20,000 protesters – 0 arrests

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, February 5th, 2016 - 230 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, capitalism, class war, Globalisation, national - Tags: , , , ,

Around 20,000 people took to the streets of Auckland yesterday, while behind police lines, in its spiritual home SkyCity, the National government signed the TPPA. (This is largely a symbolic action, the agreement still needs to be ratified by the member countries, and laws need to be changed, before it has real consequences.)

The protesters came from all walks of life. As usual, instead of acknowledging their valid concerns, Key tried to dismissed them as “rent a protest”.

The protest was vigorous but peaceful. There were no arrests, and I haven’t seen any reports of property damage. The police acted (mostly but not completely) with restraint. Bravo to both groups (and a big Fuck Off to certain fools on Twitter who were doing their best to incite the police to violence). Despite the travesty inside SkyCity, what was happening outside was in many respects a democratic nation at its finest.

Here’s some photos that caught my eye on Twitter (sorry I didn’t record the sources). Includes a couple of screen shots of the areas of traffic disruption.











230 comments on “20,000 protesters – 0 arrests ”

  1. Wayne 1

    Radio NZ (usually quite authoritative on such things) is saying 5,000 protestors.

    The difference is significant because a larger protest of 20,000 makes it a bit more like the Schedule 4 protests, whereas 5,000 is more like the expected opponents of the government. The photos of who was involved made it look like the more typical protest.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Dr. Mapp, your bias and prejudice are showing. Again.

      • Aaron 1.1.1

        After looking into this issue over the last couple of decades I’ve come to the conclusion that the MSM routinely downplays protest numbers – and the Herald does it more than anyone else.

        I remember the world wide protests before the 2nd Iraq war. On TV that evening they showed 2 million in this city, 1.5 million in that city, 1 million in these two cities and literally hundreds of protests around the world. The next morning the Herald said that a total of 5 milion people protested around the world – it was clearly nonsense but it’s much easier to get away with under estimates than over estimates.

        Second example: The GE rally in Auckland over ten years ago. The Herald said 11,000 people were there while the Sunday Star Times said 25,000 people. The Organisers said 40,000

        With that in mind I’m going to state that my belief (based on being at other protests in Auckland) is that almost 30,000 people (in the main rally and at other locations) closed down central Auckland yesterday and that they did it with good organisation and even better discipline. John Key won’t admit it but having thousands of very calm people blocking the exits from Sky City is much more frightening than a mad riot.

        The MSM is repeating the usual rent a mob myths but having been on a similar protest and also from talking to people who were there I can reassure you they’re quite wrong. This ‘mob’ was very large despite it being a week day, most of the people there had never been to a demo before in their lives, most understood that this was an issue of corporate power, even if they had trouble articulating it when suddenly confronted by John Campbell and his microphone. They were very disciplined and they were really enjoying the buzz gained from being part of a group exercising power in a democratic manner.

        • The lost sheep

          my belief (based on being at other protests in Auckland) is that almost 30,000 people

          Did you use an actual methodology to come up with that figure?
          Just wondering, as it is 50% higher than almost anyone else is claiming…

          • Aaron

            I have read estimates of 25,000 in the main march while others were creating blockades elsewhere so it’s just basic maths.

            I suppose if I had a methodology it would be summarised as; the MSM routinely understates protest sizes so we need to multiply their numbers by a factor of at least 2 but sometimes as much as 4 depending on who’s doing the estimating.

            It would have been interesting to see how many turned up if it had been on the weekend.

        • David

          I won’t read the NZ Herald anymore. It is a pro right wing paper. And it loves Mike Hosking and his ilk. And we know what an arrogant upstart he is.

    • Incognito 1.2

      usually quite authoritative on such things

      Meaningless waffle. Please stop insulting people’s intelligence.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3

      The photos of who was involved made it look like the more typical protest.

      Yeah, only the people who pay your wages. What do righties call people whose wages are derived from public funds, Wayne? Troughers, sucking on the public teat. That’s right isn’t it?

      Bite the hand, Wayne. Bite it.

    • Jenny Kirk 1.4

      Dr Mapp – it was obvious from the RNZ live-stream of the protest that many, many more than 5000 were out on the streets. That’s the biggest protest I’ve seen down Queen Street in almost 40 years. It was huge. Herald and RNZ estimates are way-off target – probably deliberately, to keep the PM happy !

    • Rosemary McDonald 1.5

      “The photos of who was involved made it look like the more typical protest.”

      I’m calling you out on this Wayne.

      Who is/are “who”?

      Define “typical”.

    • lprent 1.6

      I seem to remember others with the same mindset making exactly the same arguments about the schedule 4 protests.

      Nothing like regurgitation for that fresh taste…

    • Heather Grimwood 1.7

      I have photo of the anti ECA march of 10,000 in Queen St ( believed to have been largest up to that date) and photos I’ve seen of yesterday’s march show much greater numbers. Think too of how many more would have joined the ranks had PSA folk been given the day off as had happened on the former occasion.

    • Mr Mapp, you do spend a large amount of time on these social media sites.
      I suggest you get a life.

      It cannot be good for your health to be sitting in front of a bloody computer as much as you are.

  2. Wayne 2

    Well, I note that the Herald also said somewhat more than 5,000.

    I personally think between 5,000 and 10,000 (probably closer to 10,000). So at the upper size quite a large demonstration, but not a Schedule 4 size. The larger photos show a somewhat spread out crowd, that often does not fully cover the width of the street.

    Incidentally I have had formal training in overhead photo analysis (many years ago), but I have not really applied those techniques here which would take some time (dividing the street into a grid and counting the people in a respectable sample of grids to get an average number of people per grid).

    Incognito, why does giving Radio NZ some credence on this issue insult people’s intelligence?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Whereas biting the hands that feed you isn’t so much insulting people’s intelligence as being thoroughly ungrateful.

    • Jenny Kirk 2.2

      Who believes the Herald any more when it calculates protest numbers ? They’ve been miscalculating for decades !

      The organisors say 15,000 which personally I think is a modest estimate. The crowd was more like 20,000.

      And something more significant – for the first time that I can remember, Maori led the protest crowd in a formal ceremonial fashion.

      This is an important and momentuous step. According to a Maori woman who was directing those leaders as they marched, these were the people who usually took part in the formal powhiri for important visitors to Auckland. Instead, this time they were taking a formal role in the protest against TPPA.

      (John Campbell recorded the comments from this Maori woman when he was asking her why there were so many Maori in the protest – RNZ Checkpoint live-stream).

      • Karen 2.2.1

        I agree, Jenny. Having such a large group of Māori leading the protest and stopping at each intersection to perform a haka was fantastic . They continued to do that when the march continued around the waterfront and up to Sky City then down to Victoria Park. Key only managed to get 3 Māori to attend the signing and do a token greeting. It was also great having Māori on the loudspeakers leading the chants.

        As for numbers I would say 20,000 was a reasonable estimate, remembering the Springbok tour marches that got 30,000. I notice the Herald is down playing the main protest in its coverage and has provided no aerials. Deliberate? Of course.

        As for Wayne Mapp saying he would be able to work it out from the aerials I would suggest that this would be difficult in this case as many protestors were walking down on the pavements under the shop overhangs because it was so big. That didn’t happen during the Springbok Tour protests.

        • alwyn

          20,000. That is an awfully large number.
          The pictures would seem to show that the rows were about 10 abreast. That is what the TV showed as well. They would probably have been about 2 metres per row. Therefore 20,000 people would be a march about 4 kilometres long. That is four times the length of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. They would also take close to an hour to pass a given point. The published photos don’t seem to show anything like that number.

          • Richard Christie

            The pictures would seem to show that you can’t count.

          • pat

            just counted one row and got 18….did you take your shoes off?

            • alwyn

              Biggest row you could find? How many did you count?
              However. Even if we were to say that the average was 18, as you seem to want, it would still make the march about two and a half times the length of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Two and a half times.
              Now which of the photos shows a line that long?

            • Korero Pono

              @ Pat – hilarious + 1000

          • You_Fool

            I think your ability to judge sizes is a bit off.. the first photo up there clearly shows that all “rows” are at least 10 people, and that is at the back where it has thinned a little (but clearly have more people) and look more like 20+ as they get closer to the front (though it is hard to tell with the distance). Also saying 2m per line is a bit off too; as that first photo clearly shows that all of Queen st between somewhere around Victoria st to Aeotea square is full of protesters across the whole street; that being somewhere near 5,000 m2 (500m x 10m wide – rough approximations) of street – so all it requires is 2 people per m2 to make that 10,000 (with more out of screen shot.) Maybe at the closest to the photo the density is less than that, but as we go up it is at least that if not more (they do look shoulder to shoulder

            So yes maybe 20k is high (though maybe not as don’t know how many are not in the photo) but >5k is a laugable figure, and 10k+ is highly likely as being a good guess.

            • alwyn

              “so all it requires is 2 people per m2”
              You are joking I hope, even if they were standing still.
              Take an average living room of say, 6m by 4m. Take out all the furniture before the next step.
              Now put 48 people in the room. The have them try and move around. They are in a march after all.
              Do you really think that is possible?

              • You_Fool

                As they are marching together up a big long straight street? Yes.

                The room i am in right now is 6×8 and I just measured it out (imprecisely) with dummy holders, but standing basically shoulder to shoulder with a bit of room in font and behind you get about 80 people in the room (10 across, 8 deep) – it would be a tightish fit and I wouldn’t want to be on the inside if it was inside and not going anywhere, but marching up Queen St with Aoetea Square as the final destination

                I mean it is a bit hard to imagine completely by yourself; but it seems to me to be more space per person that when exiting a sporting fixture; such as the cricket on Wednesday, or the world cup games, or the 2009/2013 WC qualifiers in Wellington.

                • alwyn

                  Have a look at the picture of the Westpac Stadium in Wellington from the air. The enormous area back toward the railway station is so that people can move away from the stadium after exiting. You have to file, slowly, out onto it but once you are there you can all move away easily.
                  It is so wide so that you don’t get any problems of the sort that have happened within stadiums at football grounds overseas.

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 2.2.2

        There were far more protesters there than were shown in the Queen St photos. There were those still barricading the intersections around Sky City, there were those blockading the motorways. Trying to diminish the numbers is simply an act of denial: let’s pretend that there weren’t many people out there protesting about the fact that the public will only get a charade of a say on the TPPA as it is now not possible to make changes to the signed text.

        One chant was “When was our say? That is not democracy!”

        “Typical” comment from Wayne.

    • BM 2.3

      I agree, 5-10 k seems to be the most accurate guess.

      It’s only asshats like Martyn Bradbury using the 20k figure.

      • McGrath 2.3.1

        The protesters may have been loud, but it’s irrelevant in the end when the vast majority of NZers just don’t give a toss about the TPP. Its also self-defeating given that the disruptions in the city will have only hardened attitudes amongst the majority.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Another right wing mind reader who speaks for millions of other people. Curiously, they all believe exactly the same things 🙄

          • McGrath

            its more like we look upon the “social justice warriors” with bemusement. All the TPP protests seem like a waste of energy to righties given it won’t achieve anything i.e it’s still going to be signed. Also, freedom of speech seems to be curtailed with “social justice warriors” given alternative views are considered as blasphemy.

            • marty mars

              lots of ‘seems’ in there – shows what a speculator you are, as in making bullshit up to further your own keyfantasy – you have ZERO cred

              • McGrath

                I rest my case with your reply. Alternative views are blasphemous to those of “social justice warriors”

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  You haven’t got a case. You haven’t even got any evidence. And you appear confused about the meaning of the word blasphemy.

                  Illiterate as well as innumerate. Someone really ought to set up a charity for you.

                • lol you don’t have a ‘case’ brainiac – been watching too many tv lawyer shows eh

                  • McGrath

                    The intellectual class are always first up against the wall when the revolution comes…

                    [lprent: Be warned that avocation of violence is any form including hyperbole isn’t welcome here. Read our policy and adjust your behaviour. That particular behaviour is viewed as being the action of a troll trying to start a flamewar. ]

                • weka

                  McGrath, do you realise the main context where the term social justice warrior gets used? Because if you do, then you using it here makes you an arse.

                  If you don’t, then you really should educate yourself.

                • Pasupial


                  If we are; “social justice warriors”, does that make you an; Antisocial Injustice Collaborator?

                  edit: Snap with Marty Mars’ “antisocial injustice weakling” down at 2.3.etc..


                  McGarth doesn’t strike me as a Gamergater, he probably just read the term on some RW thread somewhere and followed it without fully understanding the implications. Much like his arguments in favour of the TPPA in fact.

                  • weka

                    Probably true, nevertheless if he wants to use the term here he needs to understand what that will mean.

        • weka

          “but it’s irrelevant in the end when the vast majority of NZers just don’t give a toss about the TPP”

          What makes you think that?

          • McGrath

            National is still on 47-50% support. National’s support should have long since plummeted if the TPP was truely that evil.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              ~30% of the electorate = “the vast majority of New Zealanders” 😆

              Why are you innumerate?

              • McGrath

                What part of 47-50% support do you not understand? National & TPP are so intertwined. If TPP was so inherently evil, surely National’s support would be scraping in the low 20’s? If TPP is such an abomination, why would the politicians involved sign up to something that was career-ending?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  What part of ~30% of the electorate do you not understand?

                  Let’s make it easy for you: 1,131,501/3,140,417 = a vast majority?


                  • Pasupial


                    1,131,501/3,140,417 = 36.0% (40% at 1sf)
                    1131501/ 4658145 = 24.3% of total resident population.

                    I believe that those too young, or incarcerated, to vote should be able to proxy their vote to another. It’d take some thorough work to implement, but better than disenfrancising a third of the people in the country.

            • Eyre

              If the tppa is so evil. The next labour government can give 6 months notice and withdraw. Has anyone heard andrew say he would withdraw.

            • weka

              AFAIK NZers don’t often vote on single issues (or not many of them do). There will be people who are against the TPP who still say they’ll vote National in a poll. There will be people who are against the TPP but who think there are more important issues to vote on.

              Besides, even allowing for the idocy that OAB has pointed out (most NZers don’t support National by a long mile), it’s a nonsense to suggest that the ‘vast majority’ of NZers don’t care about the TPP by looking at their voting patterns. If they don’t care, why would that affect how they vote?

        • BM

          I agree.

          From now on support will only grow for the TPP as it gets discussed in a more rational manner and people become more aware of what it actually is and the benefits of being involved in it are.

          I’d say Andrew Little has made a real political blunder by siding with the anti TPP crowd, I’ll even go as far to say it’s cost him any chance in the next election.

          • McGrath

            What I don’t understand is the bollocks about loss of sovereignty. The Government at the time can always pull out of the agreement. If Andrew Little is so concerned about sovereignty, why doesn’t he come out and say that a Labour govt will pull out of the deal immediately when elected?

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              The argument is that the loss of sovereignty is worth far more than National (being as they are, a little bit shit) got in return.

              I note you seem incapable of addressing that beyond wild pejorative flailing.

            • BM

              Apparently Little is going to restart negotiations get every one back around the table for little o’l NZ and get us a better deal.

              The man is a fool.

              • “The man is a fool”

                lol – sooo you want him not to be a ‘fool’ in your eyes? Or is it that you want him to be more of a fool iyo. Oh I get it – you don’t really care as long as your shitseeds get spread – great logic genius lol

            • Eyre

              he said yesterday “that he isn’t contemplating leaving the tppa”.

              • McGrath

                So it’s all bluster then from Andrew Little. If I were a “social justice warrior”, I’d be even more pissed off with Little’s “all talk no action” approach.

                • but you aren’t – you’re a nobody rightwing spinner. In fact you are the opposite of a social justice warrior – an antisocial injustice weakling but at least bm is your mate LOL

                  • McGrath

                    Nothing wrong with my bro BM. He’s just expressing an alternative viewpoint. There are many commentators here who would be lost without BM’s insights given their love/hate relationship with him. I’m definitely not a “social justice warrior” either. It must be endlessly frustrating giving a fuck about so many things you cannot change. Save your energy for things you can.

                    • DoublePlusGood

                      And yet, given what we’ve seen here, you’re the sort of person who’ll never actually change anything.

                    • McGrath []

                      I don’t see the TPP as evil and don’t want to change it. Time will tell who’s right.

                    • Macro

                      I don’t see the TPP as evil and don’t want to change it.
                      That is because you have little vision. Maori have lived with the consequences of a failed Treaty that stripped their sovereignty for the past 175 years. That is why they are almost without exception opposed to the TPP. They know what the consequences will be.
                      Make no mistake. The TPP will rob governments of acting in the interests of their citizens.
                      Climate Change (whether you understand it or not) is going to be a major issue which governments need to address, and take action. upon. Much of this action could involve and disrupt the interests of Private companies operating in respective countries. The TPP does not allow participating governments to take action that would address environmental issues – including Climate Change. Indeed any reference to CC has been removed from the final TPPA.
                      Whilst not an ISDS claim under TPP but NAFTA the TransCanadian Claim against the US for $15B for the cancellation of the Pipeline is an example in point.
                      How can a country of 5 m people such as NZ stand up against multi nationals with budgets many times the size of our GDP in a kangaroo court of 3 appointed corporate lawyers with no appeal possible.? These courts circumvent international courts of law and the WTO.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Wild pejorative flailing is the only tool in your box? You poor thing.

              • The Chairman

                Eyre, got a link for that?

                • Eyre

                  I’ll try,im on my phone. Its on the stuff site.Qna with andrew little on the tppa. He said he’d only read 500 or so pages of a 6000 page document. Little also said pharmac remains unchanged.

                  • The Chairman

                    I found it, thanks.


                    It was only the other day Little was calling for people to join with him in opposing it.

                    Looks like the sideshow (Labour’s handling of the TPP) continues on.

                    They could have capitalized off this. What a shame.

      • Crashcart 2.3.2

        Always good to see someone give an unbiased opinion on something /sarc.

        Just to give perspective I was in a parade 2 weeks ago with just under 500 people. the parade ground would have been about the same width as Queen Street is by the civic and about 20m deep. There would be more spacing in the above pictures but it definitely makes 5K seem a very low estimate.

        Not going to put a guess on the numbers in the photo’s above but it seems like enough that it is pretty damn arrogant of the PM to dismiss them all out of hand.

      • Macro 2.3.3

        I know its important for you lot to down size it BM, but that doesn’t stop the fact that it was a huge display of anger and frustration at a bullying, non-listening, govt acting in a manner that jeopardizes the ability of future govts to act for the benefit all NZers – all for the sake of 30 pieces of silver.

        • BM

          I’m not down sizing, my guess would be somewhere around 10k.

          What interested me was the really low/ non-existent turn outs in all the other main centers, this tells me that the number of anti-TPP people is well and truly overstated.

    • pat 2.4

      “Incidentally I have had formal training in overhead photo analysis (many years ago), but I have not really applied those techniques here which would take some time (dividing the street into a grid and counting the people in a respectable sample of grids to get an average number of people per grid).”

      is there such a thing as a PhD in crowd counting?

    • lprent 2.5

      I personally think between 5,000 and 10,000 (probably closer to 10,000). So at the upper size quite a large demonstration, but not a Schedule 4 size.

      Two points:

      1. On a week day? I took a annual leave day to be there. I’m sure many of the others did as well. But there would have been many more who could not.

      2. That was just the largest body of the protest. At the same time as that was going on, so were several other protests at various road intersections. Did you eyeball those as well? Some of those groups had substantial sizes as well.

      But your estimates for the crowd are low as well. None of the photos above show the full extent of this particular protest. Each shows part of it.

      • Wayne 2.5.1


        Fair points. The fact it was a week day meant that it was going to have a fair element of a student style protest. But generally I was was impressed by the style of the protest. Sitting down in streets and intersections has the advantage of being a broadly peaceful form of dissent, even if it is not strictly lawful.

        I also thinks it makes a difference as who are the perceived leaders of a peoples movement. For instance Sue Bradford appeals to a somewhat narrower group than for instance Forest and Bird, who were the primary organizers of the Schedule Four issue.

        On the same theme, I would note Ngapuhi did themselves no favors by seemingly allowing Kingi Tauroa to be their spokesman. In fact I am sure the Ngapuhi leadership did not actually intend that outcome. But having some knowledge of Kingi, I suspect he would have taken the opportunity as it presented itself. And his eloquence does give him ostensible authority to speak on behalf of the iwi.

    • The lost sheep 2.6

      I threw Photo’s 1 and 3 above into Photoshop and ran a rough grid count over them.
      Both come out at around the 7.5k mark, but neither of them show a clear end so impossible to say how many more were present. That also does not take into account others who were away from scene of the march doing other stuff.
      Using Trotsky’s comparison of the lies method, an aggregate of 5,10,15,20 comes out at 12.5k. So on that basis I’d say somewhere between 9 and 13k is the most likely figure.

      Side note OAB. Isn’t this a perfect example of the difficulty of assessing only ‘fact’ is presented in the media?
      Various ‘eye witnesses’ assess the ‘fact’ and come up with a variance of 400%, with the additional complication that a clear subjective bias is evident according to the political orientation of the individual asserting the ‘fact’
      So which ‘fact’ should the media print? I guess they all used some method they thought reasonably accurate….

      But regardless of what they print as ‘fact’….some of the interested parties are going to consider it a lie..
      And out on the sidelines, many non eye-witness members of the public willing to pledge to the veracity of the figure that suits their personal orientation, despite having made no attempt to objectively ascertain the likely ‘fact’.

      So regardless of the figure the media defines as ‘fact’, and regardless of what actually was fact, many people are going to consider it a lie.

      Maybe your Ministry of Truth could have been responsible for determining ‘fact’, and verified the figure the media was required to quote?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.6.1

        If you stop putting words in my mouth (Your Ministry of Truth bullshit is bullshit, you ought to have got a clue about this yesterday) we can get through this a lot quicker. The fact-checking exercise you engaged in is a great example of good journalism: rather than just reporting the figures presented to you by various interested parties, you are now in a position to measure – and report on – their various biases, as well as your own estimate of the numbers.

        It’s inexact, certainly – as indicated by your number range. And perhaps you have a little bias of your own. However, you now have the makings of a report that informs people a little more than a list of numbers, and it’s more interesting too.

        You’ve uncovered evidence of bias in a law commissioner, for example.

      • Karen 2.6.2

        See my comment at 2.2.1. The aerials don’t give an accurate picture.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          It’s still possible to do a count that estimates those numbers so long as you’re open about your assumptions.

          • Richard Christie

            What is important as a measure is the historical comparison of the turnout, rather than the disputable numbers.

    • Incognito 2.7

      Incognito, why does giving Radio NZ some credence on this issue insult people’s intelligence?

      I’ll oblige, Wayne.

      Yes, I do give Radio NZ some credence, which is somewhere between absolute and unquestionable acceptance and utter disbelief and outright rejection.

      You like to make an appeal to authority so that we a accept your biased view, preferably without questioning (which is also wishful thinking on your behalf). Thus, you have to first manufacture this authority. To assert this authority you use vague qualifiers to create an impression of authority. This authority then magically (!) links to absolute Truth without independent validation or confirmation. In other words, you built a case for us to accept the estimate of 5,000 protestors as correct, i.e. accurate and precise. This insults my intelligence for the obvious reason that it is all based on your fallacious assertions.

      Lastly, even RNZ’s estimate would be close to the actual number at any point in time during the protest – and we will never know this – it would still not establish “authority” as it could have been a lucky guess.

  3. Good on everyone for getting off their bums and doing something. Alas it is an utter waste of time and effort.
    Global trade is in the toilet, or standing just outside the door with its legs crossed )
    Next to no cargo moving anywhere, unless you class the migrant workers returning home from the closing factories in China, or the millions of refugees fleeing pockets of destroyed human habitat across the EU, or munitions going to Sadie Arabia. 100 million barrels of oil sitting on tankers going nowhere.
    How many gazzillions dose the USA owe ?
    TPTB are trying their best to maintain BAU, they (along with all the protesters) can’t get their silly brains around Abrupt Climate Change, Global Economic Crash, Peak Energy.
    With what is baked into our near term future cake, TPPA will be something we would want to have, because what we are guaranteed to get is way way worse.
    People will look back with fondness, that they actually had the time, energy, and a society/structure that feeds and waters them, while they kick up a stink at not getting more and more and more …………………..
    Along with the death of human habitat, goes our so called ‘human rights’.
    The global house is on fire, and you people are discussing the shade of the wallpaper.
    It would show we understood things if we change Earths name from Gaia to Rapa Nui.
    7+ billion people, 404 ppm CO2, upwards of 300 ppm CO2e .
    WE are 100% deckchair shuffling, and can kicking….. futile humans.
    Ho hum.

    • Ad 3.1

      No one will die wondering whether you are a spent, quietist, defeated, self-righteous, sneering old nothing.

      Better to die on your feet than live in your self-satisfied old armchair.

      • Robert Atack 3.1.1

        Ad I was up and out of the arm chair for about 10 years …. it didn’t work, the people are not interested … http://oilcrash.com/articles/thankyou.htm I gave it at least a $20,000 best shot,
        I shouldn’t have stood so close the the wall, as all I ended up with was wet feet.

        • Ad

          Lie down and turn your computer off.
          You’re not adding to anything.

        • Bob

          That link just proves Jeanette Fitzsimons either deliberately lied to you, or at least enticed you to follow her uninformed ‘truth’: “You’re quite right. Shell Oil International is working on the assumption that between 2005 and 2010 world oil demand will outstrip the capacity of the wells to supply”.
          We are now in 2016 with supply outstripping demand,
          “Unfortunately the people do not want to know, our so called leaders know this also, or are part of the happy ignorant, so my efforts and those of many others has been pointless”
          Did you think perhaps this could be because they were actually more informed than you on the topic?

        • the pigman

          Well I read that article (and your commentary on it). Didn’t exactly disprove Ad’s theory.

          Poor guy.

  4. Save NZ 4

    Yep inspire of being a weekday, limited public transport etc, 20,000 people came to protest in Auckland about the TPPA. Pictures don’t lie Wayne, and it clearly does not look like 5000 people in the photos!!!

    Signed at a Skycity a gambling location symbolic of National’s gambling approach to NZ!

  5. Penny Bright 5

    It was a GREAT turnout yesterday!

    Now – significantly more New Zealanders will want to know more about the TPPA, and how come, if it IS supposed to be a ‘Free Trade’ agreement, tariffs will never be eliminated on NZ dairy and beef exports?


    The TPPA was officially signed in Auckland – so what happens next?


    Does it take effect immediately?

    New Zealand is hoping to see the TPPA in place by 2018.

    Then most tariffs on New Zealand exports will be phased out slowly.

    After 15 years 94.8 per cent of exports to TPPA nations would enter duty free. It will taker longer for others – for example up to 30 years for full milk powder into the US.

    But some agricultural products, such as dairy in some countries and beef in Japan, will not see complete tariff elimination.


    So – if there is not ‘complete tariff elimination’ – how is the TPPA a ‘free trade’ agreement?

    Especially when is comes to key NZ exports such as dairy and beef?

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Kevin 5.1

      They must have loved negotiating with New Zealand. There they were, sitting at the table with a full hand of tariff cards and what did we have. Nothing. So in essence all New Zealand did was beg and grovel to let our milk powder in and gave up whatever we had left to achieve that.

      Groser, Key et al should be bloody ashamed of themselves. They have sold us down the river for fuck all in return.

    • Chooky 5.2

      +100 Penny…

  6. Detrie 6

    Similar protests are starting in the US with Bernie Sanders and now Hillary Clinton both now against TPP. As one of these two will be the next US president, there is hope the whole thing could collapse next year (although Clinton could easily flip flop or water it down when pressured by her mates at Wall Street).

    We forget that US middle class workers were screwed over by prior ‘free trade’ agreements like the TPP. NAFTA saw a million jobs exit the US from 1994. Good for corporate profits and shareholders, bad for everyone else. http://bit.ly/naftafailure

    • Save NZ 6.1

      As well as 6000 predicted jobs being lost from NZ under the TPPA agreement, there is also nearly 500,000 US jobs which are going to get the chop under TPPA. What a winner!! Sarc.

  7. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7

    Hope they arrest this idiot:


    I suppose that, if you can’t spell “John”, you’re unlikely to understand the TPP.

  8. Mosa 8

    Thanks to all of you for participating in yesterday’s protest and having the courage to face the forces unleashed to stop you.
    I noticed only one cop with a yellow riot helmet and baton raised on the news coverage maybe a trial run for the next protest.
    Well done RENT A MOB.

    • BobInAkl 8.1

      Looks like a motorcycle helmet more than riot gear to me, maybe he was patrolling the motorway and got involved. The blocking of the intersections worked great but siting down on a active motorway is pretty irresponsible and stupid, if a truck had come round the corner at 80km and plowed through them all or jacked knifed and flattened several cars it would have been a tragedy.

    • Halfcrown 8.2

      “Well done RENT A MOB.”

      Nah you have got that wrong Mosa, according to The High Priest of Pratship Michael Laws, they were fascist’s
      Quote from his Facebook

      ” In addition, when did the curtailing of my freedom (& that of ordinary Aucklanders) become hostage to these self opinionated fascists??”

      I don’t think he knows what the word means.
      Fascist’s Noun

      1. a person who believes in or sympathizes with fascism.
      2. (often initial capital letter) a member of a fascist movement or party.
      3. a person who is dictatorial or has extreme right-wing views.
      I think the last one #3 suits Key down to the ground, especially over the flag shit and the TPPA.

      • Halfcrown 8.2.1

        Funny I thought, How can that prats freedom be curtailed when he is in Dunedin, a long way from the protests in Auckland.

  9. roy cartland 9

    I’m getting a little bored of JK’s ‘rent-a-crowd’ comment. How much did he think we were ‘rented’ for? Perhaps the princely sum of 40 bucks a year, which is the expected per capita gain from the tppa by 2030?
    I calculate that this rate would be 0.46c for an hour of protesting per person, which for the total AK protest @ 5h, would be 2.3c pp.
    (I can just see him now, considering such competitive rates.)

    • pat 9.1

      and that may be a good way of presenting the case….how much are NZers prepared to sell a portion of their democracy to the transnational corporations for….would 80 cents a week be sufficient?

      • Macro 9.1.1

        80c per week!
        You should be so lucky!
        Yours and my share are going into the deep deep pockets of those who “deserve” it! Those hard working farmers – the backbone of the country.
        Who will then give it to the banks

        • pat

          thats very likely true….but it presents the complex agreement down to an easily expressed objection

  10. Observer (Tokoroa) 10

    @ McGrath

    I am pleased you are being rented by John Key. Thrilled that you copy him in all detail. I am especially pleased that you lied like a criminal when saying no opposition politicians joined the massive protests.

    Apart from yourself, all of New Zealand voters will be very apprehensive of the TTPA so abysmally negotiated by your incompetent National inner circle.

    They were no match for the Canadians, Japanese or Americans. Mere piss puppies at a major dog fight.

    You seem so angry at the Protest of yesterday. But fortunately your wives and children will be able to explain to you that John Key caused the protest – and all the ttpa protests yet to come.

    How? By being devious as usual and failing to take the New Zealand public into his confidence. He is stupid to have done that. Isn’t he McGrath?

  11. Enough is Enough 11

    Key has always been a prick when it comes to lawful protests.

    Remember when he called demonstrators’ “Haters and Wreckers”. Now it is rent a mob. He is such a dick

    This uprising is the beginning.

    Bring on the general election

    • weka 11.1

      It was Helen Clark that called Māori protesting the Foreshore and Seabed legislation ‘haters and wreckers’. One of the things she shouldn’t be forgiven for.

      • Enough is Enough 11.1.1

        Sorry my mistake.

        • weka

          No worries. Key will go down in history as insulting sexual abuse survivors.

          • Anne

            Yes, and he never apologised to Tania Billingsley. I give Murray McCully credit for apologising – twice.

        • alwyn

          What are you sorry about?
          If it was supposed to be bad if Key said it isn’t it just as bad for Clark to have done so?
          Unless of course you are apologising to John Key? Is that who the “Sorry” is addressed to?

          • weka

            They’re apologising for making a mistake. Good grief.

            Of course we can substitute ‘haters and wreckers’ for any number of fucked in the head things Key has done.

    • Stuart Munro 11.2

      Actually we should be grateful.

      If Key had pulled out all his smarm and followed democratic processes he might well have convinced a lot of weak-minded people – tougher than BM or PR, but neverless more than usually credulous.

      But he’s getting tired now, and wants to do things autocratically.

      He’s just going through the motions, shuffling towards the dustbin of history.

  12. Save NZ 12

    For the trolls that are saying the herald is talking about 5,000 protesters instead of the estimated 20,000 -25,000 protesters. Granddaddy Herald’s most popular story is about a US tourist whose camper van had a radiator problem and so he had to fly home. The fifth most popular story is about a pool pooper about to be revealed.

    Really??? Can anyone call the Herald a newspaper anymore? They are clearly not attracting a business audience anymore – clearly most Kiwis go else where for business, political and world news!

    Similarly the other day watched one news (for the first time in years) on the eve of the TPPA signing the leading story was about a police car fired on (no one arrested, no one hurt).

    Yep, it is pretty clear our ‘independent’ news is not really independent and not really news.

    • BM 12.1

      Where was the article on the pool pooper?

      I had a look, but couldn’t find it.

      • Save NZ 12.1.1


        Pool Pooping story is showing as Fifth most popular on the herald website.

        Shows you that the audience of the Herald is not there for real news, they clearly go to other sites for political, world or business news!!

        • BM

          Bit rough dropping a turd in the deep end, probably a TPP protester.

          It’s the sort of thing you’d expect from those people though, inconveniencing the public to get their point across.

          • Save NZ

            BM – with your insights you should be a Herald journalist!

            Have zero integrity, be able to follow a script, do what you are told, and be a card holding member of the National party!

            I think your talents are wasted here, MSM needs you!

    • Mosa 12.2

      If u want un biased reporting and up to date coverage of anything that’s negative Nat/Key don’t waste your time on the Herald. If there is any bad press surrounding anything left wing you will find it in all its glory on the front page.
      Its the same M O in all of the daily newspapers incl the so called independent news of the south the O. D T in Dunedin.
      My advice

      • Mosa 12.2.1

        My advice is if you want to read a newspaper go to the back section first usually page 21_23 to find what they don’t really want to report on.

      • Pasupial 12.2.2


        It is a flaw with the ODT that much of their National news is reprinted straight from the NZH. It pays to look at who wrote the story before reading; Eileen Goodwin is usually worthwhile, particularly her coverage of the various SDHB debacles. Dene Mackensie not so much.

    • Rob 12.3

      One News that’s an oxymoron

  13. Amanda Atkinson 13

    TV1 and TV3 did a nice hatchet job on the protests, interviewing a bunch of low life idiots who knew nothing about the TPP, or why they were there. Be interesting to know what proportion of the crowd were just a bunch of losers like them on a day out because it was the cool thing to do. Obviously no one knows the answer to that, but the TV coverage didn’t do the movement any favours. Or maybe, those people were typical of the crowd, who knows. I’m glad the cops and the protesters all largely behaved themselves. Although, I do wonder how many of those ordinary Kiwis just going about their daily life, but were unable to because of the motorway ramps being blocked, will support the cause now, if they did not before yesterday. I guess we put that stupid idea down to the rent-a-thug faction, however big that is, again, no one knows. I assume it’s very small. By and large, a good example, of freedom of speech, and a country where we can walk safely in the streets and have our say. Well done again to the cops and the protesters. We have a great country we can all be proud of, no matter our politics. No wonder so many Kiwis are coming home, and so many other people from around the world want to live here. 9th out of 168 for happiness, and 4th out of 168 for anti corruption. It’s good to be a Kiwi, and we have successive Labour and National governments, and our fellow Kiwis to thank for that. What makes our country so special, is that no matter who is in government, daily life for most of us is unaffected, and that will continue. Labour will win again one day, and there will be all the same hooplah from the right, that NZ is going to hell in a hand cart, just like the left is claiming now. Meanwhile, most Kiwis just get on with life, and enjoy what we have, knowing they are in control of their own happiness and progress, not the government of the day.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      they are in control of their own happiness and progress, not the government of the day.

      Which is odd, because unemployment always rises under National, and it means there’s absolutely nothing they can do about the child mortality rate increase either.

      How convenient.

      • Amanda Atkinson 13.1.1

        4% unemployment to 11% from 86-90 under Labour. Agree about child mortality, but I did say ‘most’ Kiwis.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          So the first (and last, and only ever) ACT government managed to increase unemployment faster than the National Party? Infant mortality continues to climb after eight years of the brighter future.

          Funny you say most Kiwis. Comparing apples with apples, we now have double the percentage of kids living in poverty than we had in 1984.

          Time for a change. Meanwhile, National denies that child poverty exists, and you pretend that doesn’t matter.

          • Amanda Atkinson

            I pretended nothing, you’re a little off topic I’m afraid. We’re not perfect, but we don’t live in a hell hole either. 9th most happy nation and 4th least corrupt out of 168, is something to celebrate I think. Sure we should aim to do even better, and I hope we are. But really, you are bit of a doom and gloom merchant aren’t you? Every government does some good things and bad things. It’s just not possible that any government Lab or Nat can do EVERYTHING wrong and nothing right. And that’s trouble with extremists like you on the left and right. You tell lies, and cherry pick stats to make a point.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Yawn. The lie I told: link to it, or withdraw and apologise, you ethics-free zone.

        • Expat

          Yeah Amanda

          Wasn’t there a serious financial crisis in 1988, more serious than the one just experienced, but then I suppose that’s giving context to your historical claim.

    • Mosa 13.2

      Yeah. I couldn’t believe Patrick Gowers comment that Shonkey will get a lift in the polls on the back of yesterday’s shananigans.
      I wonder how much he got for selling himself to Key/Joyce Corp.

  14. Detrie 14

    Here’s commentary 6 months back on what Obama (and his puppet, John Key) thinks of the TPP. However many in his own party like Warren, Bernie Sanders and others differ. All earlier big trade deals didn’t bring much for workers in the US and TPP with all the secrecy and corporate manipulation looks worse. Only a select few will benefit. As Senator Warren said, “..when the process is rigged it’s likely the outcome is also rigged”

  15. Expat 15

    The ABC showed a 60sec cut of the protest and speech by Key, I must say, Key looked quite disturbed, quite haggard and a crumpled suit, very untidy, looks like he’s under a bit of stress, good protest though, well behaved, made their point.

    As for MSM reporting, no one honestly expected anything different, a protest in the UK 6 months ago about globalisation with 50K protesters wasn’t even covered by the BBC (opposition parties were highly critical that the public broadcaster refused to cover the story) and their MSM run by Murdoch didn’t cover it either, surprise, surprise.

  16. rhinocrates 16

    Meanwhile, weasel Little says Labour won’t pull out of TPPA:


    A shambolic “opposition” to it to begin with trying to get some positive publicity, which was hopelessly undermined by “special dispensation” for Goff and Mumblefuck’s posturing, then finally all the backbone of a jellyfish.

    What a fucking useless hypocrite.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Government, we’ll go back to the TPPA partners and renegotiate the deal to make sure New Zealand’s sovereignty is protected. And as Prime Minister I will never back down on making laws in the interests of New Zealanders.

      Stand with me now — add your name against the TPPA. Click here to sign.


      Andrew Little
      Labour Leader

      This from the email Little sent out last week, and which was featured on The Standard in a post on the 29th of Jan:

      “Message from Andrew Little about TPPA”

      One funny thing about former Union Negotiator Andrew Little is that he’s essentially told “The TPPA partners” that he has no intention of leaving the TPP, effectively giving up any leverage NZ had in the negotiations before he even starts.

      • rhinocrates 16.1.1

        “They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom for trying to change the system from within… mumble mumble, er… how does it go?”

      • rhinocrates 16.1.2

        It’s likely that Little knew that Labour needed to be seen to oppose the TPP late in the day (Parker was yelping “the best possible deal” quite recently), but wants to reassure big business that really he doesn’t. As a result, the message is pathetically disingenuous and garbled.

        This clumsy turncoat and that hair-pulling manchild… what a political class we have!

        • Colonial Viper

          and yet, when Little was making the noises against the TPP just last week, multiple Standard commentators gave him the thumbs up as if Little and his caucus had credibility and sincerity.

          Some even said that it showed Little had stamped his authority over caucus.

          And what are these Labour apologists saying today? Not fucking much.

          • Stuart Munro

            We wanted him to keep going CV.

            If he had we’d’ve applauded him.

            If he falls in line with the TPPA, Labour will fall below the Greens. (might be a good thing)

            He’s probably in a state of ‘dynamic tension’ with the rogergnomes – makes him untrustworthy though as an individual he may be more sincere.

            In the meantime our best hopes lie with Bernie.

            • Colonial Viper

              I learnt the hard way that the Thorndon Bubble Labour hierarchy pays zero serious attention to ordinary members let alone the general public.

    • McGrath 16.2

      What about the Greens. Will they pull out of the deal if given the chance in government?

    • weka 16.3

      Labour have never even hinted that they would pull out. Little saying this now is consistent with their position.

      btw, I’ve been asking the question for a long time, why can’t NZ pull out? No-one seems to want to have that conversation, and it’s only very recently that the MSM has even thought there is a question.

      The next question, which they haven’t figured out yet, is what does Little mean when he says he will go back to the partners once in government and address the sovereignty issues? And how he would do that.

      • Bill 16.3.1

        I thought that conversation had been well and truly had.

        There is no reason why NZ couldn’t pull out. Give 6 months notice.

        The consequences could be rather unappealing though….6 months of every fcuking corporate who had an interest in NZ filing ISDS claims. (To be withdrawn if NZ doesn’t pull out of course). Threats of disinvestment and whatever else a global corporate cabal could think to throw at it. Would any NZ government have the spine to ‘give the long finger’ to that kind and level of pressure? (I don’t think so)

        Worth noting that as the Depositary, NZ is being positioned as ‘the poster child’ of the TPP. So, as far as some will be concerned, withdrawal won’t simply be ‘not an option’, but ‘unthinkable’.

        As for addressing sovereignty issues. He can. But every other country has the power of veto. So his chances are (to be kind) pretty slim….5/8ths of fuck all chance imo.

        He will get the concession on house sales to foreign individuals. But, as I’ve said before, since that isn’t a concern of the TPP, it doesn’t matter a fuck and is no kind of concession at all. However, that so-called win will be touted as a something and stacked against the failure to limit land sales to corporations. A wholly dishonest “We did our damnedest and wrenched something from the negotiations” stance.

        • weka

          You and I have had the conversation before, but very few other people have. And the MSM hasn’t even thought to ask the questions yet.

          • Colonial Viper

            Are you still finding Little’s comments on the TPP still worth exploring and investigating ? You still think he is opening the door to leave the TPP?

            Or have you reached the only sensible conclusion: that Shearer’s statements on the TPP are more representive of where Labour actually stands on corporate globalisation, rather than Little’s clumsy fence sitting spin.

            • weka

              There’s no actual argument in your comment CV. I know what you believe, but you haven’t convinced me that you know the answers to my questions, or even know why I am asking them.

              • Colonial Viper

                You’re correct; I’m not making an argument, I’m just saying I told you so. And I suspect Little and Labour will give me many more opportunities to do the same everytime they throw a little bone of hope to the anti-globalisation anti-corporate rule Left.

                They are totally insincere.

                • weka

                  Keep on your path to becoming the Robert Atack of Labour politics CV. Meanwhile, some of the rest of us will do something constructive and meaningful.

          • Bill

            Maybe people are simply lazy or just don’t want to think things through (prefer an easy ‘black hat/white hat’ duality) and then, even if they did think it all through, wouldn’t then want to acknowledge consequences that flow around in a world that is very distant from any comforting ‘right and wrong’ where good guys always win and bad guys get their come-uppance.

            It’s all bad guys, idiots and fucking clowns at the moment. And we’ve empowered every single last one of them.

            • weka

              Yeah, I get a bit sick of the rhetoric. But it is strange that the conversations doesn’t happen here, it’s not like there aren’t enough people here capable of them.

              As an aside to that, if you are right, that the other partners will just veto Little’s proposals and attempts to change the agreement and Labour will not consider pullling out because of the repercusions, what do you suggest they do? What do you suggest we do?

              • pat

                If , and its a big if, the US ratify it i think we will have bigger problems to occupy us anyway…that is not to dismiss the TPPA as an issue of importance now.

                • weka

                  what do you mean?

                  • pat

                    we have an ongoing financial crisis and the increasing impacts of climate change…..either of which have the potential to change the status quo radically….and i doubt for the better.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      the elite are lining things up to stay in charge through the coming upheavals. Mass surveillance, TPP, reduction in democracy and sovereignty, etc. Mind you, they have likely miscalculated, and badly.

                    • pat

                      history would show the elites frequently miscalculate

                    • weka

                      Thanks Pat (I thought you were meaning something about the US ratification). I agree, which is one of the reasons I’m more interested in working with what we’ve got than being a dogmatic doom merchant like CV. Things are dark enough as it is without painting everything so black that we can’t see what to do.

                      As for ratification, I think the importance of the TPPA is precisely the context that you name. We need as much control of democracy as we can keep for when things get harder. If what we have in NZ is the current political scene, I’d like us to be able to look at where the use is in that (rather than looking at the endless uselessness).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      As for ratification, I think the importance of the TPPA is precisely the context that you name. We need as much control of democracy as we can keep for when things get harder.

                      Quite correct.

                      Democracy has costs. Pushing back against mass surveillance and pushing back against the TPP has costs.

                      Labour has shown us that despite its talk, it is not willing to wear those costs.

                      The pragmatic decision is the easy decision. Status quo.

                      Things are dark enough as it is without painting everything so black that we can’t see what to do.

                      Uh, surely “what to do” is obvious. Stop believing and supporting a party with no sincerity nor credibility, and move on politically.

                    • If it’s so obvious, why don’t you walk the walk, CV? Is it because you’re a bourgeious poseur who knows his only relevancy is based on supporting Labour privately while attacking the party publicly?

                      If you want to see insincerity and a lack of credibility, look in the mirror. If you want to end your own hypocrisy, you know what to do.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      TRP, isn’t it time you write another piece on why Little coming down against the TPP is a real thing which shows that he is in control.

              • Bill

                I see no reason why at least one of the other parties wouldn’t veto. Just going from basic negotiation dynamics, the NZ government would have to give away something else to get their proposal accepted. I can’t see what they could give away in exchange.

                I’ve already said what I think they will do. They will try to convince us that limiting residential sales to foreign individuals is a win. It’s not. It’s irrelevant and a nothing in the context of the TPP.

                What might we do? Well, beyond ramping up pressure so that the government (however it’s configured) comes to the realisation that it has more to lose by playing along with TPP partners than it has by ceding to our demands (withdrawal?), I can’t see anything. I mean, that’s it in a nutshell and the way it’s always played out when a government does shit against the wishes of a society it is meant to be servicing.

                • weka

                  I was asking what you think Labour should do (instead of what you think it will do). Should as in what options does it actually have.

                  Well, beyond ramping up pressure so that the government (however it’s configured) comes to the realisation that it has more to lose by playing along with TPP partners than it has by ceding to our demands (withdrawal?),

                  Thanks, that’s one of the conversations I’d rather be having (instead of all the Labour are fucked/we’re fucked rhetoric).

                  • Bill

                    I think Labour should pull the plug. It’s a realistic option. But in your comment above, you asked what they should do with the proviso (or assumption) that pulling out wasn’t an option.

                    They pull out or they shove lemons (and worse) down our gullets. I don’t think they (a Labour led government) should do the latter. They (a Labour led government) will probably attempt the latter.

                    Going up and down a thread to see what I’ve said where is a pain, but essentially I’ve been repeating that when ‘the force feeding’ begins, if we’re in a position to convince the government that such a course of action is worse option for them than withdrawing from the TPP, then we should get on with convincing them.

                    To get to that position involves generating an informed momentum that deepens and broadens in the interim.

                    • just saying

                      Jumping in wherever I can find a reply button.

                      The weirdest thing about this thread is the lack of understanding that we are already far deeper into uncharted territory than many seem to have noticed. (I can’t think of a better way of expressing any of this). Things, people, minds are moving already, and we really don’t know where things will end up being, or where they will move from there. These grand predictions and pontifications just sound hollow to me.

                      Why don’t you join the resistance, CV? Just jump in wherever. There will be no salary, no glory, no clear answers, a ton of confusion and conflict…no guru, no method, no teacher….

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Heh indeed!

                      And yes well put, we are far into brand new unexplored territory; territory that neither Labour nor National truly realise that we have entered.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      To get to that position involves generating an informed momentum that deepens and broadens in the interim.

                      Yep, that;s strategic thinking.

                    • weka

                      @Bill, mmm, maybe a miscommunication above (I also don’t want to do any more scrolling).

                      Let’s recap then. There are two things worth considering IMO.

                      1. given the state of Labour and the NZ public (and voters, MSM etc), and the likelihood that Labour will consider it next to impossible to pull out, what should Labour do now? This isn’t a question of hope as CV is trying to make out, but a question of finding out what do we have to work with. That’s why I want to know what Little means when he says they won’t withdraw but will attempt to protect the issues for NZ as they go. CV might be right that Little has no plan, but I think it’s more likely that they do have something in mind that we don’t know about yet. I want to know the public to know what that is.

                      2. what are the activist choices and strategies for applying pressure to the incoming Labour/GP govt to withdraw? I agree with your points above, especially about getting on with it and making the most of the momentum. IMO that’s exactly the conversation we should be having next.

                    • weka

                      just seen your comment just saying, good summation and I also appreciate the point about being in uncharted waters. It looks to me like no-one knows what the fuck is going on (apart from the protestors who know it’s dangerous) and that’s not what we are used to.

                      Gristle makes the point in OM today that the 6,000 page document is going to take years and many lawyers to understand and come to terms with. They make other good points on what Labour could do.


                    • Bill

                      @ Weka.

                      Labour had a choice. They made a decision and, to my mind, they’ve blown it. What they do now is of fuck all concern to me. What the general populace of NZ does now is what’s important. (At least we know fr sure who isn’t on our side now.)

                    • weka

                      Except Labour will part of the next goverment, so understanding what they do and will do is important. This isn’t about Labour doing the right thing. It’s about us being able to work with what we’ve got.

                    • Bill

                      What they will not do willingly is pull the plug. What more do you need to know for christ’s sake!

                      The consequence of that is that if people want the plug pulled, people are going to have to find effective ways to apply irresistible pressure.

                      That’s it in a nutshell.

        • Colonial Viper

          Labour wont pull out of the TPP because they are a party of the ruling establishment, just as much as National are.

          This is why Shearer and Goff felt free to speak up last week.

          They were enunciating Labour’s actual position on the TPP, while Little was verbalising spin.

          • weka

            I think you’ve got a bit of spin going there yourself CV. Plenty of others see Labour having actually changed a bit.

            Which begs the question of what the point is of your spin. Do you want people to hate Labour so much that their vote collapses completely?

            You can condemn Little all you like for not having a plan, but it looks to me like you have even less of a plan than he does.

            • Colonial Viper

              Labour is a big dead old oak tree blocking out all the sunlight from below.

              Plenty of others see Labour having actually changed a bit.

              TPPA is here to stay under a Labour Government.

              You can condemn Little all you like for not having a plan, but it looks to me like you have even less of a plan than he does.

              Perhaps. I’m merely pointing out that NZ needs a brand new plan. And unlike Little, I don’t receive more than half a million dollars a year in tax payer funds to ‘have a plan’ for the nation.

              • weka

                Whoopdeefucking do CV. FFS, you think that you have the patent on understanding NZ needs a brand new plan? Pretty much all the standardistas already get that you moran. You’re full of shit mate, which is a shame because I know you are quite capable of doing good work. But all this Labour hating, now with added spin, is just you meaninglessly working out your personal stuff about Labour in public. It doesn’t bring us any closer to having a brand new plan for NZ. Worse, it actually undermines the places where that plan might develop. You’re positioning yourself as one of the trolls, with the intent of poisoning the well.

                “I’m merely pointing out that NZ needs a brand new plan.”

                No, there’s nothing merely about it. You’re running round spraying everything with your shit with virtually no thought to how that affects things. If you were thinking about the effects you were having, you’d be able to come back and tell us what the strategy is. But obviously there isn’t one, you’re far far worse than Little at this, and now you’re complaining that you’re not getting paid.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Go on. Keep following the little crumbs of hope that Little keeps throwing out to the Left.

                  If you were thinking about the effects you were having, you’d be able to come back and tell us what the strategy is. But obviously there isn’t one, you’re far far worse than Little at this, and now you’re complaining that you’re not getting paid.


                  Just pointing out that the NZ tax payer is spending many millions of dollars on the Opposition, and what kind of actual Opposition are we getting?

                  Ahhhh, its a done deal, we don’t like it but we’ll stick with it when we are in power.


                  Little is already history. Just wait until early 2018. GR2020.

                  • just saying

                    When i suggested you join the resistance I wasn’t joking, CV.
                    It was a kindly meant suggestion. This party-political-real-politik bollocks seems to have ensnared you and it seems to me it is a road to nowhere. People are linking-up and defying. Join in.

        • pat


      • Olwyn 16.3.2

        I think that Bryan Gould sums up what is at issue very well – his piece has already been put up a couple of times but I will put it up again:

        The TPP is, in other words, a renewed attempt to succeed where the MAI failed…Those who see nothing but a free trade agreement proclaim its benefits; those who look deeper and understand the genealogy warn against the loss of democracy…The disputants, though, are not all well-intentioned, even if misguided. The people we should really be worried about are those who understand the situation perfectly and who talk the language of free trade while deliberately seeking a much less benign outcome.

        Andrew Little seems to be saying that he agrees to the free trade aspects, but will not accept a charter for multinational investors that will prohibit a NZ government from governing in NZ’s interests. I think the degree to which he can successfully defend the sovereignty he claims to value depends upon the rest of us keeping up the pressure. The politicians I find most worrying are the ones who seem unperturbed about “a less benign outcome”, seemingly because they see themselves as continuing to be well-paid administrators with plenty of contacts under TPPA conditions.

        • pat


        • weka

          Thanks Olwyn. Bill (above) says that Little won’t be able to do what he is saying. I’ve not yet seen an explanation from Little about how he intends to do what he says, and I’ve not seen anyone really look at it his claim (I don’t read widely on the TPPA either though, so it might just be that it hasn’t happened here). Until those things are discussed in depth I don’t think we can know whether Little’s plan is meaningful or viable.

          • Colonial Viper

            Little doesn’t have a plan. Labour won’t stand up against corporate power, preferring to come to a comfortable accommodation with them. But keep giving him the benefit of the doubt.

            • weka

              “Little doesn’t have a plan”

              How do you know?

              • Colonial Viper

                Its obvious. Unless he is some kind of secret master strategist in disguise, of course. With a secret plan to outsmart all of us and all the TPP signatories.

                • Bill

                  It would be kinda nice if you’d drop the sloganeering CV.

                  In a shoutey, shoutey way, I agree with your general perception of (not just Labour), but NZ parliamentary politics.

                  As I’ve said above, Little’s plan looks fairly straight forward and is built on the – he’d probably say pragmatism – that no NZ government will withdraw from the TPP if it’s ratified by the US and Japan. The perceived notion (within the political class) is probably along the lines that the repercussions that would accompany any suggestion of withdrawal are much too onerous to make withdrawal even, merely, thinkable.

                  So Labour will sell us an irrelevance as a win (limitations on residential house sales) and then seek to convince us that we have no option left with regards the TPP but to suck it up.

                  If there has been an informed momentum building before that point, then we, as a society, might be able to apply enough pressure to convince the political class, that rather than there being no option besides us sucking it up, the ‘no option’ is that they renege and dump and run on the TPP and all of its punitive exit provisions.

                  And on that front, loudhailer sloganeering does nothing to help. We all know that most politicians are idiots and liars. Saying that over and over contributes nothing to figuring out how we might impact on how they exercise the power they have.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    A previous Labour Government walked away from nuclear weapons and from a western military alliance in the middle of the Cold War. There were many diplomatic and material repercussions against NZ as a result of that.

                    But those were Labour politicians who were made of sterner stuff.

                  • weka

                    If there has been an informed momentum building before that point, then we, as a society, might be able to apply enough pressure to convince the political class, that rather than there being no option besides us sucking it up, the ‘no option’ is that they renege and dump and run on the TPP and all of its punitive exit provisions.

                    yep. And let’s put that in a sovereignty and climate change context. As the awareness of both those things builds in the next two years, lots of opportunity to increase the pressure and get more people on board with not being so afraid of the fall out.

          • Olwyn

            I don’t think we can know whether Little’s plan is meaningful or viable.

            Essentially, I agree. I don’t see Little as one of those politicians who are proud of “making the tough decisions” that mean pleasing our corporate bosses and ruining people’s lives, but he does not have the force or machinery behind him to just up and pull out of the thing. The recent UN statement on it could prove helpful to him, potentially allowing him to claim that some of the TPPA demands are inconsistent with human rights, but what would be most helpful is a lot of people loudly, consistently and publicly rejecting the TPPA – Thursday should just be the beginning.

            • pat

              fear if he tried he’d become the south pacific”s Tsipras

            • Colonial Viper

              “but he does not have the force or machinery behind him to just up and pull out of the thing. ”

              What do you mean?

              What would stop PM Little from putting a vote to his Cabinet to withdraw from the TPP.

              • weka

                See Bill’s comment above about the potential fallout.

                • Colonial Viper

                  they’ve set up massive costs if you try and leave the imperial system. No surprise there.

                • The Chairman

                  “If people want to get out, they can get out – the only consequence is they are denied the benefits of remaining in it” – Tim Groser.


                  • weka

                    Why would we believe him?

                    Two issues (and see my links I just dropped ten minutes ago).

                    1. we’d have to give 6 months notice. What happens to the ISDSs in that time?

                    2. would there be other repercussions from trading partners, the corporate world and the general power mongers for having taken a stand?

                    • The Chairman

                      Has his statement been shown to be incorrect? Being the former trade minister, he’d have more knowledge on the matter than you.

                      Giving notice is to be expected. One would assume any claims filed before notice is given would go the distance.

                      There well may be further repercussions from trading partners, and the corporate world, but they will no longer have us at the disadvantage of being signed up.

                    • weka

                      Groser obviously has incentive to minimise the knowlege about effects, so no I don’t think his view is going to be one that’s intended to inform the public.

                      “One would assume any claims filed before notice is given would go the distance.”

                      Plus the ones that would kick in once companies realised they were going to lose money by NZ withdrawing.

                      I think the point is that there is no clear explanation of what the fall out would be, at least not from the political parties.

                    • The Chairman

                      The comment was made some time ago. Giving anyone who doubted it time to prove him wrong. Kelsey? Anyone?

                      “Plus the ones that would kick in once companies realised they were going to lose money by NZ withdrawing”

                      Got anything to back the above assertion?

                    • weka

                      no and no. And the reason is because the agreement was done in secret, it’s a huge document, and most people are still struggling to understand all the implications.

                      Some of us raised the withdrawal issue last year but from memory no-one was seriously looking at it. It hasn’t been discussed in depth, nor has much work been done on what it would mean. We’re all speculating here, which is another good reason not to trust Groser. On the standard a whole bunch of people shocked at Labour’s announcement on not withdrawing appear to not have even though about what withdrawing might mean.

                      I don’t know if Kelsey and co have done the work on this. Have a look at Brian Easton’s peice from last week, which is about not joining the TPP but could easily apply to leaving the TPP (only I would guess the reactions would be worse).


                    • The Chairman

                      Yes (it was done in secret) and yes (it’s a huge document and most people are still struggling to understand all the implications).

                      However, one would assume since the signing and official release last year, the withdrawal clause would have been well canvassed by the likes of Kelsey. Especially as the statement was aimed at TPPA protestors.

                      Moreover, now that we’ve signed, apart for seeking amendments or the deal not passing in the US, withdrawal is the only conceivable option.

                      Therefore, not only should the issue be seriously looked at, the possibility should be indicated to other member states, minimizing expectations, thus future fallout.

                      Unlike seeking amendments or withdrawal (which are recognized, thus an accepted part of the deal) flouting certain aspects of the deal is more likely to damage NZ’s reputation and that trust Easton (in your link) alludes too.

                      What’s shocking is Labour has blown their bargaining leverage, publicly stating that they won’t withdraw. All for the sake of appeasing the right?

                      Now, sure, some member states will be disappointed if we withdraw, but for reactions to be as bad as you and others suggest, some would have to feel they’ve lost out big time. And if they are losing out so bad, getting out would be wise.

                      Withdrawing would send the message NZ is not a easy pushover when it comes to negotiating future deals.

                    • pat

                      “What’s shocking is Labour has blown their bargaining leverage, publicly stating that they won’t withdraw. All for the sake of appeasing the right?”

                      suspect its a case of Labour seeking to keep onside those with the potential to replenish its war chest

                    • The Chairman


                      Isn’t that also their think tank’s objective?


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