Cunliffe declares war on National and the TPPA

Written By: - Date published: 8:05 am, September 17th, 2013 - 178 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, Economy, john key - Tags:


Wow.  Day one and already David Cunliffe is in sprint mode.  He has rightfully calculated that he has maybe a short honeymoon period and he may as well take advantage of it.  He has started to use the language of battle to describe the contest between Labour and National.

From Stuff:

The party was on a “war-footing” with its election campaign starting from “day one”.

“We are taking the fight to the Key government,” he said. “They are on notice that their easy days are over.”

Cunliffe will meet each MP over the next week and reshuffle his frontbench team next week

While he didn’t expect those who didn’t vote for him to quit, he did expect their loyalty, he said.

“There is a new train leaving the station and I want everybody on it,” he said. “There will be one set of rules for all. It will be a meritocracy, we will do the very best we can for the whole party and for New Zealanders.

He has very deftly positioned free trade as a political issue.  He has said that the draft Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement should be put in the public domain so that a proper debate on whether NZ should endorse it can occur.  According to TV3:

In his first full press conference, Mr Cunliffe challenged the Government to “have the courage of its convictions” and put the negotiating draft into the public domain so it can make up its own mind.

But Prime Minister John Key says that won’t happen.

Free trade is one of those difficult debates for the Labour Party.  I can recall having some embarassment where at a recent Labour Regional Conference I argued publicly that the TPPA should be supported only with a number of conditions.  A group of Princes Streeters argued that we should just oppose it and I must admit that my heart said that this was right.

The following is the text of the resolution passed at the November 2012 conference.  My reading of the resolution is that it is pretty well impossible for the TPPA to be passed if all of the conditions have to be met.  This may be the intent.

THAT in light of the Labour Party’s strong commitment to both the benefits of international trade and New Zealand’s national sovereignty, and recognising the far-reaching implications for domestic policy of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, in which trade is only a small part, Labour will support signing such an agreement only if it:

a) Provides substantially increased access for our agriculture exports to the US market;

b) Does not undermine PHARMAC, raise the cost of medical treatments and medicines or threaten public health measures such as tobacco control;

c) Does not give overseas investors or suppliers any greater rights than domestic investors and suppliers, such as Investor-State Dispute Settlement, or reduce our ability to control overseas investment or finance;

d) Does not expand intellectual property rights and enforcement in excess of current law;

e) Does not weaken our public services, require privatisation, hinder reversal of privatisations, or increase the commercialisation of government organisations;

f) Does not reduce our flexibility to support local economic and industry development and encourage good employment and environmental practices;

g) Contains enforceable labour clauses requiring adherence to core International Labour Organisation conventions and preventing reduction of labour rights for trade or investment advantage;

h) Contains enforceable environmental clauses preventing reduction of environmental standards for trade or investment advantage;

i) Has general exceptions to protect human rights, the environment, the Treaty of Waitangi, and New Zealand’s economic and financial stability;

j) Had been negotiated with full public consultation including regular public releases of drafts of the text of the agreement, and ratification being conditional on a full social, environmental and economic impact assessment including public submissions.

Cunliffe’s insistence on public disclosure of the draft is perfectly in accordance with party policy and elegantly places the issue of the TPPA in the public domain.  Even if you are an ardent free trader, why should the text of the treaty not be available?

And Key’s suggestion that a broad outline is enough frankly does not cut it.  If we are allowed to look at the general principles why can’t we look at the detail?  Proper consultation requires full disclosure of what is being proposed.

Meanwhile all eyes will be on Question time in Parliament this afternoon although I would suggest that a cautious approach is best.  Key is great at the jack the lad stuff but not so good on the detail.

178 comments on “Cunliffe declares war on National and the TPPA ”

  1. Outofbed 1

    I thought I recognised a few Green party members in that shot, eh Mark?

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      That is the most awesomest post photo, MS. Who ever said Cunliffe was “OTT” when we have you!

      More seriously, to those who claimed that Cunliffe was not sincere about the positions he was taking during the leadership debates. I think you are getting the answer loudly and clearly. Even Audrey Young and John Armstrong think so.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        From Braveheart. I swear that movie was written about the Labour Party. It is full of intrigue and back stabbing and treachery but eventually the good guys win 🙂

      • srylands 1.1.2

        “That is the most awesomest post photo, MS.”

        It is bizarre and childish is what it is.

  2. geoff 2

    Go Dave! The TPPA is the epitomy of neo-liberal/multi-national-corporate dreck and therefore an excellent starting point.

  3. BM 3

    The party was on a “war-footing” with its election campaign starting from “day one”.

    War footing, what is this,the crusades.?

    “We are taking the fight to the Key government,” he said. “They are on notice that their easy days are over.”

    Translation, Every person who has gone before me was hopeless, but never fear your true leader has arrived, glory days are ahead, bask in my magnificence, my lessers.

    While he didn’t expect those who didn’t vote for him to quit, he did expect their loyalty, he said.

    Translation, Do as I say, not as I’ve done.

    • karol 3.1

      When was Cunliffe disloyal to a Labour Caucus leader?

      • BM 3.1.1

        It’s well known he under mined Goff and Shearer.

        All that carry on at the last conference wasn’t for nothing.
        I remember Shane Jones accusing Cunlife of being some whare eating insect, hardly flattering words from a senior member of caucus.

        • karol

          It’s well known he under mined Goff and Shearer.

          Citations needed.

        • mickysavage

          Yep knock us out BM and give us the source of your claims. And do not rely on Slater …

          • King Kong

            Chris Hipkins, Annette King, Shane Jones and David Parker all seemed pretty sure.

            So who to believe? Half the Labour caucus or the gigantically egotistical man with such burning leadership ambitions he was willing to completely abandon his entrenched political principles in order to win.

            • karol

              You mean the same people who didn’t want to have a democratic election of the leader by the wider party? Cunliffe has said otherwise, as reported on TVNZ:

              after questions @3min 24 – on Chris Hipkins and the claims Cunliffe challenged for the leadership at last year’s conference, Cunliffe said:

              Well, no. If I correct your there. No. There were comments made by a number of caucus colleagues around the time of our conference last year. That was not a leadership challenge. That was a constitutional debate. But for the record. Chris and I have spoken since. He’s been clear that those comments no longer stand. They’ve been retracted. And we’re on good terms.

              So you are believing the say so of the people who chose the last 2 failed Labour caucus leaders?

              As opposed to a lot of people at the conference who saw no evidence of any coup.

              So, do you have any actual evidence that said coup attempt ever happened?

              • King Kong

                What would you know. You support the Greens so your position is based on “because some people who support Cunliffe told me so”.

                At least I am relying on the word of people who aren’t annoymous and we know for a fact are privy to the inside track.

                • thatguynz

                  And yet again KK you’ve demonstrated that you are a complete twat. What Karol has said correlates 100% with what people who WERE ACTUALLY AT conference said.

                  Get your head out of your arse and try fucking listening for once. Or, perish the thought – try using the search function here as it was discussed ad nauseum at the time.

                • miravox

                  You’ve not read the new Gossman Ruling yet, have you KK?

                  • King Kong

                    No I hadn’t so perhaps when I say annoymous it should be replaced with psuedonymous.

                    Nitpicking in my book. You still have no way of trusting the authenticity of a comment either way. And I know that applies to me as well.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ King Kong

                      “You still have no way of trusting the authenticity of a comment either way”

                      Funny, that is exactly the view I take of the mainstream media.

                      Having had rather a lot of people and events I know about reported in newspapers, and having noted each time major errors in the reporting, twisted facts or major omissions of the subject-matter, I do not take verbatim what is said
                      by reporters; name supplied or not.

                      This is especially the case when issues going against mainstream orthodoxy are being ‘addressed’ .

                    • miravox

                      the thing is kk, i’ve read Karol’s posts and comments for a couple of years now and do trust what she writes. There’s a consistency and thoroughness in all writing from the person with that pseudonym that leads me to judge that person as knowledgeable and trustworthy. This make her comments far weightier than those of an anonymous c.commenter.

                      I trust something Karol writes a whole lot more than any face to face comment from someone i barely know in real life who says they know someone who saw somethimg at the conference.

            • Tracey

              Do you accept any of those people had a vested interest in painting ill of cunliffe?

              • King Kong

                Why would they. He had already been heavily beaten for the leadership by Shearer and been stuffed back in his box. The only reason you would need to remind him that he was still a loser is if he was…staging a coup.

  4. Jim Nald 4

    “Cunliffe’s insistence on public disclosure of the draft is perfectly in accordance with party policy and elegantly places the issue of the TPPA in the public domain. Even if you are an ardent free trader, why should the text of the treaty not be available?”


    I’m all for fair trade. Trade that is fair to NZ.

    As the draft is not publicly disclosed, I don’t know what I don’t know. And I don’t know that it will indeed be fair and free.

  5. Tim 5

    “Even if you are an ardent free trader, why should the text of the treaty not be available?”

    Possibly because “ardent free-traders” are never ACTUALLY ardent free-traders – hence the love of large corporates, monopolies & duopolies, corporate welfare & bailouts, trickle down theory and sustained (rather than sustainABLE) growth.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      If you look at the development of “free trade” it has always been a strategy which is pushed only once the economic powers of the day have technological and product dominance.

      Hence Great Britain started to push the “free trade” doctrine only after the industrial revolution gave it an unsurmountable edge in product manufacture and technology. But up until that point they had jealously protected their industries to ensure their survival and to ensure they had time to grow and strengthen.

  6. Ad 6

    We have got nowhere near integrating the impact of the great Chinese FTA, let alone going for more. I am not keen on protectionism as the things we are good at we beat the world at, and we are generally rewarded for it.

    But what we have gained and endured from our Chinese trade interaction recently – including the global reputation of our only locally owned multinational exporter – is a model of the disruption caused by New Zealand’s tiny scale and vulnerability.

    David is right to ask the strategic question.

    The government needs to run the cold ruler over our national interest before we get into more major trade agreements. We cannot afford to be so vulnerable.

    Perhaps we are sufficiently free trade enough, and we need a cup of tea before we enter into more. Cunliffe understands the word sovereignty, and we are going to hear more of it.

  7. vto 7

    Slick move, pulling that immediately into the public consciousness…

    It goes to the heart of the spying and secrecy issues recently in the headlines by way of Key wanting to keep it secret.

    It goes directly to LP policy.

    It gets the public thinking about the issue and wondering about National Party loyalties – skycity, warner brothers, kim dotcom, USA treachery…

    It is a bold and strong move to even suggest bringing it into public, given Labour has not done so before in such a manner. It shows courage.

    Like the great photo from Braveheart leading this post, he is charging in at full speed………


  8. Wayne 8

    David Cunliffe needs to ask whether NZ as one of 11 negotiating parties can actually unilaterally disclose drafts. These decisions are made by the negotiating group as a whole. And I can’t see him (as a PM) actually releasing them unilaterally. Even if he decided to pull NZ out of the negotiations, he would not do that if he wanted any country to trust NZ in the future.

    Mind you he could certainly argue for more transparency.

    Now I don’t believe that he would pull NZ out of the TPP negotiations, but if that is his policy going forward, it will make for a very interesting election.

    From what I read on this site, I would not be surprised if the NZLP conference revisits the TPP issue with delegates wanting to pull NZ out. Would the Caucus follow?

    Pulling out would be a real signal that Labour is shifting Left. And the first time that Labour has its trade policy determined by Jane Kelsey.

    Maybe the Nats would like Labour to do this. Since Jane’s views are hardly those of middle NZ. Being able to describe Labour as Hard Left, with real evidence to back it up, would probably be seen as an electioneering gift by the Nats.

    But it would be a major departure from a long held bipartisan trade policy, and in my view not in New Zealand’s best interests.

    • Tracey 8.1

      “Pulling out would be a real signal that Labour is shifting Left. And the first time that Labour has its trade policy determined by Jane Kelsey. ”

      Had you ever considered that she is correct?

        • vto

          Wayne, can you please explain the issue below around why businessmen get to see the TPP but private people do not?

        • Tracey

          Which is why politicians are the last people to trust for judgment of an issue because their minds are closed by their ideology.

          Are you prepared to debate the benefits to NZ of the treaty with Jane Kelsey Wayne?

        • Wayne


          I should add I used to teach International Trade Law at Auckland University Law School 20 years ago. I actually used to get Jane to teach 25% of the course (which was my course), since I thought it was essential that students got the full spectrum of views, if they were to develop critical thinking on trade issues.

          So I have actually thought a lot about these issues.

          It will be no surprise to you that it is axiomatic for the Right (and the Centre Left) that expanding international trade increases net economic gain.There is a vast amount of economic literature on this point. Now I appreciate that expanding trade opportunities does lead to change as protected sectors open up, but it is beyond doubt that the net gain is positive.

          For instance the China FTA has had major benefits for NZ, and helped us through the GFC. It was done by Labour with National votes in Parliament. Without the Nat support, it could not have got through Parliament, since the Greens and NZF were opposed.And this could also be the case with TPP.

          Free trade was one of my main interests when I was in Parliament. And it is the one subject that I always comment on in this blog.

          • Tracey

            Thanks Wayne, I look forward to your answers to my other questions.

          • Bill

            expanding international trade increases net economic gain

            You might think so. But, if unregulated imports from lower waged economies slaughter domestic industry, then the claim doesn’t hold.

            And even if it does hold, we have to ask who it benefits. Not the people who lost their jobs.

            And y’know, since we (allegedly) live in a democracy and yet these deals are signed off without any input from the general populace…

            Meanwhile, I cannot think of a single country that was subjected to SAPs…FTAs of the 80’s and 90’s…where the society has experienced anything other than negative consequences (although the ‘extra-societal’ monied elites and corporates did just fine)

            • Wayne


              Has the China FTA been bad for NZ? Imagine if we did not have preferential access to China over the last few years. Now I suspect you will raise Hillside, but even if where correct on that, the loss there has been vastly offset by the gain elsewhere.

              And farm profits do circulate broadly through NZ. It is not just the 10,000 diary farmers, it is all the farm workers, contractors, virtually every engineering firm throughout NZ, service providers throughout all the provincial cities. And in the main cities, all the extra activity generated from the provinces.

              If the China FTA did not exist, our economy would be about 5% smaller, and unemployment would be around 8%.

              And you are surely not going to condemn CER.

              New Zealand, more than most countries needs free trade.

              But I guess I won’t convince you. But it is looking like that this could be a big election issue, if Labour is stupid enough to make it so.

              Though I suspect Mr Cunliffe will say just enough to pacify the left wing, but not enough to make this a big election issue. It will be a test for his political skill.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                @ Wayne,

                I thought Bill made a very good point re lost jobs and note you didn’t address that point. I would be interested if you did.

                It seems to me that when someone says ‘net benefit’ they need to factor in the bad with the good. Doing this calculation dismissing some major damages makes it easy to prove something is good. The ‘proof’, achieved in this way, however, is baloney.

                Job losses are a major issue with these type of arrangements. Job losses lead to less custom for NZ businesses because people don’t have the money to pay for their products or services. It also leads to greater welfare costs.

                I am also aware that there is much time being spent trying to work out why our estuaries–nationwide–are being silted up and how to make them healthier. As I understand it, this major problem is due to the run off from farms and the planting along rivers and streams that has occurred has not been as successful as hoped.

                So it appears that the trade agreement that supports farmers is creating some damaging issues.

                To access the advantages of a trade agreement, we not only have to see the benefits, we have to weigh up the problems being created (not dismiss them).

                We also need to ask:
                If we didn’t have a trade agreement what would occur?
                Perhaps people would get more creative and diversify and both the issues, of pollution and job scarcity might lessen.

          • Jane Kelsey

            Dear Wayne

            I would be delighted to debate the TPPA with you, given that your Trade Minister has been unwilling to do so.

            However, I am puzzled about having taught 25% of your course – I seem to recall maybe one or two invited lectures, and the same from you to my course.

            As for the China FTA, you will be well aware – especially in light of the many recent problems with the dairy trade – that throwing a tariff cut at the dairy sector is not the same as fostering balanced economic development for New Zealand, even for its agri-export industries. There are many aspects of the agreement with China that are not well understood and will cause considerable angst in the future. One example is Labour’s much-touted exclusion of the rights of Chinese investors to non-discrimination is establishing an investment, which has now been overridden by their right to enjoy similar treatment given to Taiwan’s investments in the NZ Taiwan FTA (negotiated on behalf of NZ, BTW, by Charles Finny from Saunders Unsworth). The China deal becomes even more complex when the US is using the TPPA as the means to commit parties to a set of rules that are inconsistent with the approach of countries in their FTAs with China and being promoted in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations.

            So if someone sets up the debate, I say bring it on ….

            • mickysavage

              Thanks Jane and Wayne. Sounds like someone should step up and organise something.

              How would you both feel about the Fabians?

              • Bill

                A couple of guest posts with follow up ‘right of reply’ posts from each? Just a thought.

                • Tracey


                  These are lawyers, lets get them in a proper debate. Not the written word. With proper rebuttal etc

              • vto

                Best forum is a controlled on-line blog debate where the only permitted participants are Wayne and Jane.

                That way good long reasoned debate of the issues and their detail can be had, and viewed and followed by viewers and followers. An old-school type debate between two people on a stage where they get 5-25 minutes each with cross questions at the end will not suffice.

                Take advantage of this new whizz-bang blog technology I say.

                Perhaps The Standard can set the new standard.

            • Tracey

              And perhaps Wayne will answer my oft repeated question in this thread…

              Has he read the draft or any version of the TPPA?

            • marty mars

              Good on you Jane you are doing great things for this country and its people. Kia kaha.

            • Wayne


              Happy to debate, though I suspect the Fabian society might have a loaded audience. Oh well, that will be OK.

              By the way, I thought it was 4 lectures in a single semester course, but maybe it was only 2 lectures.

              Incidentially on Fonterra, I think NZ is quite exposed by having so much of its exports going through a single company.

              As for the Taiwan FTA, that will have been done with the specific approval of China. So NZ now has FTA’s with China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It is a package which will have had the approval of the PRC.

              • Tracey


                Does the audience matter? You will be in a debate with Jane, audience just watches…

                • Wayne

                  As I indicated I am happy to debate, including at the Fabian society.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Wayne is right: “home advantage” etc.

                  Wayne, what is your defence of the secrecy surrounding the negotiations? The foreign policy is too complicated for citizens? That the realpolitik involved would turn everyone’s stomachs?

                  The modern day equivalent of the Flat Earth Society still has a significant influence on economic policy: Friedman and Keynes cannot both be right. The rights of governments to manage economies as they see fit is crucial; any trade agreement that limits those rights must be viewed with extreme suspicion.

            • Murray Olsen

              Wayne possibly meant 25% by content, not by hours.

            • mickysavage

              Fabians have confirmed that they would host a debate.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Now I appreciate that expanding trade opportunities does lead to change as protected sectors open up, but it is beyond doubt that the net gain is positive.


            It’s possible that trade can produce a positive result but it most certainly is not axiomatic that that is always true.

            Besides, the TPP isn’t about free-trade – it’s about free capital which is a far different beast.

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      David Cunliffe needs to ask whether NZ as one of 11 negotiating parties can actually unilaterally disclose drafts. These decisions are made by the negotiating group as a whole.

      Do you think that NZ citizens are the only country’s citizens who want to see the full text of this “free trade agreement”?

      How is it that so many governments are keeping the text secret from their citizens, whereas multinationals’ corporate lawyers and their boards of directors have no problem accessing the full text?

      What makes those people so fucking special and privileged? Who voted those people in?

      Looks like a major moral and democratic problem of governments acting against their citizens’ best interests, doesn’t it?

      • vto 8.2.1

        What do you mean private corporate citizens get to see the text

        But private personal citzens don’t get to see the text?

        Is that right? If so, that’s fucked. Completely.

        Wayne, what the …….. ? explain

        Or are you hog-tied by your corporate masters. Compromised is our wayne. Compromised is the whole shit box around this.

      • Wayne 8.2.2

        I agree a bit more disclosure would be a good thing. Public expectations for openness has increased over time, and diplomats need to be aware of that fact. And the lack of disclosure is harming public acceptability.

        And I am not talking about those who are always opposed to free trade. In my view they simply have to be defeated (and fortunately usually are).

        But that does not mean every aspect should be disclosed. Negotiating parties need some room to trade off and where they might compromise, without disclosing their entire position.

        And if TPP is to succeed, everyone is going to have to shift a bit. That is why the NZLP remit is not practical, since it would give no room to move. Not that a remit that is so specific could actually determines Govt policy. Members at a conference simply do not have enough information to be be able to dictate the minutiae of government policy to that extent.

        But maybe Labour will be different and will see conference remits as a definitive bible to be implemented in every detail, with Ministers being mere cyphers. It certainly would be a novel proposition.

        • Tracey

          Remember this and the other promises of transparency to counter the wickedly dictatorial and undemocratic labour goveremnt?

          Wayne have you read the draft or any version of the TPPA?

        • Tracey

          “Negotiating parties need some room to trade off and where they might compromise, without disclosing their entire position.”

          Given the number of negotiations held since 2008 it is unlikely anyone has managed to keep any part of their hand hidden by middle of 2013.

          Can you confirm that there a a large number of “corporate advisors” involved in the negotiations?

          Have you ever been opposed to a free trade deal for New Zealand? If yes, which one an do you have a link to you on record for that opposition?

          • Tracey

            I asked this because there are some people who are never opposed to a trade agreement no matter the circumstances.

    • Tracey 8.3

      Given you dont know what the draft says what do you base your claim it is in NZ’s best interests? Mr key’s word? Something else?

    • thatguynz 8.4

      There’s your first mistake Wayne – postulating that the TPPA is actually about “trade”. Even the leaked documents have demonstrated that that is not the primary agenda of the TPPA. I’m sure you have already read those so I can only assume you are being disingenuous.

      • Tracey 8.4.1

        I am also interested on what Wayne bases his conclusions given he cannot have actually seen the draft.

      • Wayne 8.4.2

        Modern FTA’s are always broader than trade in goods. Look at the China FTA for instance. Even RCEP will be broad based.

        As modern economies become more focussed on services and IP, these things need to be part of negotiation if you want to open up the economy to international competition. And importantly give access for our companies in the service sector to compete in international markets – accounting services, engineering, govt procurement, generics, film, software, etc.

        • Tracey

          Have you seen a draft or any version of the TPPA? If no, how can you know what you believe will happen is provided for?

        • thatguynz

          Wayne, there is a distinct difference between an agreement being “broader than trade in goods” and being primarily a control mechanism with beneficial or fair trade elements coming a distant second.

          Again, I would be very surprised if you didn’t already know this so I suggest you are being disingenuous.

        • vto

          Wayne you fall straight into the trap. IP is simply a new form of capital rentier behaviour, nothing more. You could do with dwelling on the consequences…….

          • geoff

            That’s what Wayne wants. Either that or he is so indoctrinated that he simply cannot see the harm that these so called ‘free-trade’ agreements cause to people and the environment.

    • weka 8.5

      . And the first time that Labour has its trade policy determined by Jane Kelsey.

      Maybe the Nats would like Labour to do this. Since Jane’s views are hardly those of middle NZ.

      I would hazard a guess that much of middle NZ doesn’t know much about the TPP (the bits that are in the public domain), and a good chunk of them would struggle to say what letters TPPA stand for.

      • Wayne 8.5.1

        Indeed, and I don’t imagine that David Cunliffe will want to make the election about free trade.

        There are much easier (and understandable to middle NZ) things around like housing and school meals for every child in Decile 1 to 3 schools. To be fair, the latter point is my solution, not NZLP policy.

        • Tracey

          what does “middle nz” actually look like, in your mind Wayne? And, have you read a draft or any version of, the TPPA?

          • Wayne

            I have read the drafts that are in the public domain and have some appreciation of the NZ position on the main areas of TPP.

            Mind you in such a complex negotiation with many different patties the trade offs will be difficult. And especially with Japan in the mix. But since Japan is wanting to boost its position with the US, and since PM Abe won such a large mandate (and TPP was part of the election debate), he might be prepared to give a bit of Japan’s historic position on trade issues including agriculture in order to keep the US close on security issues.

            But if TPP is successfully negotiated in lets say the next twelve months, it would be a huge call for NZ not to ratify, especially if it looked like everyone else was to ratify. And I do not think any conceivable NZ govt would take that risk.

            In saying that I do not think a Green led govt is conceivable, but would the Greens try and make this a condition of joining govt? I don’t think so, since Labour would just go as a minority govt in such a situation.

            But I am aware of the view that even if President Obama is successful in achieving TPP, the Congress will not ratify it.

            • Tracey

              Can you clarify what you mean by this

              “some appreciation of the NZ position on the main areas of TPP. “

            • lprent

              The problem is that TPPA for NZ *might* eventually be of benefit to Fonterra. It is extremely difficult to see any other sector of the economy for whom it will provide *any* benefits to.

              For people who actually work in export businesses there appears to be nothing of much interest in it in any major markets beyond what we already have. This is quite unlike the FTA with China or indeed any of the other FTA’s with other markets. However there appear to be a considerable number of drawbacks in it to our own businesses.

              In particular for the burgeoning tech exports sector that I work it it will bring nothing but problems and vexatious litigation with the bloody stupid intellectual property patent laws that the US wants to spread. Good for lawyers and frigging useless for people building IP.

              Basically it is hard to find anyone outside of some agricultural sectors who wants to be sacrificed to the self-interests of the diplomats. With agriculture we have an unhealthy overdependence on the dairy sector (~26% of exports) and in which only one sector is growing – milk-powder.

              This agreement appears to be done purely to increase that dangerous dependency. Eventually it will go the way of wool, frozen sheepmeat, beef, kiwifruit, etc and that is likely to be within the next decades.

              Why would we *want* to get into an agreement that binds us from increasing our economies diversity? Because the National government has a short-term focus isn’t exactly a good reason. Since we don’t know what is in this frigging agreement (and won’t until long after it has been signed), I suspect you’re going to be surprised at how widespread the opposition to it wil be in the business community.

              • George D

                In particular for the burgeoning tech exports sector that I work it it will bring nothing but problems and vexatious litigation with the bloody stupid intellectual property patent laws that the US wants to spread. Good for lawyers and frigging useless for people building IP.

                Yup. I work with an Australian tech start-up, and since NZ’s recent changes to software patent law, I’ve been edging them towards basing here. US intellectual property law is some of the most restrictive in the entire world, and it has a chilling effect on the development of new products and bringing them to market. Australia’s law is better, but ours is better still. We’d be taking a huge step backwards, and hobbling a large and growing export sector for no gain.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Was reading a US report on NZs banning of software patents. Several of the people responding were considering moving to NZ because of it because they’d be able to innovate. Thing is, if the TPPA goes through we can expect to lose that ability to innovate because we’d end up importing the US IP laws wholesale.

                  The IP laws as they exist are a good example of a good idea* gone bad. They don’t encourage innovation, they discourage it – as the proliferation of patent trolls proves.

                  * To be honest, I’ve never been sure if IP laws have ever a good idea.

                  • lprent

                    After reading of the IP morass that my equivalents in the US have to go through, there is no frigging way that I’d be interested in working under those circumstances.

                    Being able to patent such things are particular finger swipes on a touch screen? It just gives an excuse for idiot lawyers to chase you for royalties. Simpler to just virtually or physically move to a different jurisdiction where morons aren’t in charge and pay taxes there.

                    I feel that most IP laws have severely past their use-by-date

            • thatguynz

              So then Wayne, I assert you are being disingenuous by positioning the TPPA as solely a free trade agreeement. I trust you will honour your earlier willingness to debate the issue with Jane.

          • Wayne

            A fair question. What is my understanding of “middle New Zealand.”

            Well, essentially they are people who are the middle 40% of the political spectrum. A fair number of them switch between Labour and National depending on the mood of the nation. And occasionally NZF or Green. Typically aged 30 + with a family.

            Tend not to be overly focused on politics, but do follow the debate on the main issues. Don’t really buy into conspiracy theories. Think that John Key is essentially reasonable and will look after their interests. Thought Helen Clark was OK, at least until 2005 to 2008. Will give David Cunliffe a good look to see what he can do, and that he isn’t too risky.

            Usually middle income. In Auckland, family income that would be $100,000 to $150,000 (a principal income earner and a secondary income earner). As an example this would cover a teacher with a PR, and the other partner with part time work (relief teaching?).

            Expect to get ahead in life, but have some concerns about fairness and opportunity. But not keen on people who spend all their time on welfare (unless disability is the reason). By the way this probably explains David Shearers comment on the roof painter.

            Expect that criminals will pay the price, but not overly punitive (but often more so than the Left would like).

            Expect to have good schools and healthcare, and willing to pay reasonable taxes for that.

            And every politician from the two main parties will meet heaps of people in these circumstances. I can imagine that quite a few Green politicians do not.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Lot of weird assumptions here Wayne, but for starters:

              “Statistics New Zealand figures show the average annual household income from all regular sources increased slightly for the June, from $79,256 to $81,067.”


              now average, is probably going to be a bit higher than the median usually, so hard to see how 40% of households are going to be pulling in 100- 50K.

              Or rather, it’s hard to see how why you would describe people on 100-150k who happen to be swing voters as ‘middle NZ’.

              Why not just call them swing voters?

              • Wayne

                The Stats NZ figures include all those who are retired and all those on benefits and all those under 30. That is not the same as those in employment or self employed.

                Average full time wage is $50,000, but again includes all workers 18 to 30. By 30 people have more responsible jobs, with higher incomes. And remember I am describing household income, though you acknowledge that.

                In my view middle NZ will be largely concentrated in age range 30 to 65, and will be in employment, or have their own business. Typical employment will be teacher, police officer, highly skilled technical or trade, or lower to middle management, or business owner with 3 to 5 employees.

                Once they retire, their income will reduce, but they will have paid off their house and typically have investments or super that generates an additional $10,000 to $30,000 above National Super.

                • Colonial Viper

                  With youth unemployment well over 25% and housing affordability and home ownership the worst in decades, you’ve just given us a clear picture of what NZ life used to be like.

                  But nice to know that you are focussed on the top quintile of earners and households.

                • McFlock


                  It’s the people whom you write off (or literally “dis-count”) that make tories such depressing examples of humanity.

                • Tracey

                  are they mostly white? mostly male? Can you provide those stats too?

                  • Murray Olsen

                    Two male police officers in a committed relationship would have Wayne’s household income, and probably think like his idea of middle NZ. So yeah, could be mostly male.
                    I was amazed by how out of touch he is with what constitutes the “average” Kiwi, and pleased to see in other posts that my guesses were about right. I suspect average Kiwi = average Tory voter in these guys’ experiences.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Of course, the National party is bloody good at not giving one fuck about people who are not going to vote for them anyway. So why think about them? Who?

                • Pascal's bookie

                  So to arrive at what you see as ‘middle New Zealand” you literally exclude 100’s of thousands of New Zealanders before you even start thinking about NZ looks like?

                  It seems to me that you aren’t talking about middle nz at all, but rather, swing voters. That’s kind of understandable given you’ve been involved in politics, but it is a warped view of the reality. The ease with which you write so many people out of consideration of being relevant is depressing.

                  • Tracey

                    in fairness rightly or wrongly, this mythical middle NZ is who our politicians pitch too. Apparently they are the most easily duped NZers.

              • McFlock

                Stats NZ has NZ.stat table builder (used to be “infoshare”). Gives regional household income breakdown.

                Taking the Auckland 2012 weekly household incomes and multiplying by 52 to get annual income, the median Auckland income is $73372, the average is $89700.
                $100k-150k my arse.

                Tories have no idea who the “other half” even are, let alone how they live.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Well, he did say household income so it’d only take to people on average incomes to meet that figure. Of course, 75% of the population don’t actually get an average income.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Average working incomes?

                    Given that the median income of all people is only about $28000 I’d say that you were correct, or even a bit optimistic.

                    • srylands

                      How absurd.

                      A household income of 100K is totally unremarkable. If you live in Auckland and had a couple of kids, you would need a household income of at least 150k to live a half decent life (200K to live a fully decent life). Any income less than that in Auckland and you should give up on having kids (or live somewhere else).

                      “Given that the median income of all people is only about $28000”

                      I presume that includes people with a zero income?

                      If you are aged 30+, in good health, and you are involuntariliy earning less than $60K, you have made some poor life decisions about education, work, or both plus a bunch of other things.

                    • McFlock

                      spylands, even if that were the case, it’s still pretty sociopathic to exclude them when deciding what to describe as “average” or “middle” New Zealand.

                      New Zealand incluldes all New Zealanders, not just the ones you like.

                      Of course, your assumption is not actually true – capitalisim sets up a lot of people to fail from the start. It’s all well and good to blame the individual, but when you have to do that 170,000 times, you might want to consider whether there are systemic factors outside their control…

                    • Pasupial


                      Everything you type is indeed absurd, but in this case I thank you for prefacing your comment with that warning.

                      Particularly nauseating is:
                      “…Any income less than that [150-200k] in Auckland and you should give up on having kids.”

                      I would try to explain why that statement is absurd and repugnant, but believe that would be wasted effort due to your inability to get over yourself. Which is itself probably due to; “poor life decisions about education, work, or both plus a bunch of other things.”

                    • srylands

                      “Particularly nauseating is:
                      “…Any income less than that [150-200k] in Auckland and you should give up on having kids.””

                      It is not nauseating – it is realistic. You really think a family can live in Auckland, buy a house, maintain teh house, run two cars, support a couple of teenage kids through school, orthodontists, school trips, ballet lessons, music lessons, annual holidays, retirement savings, and on and on and on, and do it on a household income of less than $150,000?

                      The ones that try to do that on a household income of (say) $60,000 end up miserable and dysfunctional (or bitter and twisted that rich pricks are eating all the pies), and raise kids who are dysfunctional. The kids then develop poor skills, and repeat the cycle.

                    • srylands

                      “Everything you type is indeed absurd, but in this case I thank you for prefacing your comment with that warning.”

                      Everything I type is indeed insightful.

                      It is well known that you are a smart arse. You don’t need to make a point of proving it.

                    • Tracey

                      srylands is now an expert on living in Auckland…

                      The point you miss srylands is that having children brings a lot of happiness and well-being to people. A happy and settled worker is a productive worker. If you are right, and you rarely are, hence you fall back to posting untruths, then you have redefined poverty in NZ.

                      An Aucklander with less than 200k annual income cannot afford to have children = poor

                • Wayne


                  You essentially prove my point. As you note households (all of them) in Auckland have an average income of $89,700. So if you take my more focused group, you can see why I get to where I get.

                  I don’t exclude older voters, but they are less likely to change their votes.

                  A lot of young people are still sorting out their voting preferences, and they do shift around a lot. But family friendly policies are not really their thing, at least not till they are 25 or so. Of course targeted policies (interest free loans) can appeal to them a lot. For instance shifting the repayment threshold to say $30,000 would be a real vote winner.

                  But middle voters of the type I describe have a pretty realistic view of what is possible. They have lived enough to know. So fanciful policies have no appeal to them. Over the top promises get the thumbs down. And they worry about anything that will push up interest rates, since they mostly have big mortgages and family responsibilities.

                  And both major parties spend a lot of time thinking about this group. For Labour it will be the lower end, going down to $80,000. For the Nats, well as you can tell, this is the big vote market. And for most Nats, this is where their relatives are at.

                  • geoff

                    some real gems in that comment though, classic wayneisms.

                    But middle voters of the type I describe have a pretty realistic view of what is possible. They have lived enough to know. So fanciful policies have no appeal to them. Over the top promises get the thumbs down.

                    Reading your posts is like getting a master class in weasel words.

                  • McFlock

                    Just to be explicit: two-income professional homes are not “middle New Zealand”. They’re barely even “middle class”. Your lower threshold is a full third higher than “middle”, and is significantly higher than the mean. Even with your artful exclusion of anyone cast aside by this “brighter future” afflicting us, you’re still out of touch. And if the main parties really are obsessed with this affluent minorities, they’re as out of touch as you and quite frankly right there is a good place to start explaining the abysmal turnout last election.

                    • geoff

                      +1 McFlock

                      Still, what can we expect from Wayne. A guy who used to be in a party that sells itself to the highest bidder.

                      Anyone reading this who has hasn’t read ‘The hollow men’ by Nicky Hagar, please read it and learn the irrefutable truth about the National party.

                    • Tracey

                      yes but the trick is to pretend to be for a bigger group, so you “appeal” to them by duping them into believing you will raise them up, and once hooked they feel stupid to change their mind…when you get in you do what you have always done, which is line the pockets of the smallest number, which you happen to mix with or be related to, and tell yourself the world is a better place and anyone not benefitting must be wasting the opportunitites you have told yourself they had because you had them.

                  • Tracey

                    fanciful policies like wont raise taxes but will raise GST, petrol, road user and so on?
                    You are right of course most Nats believe the world is for everyone as it is for them, white, middle class and male…and they provide for them… well some of them, while leading the rest along by the nose with the enticement that “one day” they will be in the higher earning group… hence “brighter future”, never actually has to get brighter and soon you just drop the idea altogether.

              • Tracey

                is 40% of the country a swing voter?

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Nope. It’s really hard, (seriously, really hard), to get good data on swing voting and who and why they swing, but maybe 40 of voters swing. But I’d be surprised if it was that high to be honest. You get a lot, (on ‘both sides’) who sometimes vote. They aren’t really swing voters, but they look like it when you just look at voting outcomes.

                  Wayne was talking about the 40 in the centre, ie, the twenty ercent either side of some imaginary line. There are a lot of problems with this too. There is no good reason to think voters are distributed normally for a start. And how would you plot the graph anyway?

                  Political types tend to speak as if there are hard numbers for a lot of what they do, but much of it is metaphor and wishful thinking. There are some hard numbers, but they tend to come from canvassing, putting dots on maps to show where your voters are, and turning them out. The canvassing is getting smarter, especially in the states, with some pretty sophisticated methods for predicting what type of person will respond to what type of messaging, but at the end of it all what you have to do is find out who is likely to vote for you, and get them to vote. those voters will have their own reasons, they are types, but not really blocs.

                  The notions about where the centre is at any given point in time is nonsense, so defining it +/- 20% is nonsense on stilts.

                  • Tracey

                    Thanks Pascal

                    I wonder if the TPPA indicates that what Rothschild once said is no longer true, or if new (non banking) corporates have joined in his maxim?

                    “”Let me issue and control a Nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws” – Rothschild.”

                    • leftriteleft

                      That’s it Tracey

                      It’s all about the Fed and the Petrodollar.

                      USA is in the shite and they know it.

                      Answer: Get more control.

            • Tracey

              Thanks Wayne

              So, mostly city dwellers yes?

              “Think that John Key is essentially reasonable and will look after their interests. Thought Helen Clark was OK, at least until 2005 to 2008.”

              This might be key’s 2005-2008 dont you agree?

              • Wayne

                Not when the Nats still poll 47%

                • geoff

                  It’s pretty obvious that John doesn’t want the job anymore. He’s not getting praise heaped on him anymore like he used to in the private sector.

                  I mean, seriously, he didn’t sign up for this, he didn’t get treated like this in the private sector. And face it, he clearly doesn’t give a shit about the general public and he realises that we know it. This prime minister lark was always just a stepping stone for John up into the big time, probably back into the financial sector where, let’s face it, $50 million is peanuts.

                  You can tell he doesn’t want a third term, he’s had enough of it, wants to go back to a place where people tell him how great he is and he doesn’t have to pretend he cares about the plebs.

                  • Tracey

                    Perhaps during his time with the Queen he will shore up his knighthood directly from her so if the Nats lose he doesnt have to rely on the next government to give it to him?

                    Remember he made her husband one of our 20 greatest living New Zealanders

                • Tracey

                  a year is a long time in politics. Labour doesnt have the money to pay the master manipulators to help them frame themselves as appealing so the Nats are always ahead on that score be it the Brethren or Crosby Texter…. there’s always something afoot that costs money and needs lies to cover it up… How proud you must be.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Well, essentially they are people who are the middle 40% of the political spectrum.

              Usually middle income. In Auckland, family income that would be $100,000 to $150,000

              I LOL’d

        • Don't worry. Be happy.

          Middle and bottom NZ understand when they are being ripped off Wayne and tipped out of work and spied on. Perhaps, and this is a wild guess, Wayne – not being a university lecturer and all – perhaps peoples’ lack of comprehension on this subject is exactly what those who are ramming it through want, hence all the secrecy. If you’ve ever taken any history classes you’ll know what the close and secret alliance between government and business, to the exclusion of the common good, is called and you’ll be aware of what happens to societies that go down that road.

          • Tracey

            “perhaps peoples’ lack of comprehension on this subject is exactly what those who are ramming it through want, hence all the secrecy.”

            Couldnt agree more. Make it hard to understand or seem hard to understand and then the masses will leave you to it. Politics can’t make something right that is essentially wrong Wayne, no matter which party is in government.

        • geoff

          Indeed, and I don’t imagine that David Cunliffe will want to make the election about free trade.

          Sounds like you haven’t been paying much attention, Wayne. The Labour party has explicitly said it will target failed neo-liberal economic policies and the TPPA is just one of many.

        • weka

          Weka: I would hazard a guess that much of middle NZ doesn’t know much about the TPP (the bits that are in the public domain), and a good chunk of them would struggle to say what letters TPPA stand for.

          Wayne: Indeed, and I don’t imagine that David Cunliffe will want to make the election about free trade.

          Hence the value of people like Jane Kelsey, who is not in politics, but who does know what the issues are and is able to explain them to the rest of society.

      • RedBaronCV 8.5.2

        Given a choice of trusting a bunch of corporates negotiating hidden benefits for themselves and trusting Jane I’ll go with Jane.

        Also love the blind swallowing of free trade using competitive advantage makes it better for all.
        Economic theories are pretty two dimensional and don’t usually factor in transaction costs or the small individual interests of large numbers of people.
        Are we importing goods or exporting the pollution that we would incur in the manufacture?
        Are we exporting lax safety standards so we kill other countries nationals?

        Funny how we are expected to swallow free movement of capital but not labour.

        Noticed the little bit of patronising too… I let Jane do some lectures… expose to the full range of views… trying to grab control when you weren’t in charge . trying to frame your views as superior…

        Jane doesn’t need your permission for her views

        • Tracey

          Of most import is that Wayne, a lawyer, is prepared to commit to an arrangement without ever reading the contract…

    • framu 8.6

      “are hardly those of middle NZ”

      I do wish people, and especially people of your experience wayne, would stop telling me what I think

      • geoff 8.6.1

        That’s a favourite of our Wayne isn’t it, he’s always claiming to be in touch with what real kiwis think.

        It’s so absurd how these rich, old white guys, like Wayne, make these ridiculous claims, and he indefatigably keeps up the soothing-lawyer speak while completely disregarding reality.

  9. Tracey 9

    Has the USA removed all its agricultural subsidies yet thus making for an even field for FTA with them Wayne?.

    “And the cost is increasing. The U.S. Department of Agriculture last year spent about $14 billion insuring farmers against the loss of crop or income, almost seven times more than in fiscal 2000, according to the Congressional Research Service.

    The arrangement is a good deal for everyone but taxpayers. The government pays 18 approved insurance companies to run the program, pays farmers to buy coverage and pays the bills if losses exceed predetermined limits. ” Bloomberg

    I think the group argument stopping an individual country releasing a draft is clever if you have something you want to hide from the voting public. Just how does the public (and let’s be honest most wont ever read the draft) having access harm the agreement? If it is so clearly in the best interests of “NZ”, wouldnt that be made clear by the draft agreement being read and understood?

    I remember for years the National opposition railing about how Clark was arrogant and acting like she knew what was best for us. Isnt this a classic case of the same thing? “Trust us, you dont need to know the detail, we know what is best for you.”

    Problems in that since the 80’s no NZ government has actually managed to make it better for about half or our population (or more). The good times for the majority are always around the corner and in the future… Funny how for some members of NZ society the good times are perpetual.

    I am willing to bet that Jane Kelsey has spent a great deal more time and intellectual energy examining this issue than Key on such things as Chrous, GCSB legislation etc when he easily dismissed the views of QC, Law Society, HRC, CommComm and so on..

    Wayne, do you consider that when the National government implements a policy pushed by Business NZ (Roundtable) that it was that tny group running NZ? Despite your post the other day it appears you still favour the National tactic of playing the wo(man) and not the ball.

    • Murray Olsen 9.1

      NAct (including their still alive Labour branch) do not want free trade with the seppos without the distortions of US agricultural subsidies. Their main aim, as with the spy business, is to please Washington. They are totally unable to imagine a world where they stand on their own feet and look after themselves. This is why Wayne has an organic inability to imagine that Cunliffe may have brought a new game; one where the rules aren’t made in Washington.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1


      • GregJ 9.1.2

        Yes Tracey – and anyone who believes for a minute that the US is going to take away protection & subsidies for the US agricultural sector is dreaming. Access to the US agricultural market is a NZ free trade chimera that completely fails to understand US domestic/Congressional politics.

        What is much more likely is that the TPPA provides access for US business interests to exploit New Zealand’s rapidly corporatising primary production sector.

        • Tracey

          “What is much more likely is that the TPPA provides access for US business interests to exploit New Zealand’s rapidly corporatising primary production sector.”


          We got into a strong position to weather the GFC without a FTA involving the USA, right?

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2


      I remember for years the National opposition railing about how Clark was arrogant and acting like she knew what was best for us. Isnt this a classic case of the same thing? “Trust us, you dont need to know the detail, we know what is best for you.”


  10. BLiP 10

    The Green Party, I am sure, welcomes Labour coming on board with its policy in relation to the TPPA. Not before time, of course, and great to see a call for a more open discussion on the matter than Labour has previously applied in its own trade negotiations stance.

    • Tracey 10.1


      Not for the first time a major party has adopted a Green policy to champion as its own.

      Look how often national points to insulating homes as one of its successes for the poor.

  11. George D 11

    I’m extremely heartened to hear this.

    Let’s take a singular example. Patents on software code. The New Zealand software industry is against this, as it harms their ability to make products which maximise their economic revenue. Rather than increasing innovation and business activity, it stifles it by putting all activity under a murky legal cloud – you simply have no idea if the line of code you’re writing is in fact illegal and the property of someone else until they slap you with a lawsuit and injunct your entire product and send your company into bankruptcy. Thankfully, New Zealand has just removed patents on software entirely – and much of the US software industry is urging their government to do the same.

    Anyone who knows anything about US lawmaking knows that any change will take many years, if it happens at all. Unless or until that happens, provisions are veryl likely to mean New Zealand is compelled to change its legal systems to align with all other parties – in essence, to align with the US – and to allow their companies to impose foreign law on New Zealand companies. This isn’t helpful to domestic industry.

    Rather than taking the assertions of boosters at face value, Wayne, McCully, Phil Goff, Clayton Cosgrove and others should open the text to the public and allow those who will be directly affected, both positively and negatively, to give their feedback. Only then will a clear picture emerge.

  12. George D 12

    For contrast with Cunliffe’s statement on the TPPA, see Clayton Cosgrove’s recent statement:

    Labour supports the development of a Trans Pacific Partnership in principle. However, I can assure you that Labour firmly believes that New Zealand must have the right to legislate and regulate in the public good. I can also assure you of Labours commitment to ensuring that the passing of legislation is open and transparent, and that expert and public opinion is considered.

    There are many positive benefits that can come from closer relations with the United States and other countries, and the TPPA has potential to benefit all New Zealanders.

    I’m glad this shocking naivety has been put to bed, and hope that the person who made this statement has minimal role in determining future trade policy.

  13. Sable 13

    Oh dear shining a light on the cockroaches, watch Keys and his slimy little friends scuttle for cover….

  14. Tracey 14

    Cant trust him with the Keys to NZ

  15. Mike S 16

    Can anyone confirm the following clauses that I was read were in a draft of the TTPA?

    • Dropping of all bans on GMOs. All countries signing the TPP must allow GMOs to be grown in their country and used throughout the food supply — all GMO labeling will be outlawed.

    • Shutting down all generic drug manufacturers who make “copycat” drugs that compete with the monopoly patents of top U.S. drug makers.

    • Redefining resistance against GMOs as “anti-free trade practices” that can result in economic sanctions against nations that attempt to ban GMOs.

    • The outlawing of “Fair Use” of copyrighted material. Anyone using an image, a short video clip, an audio clip, etc., would be criminalize and possibly arrested and imprisoned under the TPP.

    Banning people from using the internet if they engage in Fair Use of copyrighted material. This would shut down virtually the entire alternative media, many blogs, and silence most critics of the global corporate cabal.

    • Forcing member nations to criminalize small-scale copyright infringement such as someone sharing a music file with a friend. Domineering copyright enforcement provisions are being influenced by the MPAA which has also been given extraordinary influence over the language of the TPP.

    • Vastly reducing banking regulations, allowing criminal banksters to steal even more money globally while facing no repercussions for their actions. “The agreement would also be a boon for Wall Street and its campaign to water down regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crisis,” writes Wallach in the NY Times. “Among other things, it would practically forbid bans on risky financial products, including the toxic derivatives that helped cause the crisis in the first place.”

    The labeling of foods containing GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) will not be allowed. Japan currently has labeling laws for GMOs in food. Under the TPP Japan would no longer be able to label GMOs. This situation is the same for New Zealand and Australia. In the US we are just beginning to see some progress towards labeling GMOs. Under the TPP GMO labels for US food would not be allowed.

  16. Swan 17

    You guys realise that drafts aren’t released because that is a condition of the negotiations right? We would all love to see what is being proposed, but if you have publication of drafts as a condition, you won’t get to the table with anyone. It’s like diplomacy in general.

    • Tracey 17.1

      not at the eleventh hour and not when it matters so much to the citizens. I am not aware of the suggestion of a previous treaty we entered overriding our ability to pass our own legislation. THATs one thing that makes this different. IF it is true that, for example, a tobacco company can make us let them advertise their product in spite of our laws then sovereignty has been abdicated, not to other governments but to corporations.

      the negotiations have been going since 2008, no secrets left.

      also 600 corporate advisors with vested interest are allowed to look, plus the diplmoats…you can bet certain people have leaked to others they want to have know, for whatever reason…

      if ever a whistleblower were needed.

  17. Swan 18

    Tracey, ALL treaties bind the parties. That is the point of a treaty. Obviously parliament is still sovereign, that’s not at issue.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.1

      @ Swan,

      Why “obviously a parliament is still sovereign, that’s not at [sic] issue”, Swan? Why do you say that?

      I’ve read enough leaked clauses in the TPPA that very much indicate this is not the case.

      What if one party has clout and manages to fool/coerce other parties into agreeing to unequal arrangements?
      What if one effected party isn’t even privy to the ‘treaty’ that they are then required to abide by?

      Funny, cos the secrecy surrounding the TPPA make it seem like the NZ people could apply for breach of contract due to being party to the consequences of the agreement, yet not being privy to the details.

      I guess those making the agreement ‘in our names’ (yet keeping the details secret from us) precludes this type of action from being taken.

      From the leaks I’ve read the agreement sounds highly dodgy and it is better that our ‘representatives’ not enter into the arrangement, unless it is made public, in its entirety prior to signing.

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    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
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  • Have 308 people in the Education Ministry’s Curriculum Development Team spent over $100m on a 60-p...
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    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
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  • 'This bill is dangerous for the environment and our democracy'
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    1 day ago
  • Submission on “Fast Track Approvals Bill”
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  • The Case for a Universal Family Benefit
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  • On Lee’s watch, Economic Development seems to be stuck on scoring points from promoting sporting e...
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    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
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  • New Zealand has never been closed for business
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  • Stop the panic – we’ve been here before
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    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
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  • Melissa Lee and the media: ending the quest
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    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
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  • The Hoon around the week to April 19
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  • Nicola's Salad Days.
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  • Weekly Roundup 19-April-2024
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  • Jack Vowles: Stop the panic – we’ve been here before
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • Clearing up confusion (or trying to)
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    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • How to Retrieve Deleted Call Log iPhone Without Computer
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  • How to Factory Reset iPhone without Computer: A Comprehensive Guide to Restoring your Device
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  • How to Call Someone on a Computer: A Guide to Voice and Video Communication in the Digital Age
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  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #16 2024
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    2 days ago
  • Where on a Computer is the Operating System Generally Stored? Delving into the Digital Home of your ...
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    2 days ago
  • How Many Watts Does a Laptop Use? Understanding Power Consumption and Efficiency
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    2 days ago
  • How to Screen Record on a Dell Laptop A Guide to Capturing Your Screen with Ease
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    2 days ago
  • How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Laptop Screen? Navigating Repair Options and Costs
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    2 days ago
  • How Long Do Gaming Laptops Last? Demystifying Lifespan and Maximizing Longevity
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    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Turning the tide
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • How to Unlock Your Computer A Comprehensive Guide to Regaining Access
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    2 days ago
  • Faxing from Your Computer A Modern Guide to Sending Documents Digitally
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    2 days ago
  • Protecting Your Home Computer A Guide to Cyber Awareness
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    2 days ago
  • Server-Based Computing Powering the Modern Digital Landscape
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    2 days ago
  • Vroom vroom go the big red trucks
    The absolute brass neck of this guy.We want more medical doctors, not more spin doctors, Luxon was saying a couple of weeks ago, and now we’re told the guy has seven salaried adults on TikTok duty. Sorry, doing social media. The absolute brass neck of it. The irony that the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Jones finds $410,000 to help the government muscle in on a spat project
    Buzz from the Beehive Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones relishes spatting and eagerly takes issue with environmentalists who criticise his enthusiasm for resource development. He relishes helping the fishing industry too. And so today, while the media are making much of the latest culling in the public service to ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • Again, hate crimes are not necessarily terrorism.
    Having written, taught and worked for the US government on issues involving unconventional warfare and terrorism for 30-odd years, two things irritate me the most when the subject is discussed in public. The first is the Johnny-come-lately academics-turned-media commentators who … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Despair – construction consenting edition
    Eric Crampton writes – Kainga Ora is the government’s house building agency. It’s been building a lot of social housing. Kainga Ora has its own (but independent) consenting authority, Consentium. It’s a neat idea. Rather than have to deal with building consents across each different territorial authority, Kainga Ora ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Coalition promises – will the Govt keep the commitment to keep Kiwis equal before the law?
    Muriel Newman writes – The Coalition Government says it is moving with speed to deliver campaign promises and reverse the damage done by Labour. One of their key commitments is to “defend the principle that New Zealanders are equal before the law.” To achieve this, they have pledged they “will not advance ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • An impermanent public service is a guarantee of very little else but failure
    Chris Trotter writes –  The absence of anything resembling a fightback from the public servants currently losing their jobs is interesting. State-sector workers’ collective fatalism in the face of Coalition cutbacks indicates a surprisingly broad acceptance of impermanence in the workplace. Fifty years ago, lay-offs in the thousands ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago

  • PM’s South East Asia mission does the business
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has completed a successful trip to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, deepening relationships and capitalising on opportunities. Mr Luxon was accompanied by a business delegation and says the choice of countries represents the priority the New Zealand Government places on South East Asia, and our relationships in ...
    13 hours ago
  • $41m to support clean energy in South East Asia
    New Zealand is demonstrating its commitment to reducing global greenhouse emissions, and supporting clean energy transition in South East Asia, through a contribution of NZ$41 million (US$25 million) in climate finance to the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-led Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM). Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts announced ...
    1 day ago
  • Minister releases Fast-track stakeholder list
    The Government is today releasing a list of organisations who received letters about the Fast-track applications process, says RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop. “Recently Ministers and agencies have received a series of OIA requests for a list of organisations to whom I wrote with information on applying to have a ...
    1 day ago
  • Judicial appointments announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister David Jonathan Boldt as a Judge of the High Court, and the Honourable Justice Matthew Palmer as a Judge of the Court of Appeal. Justice Boldt graduated with an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington in 1990, and also holds ...
    1 day ago
  • Education Minister heads to major teaching summit in Singapore
    Education Minister Erica Stanford will lead the New Zealand delegation at the 2024 International Summit on the Teaching Profession (ISTP) held in Singapore. The delegation includes representatives from the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) Te Wehengarua and the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) Te Riu Roa.  The summit is co-hosted ...
    1 day ago
  • Value of stopbank project proven during cyclone
    A stopbank upgrade project in Tairawhiti partly funded by the Government has increased flood resilience for around 7000ha of residential and horticultural land so far, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones today attended a dawn service in Gisborne to mark the end of the first stage of the ...
    1 day ago
  • Anzac commemorations, Türkiye relationship focus of visit
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will represent the Government at Anzac Day commemorations on the Gallipoli Peninsula next week and engage with senior representatives of the Turkish government in Istanbul.    “The Gallipoli campaign is a defining event in our history. It will be a privilege to share the occasion ...
    1 day ago
  • Minister to Europe for OECD meeting, Anzac Day
    Science, Innovation and Technology and Defence Minister Judith Collins will next week attend the OECD Science and Technology Ministerial conference in Paris and Anzac Day commemorations in Belgium. “Science, innovation and technology have a major role to play in rebuilding our economy and achieving better health, environmental and social outcomes ...
    1 day ago
  • Comprehensive Partnership the goal for NZ and the Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by MP Paulo Garcia, the first Filipino to be elected to a legislature outside the Philippines. During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon and President Marcos Jr discussed opportunities to ...
    2 days ago
  • Government commits $20m to Westport flood protection
    The Government has announced that $20 million in funding will be made available to Westport to fund much needed flood protection around the town. This measure will significantly improve the resilience of the community, says Local Government Minister Simeon Brown. “The Westport community has already been allocated almost $3 million ...
    2 days ago
  • Taupō takes pole position
    The Government is proud to support the first ever Repco Supercars Championship event in Taupō as up to 70,000 motorsport fans attend the Taupō International Motorsport Park this weekend, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. “Anticipation for the ITM Taupō Super400 is huge, with tickets and accommodation selling out weeks ...
    2 days ago
  • Cost of living support for low-income homeowners
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced an increase to the Rates Rebate Scheme, putting money back into the pockets of low-income homeowners.  “The coalition Government is committed to bringing down the cost of living for New Zealanders. That includes targeted support for those Kiwis who are doing things tough, such ...
    2 days ago
  • Government backing mussel spat project
    The Coalition Government is investing in a project to boost survival rates of New Zealand mussels and grow the industry, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones has announced. “This project seeks to increase the resilience of our mussels and significantly boost the sector’s productivity,” Mr Jones says. “The project - ...
    2 days ago
  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    2 days ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    3 days ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    3 days ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    3 days ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    3 days ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    3 days ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    3 days ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    4 days ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    4 days ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    5 days ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    5 days ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    5 days ago
  • PMs Luxon and Lee deepen Singapore-NZ ties
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. While in Singapore as part of his visit to South East Asia this week, Prime Minister Luxon also met with Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.  During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon ...
    5 days ago
  • Antarctica New Zealand Board appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has made further appointments to the Board of Antarctica New Zealand as part of a continued effort to ensure the Scott Base Redevelopment project is delivered in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  The Minister has appointed Neville Harris as a new member of the Board. Mr ...
    5 days ago
  • Finance Minister travels to Washington DC
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to the United States on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Five Finance Ministers group, with counterparts from Australia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  “I am looking forward to meeting with our Five Finance partners on how we can work ...
    5 days ago
  • Pet bonds a win/win for renters and landlords
    The coalition Government has today announced purrfect and pawsitive changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to give tenants with pets greater choice when looking for a rental property, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “Pets are important members of many Kiwi families. It’s estimated that around 64 per cent of New ...
    5 days ago
  • Long Tunnel for SH1 Wellington being considered
    State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the Government has also asked NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to consider and provide advice on a Long Tunnel option, Transport Minister Simeon Brown ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns Iranian strikes
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have condemned Iran’s shocking and illegal strikes against Israel.    “These attacks are a major challenge to peace and stability in a region already under enormous pressure," Mr Luxon says.    "We are deeply concerned that miscalculation on any side could ...
    6 days ago
  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    1 week ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    1 week ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    1 week ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    1 week ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    1 week ago

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