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TPP – the expensive vanity project of NZ diplomacy

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, June 13th, 2014 - 51 comments
Categories: Economy, International, labour, Left, national, phil goff, Politics, spin, trade - Tags: ,

Wayne Mapp has a post at Pundit “Free trade: The end of the cosy arrangement?” about the possibility of Labour backing away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

For decades now National and Labour have had a cosy little arrangement when it comes to free trade. Both parties could count on each other to provide a solid bloc of votes in parliament to pass any bill implementing free trade agreements.

So any hyperventilating by the Greens, New Zealand First, the Maori Party or Mana counted for nothing. Jane Kelsey might get to write as many op-eds as she likes, but she has virtually no influence on the actual outcome of the free trade agenda. The solid National–Labour coalition ensures that the relevant legislation will pass.

But will this arrangement prevail after this election?

Essentially his argument is that Labour may be constrained by its possible coalition partners. He has a secondary argument that

Increasingly Labour activists, including their left leaning MP’s, oppose TPP. David Cunliffe, supported by Phil Goff and others, has positioned the party to be able to vote for TPP. But that is before the election. An election loss could well weaken the free trade faction in Labour.

The problem is that it isn’t just the left-leaning activists inside Labour. It is also the free-trade supporters inside Labour, like me. We are the “business” people who have allowed the “free-trade faction” MPs the freedom to be able to have this “cosy arrangement”, and we are the ones who over many decades have argued with the left of the party that free-trade and targeted deregulation inside the NZ economy is the best long-term approach for our country.

However apart from Phil Goff in 2012, I haven’t found a single one of this segment of the Labour party who shows any warmth towards the TPP as we are currently aware of it. And Phil essentially just asked me to trust him and wait for more details. But in the absence of any further real information (rather that the vague platitudes of MFAT and National), I’ve been steadily moving towards active opposition to it.

I’m not particularly “left” when it comes to trade. To be precise I have been a strong supporter of every freer trade agreement from Closer Economic Relations (CER) with Australia back in the 1980s through the various WTO attempts and to the agreement signed with Taiwan last year. This is hardly surprising as most of my working life has been involved in one way or another in the gradual freeing up of trade and the access to other countries over many decades. Every company that I have been involved in since the mid-90s has targeted more than 90% of their sales towards overseas markets.

Each of the previous trade agreements when you look at them from the point of view of the benefits and costs for NZ, have always wound up on the plus side of the ledger. Most of the costs have been to do with us not restricting investment into NZ by the the partner on the other side. Or to have minor changes to our legislation and regulations that caused less friction with those of our partner(s). The most extensive case of this was in the CER agreement in 1983 before we freed up much of our internal economy where we also agreed make our legal and commercial structures more compatible. Which bearing in mind the degree to which our countries economies and people were already intermingled was an obvious blessing.

But the TPP is a whole different type of agreement. As far as I can see through the immense veil of secrecy flung over it, most of it isn’t a free-trade agreement at all. For NZ it is largely a restraint of trade agreement, and we are on the losing end of all of the restrictions. We would be required make large parts of our economy more restricted and less free. Wayne Mapp passes over this with the blithe…

Of course any such treaty will not be exactly as New Zealand wants since it will be a compromise between fourteen nations.

Say what? Sure we changed some of our commercial and legal structures to make CER back in the 1980s, but in both the case of Australia and ourselves this involved both of us freeing up parts of our systems. Contrast that with even the brief list of added restrictions Wayne points to.

But the shape of the TPP treaty is starting to emerge.
….
Copyright terms will be extended to 70 years or more. State trading entities like Pharmac could lose at least some of their exclusive rights. There will be an international tribunal for major investment disputes.

Of course we don’t know virtually anything in the possible agreement and from what I understand about it, we may not until long after we restrict ourselves legally.

But it also looks like that there will be restrictions on many of the tools that are used to limit damage to our local economy. For instance the pricing signal from taxes like a capital gains tax, which is designed to prevent property speculation bubbles. The restriction of regulations designed to make our internal economy run better, for instance the regulation of effective monopolies like the electricity sector or constraints of the kind of daft stupidity of the financial sector that caused so much problem in the collapse of the finance companies.

We’d be constrained in attempts to reduce public costs like campaigns against tobacco smoking. Similarly the restriction of regulation to prevent the introduction of potentially dangerous or unwanted technologies like fracking or genetically modified food crops.

We’d also be returning to the draconian distribution channel profiteering that the introduction of parallel importing corrected. it looks like there would be significant limits on the ability to put transparency into labelling the content of products and thereby increasing consumer choice (something that needs increasing in my view). Restrictions of being able to prevent the introduction of animal or crop species regardless if they are potentially dangerous or useful. And a host of other restrictions put into the NZ economy.

In short, we’d be walking a long back from the freeing of the NZ economy that happened at such pain over the last 3 decades, and yielding a whole pile of our ability to govern our own society into the hands of costly and unelected international tribunals from which there is no appeal.

Almost all of these things are likely to increase costs inside our economy and to reduce the choices of consumers and business from where they are now. In other words they restrain us.

So what do we get from this? Wayne Mapp accurately points to the only benefit.

There will be a long drawn-out phase down of tariffs and quotas in agricultural products. The timing of the phase down will be dictated by Japan and the United States, and it will extend over many years, perhaps as many as twenty.

And the rest… This deal has to pass the US Congress and the Japanese Diet. Both are hell-holes of partisan politics and extensive pork-barrel politics. In the case of the US Congress they’d require that we legally implement and irrevocably bind our side of the agreement before they even start playing pork-barrel politics. And there is no more powerful lobby group in the US than food producer interest groups. The probability is that if it survives and gets ratified by a Congress that is deliberately being kept in the dark about what it contains, is that what they pass will bear little relationship to what it went in with. The Japanese Diet will be similar, but with even more pork to protect their powerful farmer constituents.

The nett effect is likely to be that any benefits to NZ agriculture will be towards the end of a few decades at the earliest, if they ever happen. There are no benefits for any other area of our economy as far as I can see, only restraints. Maybe it is ok for a few crony capitalists in the distribution field if they can stop parallel import competition.

Of course we know bugger all about this agreement. Information about it appears to have been restricted to the diplomats and a carefully selected set of “stakeholders” who are fed very limited and detailed information and whose selection appears to have been restricted to groups likely to benefit from any changes. In other words it is a PR consultation of no value. This is the same in every country participating.

It is hardly surprising that to date I have only found a single person inside the active Labour party people with an interest in trade who actively supports the signing of the TPP. That was Phil Goff.

For that matter I haven’t met virtually anyone in my circle of business friends who has any confidence that this agreement is worth pursuing. The only ones who do are the ones who have free trade as a religion rather than something that they think about, in other words the Randians, but I’m not very religious as I prefer some actual chains of business logic. To date I haven’t seen them.

So at present the answer to Wayne Mapp is that I suspect that neither the Labour caucus nor virtually any  Labour activists are likely to be much interested in supporting this shonky agreement. It doesn’t mean that we oppose free-trade agreements. It is that this one doesn’t look like one. If National and MFAT would like support from the free-trade advocates inside Labour, then I’d suggest that they get off their padded arses and provide some solid information not only to us, but also to the public. But all I have heard so far is some Randian religious statements that are about as convincing as statements about the imminent arrival of the Rapture.

I have to ask why in the hell NZ is involved in this farcical process. So far the only explanation I have is that the National ministers involved like prancing around on the world diplomatic circuit and so do many of the  MFAT diplomats.

51 comments on “TPP – the expensive vanity project of NZ diplomacy”

  1. Ennui 1

    Some Shonkey salesman comes to your door and says to you, “Look at this deal, it means you can shop at any of our stores, trade back stuff, and you will be much better and happier for signing this policy”.
    You ask for the fine detail on the contract and the answer is,”Trust me, you don’t really need to see it…oh next door are buying and you need to keep up with the Jones”.
    The following day you notice some baliffs throwing the Jones out of their house, they have unwittingly signed it away in the small print.
    “What is this contract”, you ask the Shonkey salesperson? “Oh its a TPPA”, comes the reply.

  2. Matthew Hooton 2

    This is an utterly academic argument. The TPP will not be agreed and ratified, ever. It is all a waste of time and taxpayers’ money, with officials from all the various countries, their business backers and their opponents, all enjoying flying around pointlessly, pretending to be doing something.

    • lprent 2.1

      That is what it seems like to me and I damn well hope so.

      If it does come to parliament, then I suspect that the reason that Labour won’t back it would be because it doesn’t seem to be a free-trade agreement to it’s MPs or the activists and party members. There is nothing to support that it is apart from some bloody hopeless PR assertions (with minor apologies to your profession) that it actually is. As Ennui says above in comment 1, I wanna see the fine print.

      In the meantime, I’ll be banking up the fire in case a red-hot poker is required on any gullible fools in the Labour caucus who get suckered by silly Randian platitudes.

    • bad12 2.2

      Is this a ”novel” form of ”spin” you are attempting here wee Matty, in the vein of ”nothing to see here folks” trying to dampen down the open hostility toward TPPA with the pretense that no one is seriously attempting to have it implemented???…

      • geoff 2.2.1

        No, Hooton has had that position for a while now. He squawks ‘it’s all academic, it’ll never pass’ which, by associative logic, implys he might be anti-TPPA, but I’ve never actually read him stating that he thinks TPPA is not a free-trade deal.

        So Matthew, here’s your chance to put your cards on the table.

        • Matthew Hooton 2.2.1.1

          I am not against the TPP, but I believe the WTO is what is important – and I worry that deals like the TPP could undermine the status of the WTO. But TPP will never happen – it just gives the bureaucrats and activists something to do while the Doha Round is stalled.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1.1

            Hardly surprising that someone who makes his living “shaping” public opinion supports a pig with lipstick on. It’s going to take a lot of selling, and that’s where Matthew clips the ticket.

            • Mike the Savage One 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Pigs with lipstick can be very “sexy” after a six pack or two!

          • bad12 2.2.1.1.2

            Woosh, quick diversion to the WTO in order Matty, seems Geoff has read you right first time,

            Pretty sure i heard Grosser on my wireless in the last month, detailing just how close and how easily the TPPA could be to signing,

            The way i see the ”deal” is that we, as in New Zealand, are being in effect told by the US and Japan that they would like to have sex with our economy for 20 years and after that they will start paying for the privilege…

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.2.1

              No, after that they’ll make more excuses. Same as they’ve been doing for the last 30+ years. We freed up our economy, they didn’t free up theirs and we’re the ones that are, overall, worse off.

          • geoff 2.2.1.1.3

            Matthew, if you’re not anti-TPPA then you think it is a free trade agreement?

            You disagree with Lynn that it is a trade restriction agreement?

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.4

            Well, if you think that the TPPA won’t be signed then you should probably realise that the Doha round at the WTO won’t be signed either – and for the same reasons.

          • Matthew Whitehead 2.2.1.1.5

            What about the TPP do you like so much that you aren’t against it? Because there’s really not much for New Zealand in there, even if you weren’t opposed on principle.

            Besides, even if you’re pro-free trade, the TPP is very clearly nothing like a free trade deal, (or I should say, it’s even less focused on free trade than previous “free trade” deals) and more of a corporate-sovereignty deal, and therefore there’s not much reason for individuals to support it independent of what it might do to the WTO.

    • infused 2.3

      That’s what I’ve been saying for years MH. Don’t know why everyones getting their knickers in a twist.

      • Tracey 2.3.1

        you should tell the Taxpayers Union, cos millions is being spent on pursuing this idea you and hoots believe will never happen.

      • geoff 2.3.2

        Could say the same about the rightwing response to Piketty. Dunno why they get their knickers in a twist about the suggestion of a wealth tax.
        Didn’t they notice what happened in the GFC? The financial aristocracy took a steaming dump on everyone and then got paid bonuses. Nothing to worry about, just keep shitting on everyone.

    • Tracey 2.4

      i hope you have told wayne mapp. He practically hyperventilates at the mention it wont happen. He reminds me of those sects that decide they will ascend to heaven on a certain date. Wont hear a word against the leader or “the word”. Gather at the mountain, the moment passes and out of the silence a quiet “cough cough” from a naysayer…

  3. Kiwiri 3

    Thank you very much, LPRENT.

    The points are much more fully explained and argued than I would have time to do justice to them as you have done.

    “But the TPP is a whole different type of agreement. As far as I can see through the immense veil of secrecy flung over it, most of it isn’t a free-trade agreement at all. For NZ it is largely a restraint of trade agreement, and we are on the losing end of all of the restrictions. We would be required make large parts of our economy more restricted and less free.”

    plus 1,000,000,000,000

    Btw, can someone (seagull McCully? some other nutty, nasty Nats??) part-privatise Goff and export or outsource him to be trans-pacific partnered with a job that keeps him well away from our national interest for the future? In any case, even without a job, he will still enjoy our immensely generous taxpayer-funded contributions towards his gold-plated, diamond-studded superannuation. The past thirty three years of him, with multiple times and roles in cabinet and opposition, are more than enough.

    • lprent 3.1

      You misunderstand the need for advocates of the other sides.

      I agreed with Phil Goff and disagreed with Jane Kelsey and for that matter some of my fellow authors on TS throughout the entire China FTA. Aside from the agreement taking off so damn fast that it is now way too high a proportion of our exports, that agreement seems to be working well.

      This time around I’m the other way around.

      However in both cases I relied on both of them and others for getting and dispersing the information required for me to make up my own mind. The difference is that almost all of the China FTA was pretty well public in overview throughout much of the process. Whereas the TPP is under the usual US blanket effect that makes them put “top secret” on loo paper. So Phil and others can say bugger all apart from trust us, and Jane Kelsey has to spend much of her time getting the top secret loo paper.

      I’d prefer to have Phil keeping an eye on it more than anyone else I know of. However “trust me” is a hell of a big ask and one that he really doesn’t have a hope of getting because I’m not a fool. The information the Jane and her allies have found is compelling, more than a little disturbing, and has been largely acknowledged to be correct by participants.

      I suspect it is the same for most people. But having the proponents and opponents for issues like there is what informs public debate and fosters a consensus. That appears to be something not held in high regard by the diplomats in this case..

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        jane kelsey, as you point out has been responsible for disseminating alot of information. Wayne has relied on dogma and his mates assurances. Waynes almost childish dismissal of jane and the greens in his article is a scarey insight into the self righteous “we know best” attitude of so many of our politicians.

        My objection to the TPP is simple. On current evidence it is a commercial arrangement into which corporates have had substantial influence at tge expense of non select “rest”. History tells me such a process will not benefit the majority of people in each country footing the bill for this process.

        Corporates of the type influencing this process have proven themselves singularly incapable of grasping concepts like social contract, environmental protection and equality.

  4. Ennui 4

    I am really surprised that a hugely significant juncture in world affairs passed almost unnoticed over the last year. A number of events that added up to a change of tide. The TPPA is closely associated to this.

    You may have missed the end of the “War on Terror”, a significant loss for the Anglo American Empire. Troops have been pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the “enemy” have quickly reasserted themselves. America and the greatest military machine known could not prevail.

    The latest buzzword on Obamas lips is the “Asia Pivot”, in short an idea and action derived from the Neo Cons “New American Century”. In short it is designed to “contain” China.This is where the Pentagons effort and expenditure is now focused. You can see its political influence in the support given by the US Vice President to the Japanese governments stated direction to overturning anti military legislation and rearming to face the “threat” of China.

    If you want to understand the urgency with which the USA is pressing nations to sign the TPPA you need to consider it as the economic arm of the Asia Pivot. It is designed to isolate Chinese economic influence, and to enforce US control of trade and finance in the same way “Pax Britannica” managed to for a century after Trafalgar.

    Meanwhile China, India and Russia are the major signatories to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, they are trading between themselves and doing the clearances in gold, especially for oil. Not US$s. The TPPA no doubt (as we cannot see the details we can only speculate) ties us in to using US$s for trade. Given that China is one of our largest markets we may be significantly exposed by this deal if we sign.

    How Labour or the ” Left” view this is really important, it is the most significant shift of power and we have to choose. We know where National stand, its like Massey all over again, with the “Empire”. Which empire we choose and which empire predominates is going to be for us in the words of a Chinese proverb “interesting times”.

    • Tracey 4.1

      i have read your asia pivot articles and believe you are spot on. America knowsit has lost the financial domination to china and the remilitarisation of japan deserved far more attention than it has.

    • Anne 4.2

      To add an historical context to the most excellent post by lprent and your insightful comment Ennui:

      Direct quote from Wikipedia

      The New Zealand–China Free Trade Agreement is a bilateral free trade agreement signed between the People’s Republic of China and New Zealand in April 2008. It is the first free trade agreement that China has signed with any developed country, and New Zealand’s largest trade deal since the 1983 Closer Economic Relations agreement with Australia.[1] The New Zealand-China FTA was signed on 7 April 2008 in Beijing, after negotiations that spanned fifteen rounds over three years.

      The first attempt to open up trade talks with China occurred back in the 1950s and early 1960s by a former Labour MP, Warren Freer who was the first western politician with the foresight to visit Communist China. He was derided and accused of being a Communist and a traitor at the time. He was neither. Rather, he was someone who was years ahead of his time. He maintained his links with China despite the ridicule and harassment to which he was subjected, and China rewarded NZ (and PM Helen Clark) by negotiating and signing their first free trade agreement – the FTA – with a western nation. I recall Helen Clark formerly acknowledging the role Freer played in laying the ground work all those years ago.

      With a back-ground like that it is hard to imagine that Labour would be too willing to “sell its soul to the US cause of global economic domination”.

      If anyone is interested in reading about Warren Freer’s experiences in China (and elsewhere in Asia) I recommend his biography “A Lifetime in Politics”. It is not only informative but entertaining as well.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand%E2%80%93China_Free_Trade_Agreement

      • Anne 4.2.1

        oops… it was an autobiography of course.

      • Ennui 4.2.2

        Nice link thanks Anne. I once had the pleasure of listening to Freer whilst a student, he certainly was witty and entertaining. We thought him a bit of a grey fuddy duddy, how wonderful it would be to hear it all again today with the benefit of a few years.

      • Chooky 4.2.3

        interesting …thanks

  5. geoff 5

    Another cracking post, Lynn.

    Question:
    Does our parallel importing laws in NZ get thwarted quite often by sole distributor agreements?

    I’ve certainly found that to be the case in the past when investigating purchases.

    • lprent 5.1

      It shouldn’t (depends what you are buying of course). Usually the issue is with one or both of

      1. Finding a source offshore willing to sell and support stuff coming to NZ
      2. Having a big enough local market for the product.

      A good example is PBTech who I spend quite a lot of money at over the course of a year for computer gear. Some of their stuff is distinctly parallel import as some comes in with different power plugs etc. Some is clearly local. They just source what the local market is after and there is enough volume to do that. They also have a support centre that is pretty much component toss and plugin.

      Whereas the types of cameras Lyn buys (ie those $10k jobs) have no parallel imports because they are a teeny market and support is a uber specialised job.

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    Negotiations were started by the fifth Labour government.

    Secrecy is a function of the negotiation model, in that it doesn’t pay to tell the other side your bottom lines before you go into the room.

    That said, why the hell would Parliament or the executive sign the document you’ve described?

    • infused 6.1

      They wouldn’t.

      • McFlock 6.1.1

        yeah, right.

        The executive would sign it, then fire off a multitude of laws for parliament to pass under threat of financial collapse.

      • lprent 6.1.2

        There are number of egos on the line for this treaty in National.

    • Tracey 6.2

      mapp peddles the preservation of negotiation angle. His reasoning is flawed. First nz has less negotiating power than the usa by virtue of their power in tge group. Corporates have been given access to the secret docs and will have been reporting to boards, and if you think board members dont gossip, leak or sell, you have never sat on one. Third snowden has taught us that the western govts are spying on each other all tge time. Something like the tpp have been a spying priority.

      After so many years their is no secret position to preserve.

      Even if everything i just wrote is wrong, all negotiations could be subject to disclosure to the people. Conclude the agreement terms subject to acceptance by the people of nz. Once that point is reached, all govts release the terms to their people, consult/debate whatever.

    • lprent 6.3

      Well the Executive will know what is in it, and I suspect that they will be thinking about it more as a strategic counterbalance as Ennui said in 4. Furthermore they will also be thinking about it as a cuddle back with the US now that the US has gotten over their tiff about nuclear weapons.

      However that isn’t how it is being sold. It is being sold as free trade agreement. The problem is that while it might cause freer trade for many countries like the US or Malaysia, it sure as hell isn’t for NZ because we already have one of the most trade open and regulatory uncluttered countries there is in trade terms.

      Furthermore it looks like the treaty trades everyone else off for the possible benefits to the agricultural sector over the next decades. (sarc) Of course that is where the National MPs and donors have heavy investments. After all what is good for National is good for the country right? That explains the flood of dairy money washing up in jobs, wages, and rapidly falling unemployment for the last few years (/sarc)

      Parliament doesn’t have a say in signing the treaty. Their only job is to read and debate it in less than 15 days in select committee and then pass the supporting legislation by a simple majority.

      Since large chunks of the parts of the treaty will not require legislation but can be done with regulation from orders in council and some legislation doesn’t need to go through until later stages, I rather suspect that parliament’s ability to do much oversight or modification effectively will be severely constrained or even ineffectual.

      • Wayne 6.3.1

        Iprent,

        An interesting comment here. It has a lot of truth. The big gain for NZ is the reduction in agriculture barriers in Canada, Japan and the US. It won’t happen overnight, but within 5 to 10 years the barriers will be significantly lower than at present, and within 20 years will be dramatically lower than present.

        All assuming that TPP happens, and I am more optimistic than Matthew Hooten on that. The main nations seem to be closing their differences. Will Congress actually turn the deal down, especially as US agriculture has become more internationally competitive. Access to Japan for US farm exports is a big deal, especially if it sets the eventual platform for bringing China into TPP. This is the ultimate US goal.

        It is also an interesting comment on the NZ economy. Over the last 30 years we have barely shifted the importance of primary exports to our economy. We have shifted up the value chain, Fonterra is slowly delivering on that. But fundamentally we are still dependent on the primary sector. There are other highlights supplementing the primary sector such as film, some high tech, some specialist manufacturing, some oil and gas. and these will grow, but it does not look like they will replace the “farm” anytime soon.

  7. Tracey 7

    “including their left leaning mps” w mapp june 2014

    Shouldnt all labour mps lean left?

    • Wayne 7.1

      Fair point. I really meant the left of the Labour caucus, but I am sure you discerned that.

  8. dave 8

    if the tppa gets in the way of the wider agenda to walkway from neoliberalism then its a dead duck
    labours agenda is clear to restructure the management and settings of the economy around a Danish northern European model to restore fairness and opportunity for everyone not the 1 percent renter parasite class

  9. steve bradley 9

    Some time last year I think it was, I was able to attend a discussion with Phil Goff and “Young Labour”. At the end of the questions from Young Labour I asked Phil whether there was any justification for increasing our exports merely in order to spend the foreign exchange on luxury imports. Simply, how many bags of milk powder do we need to export in order for one man to import his wankmobile, say a Lamborghini.
    Phil did not respond to the question but immediately pulled the same stunt we’ve come to associate with John Key. His response: far from a debate or discussion about the real benefits or otherwise of foreign trade on the welfare of ordinary kiwis, he immediately diverted the discussion into a question as to whether we should go back to the controlled economy of the past where those who could were required to spend there own personally produced foreign exchange in order to import from abroad.
    We know from experience that if you leave the rich with too much money – because taxes are too low – what they do is waste our money by over importing personal luxury goods, by over-expending on domestic housing (note that over the last three decades family size has halved while house sizes have doubled), or by taking overseas holidays.
    I do not object to any of the above providing there is not one family living on low wages from three jobs trying to to raise a family in a damp skyline garage.

  10. millsy 10

    If the TPPA in its current form was in effect in the 1930’s when we wouldnt have any of the reforms that were enacted by the First Labour goverment.

    If people want the TPP, then fine, but the ability to investors to sue governments for enacting policies for the good of their people is UNACCEPTABLE.

  11. Jenny 11

    The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, TPP is not the first time that the big multnational corporations have tried to hog tie this and other countries to their agenda.

    Before the TPP there was the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, MAI. Very similar to the TPP the MAI tried to implement Investor state disputes provisions to give the Multinationals the right to use courts appointed by themselves to sue governments if they democratically put up laws the multinationals didn’t like, like environmental or labour protection laws.

    The late Janice Graham was a pioneer internet activist, based in the South Auckland town of Waiuku but reported around the world. A lot of what Janice wrote about the MAI applies to the TPP.

    http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/24/067.html

    Janice Moira Graham RIP, May 3, 2009

  12. TeWhareWhero 12

    Surely the TPPA is the logical outcome of what has been going on over the past 30 years. It’s not ‘yielding a whole pile of our ability to govern our own society’ – that’s been done already -but it will bury the last few pathetic remnants of democracy and self determination.

    The TPPA is the means by which the economic raping and pillaging of the world, which has been going on since the ‘freeing’ of economies in the ‘coup d’avarice’ of the 1980s, will intensify. It camouflages the true nature of the process – hyper-exploitation and imperialist power games.

    A useful by-product is the inflation of that all -important buffer zone of grossly overpaid, self-important and self-rewarding bureaucrats and technocrats without whose collaboration the hyper-exploitation and power games could not occur.

  13. Mike the Savage One 13

    As much as I disliked and mistrusted the former PM Robert Muldoon, I admit to still having listened to him on his weekly talk back on Radio Pacific as it was then and how he criticised the then National Party government, that he once belonged to. Muldoon made many mistakes, but with age, many politicians and ordinary folk, like us, learn and become wiser, even admit our mistakes.

    And so he did, Sir Robert, as he was later called, he said, there was going to be little achieved with all these “free trade agreements”, and as he saw it, in his last days, it was going to be a different world altogether, and that was more akin to having various nations, and groups of nations, make deals that were rather bilateral, perhaps mulitlateral, but not really open slather on a grand scale.

    I think he was pragmatic and right on this.

    The TPPA is so flawed, it is more a political construct, to enable the US to tie in “friendly” partners into an agreement to weaken China. They may well have a good reason for this, and to mistrust China, but I fear it will not work anyway.

    I am personally as suspicious of Mainland China as I am of the US, and I suggest that NZ should endeavour to seek alternative agreements with individual countries on a case by case basis. We already have many trade agreements, and one supposedly successful one is with China. I never agreed to that, but I would have agreed if some amendments had been made to the agreement signed by the Labour led government under minister Goff and so. The fact that trade compromises human rights has always been a sad aspect, which I find difficult to accept.

    New Zealand should also spend more effort on developing the local economy and become less dependent on global exports and imports, as the US themselves only have a small percentage of their GDP generated by trade, most is generated inside.

    The volatility of trade and strategic developments right now across the globe make it mandatory, to focus on New Zealand first, to develop alternative activities, to become less dependent on global trade and to ensure this country survives the serious crisis ahead.

    This government is not focused on that, so we want alternative programs from competing political parties, so bring it on, present us your damned alternatives, dear opposition parties.

    To Lprent, what about MORE guest posts, also from differing parties, to present their ideas and alternative policies here? Now that may liven up the blog, would it not?

  14. Jenny 14

    Great post Lynn, I am curious as to the thinking and resolve of the Centre Left around this issue. Particularly those with a business background such as yourself.

    I have been a strong supporter of every freer trade agreement from Closer Economic Relations (CER) with Australia back in the 1980s through the various WTO attempts and to the agreement signed with Taiwan last year.
    lprent

    Lynn, did your support for every free trade deal from CER to the latest with Taiwan, include supporting the MAI?

    Did you have an opinion on the MAI back then?

    In hindsight what is your opinion on MAI now?

    You must know that Left activists like the late Janice Graham were able to defeat the MAI when the details contained within the MAI, especially around the provisions for Investor State Disputes were leaked on line – provisions, which, just as now, atttempted to put a binding contractual restraint on democracy?

    Surely you realise that this is behind the secrecy this time around, and why that secrecy will be enforced right up until it is signed, and even, as I understand it, for an extended period afterwards?

    Knowing your stated strong support for maintaining contracts even when they are incompatible with human well being, will you be supporting the continuation of the TPP if it is signed off?

    Will you be campaigning for the cancelation of the TPP in any future Labour administration?

    Or more likely, (going on your stated support for signed contracts), quietly let your current opposition to the TPP slip in case it affects business?

    • lprent 14.1

      The investment negotiations in 1997/8? I never noticed it as being something that came close enough to an agreement for me to look at. My main knowledge of it is from people referencing it in the TPP.

      The TPP was also only of major interest to me when the US became a party to the negotiations in 2009/10 ??. Prior to that it looked like a relatively simple extension of an existing multi-bilateral trade deal between similar sized economies.

      But adding the US into the mix put it on a completely different playing field because of the massive economic imbalance.

  15. dimebag russell 15

    according to hooton on the wireless this morning TPP is just a hobby project to keep people busy during intervals in the Doha round of the WTO. So if that is the case then mapp and co are just swanning around trying to make themselves look more intelligent and important than they really are are and wasting taxpayers money in large amounts.

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    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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