach copyright, and the possibility of Internet providers having to disclose personal information to authorities without safeguards for privacy. The European Parliament voted 478-39 against the international ACTA treaty, which was trying to create similar standards. Now, the same type of regulation is being attempted under the TPPA.

More IP rights for the big players

The Intellectual Property Rights chapter of the TPPA was leaked in draft form in February 2011. We anticipate that unless a more moderate and balanced version is adopted, NZ, Canada and Australia’s shoppers, schools and libraries would end up paying more for their books and DVD’s because it would let copyright holders veto parallel importing. Small and medium-sized software and IT businesses would have their innovative visions stifled by constraining patent laws. Finally, large pharmaceutical companies could use the legislation to deny state drug-buying agencies like those in Australia and NZ access to reliable, low cost medicines.

Behind Closed Doors

Almost everything we have learnt about the TPPA’s contents comes from leaked documents that the negotiators didn’t want the public to see. No agreement this important should be finalised without the informed input of the ordinary people it will affect.

Yet while representatives of AT&T, Verizon, Cisco, major pharmaceutical companies and the Motion Picture Association of America have access to the text, democratically elected members of parliament, advocacy organisations for healthcare and the environment and ordinary citizens are being left out in the cold.

Governments, including the US, have opened up to the public in the past by releasing the draft text of agreements. In 2001, all nine chapters of the Free Trade Area of the Americas Agreement were released. At the time, this was called an ‘important step’ that would make the trade negotiation process ‘more transparent and accessible’. If this was the standard for public accountability in 2001, it is disconcerting that similar standards are not in play in 2012.

Together, we Green Parties are declaring that we will only support a fair, genuinely progressive trade agreement that promotes sustainable development and the creation of new jobs alongside the protection of the environment and human rights (including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining). We call on our current governments to remove the veil of secrecy surrounding this agreement and to open these negotiations to public input and comment.

73 comments on “Joint Statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement”

  1. Matthew 1

    It is vital, IMO, for all political parties to show a united front against the TPPA. I believe a repeal order should be sent out, informing all & sundry that any agreement signed without the full notification & scrutiny of Parliament is null & void.
    This agreement is the biggest danger to sovereignty ever, & needs to be treated as such.

    • blue leopard 1.1

      +1
      Good stuff Green Parties!!
      Unbelievable that any NZ politician would consider an agreement like this. UNBELIEVABLE.
      Making arrangements with transnationals that lessen peoples sovereignty, democracy and rights? What are they thinking? Our political culture must be rotten to the core.

      • Polish Pride 1.1.1

        part of your evidence into the system being corrupt….?

        • blue leopard 1.1.1.1

          @ Polish Pride

          Take care of your words there PP, “Our political culture must be rotten to the core.”
          was what I said; not the system.

          This is a very serious issue, made more so by people’s natural thought pattern of

          “It won’t be THAT bad, they know what they are doing, they wouldn’t do something THAT bad….”

          Not that bad?
          Can we get some assurances please and could you put that in writing?

          • Polish Pride 1.1.1.1.1

            Sorry Blue Leopard it was in reference to other posts where I have stated that the system is corrupt and by its very design enables corruption. You had indicated that the jury was still out (not those words) on whether the system was corrupt. The intention of my post was to point out what is being allowed to happen with TPP as part of that and a significant flaw in the system. i.e. evidence for you to consider.. It was very clear in my head when I wrote it although I can see how you would have struggled to make such a connection on reading it. Apologies.

      • Mike 1.1.2

        I don’t find it unbelievable at all. In fact it is exactly what I would expect and doesn’t suprise me in the least. The European Union started off as a simple ‘free trade’ agreement and we are being led down the same path. Free trade agreements are never, that is NEVER, beneficial for ordinary citizens. They benefit corporations and their wealthy backers, central banks, and the politicians these organizations buy and own. Profit and control are the motives, real people aren’t considered other than that they are resources who produce, consume and pay taxes.

        European Union laws, created by non elected officials now come before the laws of individual countries and it creeps slowly along towards an eventual European government, probably unelected, which has full control over the ‘union’, with member ‘councils’ (former governments) that will ‘manage’ the member regions (formally sovereign nations). The sad thing is that the majority of the sheeple will still think they live in democracies because they get to vote for their ‘councils’.

        After the 4 major ‘unions’ are in operation it is only a small hop to one world government. If this sounds far fetched or like some crazy theory then simply do a bit of research and ask yourself where you think the world is heading. (in relation to FTA’s and economic unions). If you think we’re headed towards more independence and autonomy as a prosperous sovereign nation then you’re not taking in what you’re researching.

        European Union, North American Union, Asia Pacific Union, African Union. Oh, now we have all these unions, we need something to facilitate trade between the unions. Hmmm, how about a world union, with a world currency? Hmmmm, we’ll need a world government to manage the world union of course. Game over…

        Don’t let your grandchildren or great grandchildren look back and think “What were those stupid fucks doing at the turn of the century?? They allowed the Human Race to fully transition into a slave race”

        Surely it’s time we stopped devolving?

        Evolution = De-Centralization.

        • blue leopard 1.1.2.1

          @ Mike

          Good point. I guess its only unbelievable to those still holding onto a hope/delusion that our politicians are acting with the wellbeing of those they are there to represent, in mind. I believe there are still huge numbers, who do retain such beliefs, and I am afraid you have caught me out still clawing onto that belief myself.

          :(

    • Matthew Hooton 1.2

      It already is the law of New Zealand that a trade deal is null and void unless it is notified to and scrutinised by parliament.

      • Matthew 1.2.1

        So when does the TPPA get to be seen by the NZ Parliament?

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1

          It can be rubber stamped by Parliament after its been finalised in secret negotiatons.

          • lprent 1.2.1.1.1

            From what I understand the actual provisions of this treaty or at least some of the parts are *not* made public for a number of years after the government approves it.

            I don’t think that it even has to go through parliament. It is a treaty…

            • Matthew Hooton 1.2.1.1.1.1

              No, that’s nonsense. Everything becomes public on signing and prior to ratification and legislation.

              • blue leopard

                @ Matthew Hooton

                How about providing some proof to your statements?

                • Matthew Hooton

                  I don’t know why I should have to provide “proof” for making obvious points in contrast to the conspiracy theorists who make inplausible claims that secret deals are being made that will become law in New Zealand without even parliament knowing. But as a start, check out http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Treaties-and-International-Law/03-Treaty-making-process/index.php. And also try to understand the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty. And that if a govt signed up to a treaty that the majority of parliament opposed then it would face a snap election. What could be more democratic?

                  • xtasy

                    Matthew: For transparency, accountability, reliability, honesty and trust reasons, every FTA and also the TPP should be publicised for the public knowledge, as it affects the wider public, the population of NZ (citizens and residents), as it is binding EVERYBODY living legally in NZ as a NZer by common knowledge, and anything else will only give rise to utter suspicion, mistrust and a continuing lack of reliability in due process, law, and democratic process.

                    Now, in all honesty, are you NOT going to review the comment you have just made!

                    Also please, disclose your interest in Bathurst Mining, in any shareholdings in leading US companies listed on any stock exchanges there, in any portfolio that includes any US companies and corporations, who may in one way or another, have an interest in the TPP to become a valid agreement, also binding the nation you were born and raised in, that being NZ Aoteaora!?

                    [lprent: Don't be a dickhead. Unlike a parliamentarian, judge, or various other public servant - there is no requirement for a private person to disclose anything much. The best you could do is to look at the companies site and office for the public listed holdings of directorships, shares or whatever. But if you want to know, get off your butt and dig.

                    I dislike the tactic of claiming that a negative or refusal is a confirmation. It is a pwned level offense and causes the most obnoxious 'debate' I ever read because it is meaningless playground waffle. I usually ban repeat perpetrators. ]

                    • Matthew Hooton

                      Every FTA is publicised and scrutinised in the way you demand. I have no interests in any of the companies you describe. Do you? Or do you hold interests in their political or commercial competitors? What is your real name? Do you believe in transparency?

                      [lprent: I believe in transparency. I transparently kick people off this site when they try to violate our transparent policies. Badgering people to violate the privacy that we guarantee is one of those. Be warned that I have a very low toleration for the tactic of demanding a revelation of identity to shut down discussion. My usual response is warn once and to boot repeat perpetrators off the site. Usually I do it permanently as I dislike people too stupid to learn.

                      The only time it is permissible is if someone claims special knowledge and is asked to back it up. People can then read what they like into the lack of response. Cannot see where X has done so. ]

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Every FTA is publicised and scrutinised in the way you demand.

                      In that case, can we see the draft joint text of the TPPA somewhere please?

                      Or do we get to see it only after it has been rubber stamped and there is no opportunity to change any of the provisions?

                    • xtasy

                      lprent: I did only ask Mathew for sincerity’s sake to disclose. If he chooses not to, that is his choice, at least he should state he refuses to do so. Apart from that , of course the Company’s Office shows only NZ ownership, shareholding and registration, not overseas ones. So I was only asking for him to disclose, and it was not a “demand” or expectation of sorts to abide by any law, as of course that may not be required. Thank you.

                      [lprent: As I said, a tactic, one that I have seen many times in online discussions over the last 3 decades. One of the many variations of the pwned technique. It is unwelcome here because it starts tit-for-tat discussions that are boring as hell. ]

                  • xtasy

                    TRANSPARENCY AS A COMMENTER is not always recommendable. See Paula Benettito! Hence we are careful folk on here, but we still stand by what we say, believe and are integre about.

                    You are favoured by Bennett, Key and consorts, we are NOT.

                    So since she got away with shooting down critics and being non apologetic, we choose wisely to act as we are!

                  • xtasy

                    By the way you stated on National Radio not long ago, that you were working for, or representing Bathurst Mining, or a company of similar name, wanting to mine the sensitive area in dispute on the South Island (such and such “plateau”). Bizarre, sort of!

                  • blue leopard

                    Thank you Mr Hooton for providing some substantiation. There appears to be a major “if and but” built into the information you provided (as usual with legal requirements of our politicians):

                    “Binding treaty action can be taken on minor bilateral treaties once Cabinet approval is given. Only major bilateral treaties of particular significance are required to be presented to the House.Information on the criteria for tabling bilateral treaties in the house can be found at Bilateral Treaties: ”

                    [Criteria to determine submission to the parliamentary treaty examination process]:

                    “The bilateral treaty criteria to assist the Minister to exercise his discretion in deciding which bilateral treaties qualify as “major bilateral treaties of particular significance” are listed below for reference. A bilateral treaty may be deemed to be a “major bilateral treaties of particular significance” if:
                    [shortened]
                    …..These criteria are intended to help the Minister exercise his discretion. They do not replace that discretion.”

                    http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Treaties-and-International-Law/03-Treaty-making-process/Treaty-Criteria.php

                    I see room in this information for this agreement not to be presented to the house.

              • xtasy

                Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, Mr HOOT ON and OFF!

                Yes, technically and legally you are of course right, but “Parliament” in NZ is the instrument of a defacto dictatorship of the majority, so whosoever gets the majority vote, even with “tea cup arrangement” support voters, gets their way.

                Look at the MOM bill now turned law, where 99 plus submissions were ignored by the government during select committee hearings. NO consideration, stuff all, nada, my matey!

                There is NO second house in NZ, like in Australia, and in most other democratic countries, yes ALL I can think off.

                NO extra scrutiny, nothing binding, so if a government majority says, we will vote pro TPP, it goes, no matter what, made public, which hardly any media will report much about, which most people will NOT read or hear about, due to privat media inundation with commercial advertising crap, dumbing down programs about who is best chef, cook, DIY builder, singer, or who is excited about cop, customs, immigration staff shown off on certain real life, yet made up silly shows!

                We have NO real publicly appealing information and news or current affairs programs, except perhaps Native Affairs.

                So what becomes “public”? Key, English, Brownlee and Grosser used the various legal excuses to NOT publicly state and comment on details of various government actions and plans, “for national security” or “economically” or “contractually” SENSITIVE REASONS.

                Stop misleading the public, thanks, as you yourself work for enterprises that will largely benefit from such trade deals and other economic activities in NZ. YOU are NOT independent, my friend!

                • blue leopard

                  @ xtasy
                  +1 especially the bit about stop misleading the public

                  I don’t think Mr Hooter has done any research on the matter

                  http://tppdigest.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=245&Itemid=64

                • Matthew Hooton

                  Good to know I am technically and legally right. Sad that you don’t respect our parliament and decisions made by 75%+ majority (national + labour + act + united future ) as FTAs always have been in NZ. What greater democratic mandate are you looking for?

                  • xtasy

                    Integrity to the people who vote you in. E.G. National to listen to own voters to NOT sell state owned assets! Not happening though, is it? Labour still does not agree to that, so how dare you speak for them, aye?

                  • lprent

                    But the TTPA doesn’t look to me (and I as an exporter usually favour FTA’s) like a trade agreement. Quite simply at present I can’t see how any of the bits that are public favour us as a nation in either the short, medium, or even the long term. In fact I’m having a real problem seeing who in the hell will benefit from this apart from a few multinational corporates.

                    As far as I can see we get no better access for any exporter that is better than we currently have, we subject ourselves to what looks to be other peoples law in the form of judicial panel, and our dumbarse diplomats are too daft to even go for some of the specific exemptions that the Aussies are doing. Basically it looks like a MFAT wankfest to me.

                    Regardless of what Phil Goff thinks, I doubt that many in the Labour caucus thinks of this as a trade treaty any more.

                    It is going to be a really hard sell, especially as the exporters start looking at it more closely.

                  • Mike

                    Hey Einstein, while you’re patting yourself on the back for being “technically and legally right”, why don’t you go the whole hog and understand that “technically and legally right” doesn’t make something right, which thankfully is what the real ‘law’ states. (until we bend over and allow our wonderful elected representatives to take that away from us as well of course)

                    • xtasy

                      Fair application of law, in any circumstance, would imply that you are allowed to be “heard”, that you are allowed to be “informed”, and I will not even take this further. It is a very basic undertanding on natural justice, which applies always, besides of statute or common law, that those basic principles are applied. If they are not, they are INVALID!

                      Hidden agendas are thus INVALID!

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Sad that you don’t respect our parliament and decisions made by 75%+ majority (national + labour + act + united future ) as FTAs always have been in NZ.

                    That doesn’t mean this one will though does it Mr Hooton? In fact, I believe Labour are against this agreement as well even though, IIRC, they’re the ones who it started under but that was before the US got in on it.

                  • Polish Pride

                    I for one Mr Hooton do not believe we have democracy in this country. A government can be voted in and go completely against the will of the people on any issue it so chooses. The only recource the people have is a vote once every 3 years to delude themselves that they live in a democratic country. If we really had democracy it would be Direct and based upon a constitution. We do not.
                    We do not even have binding referendums in this country. As has been mentioned earlier at best this is a system of elected dictatorship.
                    Do you consider it democracy when 80 to 90 people (your National, Act, United Future, and Labour) go against the will of over 2million or more people!?!
                    If you consider that democracy then then you do not understand its meaning or intention and it is that which is truly sad.

              • xtasy

                Parliament in NZ is a RUBBER STAMP, due to easy mercenary supporters like John Holy Banksey, and Peter Dunne to be Done next election.

                Key and National know this, they do all to keep it this way, the media are lackeys (largely), and hence it will all be “rubbero stampedo”, mi amigo con artistico.

              • xtasy

                Mathew: It should bloody well not be made public ‘ON SIGNING’, for true transparency and accountability under any legal provisions, certainly basic common law principles, fair justice and due process, it should all be MADE PUBLIC BEFORE SIGNING by the representatives of any government that dares to take and rely on the authority to make and finalise such deals.

                The fact that parts of negotiations have been kept “top secret” is not congusive of developing trust, my dear valued political advocate and commenter.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  You could be right but that would involve many government’s changing their disclosure policies. Just like UN declarations on human rights and decolonisation are kept private till governments announce them, so too are the details of trade deals (although detailed briefing notes etc are available all the way through – see MFAT or USTR websites). Then, once every last comma is public, each govt submits them to their domestic ratification processes.

                  • xtasy

                    As far as I know the UN declarations, they are public once decided and passed, not depending on individual government deciding to make them available publicly. By the way, how many resolutions and agreements does Mainland China have signed, and how many of them would they have published?

                    I witness an increasing “friendliness” with that dictatorship, and even ‘The Nation’ is running charm programs to get people warmend up that Mainland China is going to be not only our biggest trading partner, but also “valued friend” of sorts.

                    It seems to be rubbing off a bit on the odd government minister, that is my impression.

                    Re UN one only needs to look up their websites.

                    By the way, I am still waiting for NZ to clarify its stand on the declaration on the rights of disabled, which WINZ seems to be having a very dim view of, given known breaches of rights that I know of, but which of course are not raised by the biased media. I am talking about fair rights of sick and invalids, which are being infringed by a biased ”
                    designated doctor” scheme, that involves doctors that are hand-picked by MSD and even “trained” by them. Now how does that fit “natural justice”? Just heard about an interesting case down Southland by the way.

                  • blue leopard

                    @ Hooton
                    The concerns expressed in this thread are being represented by politicians in our parliament, Greens, NZ First and Mana and these parties contain people whom are well informed and intelligent, and yet still deem these concerns worthy of addressing.

                    There are groups forming that also contain switched on, well connected people and groups expressing similar concerns.

                    http://fairdeal.net.nz/#story-about-us

                    For these reasons it reflect poorly on you that you would bother to mention “conspiracy theory” in relation to the subject; this issue has gone beyond being able to effectively marginalize it with such memes.

                    http://fairdeal.net.nz/2012/07/iitp-time-to-walk-away-from-tppa

              • lprent

                I will dig out the reference in the morning when I get on a decent link (I have just moved). It was something I was reading after that interesting leak of draft docs. Specifically that parts of the eventual treaty would not be disclosed until a few years after the treaty was signed by the governments.

                Treaties of course do not need to be seen, ratified, or anything else by parliament. The only thing that the government has to do immediately is to pass legislation that changes laws that they consider conflict with the treaty at the time of signing. If there are parts that do not take effect immediately (like parts that are undisclosed or take effect a few years later), then these do not need immediate legislation. Consequently if the government signs up to a treaty or agreement that takes years to go into effect – like the National government on climate change for instance, the actual legislation like the ETS can take more than a decade before it is put before parliament.

                Also from history in the 20th with NZ treaties, diplomatic and trade, there have been some interesting undisclosed coedcils. The obvious one to point to are the still undisclosed (and seldom acknowledged) one that set us up as a participant in the echelon system.

      • Mike 1.2.2

        Yep and of course parliament will not agree to anything that the NZ public does not want, just like the history of politics shows. Politicians only ever do what the citizens want them to do. If the NZ public was to say “Nope. sorry, we don’t want to be part of this agreement”, then of course our politicians would immediately say “thanks but no thanks” and pull out of the FTA. Because after all, that is why politicians are there, to represent our wishes, manage our country to our benefit and do what we tell them to do. Which is just the way it should be in a democracy which literally means rule by the people, not by the corporations (given the legal status of people) and not by the politicians who are simply representatives of the people.

        “notified to and scrutinsed by parliament” means absolutely nothing in regards to whether or not the public has any say in the matter, as you well know.

      • lprent 1.2.3

        An interesting misconception. Perhaps you should read more closely. There is literally no legal authority to hang that off in NZ bearing in mind that parliaments may not bind their successors and the crown is a rubber stamp.

        I believe you are basing that on a convention, and one that requires the judgement of a minister about importance.

  2. Tracey 2

    Anyone who doubts that these issues need to be addressed just need to follow BAT’s pursuit of something now known as the “human right to marketing”.

    I just listened to BAT’s spokesman explaining that he knows tobacco causes damage but…”

    WTF??!!!???

  3. AmaKiwi 3

    This is very dangerous. Write now to John Key, National MP Tim Groser (our trade negotiator), and your local National MP demanding openness about the contents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

    Tim.Groser@national.org.nz

    john.key@national.org.nz

    [lprent: I have been nuking Email addresses left here to stop the spammer bots getting excited. However cloudflare does this interesting munging that wastes their time and off our servers. It will be back on in a few days. ]

  4. AmaKiwi 4

    Are any of you in a position to organize health workers and professionals against the potential destruction of Pharmac as a result of the TPTA (Trans-Pacific Trade Ageement)?

    If the multinational drug companies can destroy Pharmac vast amounts of health funding which would have gone to hospitals, GP’s, nursing care, prevention programs, etc., will have to be CUT to pay more for our medications.

    EVERYONE in the health field will lose (except foreign drug companies).

    Can you help organize opposition?

    Tell us how we can help.

  5. lprent 5

    If anyone is after the thread started by higherstandard that used to be the first comment on this post, I moved the whole thing to OpenMike because I considered that it was just an irritating threadjack – followed by mostly inane comments about an inane comment.

    Next person that I see doing that classic fast first threadjack comment is quite likely to get an extended vacation. Write a considered comment if you support/oppose it because if you don’t then I’m quite likely to consider that you’re just trying to annoy me.

    • blue leopard 5.1

      good job lprent :)

    • higherstandard 5.2

      The whole post is inane.

      [lprent: That may be the case - prove it. Amongst all of the comments that I saw of yours on the post I didn't see you say why it was inane or anything else even once. Like others commenting I suspect you have no idea of anything about the subject of the post. As a moderator that gives me open season on how to treat you. I chose minimal and quite offensive - exactly as you did. ]

      • Matthew Hooton 5.2.1

        Not sure if it is inane but it is insane. The writer and the commentators have no basic understanding of how NZ negotiates and ratifies treaties and are also defending Canadian dairy subsidies which harm the environment and contribute to global poverty over the interests of New Zealand’s farmers, the cleanest and most efficient in the world. Canada’s dairy policies are as bad as the US’s cotton policies but the writers here are too ideological and myopic to even be able to sensibly discuss global trade policy.

        • blue leopard 5.2.1.1

          @ Hooton

          Have you done any research on this subject?
          Please substantiate your claims.

          http://tppdigest.org/

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.2

          but the writers here are too ideological and myopic to even be able to sensibly discuss global trade policy.

          Is this trade policy which builds up NZ industry, NZ technological capabilities, the NZ asset base and high paying NZ jobs? I was wondering where they’d all gone. Are the “sensible global trade policies” you are advocating to blame? You know, in terms of exporting all our financial capital overseas, as well as tens of thousands of NZers every year?

          • xtasy 5.2.1.2.1

            Tell you what CV – NZ may be better off signing a new bilateral agreement with some advance economy that actually cares and also wants to take NZers on board to advance science, development, sustainability, and economic development.

            I am sure that there are a number of countries very interested, and not only for the reason of some big corporates base there.

            There are a large number of people in some European countries, and I believe even in the odd East Asian country, that would love to progress economic, social and other matters here, for various advantages, without harming or endangering the environment or for social destruction.

            The truth is, the NZ government is NOT interested in this, as the “elite” here is afraid of surrendering control, so they rather keep NZ down and line it up more down bottom or arse below quality and achievement standards. All they want is to keep the cream on the cake for themselves, that is what it boils down to.

        • xtasy 5.2.1.3

          Hey HOOT ON!

          I admit to being “insane” at times, I have no issue with that. But that is what make a genius, even Einstein and others stated, that it takes a fine line between insanity and genius. I am flattered by your comment, it is highly encouraging, I will recommend it, you are really good, mate! That is apart from logical thinking in economics, social and other issues!

  6. vto 6

    Excellent work by the Mr and Mrs Greens.

    It should be borne in mind that the NZ Parliament does not have the ability to enter into the TPPA under our current constitutional arrangements due to its effect on our electoral system.

    The TPPA will be null and void and must be treated as such.

  7. Dr Terry 7

    vto is right to congratulate this powerful statement from the Greens of three nations (when last did Labour do as much?)

    But vto provides no concrete evidence to back the claim that “The TPPA will be null and void”, thus it is a specious statement, very likely referring to his/her own “Wish system”. Please cite current chapter and verse (or, law if you like), and be very specific about it. Should you do so, I shall be prepared to back down.

  8. Herodotus 8

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10828202
    “All TPP signatory countries will lose sovereignty to the same extent”
    “There is nothing suspicious about a treaty negotiation being done privately. The negotiation of government to government treaties is a delicate process, done by diplomats in confidence. The give and take of negotiations would be seriously damaged if they were conducted in public”
    So we lose part of our sovereignty by an agreement negotiated in secret……. BUT don’t worry. When we are having our sovereignty diminished should not those within the country get a say. I have the same issues with many UN conventions and the likes of the China FTA- Funny how both nat and Lab can throw away this precious commodity.

    • lprent 8.1

      I don’t have a problem with some level of diplomatic card bending. However this one seems to be somewhat excessive. There is usually some degree of consultation with affected parties and a quite widespread awareness of what is in trade treaties long before the things get signed.

      What has been notable from every country involved that I have looked at so far is the degree of exclusion from the process by affected groups. There appears to have been considerable levels of selection of the “right sort” of people. According to some of the reports out of the US, this appears to exclude most of the members of congresses committees on trade and commerce.

      Furthermore what the selected people have been shown has been non-specific to the point that some of them in the US and elsewhere are describing it as a sham consultation done primarily for PR reasons. It has been an interesting process to observe. Sort of diplomacy by PR methods. Doesn’t inspire much trust from me.

  9. xtasy 9

    I kind of start liking Mathew Hooton, he is the kind of right wing wannabe “charm boy”, who thinks the only way to convince is by smooth- and at the same time smart chat people, with pseudo logical words of unconvincing drivel, supposed to be convincing.

    If types like him are the main challenge to the left, be they social democrats, socialists or whatever, then we should have a bloody easy game.

    Why can Shearer not get this worked out, even though he as of recent seems to be learning a bit more?

    NatACT should be dumb fodder for any astute, alert, informed and smart socially conscious and yet economically educated operator. Get the move on, to expose the light weights!

    • blue leopard 9.1

      @ xtasy

      Sadly I feel no such fondness for the type of approach Hooter takes. It appears to speak to peoples baser instincts and I find it disturbing how well it works. I suspect most people are simply too busy to take anything much more in than the banality that such an approach offers and I hate the direction this country is going in because of it.

      Its the type of approach which appears to successfully get people not only voting in, yet cheering too, at the arrival of their own personal hangman and noose.

      Totally Sux

      • xtasy 9.1.1

        Read between my lines, I think he is an ass, but better make an ass feel good and get sent to trod more straw never to be harvested is the best trick to get the donkey where we want him. He is good in talk, but obviously short on substance. So take that, serve it up and take it to the pieces, served sliced up crap on the platter. Ha, I never had such an amusing night like this one, to take Hooty apart!

      • xtasy 9.1.2

        Blue leopard: I can always try and “switch off” and listen to some good, partly also revolutionary, folk music (like Latin American) , so stuff all such negativity. I have had enough bad moments, I try to get the better of live, if I can, although it is a struggle at times.

    • Mike 9.2

      The left, the right. They are the same entity.

      As Mark Twain said:

      “If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”

  10. blue leopard 10

    …or

    “A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country”. ~Texas Guinan

  11. Wayne 11

    Mathew is right. No trade deal can change existing New Zealand law unless legislation to implement it is passed by the Parliament. Public hearings are held on the legislation. But submissions to a select committee are not a substitute for an election result. If a particular policy has been electorally contested, no amount of submissions opposed will change the governments mind.

    It is of course true that National, UF and ACT support free trade. That is no secret. Voters know that.

    It is also true that the Green Party, Mana and Maori Party vote against all free trade agreements. Most commentators here support the Green Party line – no suprise there. Go and test it at the election since it TPPA is likely to be alive issue in 2014.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Let’s go through Wayne’s crafty lies one by one shall we.

      Mathew is right (1). No trade deal can change existing New Zealand law unless legislation to implement it is passed by the Parliament (2). Public hearings are held on the legislation.(3)

      1) Matthew is NOT right, just because he says it is.
      2) The TPAA doesn’t “change existing law”. It simply makes NZ law irrelevant, unenforceable, and in the event it is used, it subjects NZ to massive penalties
      3) These public hearings have no force and no effect – they are for show only – and it is completely at the Government’s discretion if they even happen at all.

      But submissions to a select committee are not a substitute for an election result.(4) If a particular policy has been electorally contested, no amount of submissions opposed will change the governments mind.(5)

      4) Neither the fact of a TPAA nor its detail was ever “electorally contested”. Wayne is lying when he suggests it has been.
      5) A Government which does not take the Select Committee/submissions process seriously is no more than a ballot box selected dictatorship.

      Most commentators here support the Green Party line – no suprise there. Go and test it at the election since it TPPA is likely to be alive issue in 2014. (6)

      6) The Government intends to sign the TPPA in 2013, and to deprive NZers of their rights without letting the detailed text become public in any circumstances before it commits the country to it. It is an unfair, undemocratic, underhanded, secret agreement which sells out NZ sovereignty to foreign corporates.

      In essence Wayne is FULL OF SHIT.

  12. Wayne 12

    Colonial Viper, a Trade Agreemnt cannot make New Zealand law “irrelevant, unenforceable, and in the event it is is used, it subjects NZ to massive penalties” unless it is actually made part of New Zealand law by way of legislation. For a FTA to be ratified by NZ and therefore enforceable against NZ it has to be legislated for.

    I would expect that the final text of the agreement will be public before it is signed. It is the negotiating phase that has at least some private elements.

    It will be quite a challenge to finish all the negotiating among all the countries in 2013 so that a final text is ready for signing in 2013, though I guess it could happen.

    But in any event you know already that National is in favour of free trade agreements – no suprise there. That is well understood and those interested in such things knew that Tim Groser has been hard at work on TPP prior to the election of 2011.

    Not every single thing a govt does is at the forefront of the election. The Greens have been oppossed to TPP for years, but it was not among their 3 main themes in the election, but I imagine many people who vote Green know their general stance on this.

    The more interesting issue is where Labour will ultimately stand on TPP.

  13. AmaKiwi 13

    Will the US Senate pass a TPTA treaty once it has been negotiated?

    One effect of a declining economy is trade protectionism. There will have to be a lot of one-sided “goodies” for US lobbying groups in order to get two-thirds of the Senate to approve it during a recession/depression. US industries that might be disadvantaged by the TPTA will fight like hell to kill it. It is safer for politicians to do nothing.

    Wikepedia: Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution grants power to the President to make treaties with the “advice and consent” of two-thirds of the Senate.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Hey AK

      Don’t you worry

      The corporate lobying groups in the US are expert at this now. They essentially drew the TPAA up, got the State Department to OK it, and so why wouldn’t their paid politicians pass it.

      • AmaKiwi 13.1.1

        Trade agreements happen during prosperous, “feel good” times. Like when people who had been routinely slaughtering each other for 500 years were so drunk with wealth and optimism they decided they could become one big happy family which they called the European Union.

        Things are getting really tough, economy wise. Of late the US Congress has displayed an extraordinary capacity to be irrationally dysfunctional. Tea Party anger could destroy anything.

        If I was a betting person I would not put money either way right now.

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  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Labour’s new worker policy – $16.25 minimum wage
    Labour’s much anticipated worker policy has been released. It’s a mix of the aspirational and the smart. $15 minimum wage by Christmas this year, bumped up to $16.25 next year while banning the 90 day right to sack laws and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Liberal Agenda: 30th July- 3rd August
    Wednesday GAZA: Setler colonialism, apartheid and resistance panel discussion Want to know more about what’s going down (and has been going down since 1948) in Gaza, and by extension the Palestinian territory?  Come along to this panel discussion. No boring...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • NZIFF: New Zealand’s Best
    Eleven   Saturday night was New Zealand’s Best at the New Zealand International Film Festival. The collection of 6 short films are selected from over a hundred and are all of very high quality. They compete for a number of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The Government needs to come clean. In fact, the cost is $125 million per...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “John Key and his government need to step up and take climate change seriously.” New Zealand needs to...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • So where are the Taxpayer’s Union on Simon Bridges luxury oil dinners?
    So where is David Farrar’s astroturf fake union, the Taxpayer’s Union, to criticise the quarter of a million spent on luxury wine and food to woo the oil industry then? Luxury oil summit during Rugby Cup was an ‘investment’Energy Minister...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • ACT show their true racist colours
    ACT Party conference in Epsom last week At some point ACTs low poll ratings were going to have to force ACT to stop pretending to be some free market under grad fantasy and get them back to their true purpose...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Broken English, broken government, broken climate
    Bill English’s unguarded statements on climate change demonstrate just how out of touch the National Party leadership really is, and how important it is that they should be forced to face facts. A couple of weeks ago finance minister Bill...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Privilege Lost
    Elton John didn’t get it wrong when said that sorry was the hardest word. It’s a word whose mere utterance can be seized upon as a sign of weakness and topic of ridicule, while simultaneously expressing understanding and opening the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST POST: Curwen Rolinson – A Vote For NZF Is A Vote For NZF – For Na...
    I’m loving this “Duelling Banjos” thing me and Bomber have got going on at the moment - he writes a piece castigating NZF for imminent existential failure due to Cons, I write a refutation setting out why we’ll be back. He writes a...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, holidays
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Laila Harre to run against Key in Helensville
    Another full house in Rotorua as part of Internet MANAs road trip Another day, another full house for the Internet MANA road trip. John Armstrong understands the energy now swirling around Internet MANA, and the latest announcements of Georgina Beyer...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . Now we can look forward to TV3′s political commentator, Patrick...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government’s attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Owner of Kiwis’ favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action
    MIL OSI – Source: Oxfam NZ – Headline: Owner of Kiwis' favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07