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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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    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Accessible healthcare also affordable
      It is obvious from Tony Ryall’s hasty attack of Labour’s plans to extend free GP visits to older people that he hasn’t bothered to actually read the policy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. "Mr Ryall’s response to Labour’s...
    Labour | 11-08
  • TDB Political Diary for 2014 Election
    Here are the political events TDB will be covering this election. I will be live tweeting these events and  blog reviews will follow the next day. Internet MANA launch – August – Sunday 24th – 1pm, Western Springs School Green...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • One man’s struggle to find a copy of Dirty Politics
    I’m typing this on top of Dirty Politics.  I got the last copy yesterday morning at the local branch of a chain bookshop.  I was really in to get the paper.  I know it sold out – everyone knows - but the first thing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • From Tucker to Key – while you were out
      From Tucker to Key – while you were out...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Amnesty International – Justice is not Blind in Ferguson
    When a US cop pulls a gun on an unarmed man, he could be acting upon a series of impulses that have been formed since before he or she could talk. What does that police officer see in front of...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • “Even though my hours are being cut, my rent doesn’t get cut to compens...
    Fast Food = Slow Pay   Lola is a manager at a major fast food chain. Last year her employer arbitrarily cut her hours from 32 hours to anywhere between 18 and 26 hours each week. “I said I can’t...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Hate Politics has no place in NZ Politics
    I wasn’t going to write about Nicky Hagar’s ‘Dirty Politics’.  There are plenty of policy issues to discuss. Then I read the book, and what it reveals strikes at the very heart of our democracy. My overwhelming feeling is one...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Pak’nSave pull adverts from Whaleoil
    Pak n Save have replied to complaints that their adverts were appearing on hate speech site Whaleoil by deciding to block their adverts from appearing on the site. Their reply… Congratulations for Pak’NSave on making this type of ethical stand. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Herald Poll – Why the Greens will hit 15%
    The biggest problem for John Key is that there are swathes of National Party voters who are educated and decent people whom will be forced to read Dirty Politics out of intellectual curiosity and will be horrified by what National...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media
    The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly. When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • “You just have to keep on fighting” – an interview with Metiria Turei
    We’re meeting in her office. It’s austere, though she does have a nice teapot. The view is startling. One can map the Bowen Triangle, though the teapot is still more interesting. A group of pink faced men are running across...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Taxation and Real Estate – turning housing debate on its head
    The debate about property prices in New Zealand is disingenuous. It is clear that there is a global process in which speculators are using massive amounts of unspent and borrowed money to blow bubbles in the world’s major asset markets....
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Faith and politics
    In a week which has seen our collective focus shift to those who see politics as a great game to be manipulated for their own ends, it is timely to reflect on the fact that many people are in fact...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Test Stream
    width="600" height="400"> archive="http://theora.org/cortado.jar [3]" width="600" height="401">...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • The Nation: Debate Between Amy Adams And Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen Hosts an Environment Debate Between National’s Amy Adams And Russel Norman From the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Travel And Accommodation Determination for MPs Released
    The Remuneration Authority today released its determination covering Members of Parliament New Zealand accommodation, travel services for family members, and travel services for former Prime Ministers and their spouses....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Te Kuiti man imprisoned for images of young children
    A Te Kuiti man caught with pictures of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Sickness beneficiary Daniel James Parry, 35, appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Japan Maritime Training Squadron visit – Open Day, Band
    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron will make port in Auckland from Wednesday 3 September to Saturday 6 September...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • MP Perk Transparency Needed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the increase in taxpayer-funded entitlements for MPs and their families published on the legislation website this afternoon . Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Debating the future of Auckland’s housing
    With only weeks until the General Election, Auckland’s mounting housing crisis will be put under the spotlight in an Election Debate hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. The debate’s topic “Market forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Let’s sort this out – Human Rights Commission
    A Whangarei woman allegedly censured for greeting customers with Kia ora can get in touch with the Human Rights Commission says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “We really need to resolve these kinds of issues. I had thought that...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Aged Care Association welcomes Labour’s wages policy
    The New Zealand Aged Care Association welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement that if elected, it will raise the minimum wage for aged care workers within its first 100 days in Government....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN
    An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya
    The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Bob Parker, China State Media and Tibet Forum
    Former Christchurch mayor was signed up to position statement without his knowledge; observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • “Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap”
    There’s just a few weeks left to convince the candidates of all political parties that reducing the wage gaps makes good sense....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Digital Currency on the Drawing Board
    Government policies and digital currency ideas and issues will come together at three public workshops next week....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • NZ Cycle Trail welcomes $8 million fund
    Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT)....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Judges Comments Bonkers – McVicar
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar is accusing a Judge of forgetting that he is the gate-keeper for the community and not a benevolent caregiver for law breakers. "The comments by this Judge are not just alarming, they're completely...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians
    As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Degrees in Picking up Rubbish
    Responding to the Fairfax media report of a University of Otago survey of Wellington’s street-connected walkways, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Another Union row
    “ The teachers union the NZEA is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Whyte: Speech to Grey Power
    National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Local Govt should not go into business
    “No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Join the hikoi to end child poverty in New Zealand
    CPAG is calling on people across society to join a march from Britomart to Aotea Square in Auckland to demand action on child poverty in Aotearoa....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Ngapuhi Chair Says Enough of the Political Sideshow
    Time for side-shows to end so we can focus on future of our nation – Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • “Bromance” Marriage Stunt Insulting Says LegaliseLove
    A promotional competition asking two best mates to get married in order to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup is insulting, marriage equality campaign LegaliseLove Aotearoa claims....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
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