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APEC, TPP, Crosby-Textor, Philip Morris & John Key

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, October 8th, 2013 - 76 comments
Categories: australian politics, capitalism, climate change, crosby textor, democracy under attack, energy, john key, slippery, Unions, us politics - Tags:

It’s curious than John Key has stepped into the breach to chair the TPP discussions, in Obama’s absence from APEC Summit.  Of course the anonymous NZ Herald Editorial claims it is something to cause kiwis to be proud.

I guess we won’t hear or read of Key being critical of the likes of Big Tobacco company Philip Morris, and the pressure it’s putting on the TPP negotiations to over-ride democratic legislation within (supposedly) sovereign states.  Prior to the start of the APEC Summit, some concerned medical experts had urged Key not to bow to one of the APEC sponsor’s Philip Morris.

Philip Pattemore and George Laking on NZ Doctor site last Friday stated:

Dear Mr Key

We note you are a featured speaker at the APEC CEO summit in Bali on 5-7 October. This meeting has, as a major sponsor, Sampoerna, an Indonesian subsidiary of Philip Morris, the tobacco giant that manufactures and markets Marlboro cigarettes.
[…]We are concerned that you as Prime Minister by participating in an Industry-sponsored conference will thereby accept an Industry service.  We do not see how it can be appropriate for the Prime Minister of New Zealand to speak at a tobacco company sponsored event.

We note that Philip Morris is engaged in an investor-state dispute with the Australian government over legislation for the plain packaging of cigarettes.  The industry claims this measure will cause billions of dollars of lost investment earnings based on its intellectual property – its logo and branding.  It is abundantly clear that the tobacco industry expects this legislation will decrease smoking.  Yet they ignore the public health implications and persist in trying to over-ride the democratic action of the Australian government.

The APEC website does indeed show that Sampoerna/Philip Morris is a platinum sponsor, though not one of the main hosts.  However, the main hosts are no less cause for concern, with them being mainly investment and/or BIG Energy type companies.

Nevertheless, I have been wondering how John Key got to be the Chair for the TPP discussions, given the networks of influence that link John Key and Philip Morris via Crosby-Textor, as I have already posted.  These networks also incorporate Big Oil, with anti-climate change agenda, as I included in my post:

John Key -Crosby Textor- big tobacco- big oil & fracking-Crosby Textor-David Cameron.

As I reported in that post, David Cameron had received a lot of public criticism for his Crosby-Textor linked connections with both Philip Morris and the fracking industry.

And to that, I would add London Mayor, Boris Johnson, who Key recently cosied up to in some photo ops.

Philip Morris Tobacco, is also linked with Big Oil.  Until recently they were part of the Altria group, which includes Big Oil (and wine).  According to Wikipedia,

According to the Center for Public Integrity, Altria spent around $101 million on lobbying the United States government between 1998 and 2004, making it the second most active organization in the nation.[16][17]

Altria also funded astroturf organisations such as The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition which lobbied against the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change.[18]

The Australian Council of Trade Unions, named Philip Morris as one of its concerns about the TPP discussions at APEC this week.

ACTU calls for leadership and restraint during the APEC leaders’ meeting in Bali amid fears the Coalition could sign away Australia’s right to protect itself against international lawsuits and enter patent deals that could see the cost of PBS medicines skyrocket by as much as 20 per cent.

ACTU president Ged Kearney said, “After almost four years of negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) Australia should expect immense pressure from the US to sign agreements that are not in our interests.”

“We could end up in a situation where foreign corporations are able to sue the Australian Government and vicariously tax payers for making laws that protect our best interest – for example, laws that protect farm land or our health. It’s outrageous.”

With the USA’s push to have certain clauses called “ISDS” foreign corporations could sue the Australian Government in response to developments like we are seeing in the area of coal seam gas exploration. Communities and farmers want appropriate analysis completed before exploration can begin. State governments have agreed to this but it could be overturned by foreign companies who would complain about lack of trading rights.”

“We are already seeing this issue with Phillip Morris suing the Australian government for introducing plain cigarette packaging. This is possibly due to an early 1990s investment treaty with Hong Kong.

“The ‘ISDS’ clause effectively gives corporations more rights than governments.

“It is important that the Prime Minister holds strong on these issues and not cave into pressure that would benefit the multinational corporations but handicap the Australian Government.

The ACTU statement goes on to express concern of issues like intellectual copyright and affordable medicine, which are also TPP concerns for many Kiwis.

So, John Key’s appearance as an Obama surrogate in Indonesia, is more cause for concern than celebration – just more of his crony capitalist, elitist, big corporate serving interactions that lack democratic transparency.

tpp-release-the-text

Putting the TPPA to the test

76 comments on “APEC, TPP, Crosby-Textor, Philip Morris & John Key”

  1. King Kong 1

    I didn’t read this because it looked too long and boring but the title had the whiff of conspiracy theory so can anyone sum up and tell me if the moon landings were faked or not?

    • Sable 1.1

      Yes just like internet spy networks that see data from Kiwis handed over the US was all a conspiracy theory. Wake up.

    • Bankster John Key has most of his money in shares in BOA. The TPP is a bankster financial deregulation tool and a backdoor looting institution making everything the big Corps do legal while the 99% are gagged, tied and bound to serve in the neo-feudal system this will create.

      What better to have John “the Smiling Assassin” Key do what he has been doing for the last 30 years. Close the deal with another difficult “customer or two. Lisping, effeminate and looking bloke, the collonial clot, who could not fall for his stumbling bumbling act!

      That short enough for ya. KK?

    • karol 1.3

      So you are commenting without any knowledge of what you’re commenting about? Cool. Don’t expect anyone to take you seriously then.

      Maybe things need to be written in comic strip form in short simple sentences to get your attention then, KK.

      • King Kong 1.3.1

        To be fair, a comic strip is probably not a bad format for some of these fevered fantasies.

        The Neo Lib/Evil Corporate Avengers, volume 1 – “Trading in Death”

    • fender 1.4

      Well you are a bigger fuckwit than I had previously realised King Kong. Why you would even bother commenting on something you aren’t prepared or able to study makes you look like the perfect Key supporter, again…you are a major fuckwit. Please do something worthy of a ban, because you are a complete waste of space on this great site.

      Another great post Karol, thank you, and don’t go changing to a one sentence writing format to appease any monkeys with concentration issues.

      • weka 1.4.1

        “Why you would even bother commenting on something you aren’t prepared or able to study makes you look like the perfect Key supporter, again…”

        I think you are being overly generous there fender. On a good day I’d call KK an out and out tr0ll. Other days he just strikes me as an arsehole.

        • fender 1.4.1.1

          +1
          complete arsehole

          • peterlepaysan 1.4.1.1.1

            Excuse me arse holes serve a useful purpose. I dare you to get rid of yours.

            It follows KK is not an arse hole.

            He is obviously capable of emitting shit.

            Not sure what the correct term for that is, DPF, whaleoil?

    • Paul 1.5

      Then don’t read it KK and go play with your friends at the sewerblog.
      Aren’t you on holiday at the moment?

      “The whiff of conspiracy theory”
      A conspiracy theory is an explanatory proposition that accuses two or more people, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through deliberate collusion, an event or phenomenon of great social, political, or economic impact.

      I guess you believe in ‘coincidence theory’ in life then.

    • Paul 1.6

      Conspiracy Fact # 1

      1605 The Gunpowder Plot to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament as prelude to a popular revolt in the Midlands, during which James’s nine-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was to be installed as the Catholic head of state; often called the Gunpowder Treason Plot.

      “A conspiracy theory is an explanatory proposition that accuses two or more people, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through deliberate collusion, an event or phenomenon of great social, political, or economic impact.”

      Or maybe it was a coincidence?

      • David H 1.6.1

        And the most interesting things about the Gunpowder Plot,
        1: Guy Fawkes managed to cheat the ‘Hangman’ because as he was being moved from the Gallows to the area for the Quartering he managed somehow to throw himself off of the gallows and break his neck.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes#Trial_and_execution

        And 2: The most interesting, Guy Fawkes is the only terrorist, who’s crimes have been celebrated every year since his attempt to destroy the English Government.

        • kenny 1.6.1.1

          The ‘celebrations’ are to mark the fact he was caught, not that he tried to commit the act.

    • Paul 1.7

      Conspiracy Fact # 2
      Conspiracies do actually happen a lot.

      The Manhattan Project 1940s

      The Manhattan Project was the code name for a project conducted during World War II to develop the first atomic bomb. The project was led by the United States, and included participation from the United Kingdom and Canada. Born out of a small research program in 1939, the Manhattan Project eventually employed more than 130,000 people and cost nearly US$2 billion ($22 billion in current value). It resulted in the creation of multiple production and research sites that operated in secret. With the total involved, this makes it one of the largest conspiracies in history. Entire towns were built for short periods of time, employing people, all under secrecy and top national secrecy at that. The government never admitted to it, the media never reported on it, and people had no idea for over 25 years.

      Or maybe it was a coincidence?
      Conspiracy theory is a term that originally was a neutral descriptor for any claim of civil, criminal or political conspiracy.

      • Lanthanide 1.7.1

        I don’t think a “conspiracy” involving 130,000 people is really a “conspiracy” so much as a “secret government programme”.

        • Paul 1.7.1.1

          “A conspiracy theory is an explanatory proposition that accuses two or more people, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through deliberate collusion, an event or phenomenon of great social, political, or economic impact.”

    • Paul 1.8

      Conspiracy Fact # 3
      Conspiracies do actually happen a lot.

      Watergate 1970s

      Watergate: Republican officials spied on the Democratic National Headquarters from the Watergate Hotel in 1972. While conspiracy theories suggested underhanded dealings were taking place, it wasn’t until 1974 that White House tape recordings linked President Nixon to the break-in and forced him to resign.

      Or maybe it was a coincidence?

    • Paul 1.9

      Conspiracy Fact # 4
      Conspiracies do actually happen a lot.

      The Iran-Contra Affair 1980s

      In 1985 and ’86, the White House authorized government officials to secretly trade weapons with the Israeli government in exchange for the release of U.S. hostages in Iran. The plot was uncovered by Congress in 1987.

      Or maybe it was a coincidence?

      • Colonial Viper 1.9.1

        🙂

        The cycle time from tin-foil hat wearer to widely accepted fact has today become shorter than ever!

        • King Kong 1.9.1.1

          Come on now!

          It turned out that it was true that the US traded arms to Iran in the 80’s therefore it must be true that the US Government brought its own buildings down on 9/11.

          You can do better than that.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.9.1.1.1

            @King Kong

            Strawman argument. You can do better than that. (Or perhaps not)

            Pauls points are very valid; that just because an interpretation of an event is labelled as an outlandish ‘conspiracy’ because it seems unbelievable at the time, hasn’t stopped it from being an accurate reflection of what is occurring.

            This point was made in relation to the post, which you didn’t read and the post had nothing to do with 911.

            Read up or shut up.

            It would be nice to see your comments moved to open mike because they have no relevance to this post.

            [karol: I generally leave it to someone else to move comments, as I have no confidence I’ll do it correctly – who knows where the comment may end up? If it becomes necessary, I’ll probably send the comments to moderation and ask someone else to put it in Open Mike]

            • King Kong 1.9.1.1.1.1

              So conspiracy theories can be true apart from the 9/11 one?

              [karol: can you all please keep your comments to the topic of the post, and not on any alleged conspiracies on other topics. KK, having not bothered to read the post, started this, & Paul moved it further into that territory, in order to be critical of KK’s comment]

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.9.1.1.1.2

              @ Karol,
              I was aware that my comment was heading in the direction of telling you how to moderate, and I apologise for that, I very much tried to word it in a way that wasn’t doing that!

              In short, your post is excellent, thank you, and it is a drag to have someone create such a severe distraction.

          • Paul 1.9.1.1.2

            Where did you get that from?
            I did not say the US Government brought its own buildings down on 9/11.

            I simply provided 4 pieces of evidence that suggest events happen because of conspiracies, not coincidence, which would seem to be your case as you use the disparaging definition of the word conspiracy. I tend to go for the less pejorative description of the words, where conspiracy theory is a term that is a neutral descriptor for any claim of civil, criminal or political conspiracy.

            On 9/11, I’m assuming you don’t believe that the buildings came down by coincidence. You believe that there was a conspiracy, I assume, organised by Osama bin Laden. That, KK, is a conspiracy theory.

            So you are a conspiracy theorist yourself. You just believe in different conspiracies.

      • weka 1.9.2

        “Conspiracies do actually happen a lot.”

        Great list Paul, would make a good guest post 🙂

        • Paul 1.9.2.1

          I have a few more, but thought I’d made my point!
          It was prompted by KK’s dismissive ‘conspiracy theory’ comment, which is now used all the time to shut down debate and discussion, when of course pretty much everything happens because of a conspiracy of some sort or other..if you accept the basic description of the words, where conspiracy theory is a term that is a neutral descriptor for any claim of civil, criminal or political conspiracy.

          It is interesting how the control of language by the neo-liberals is the way they get to control the discussion. Unquestioning believers like KK can’t see this.

          9/11 is the perfect example of this.
          People who believe the story about Osama Bin Laden, 19 hoijackers, box cutters, etc etc are conspiracy theorists as this was clearly a ‘conspiracy.’ Not a very believable one either.

    • Linz 1.10

      Just ignore King Kong. He’s craving attention again, poor little chappy.

    • emergency mike 1.11

      Tr0ll hungry, tr0ll got fed.

      Why feed it folks?

    • risildowgtn 1.12

      nah clown
      u cant read its THAT simple

    • North 1.13

      Real classy King Kong – “I didn’t read this……..” but sneer sneer sneer nevertheless.

      Well done. Classy !

    • David H 1.14

      Every Morning the Knuckles drag a little lower!

  2. captain hook 2

    kk is just a shit stirring little dweeb with no ideas of his own but to kissass from his masters who fund his whole little shabby show.
    no amount of antiseptic or anti biotic is suficient to put down his brand of suppurating evil.

  3. tinfoilhat 3

    Sponsorships at these international conferences doesn’t really amount to much influence at all. Back in the day when I was working, medical conferences were almost always sponsored by medical companies so they could get their banners up in the trade display halls and programmes – it didn’t make a jot of difference to the what we did in the hospital though.

    I’m sure both the learned gentleman also attend such conference where the sponsors are similar big name multinationals and it doesn’t colour the way they practice medicine.

    ….. oh and I am opposed to the TPPA unless I can see what it entails and what benefits there are in it for NZ.

    • BM 3.1

      This

      I was having a chat about conference sponsorship with the woman a couple of days ago
      She was showing me one conference she was involved with, they had sponsors for everything.

      And I really do mean everything, for example

      Sponsor for the after event drinks
      Sponsor for the bottled water
      Sponsor for the onsite cafe
      Sponsor for lunch
      Sponsor for Dinner
      Sponsor for the pens and paper
      etc
      etc.

      Big money events, these conferences.

    • karol 3.2

      Well if sponsorship doesn’t result in much influence, then why do companies spend money on it?

      And actually the APEC Summit foregrounds sponsors and talks up the opportunities for Big Business to engage with government reps.

      From APEC’S “Programme Highlights”:

      Hear from the Leaders of the Asia Pacific including President Xi Jinping of China, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, President Park Geun-Hye of Korea, President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico and Secretary of State John Kerry of the USA.

      Over 1,000 global business and thought leaders are expected to be in attendance, providing extensive networking opportunities with senior delegations in particular from China, the USA, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and Indonesia.

      And from APEC’s overview of the Summit:

      The Summit program will be exceptional and will include the Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Asia Pacific, some of whom are new, CEOs of global corporations and thought leaders in a dynamic interactive format.

      Through the discussions on stage, and through the high quality networking, delegates will gain the latest and perspective on the issues that matter most to your business and the region.

      And then there’s the dinner hosted by Philip Morris at this week’s APEC Summit, as on youtube:

      President Benigno S. Aquino III was honored with a sumptuous dinner hosted by Philip Morris Chief Executive Officer and APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) member Andre Calantzopolous after speaking at the APEC CEO Summit on “Why Inclusive Growth Matters”.

      The President was joined by other ABAC members from the Philippines, USA, South Korea, Indonesia, Peru and Russia.

      • Puddleglum 3.2.1

        Exactly. This isn’t sponsorship in the usual sense. It is buying access and influence – not a stall to advertise your wares.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 3.2.2

        Re sponsorship:

        ‘a new approach to marketing ideas has been created on the basis of psychological research that no longer is interested in directly targeting an audience’s conscious mind, but rather appeals to a subject’s unconscious and influences its behaviors and beliefs without he or she being aware of it. This is not ‘subliminal messaging,’ but rather a calculated and very well documented set of techniques”

        This article explains techniques that target the unconscious. The article is about muzak, mall design and product placement in films, however I believe that sponsorship is a form of product placement that employs just such techniques aimed at the unconscious.

        “All of these occurrences employ some level of unconscious influence exactly because they are encouraging consumers in a way that would not be popular if the public was aware of it. Unconscious motivation is not employed solely because of its success rates or as a result of the dramatic increase in advertising competition, but rather because it can make the public act on and believe in ideas that they would consciously reject. ~Brian Walsh

        Edit: Unsure whether the links are working

        http://www.ibiblio.org/nmediac/winter2002/mind.html

      • miravox 3.2.3

        thought leaders

        huh?

    • Tracey 3.3

      bullshit. That you think that doesnt make it true.

      sponsorship like advertising works

      THAT’S WHY COMPANIES SPEND MILLIONS/BILLIONS ON IT.

      It’s about access, inside running, inside info and sub conscious permeation of the punters. Yu are being very naive to think otherwise tinfoil

      • tinfoilhat 3.3.1

        Oh dear Tracey, I suppose I could respond with the same retort to you.

        Of course these gigantic conglomerates spend vast amounts of money they have vast amounts of morons at various echelons justifying their existence by spending it just because they do so does not automatically mean it causes a corruption. Let’s face it you have buffoons in NZ like Matthew Hooten who will happily spend up large and achieve very little indeed.

        It all depends on how open those who are subjected to the various PR and spin are to accepting and acting on it. For example George Laking is by all accounts an excellent oncologist up at Auckland and will attend conferences sponsored by pharma companies and medical companies regularly to suggest this effects the way he treats his patients would IMO be quite wrong.

        On the subject of tobacco companies I wish they wold all disappear tomorrow but I don’t think they have much, if any effect on NZ governments.

        I believe that the fact that last several NZ governments have been quite cowardly towards tobacco in NZ has far more to do with the loss of the tax take and alienating smoking voters than anything else.

        • Tracey 3.3.1.1

          Of course you are entitled to your opinion. I am not saying they have total control but nor do I assume that people are able to repel every tactic they use.

          Jaques Ellul postulated that in fact the intelligentsia were the most susceptible to propaganda and its tactics because they are like sponges to information they receive and love to disseminate it. These are the very people who scoff at propaganda because “they” are able to rebuff it.

          • karol 3.3.1.1.1

            Actually, in the case of APEC, I don’t think it’s just about the dark marketing arts of persuasion (with strong use of propaganda techniques). The whole Summit is promoted as a place for business people to network with government reps.

            Networking is a strategy promoted by many kinds of workplaces, as a way to achieve things for your workplace. in the case of APEC, and it’s association with TPP this week, is that it’s all the big corporates that are primarily positioned to network with government spokespeople.

            And then there corporates like Philip Morris hosting dinners.

            And John key is very much into that kind of networking with influential business people and others – since he decided to play golf way back.

            • Tracey 3.3.1.1.1.1

              I agree that it is being touted as an opportunity for business and delegations of govts to network. My comment regarding propaganda was specifically to tinfoil’s last comment.

              the “sponsorship” is just the smokescreen to legitimise their presence.

              Wayne has rarely commented, that I have seen, on the presence of the 400-600 corporates in this whole process of defining the TPP. They wouldnt be part of it if they weren’t trying to achieve something beyond what comes their way via the standard FTA.

              • Paul

                Yes, Wayne, still not had an answer to this simple question.
                “But it’s o.k. for 600 corporations to give advice and be in on the meetings, ?

              • karol

                Yes, Tracey. Agree with you. I was commenting on Tinfoil’s comments as as much as your’s.

            • Tracey 3.3.1.1.1.2

              For example I know of a major event in NZ which is televised and sponsored by a large bank. That Bank, as part of its sponsorship demands, and I use that word accurately to be sat next tot he PM every year. The event lasts a minimum of 4 hours. Each table has about 10 people. Sponsors are buying the opportunity to have the ear of an influential politician for the evening. For a member of the electorate to get that opportunity (dinner with the PM), they have to bid on it to win at an Auckland Grammar Cricket fundraiser!

            • tinfoilhat 3.3.1.1.1.3

              Yes….. ?

              I must admit I’m not sure what we’re arguing about, if anything.

              As I said i’m not convinced of any benefits of the TPPA as I haven’t seen any of the details, but I can’t really get excited about the sponsors at a conference organised by a foreign government at which we are pretty much obliged to attend. There’s certainly lots to have a go at Key about but I don’t see anything in this at all.

              • karol

                One of my points is that there’s not a lot to get exited about with Key chairing that discussion – in contrast to the NZ Herald saying we should be proud Key is chairing it.

                Also, it’s in the discussions behind the scenes at such summits that fair bit of the deal making, or groundwork for it, is done.

                The doctor website I referred to also is keen for Key to reject Philip Morris’s influence at the summit.

                • tinfoilhat

                  Don’t know why anyone bothers reading the herald, they’ll conflate any little non event into a story on a slow news day.

                  As I commented previously in relation to the two Drs press release – I don’t think it would be politic for Key to comment on the sponsors of a conference at which he’s an invited attendee – I pretty much doubt he knows who most of the sponsors are, I really think this is a non story.

                  • karol

                    The sponsors would be upset to learn they’ve paid so much to be sponsors and to get front row seats for their CEOs etc, and the pollies didn’t even notice them.

                    I was alerted to the sponsor angle by the Doctor statement, then went to the APEC site. There looked to be too much focus on the engagement with the big corporates in the raitonale for the Summit. This is in keeping with who has the power in the TPP negotiations and other policies.

                    Also, there’s a lot of evidence about how corporates like Philip Morris, in tandem with Crosby Textor have had the ear of politicians – David Cameron in the UK for instance – I’ve linked to that evidence in previous posts.

          • tinfoilhat 3.3.1.1.2

            John Key part of the intelligentsia….. thanks for that I haven’t laughed so much in ages.

            • karol 3.3.1.1.2.1

              Key is part of the propagandensia. The intelligentsia referred to above are the ones who claim that are not influenced by snake oil promotions.

              • tinfoilhat

                I’m sure the first thing that’s given to new MPs is a membership card to the propagandensia !

  4. fender 4

    Obama has been quite a disappointment in too many ways, but having Key substitute for him has to be the ultimate booby prize. Highlights how sycophantic head nodders can get new gigs though, yes-men on parade.

  5. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5

    The ‘people at the top’ must be utterly crazed. They are the ones who have most benefitted from the way the system is and yet they are acting to completely undermine it in trying to push through an ‘agreement’ like the TPP.

    Ergo they are the ones who will end up losing the most when their actions cause this system to come crashing down. And it will. In fact it already is.

    I’ll correct that to utterly crazed self destructive twerps.

  6. Tracey 6

    “This meeting has, as a major sponsor, Sampoerna, an Indonesian subsidiary of Philip Morris…”

    The fact that it is sponsored by those seeking to benefit from it leaves more than just a sour taste in the mouth. The sponsor wont be privy to drafts or negotiations? Yeah Right.

  7. Wayne 7

    Karol,

    I know I will see you tomorrow, but I just don’t get your issue here, other than your general view about conspiracies and John Key.

    Obviously a PM or President of one of the negotiating nations has to chair the meeting. It seems that NZ was largely chosen because we are the registry for the TPP. Clearly all 12 nations in the TPP negotiations because they want TPP to happen.

    Although it would be a true conspiracy theory if a nation had joined the TPP negotiations to specifically sabotage the negotiations. Try Canada anyone?

    In any event that nation will not be NZ.

    I would also note that ACTU giving advice to PM Abbott is unlikely to be well received. If they were serious they might have tried to use a “friendlier” conduit for their message. But I guess PM Abbott was not really the target audience for the press release.

    • Paul 7.1

      “I would also note that ACTU giving advice to PM Abbott is unlikely to be well received. If they were serious they might have tried to use a “friendlier” conduit for their message. But I guess PM Abbott was not really the target audience for the press release.”

      But it’s o.k. for 600 corporations to give advice and be in on the meetings, Wayne?

    • karol 7.2

      Wayne, what does it mean that NZ s the Registry for TPP, other than NZ was one of the original countries involved in the negotiations and is the “administrator”?

      TPP has moved on since the earlier days and now, as well as more countries being involved, the US is dominating the negotiations.

      Then, after meeting with other countries’ reps. Key had talks with the US trade rep Mike Froman.

      Given that Obama is dominating the negations, and it seems likely nothing will be decided without him, it looks like Key is considered a subservient enough ally to chair the discussion.

      Key will be in the hot seat for the 12-member Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, after United States President Barack Obama pulled out of the conference.

      The talks will be crucial to meeting the US target of a deal by the end of the year, although

      After a tough round of bilateral talks on the fringes of the summit, Key heading into the meeting with Froman late last night (NZ time) warned of difficulties ahead to achieve the deal.

      • Wayne 7.2.1

        Not really that surprising he would talk to the US trade rep, actually for the reason you stated, they are the largest economy among the 12 negotiating states.

        Actually this government values the US relationship, and getting to speak to their main players is sought after. Basically the NZ government puts its main focus on Australia, China and the US. I would ask, realistically would you have it any other way?

        And getting to speak to the main players in China and the US is always sought after by everyone. For a small country it is pretty hard to get “face” time with them, since so many other nations also are looking for it.

        • karol 7.2.1.1

          I would prefer if our government took more of an independent line in negotiating with the various countries. I think Key’s government panders too much to the US government and to US-based (and other) corporates.

          I would expect US reps to be quite a bit of pressure on Key, given Obama’s absence. There were also signs that the US administration put heavy pressure on Clark re Trade & military deals, during her time as PM.

          BTW, if NZ is the administrator of the TPP, why was the leader of late arrival in the negotiations, the US government/President, initially going to chair the TPP discussions this week?

        • Paul 7.2.1.2

          And what would you sell for that Wayne?
          Copyright law
          Pharmac
          The ability of corporates to sue the NZ government it it changes the law against their interests.

        • Anne 7.2.1.3

          Actually this government values the US relationship, and getting to speak to their main players is sought after.

          No more so than the previous government Wayne. In fact it was the Labour govt. that took the initiatives to rebuild the relationship between 1999 and 2008. The fruits of their ‘labour’ became apparent after National came to power, which enabled your PM to claim all the credit. A decent PM would have acknowledged the work done by the previous government but I certainly don’t recall it happening. I guess that has never been Key’s style. He likes to have all the honour and glory for himself.

  8. Ramsay 8

    This is all a bit Glen Beck for my tastes.

    • Tracey 8.1

      arguing with idiots?

      • Ramsay 8.1.1

        I’m referring to the drawing of lines between supposedly related parties on the (digital) chalkboard and the “through the looking glass” mentality.

        • karol 8.1.1.1

          Ramsay, I have done a long string of posts on the theme of Key’s networks. So I tend not to repeat everything I have said before. It’s a dense mix of intersecting and overlapping networks. And they are something crucial to key’s MO.

          I recall under one post way back, I indicated a particular weekend when I thought Key had met with Ian Fletcher prior to his appointment as GCSB chief. Some right winger made exactly the kind of comment you have made here, about that guess on my part – it was a very educated guess, and I was pretty certain I was correct – and later it was confirmed by Key, in a public statement, that he had met Fletcher that particular weekend.

          I have a fairly strong background in research, and am used to following strongly indicated hunches and educated guesses – I look carefully for clues. Sometimes, with the lack of transparency around a lot of Team Key’s dealings, with the likes of TPP, we can only read carefully through and with the information we have.

  9. Tracey 9

    Tinfoil

    who accused key of being part of the intelligentsia?

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  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
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    15 hours ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
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    17 hours ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
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    17 hours ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
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    1 day ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
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    1 day ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
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    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
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    2 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
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    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
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    3 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
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    4 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
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    4 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
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    5 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
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    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
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    5 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
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    6 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
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    6 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
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    7 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
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    7 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
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    7 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
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    7 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
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    1 week ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
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    1 week ago