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Giving away the shop for nothing

Written By: - Date published: 9:29 am, July 29th, 2015 - 144 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, International, trade - Tags: , , ,

The Nats appear to be the worst negotiators in the world. Rio Tinto. Hollywood. SkyCity. Serco. And the TPP. Here’s TPP cheerleader Fran O’Sullivan this morning:

Fran O’Sullivan: Kiwis the TPP deal-fixers

At the negotiating level, broad support has been stitched up in several areas, notably constraining state-owned enterprises from using soft loans to compete against private companies.

So that’s another constraint on our sovereignty then, preventing us from supporting state assets. But here’s the killer:

But contentious issues critical to New Zealand’s well-being are yet to be addressed. Top of the agenda is market access for dairy.

Right so, so far we have given away “IP, generic drugs, investor state dispute mechanisms and government anti-competition clauses” – and we haven’t even got to our main desired goal yet? Brilliant.

Both Groser and John Key earlier signaled that it would be a deal-breaker for NZ if there was not a high-quality comprehensive result on this score. The position has since become more nuanced.

Nuanced means weaker. Fucking brilliant.

We are giving away the shop and we don’t know what if anything we will get in terms of dairy access yet. Our negotiators have signaled that they are “nuanced”. Even if we get what we want it is probably worth bugger all – remember Key telling us that dairy is only 5% of our economy, and its a fading star anyway due to a global glut of milk.

How stupid are we?

144 comments on “Giving away the shop for nothing ”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    The farmers are going to be ropable when the news gets out that there is nothing for dairy ( maybe after 10-15 years), nothing for lamb and very little for beef.

  2. millsy 2

    Let us not forget that the IP provisions in TPPA will probably hit our schools and educational institutes the most, as there will be restrictions on schools and unis using materials for educational purposes.

    Someone really needs to leak this thing and fast.

    If there is anyone out there who has access to the TPPA text, and is single/without kids, then please can you leak the tppa text. I know that you will be taking a risk and ending your career, but so did Chelsea/Bradley Manning, and so did Edward Snowden.

  3. The Chairman 3

    It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

    • tc 3.1

      If you can find a section of track they haven’t closed down that is.

      • Save NZ 3.1.1

        Quite frankly the train wreck is the opposition parties, Labour conditionally supporting TPPA, Greens missing in action again (but did get an email from the Greens about damp houses and kids only having chips for lunch today), NZ First the only one who seems actively opposed, and the Mana party put to death via Labour.

        And people keep going on about how popular JK is?

        Many people hate him, they just have no credible opposition alternative that appears to give a damn especially on TPPA and be effective about it.

        • Sacha

          The Greens have opposed TPP for years – well before other politicians on all sides got to grips with it.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    At the negotiating level, broad support has been stitched up in several areas, notably constraining state-owned enterprises from using soft loans to compete against private companies.

    Governments are not allowed to be more cost effective than private companies

    It is a glaring admission by the private sector and the government negotiators that the private sector costs more than the government does.

    Right so, so far we have given away “IP, generic drugs, investor state dispute mechanisms and government anti-competition clauses” – and we haven’t even got to our main desired goal yet? Brilliant.

    And we never will. We will get no benefit from the TPPA – only costs.

    Nuanced means weaker.

    I think that in this case that means that the government will sign where ever the US tells them to. We seem to have lost our sovereignty when we voted National into power – the US has it now.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      We lost our sovereignty the day John Key came back from London. We just didn’t know it then.

      • tc 4.1.1

        Nope 8/11/2008 was when it was lost and had the MSM done it’s job Shonky would not have survived his tranzrail insider trading moves and made it that far.

  5. Olwyn 5

    At the negotiating level, broad support has been stitched up in several areas, notably constraining state-owned enterprises from using soft loans to compete against private companies.

    On the face of it, this looks almost as bad as the investor/state disputes issue. It appears to mean that SOEs cannot use whatever lending advantages they may possess to curb the excesses of private companies; that the provision of social housing and constraining power price hikes, etc. would suddenly become much more difficult. I may well be wrong about this, and am very much open to being corrected if I am.

    • The Chairman 5.1

      “On the face of it, this looks almost as bad as the investor/state disputes issue”


  6. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6

    Didn’t Groser lead negotiations in the Doha round? Under the last Labour government? Was he a skilled negotiator then and a shit one now?

    • Kevin 6.1

      The Doha Round thats has basically gone nowhere?

      Yeah, huge fucking skills from Groser then and now.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6.1.1

        So, remind me why Labour engaged him?

        • greywarshark

          Remind you? What is in your biscuit barrel to be awakened. You’re are just one of the thoughtless that come here to have fuel posted through the tiny slit available for receipt of ideas which flare briefly and then lie spent, a heap of ashes.

          Now that was bloody poetic, I thought. So feed on that for a brief second.

        • Lanthanide

          “So, remind me why Labour engaged him?”

          Labour had faith he would deliver. He failed. With his track record of failure, National said “just the person for us!”.

  7. greywarshark 7

    Maori are rightly getting worried and stroppy. It is another version of wealthy nations with advanced technology seeing advantage from getting at local resources and offering in return blankets, axes, nails and beads. We are going to pay heavily for every little thing we receive from TPPA, and they will gain mightily for the advantages they decide to take.

    More fools us. But the little ants in suits scurrying round collecting their trinkets and baubles and filling their bolt-holes with goodies not available to the rest of us ants, are programmed to march and gather all wealth in their way. A fearsome prospect and united in a group of dedicated individuals that can decimate their local environment and its living creatures. It is a shock to see how our behaviour is so insect-based. Ants are uncannily instructive about our ways.

    The leaf cutter ant is interesting. It sounds rather mild compared to the army ant but is anything but.

    Amazing story about leaf- cutter ants’ giant complex found under a city in Brazil.
    The leaf-chewing creatures are understood to form the second most complex societies on Earth after our own….
    The network was designed to allow good ventilation and provide the shortest transport routes.
    It features scores of highways connecting the main chambers – and, off the main routes, are side roads.
    From there, paths branch out and lead to the many rubbish pits and fungus gardens, which are grown from the vegetation collected by the workers.


  8. National being bad negotiators? I don’t get it. You seem to be under the illusion they are actually trying their best to protect the interests of the people living in this country but just not being very good at it.

    They are very good at what they are doing. They are recolonizing this country for the vested interests of the 1%. this time they don;t have to use weapons. They use the financial system and they are winning!

  9. Bill 9

    The quicker dairy exports die the better.

    That’s said in light of the fact that we have to crash the economy for the government to honour any sub 2 degree C commitments it has made in regards to climate change – and in light of the science of climate change.

    We should be demanding the government begins to implement measures that will make an engineered economic crash bearable. And that’s what should be positioned against the TTPA – not some desire to protect economic growth under a different, somewhat protectionist scenario.

    On a different note and as a bit of an aside. Why is it that soft loans by the Chinese government are widely seen as bad, but soft loans from the NZ government are seen as something that ought to be protected?

    • dukeofurl 9.1

      Remember Y2K. Catastrophe not. An economy can change a lot in 100 years

      • Lanthanide 9.1.1

        So can a climate.

        Your Y2K comparison is so flawed it’s ridiculous. Here’s two very obvious reasons:
        1. Y2K was fully and completely created by humans, and the problem was fully and completely understood by humans.
        2. The solution(s) to Y2K were completely and fully understood by humans, and completely and fully able to be implemented by humans in a short time period with no doubt, no collateral damage and existing technology.

        • dukeofurl

          XXXX was fully and completely created by humans, and the problem was fully and completely understood by humans.

          Sounds like climate change to me. What part of increasing CO2 will raise the earths temperature dont you understand. You are making it all complicated.
          No plan is perfect and plans will change as well.

          • Lanthanide

            I’m not even going to bother responding to this because it’s obviously utter tosh.

  10. Charles 10

    Hmmm. However you look at it, our Rockstar Economy is about to burn out, without even reaching the infamous 27 Club. Answers for the wider problem, without TPPA, are sketchy at best.

    Not even the good Ol’ Greens have a realistic (in terms of timelines) plan that will calm the population over what will happen next – TPPA or not. In summary, it’ll be a long economic stall, most accumulative lifestyles will “drop” (in an affordable way) dramatically, but the opportunity to fine-tune what we already do will be present, which in my opinion is long over die for NZ.

    i.e. we don’t have many of the indicators of a specific culture other older countries have, and that may be a period where we finally develop and concrete some of those specifically “New Zealand” things for lack of an alternative: older ideas used creatively, heavy on function but also our own style.


    The problem with words like “innovation” is that they’re rarely understood, or have an application to the present context. The word is just pasted over the top of a complex problem like fairy dust. Not only that, but “educating” people in university level engineering etc (as per Green’s plan), while useful for teaching people what they’re looking at, how to discover the opportunities of efficiency, or how to manipulate materials, doesn’t return fast results or certain “innovative results”. For that, you need the Arts to teach people the many different ways of how to look at, or “see”, something.

    I get the impression people think a new enlightened government will mean all these amazing gadgets will appear on the local market more-or-less overnight. More likely, it’ll be a slightly updated version of the No.8 wire backyard/garage type innovations like the Hamilton Jet: With a massive governmental support (billions), one or two true innovations every five years, at best. In the meantime, the loss of the aspirational dream will send some people into really nasty (blame the lazy poor!) panic and this’ll destabilise any government trying to go in a new direction. The public simply won’t grasp they can’t have it all, within three years.

    Though they mean well, the Greens don’t go far enough Left to cushion the impact of an economy either shafted by TPPA agreements, or an existence without it – which of course includes the many negative side effects. A couple of start-up wind turbines and a weasel pelt operator are not only not “innovative” they aren’t going to add much to the living standards of a even a small town.

    The Greens want to include the private interests of corporations into the solutions for things like climate change, and it just isn’t possible. You can’t have corp. profit protection, and “instant innovation” within our current industrial environment, and make the kind of adjustments required to meet the parameters of climate change . They’re irreconcilably, mutually, exclusive.

    What a Green government would look like under these conditions, now that everyone is moving Right out of lack of courage, or ideas, or a way to say it so they don’t get shunned by the media or voters, is that The Greens will end up Looking like the Labour Party circa 1999/2000.

    Somewhere between here and the ideal Green innovative future (20, 30, years away?), there is going to have to be a government re-using the “old” methods of providing stable employment for a large portion of the country. Within the next five years, my guess is people who have no identity past buying the next item off a shipping container will hold tightly to the aspirational dream all the way to the graveyard. The question is whether the remainder of voters see the inevitable and start now, by voting Green and further Left, or go with the terminal idiots and accelerate further Right thinking they can beat a collapsing ideal into its inevitable collapse.

    The details people argue about in the media are all headed the same way. No point arguing them. Any party that steps up now with coherent direction and policy to support a turn away from “blame the poor”, “Private ownership of everything!” and “sell everything overseas”, has the best chance of securing a workable future where people don’t die in the gutter in old age, and less fortunate people don’t join them at an early age. That’s where the big blank space is in the political terrain. TPPA is a symptom. Fill the gap.

  11. maui 11

    As reported on TV1 news last night the “trade benefits” will all make up for it. The majority of the populace think trade deals are generally good, but it would be nice to see some evidence, infact just any evidence of what we will get with this one. Like, we get full access to this country’s market in 2017 and it will mean an $X million increase in trade for our economy each year. Too much to ask? But what we seem to get is talk like – this a good deal, it’s worth it, it’s worth millions to our economy, we have to be part of this, this is just like the china deal, etc. Which could all be considered as just talking bull..

    • Save NZ 11.1

      Good point. Have the trade benefits worked previously? Nope.

      But seriously TPPA is not about trade it is about destroying the state system and government.

    • Steve Reeves 11.2

      So, are we being softened up for the best we can hope for being that this all balances out at zero cost to NZ? I.e. increased costs for drugs, software, books etc. balanced our by increased profits for farming?

      There’s no evidence that the farming profits will happen…but even if they do…is all tis being played for a zero sum game?

    • John 11.3

      Promoters of the China FTA estimated it would be worth nearly a billion dollars a year in increased trade.

      Critics laughed at that.

      It is now nearly 1000% higher than those estimates.

      Before the China FTA, it took a decade to increase exports by $1b. In the few years since the FTA, exports have increased a further $8b.

      That would have taken 80 years at the pre-FTA growth rate.

      Which makes a total mockery of SaveNZs comments that trade benefits haven’t worked previously.

      • Save NZ 11.3.1

        Oh, John tell that to the farmers. I just don’t think they are seeing the ‘trickle down’ – now hundreds of jobs about to go at Fonterra, the milk scares, the working poor in NZ with low wages – the 7? deficits in a row from Bill English.

        The free trades deals have allowed foreigners to buy up our country, yes, but do Kiwis really want that and what is going to happen when all our land is sold but we are bound to very unfair agreements that support profits of corporates above good sense and a decent standard of living to the locals?

        • John

          Without that extra $8b a year in exports (every year), you could say goodbye to tens of thousands of kiwi jobs.

          And the govt would have to slash spending across every sector – benefits, health education etc.

          As one of the most isolated countries on the planet, we rely on being able to trade more than just about any other country.

          If you want to live in a protectionist society where foreign corporates have little influence, ask North Koreans how that’s working out.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            John your numbers of exports to China are meaningless if it turns out that we have a massive trade deficit with China exacerbated by the FTA. Which we do.

            So again, a net loss to NZ, and all your scare stories are coming true any way because we refuse to manufacture the things we use ourselves, because we no longer believe in the economic and employment benefits of Made in NZ.

            • John

              Statistics NZ latest info says for the year ended March 2015 –

              $10,660 million is the total value of goods and services exported to China.

              $9,154 million is the total value of imports from China.

              So we receive $1,506 million MORE than than we pay, and you call that a “massive trade deficit”.

          • Tracey

            so let’s get better at cost/benefit analysis before entering agreements, and better at our projections, and release them to everyone John. Then we can see excatly how everything will be measured. How other impacts are eliminated from the numbers game and so on. Benefits/burdens. Simple. The Government has all of that right? Otherwise they would be going into the TPP on blind faith. So let’s see it.

          • Save NZ

            Oh my, maybe we won’t be able to give Serco all those profits that they expect and prop up charter schools. Sky city might have to fund their own real estate and Saudi business men won’t need government hand outs.

            Yes what about the REAL costs, of all the intensification of dairy which one day is booming and the next not. Perhaps real issues facing farmers like drought could be addressed (and not by raiding the aqua fills so that in a few years we are all screwed) or giving away bottled water rights for $300, but by investing in real solutions and making sure any conversions are actually viable in the long term.

            Perhaps if there was more focus on other areas like developing IP in this country or making pharma products from unique products here like Manuka Honey or what have you.

            Nope just F- the environment – convert everything that moves to dairy and then refuse to take any notice of the figures of pollution, environmental degradation. When dairy exports tanks, and over extended farmers start losing their farms – the government goes great, now foreign investors can get them cheaper under all their AMAZINGLY short sighted deals!

            There are lease situations where Kiwis could still own the land and foreign investors lease it etc etc but no – sell everything cheap culture.

      • Steve Reeves 11.3.2

        So was this huge increase *caused* by the FTA?

        What would have happened, due to China’s huge need for dairy, even without the FTA?

        And where are we now? FTAs don’t, clearly, create demand.

        • John

          Of course it was.

          Pre FTA, there was a global economic boom and China’s imports were growing at an extremely fast rate.

          Post FTA, there was the worst recession in 70 years, and Chinas imports didn’t grow at all.

          Yet out export growth to China skyrocketed 1000% in WORSE economic conditions.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            John you are repeating chants like a fool. Who the fuck cares about exports to China when China has also been used to decimate our manufacturing industries and our jobs basis.

            Does the concept of a net loss mean nothing to you?

            • John

              You are talking total nonsense.

              In the last year we received $1,506 million more from China, than we paid them.

              This is a good test of your preconceived ideas. Will you let real world facts disrupt your parallel universe, or simply ignore the real world so you can carry on with a disproven mantra?

              • Foreign waka

                John, the issue at stake is not so much trade and trade offs as such but the connected conditions that effectively curtail the sovereign state. Lets start with pointing out that a trade partner can sue another trade partner for not getting access as envisioned.
                Deals of such nature that can effectively interfere with a democratic process of a state and as such leaves people powerless about their right to shape heir future.
                The US has their declaration of independence and a constitution set in law. NZ has – nothing. Legally wide open like a barn door.
                One should not be surprised that many do understand by knowledge or instinct that their intrinsic rights are being threatened.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            I commend you for trying, John. But what the fuck did you think would happen if you tried to talk sense?

            • John

              You are right, of course.

            • ropata

              John may have *attempted* to talk sense, but he failed.

              The truth is that the neo-liberal consensus, with its promise of economic “freedom”, has failed to deliver. The opening-up of China and India over the past 20 years has lifted millions of people out of poverty. But inequality here and in other developing countries remains shameful, and shouldn’t be left unchallenged.

              At the same time, average workers in most of the major rich economies, including the UK, have seen the real value of their wages shrivel away, as they have found themselves in competition not just with their neighbours, but with workers many thousands of miles away.

              Yet if the system fails the average worker in the west, it fails even in its own terms, because it undermines consumer demand, and chokes off economic growth. The rich elite who have been the big winners over the last 50 years may be big-spenders, but they still park much of their wealth in Switzerland.


      • lprent 11.3.3

        Critics laughed at that.

        Point to a actual credible critic who said that.

        It was quite clear to anyone in the business and political communities very early on that the benefits of a FTA with China were going to be immense. Same for most of the FTAs that we have signed going back to to CER. In each case there were also going to be costs, but the benefits to the whole country outweighed them.

        That is why I have been supporting FTAs going all the way back to CER. But not this one.

        The TPPA appears to offer no advantages to NZ (disagree? point to some real benefits we can expect) and looks like it is going to cost us a lot. Of course part of that could be the daft levels of secrecy that it has been negotiated under. But so far I haven’t seen anything in it for us in either a trade or even a security sense. All it does it cost us.

        We shouldn’t sign it. Especially if (as I suspect) any support in the house is going to be only a couple of bribed seats. Every other treaty we have signed has had support from more than 75% of the house before the executive council signed it.

        If we do sign it, then we should repudiate it immediately when we kick these arseholes out. The short-term costs of getting out of TPPA look like they will be cheap compared to our long-term costs of staying in it.

        • Pat

          shit …common sense, only thing I would question is the cost of extracting ourselves after the event….not knowing the conditions we cant know it will cost less to leave than stay…a la Greece.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The TPPA appears to offer no advantages to NZ (disagree? point to some real benefits we can expect) and looks like it is going to cost us a lot.

          And one of those costs will be counted in people as NoRightTurn makes clear:

          There’s an unpleasant implication no-one seems to be following up on from John Key’s admission this morning that the TPP would mean higher pharmaceutical prices: people will die. How? Its pretty obvious: absent recreational misuse, people take pharmaceuticals for a reason: to stop them from dying. Any reduction in availability therefore means a statistical rise in deaths.

          Increased pharmaceutical costs due to the imposition of US drug laws necessarily means a reduction in availability.

          • Chch_chiquita

            Just one thing to correct – Poor people will die. Those who can afford it already have private insurance that covers medications not covered by Pharmac.
            We are walking down a horrible path.

          • Craig H

            Agreed. If the TPPA must be done (and I’m one who doesn’t like it), the answer surely is to increase taxes at the top as the primary beneficiaries of the TPPA, to fund the increase in costs to Pharmac, but what is more likely to happen is the costs will be covered by cutting funding to something else, and it won’t easily be noticed.

        • John

          lprent asks “(disagree? point to some real benefits we can expect) ”

          The opposition often criticises the govt because fact we export commodities like logs instead of finished products, so we don’t add any value (or jobs).

          Yet they are against the TPP which will reduce high tariffs on finished wooden products to several Asian countries – the very tariffs that mean we don’t currently export finished products to them now.

          • Tracey

            and will the TPP see a switch to wooden products instead of exporting logs do you think? What are the Government projections int hat regard?

            Let’s say we are sued by a large corporation. Let’s say for a billion dollars. How does that impact the cost benefit analysis? Before you say it won’t happen just bear in mind that the most litigious corporate users of the IR clauses in FTAs to date are countries we will be joining in the TPP.

        • Tracey

          And that john still thinks TPP is an FTA speaks volumes.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.3.4

        The problem you have is that you assume that exports are always good. This is not always the case and our polluted waterways would indicate that these exports aren’t as we’re not running a sustainable economy.

        • John

          The problem you have is that you assume that most of the exports to China are dairy, when nearly $8b of $10.6b was not dairy.

          • Colonial Viper

            Nationalise the banks mate that’ll keep an extra $5B pa in the NZ economy.

            • northshoredoc

              While i can sympathise with your sentiment regarding the banking cartel if we did go down that track that $5 billion would be vastly devalued NZ dollars and would be coupled with an economic collapse due to capital flight out of NZ.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes, there would need to be a detailed and managed plan, and at the end of the day having some private banking in NZ is quite useful. An approach strengthening Kiwi Bank and also limiting the super-profits (and credit creation abilities) of the other large banks is probably as far as needs to be gone.

            • John

              So you want John Key to run all the banks – interesting.

              • Draco T Bastard

                That liar? Hell no but we don’t want Australians running them either.

                • John

                  Well that’s who’d be running them if you nationalised them.

                  And if you “nationalise” (read steal) large foreign investments in NZ, you may as well just hold a gun to the head of the NZ economy, pull the trigger, and rename the country East Zimbabwe.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Well that’s who’d be running them if you nationalised them.

                    No he wouldn’t as John Key himself says – parliament doesn’t run things.

                    And if you “nationalise” (read steal) large foreign investments in NZ, you may as well just hold a gun to the head of the NZ economy, pull the trigger, and rename the country East Zimbabwe.

                    Why would it be stealing? Nationalisation doesn’t mean we don’t pay for them (although I tend to think that the massive record profits that they taken out of NZ has paid for them).

                    And we don’t need foreign investment. We can, and should, produce stuff ourselves from our own innovation…

                    Oh, wait, that’s actually what we do and then the foreign ‘investors’ come along, buy it up and take it offshore.

                    We gain nothing from foreign investment but we lose a hell of a lot.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Trade in goods with China shows rapid growth

            The most-exported commodity to China in 2012 was milk powder, butter, and cheese products, with a total of $2.2 billion exported

            Global New Zealand – International trade, investment, and travel profile: Year ended June 2014

            Our top export markets for the year ended June 2014 were:

            China – (our main export destination) accounted for $11.6 billion of New Zealand’s total exports, up $3.9 billion from the June 2013 year. The highest value export commodity to China was milk powder, valued at $5.3 billion, (up $3.0 billion).

            Seems like my assumption, which is that the FTA with China had increased dairy production and thus caused environmental damage, was quite reasonable and it really is excessive dairy that is destroying our waterways no matter what we’re exporting or who we’re exporting it to. Of course, we could make a pretty good case for it being excessive farming in general. We could, after all, drop our land used for agricultural production by 75% and still produce enough food to feed ourselves. This would return the majority of our land back to native forest.

            The freed up people, ~200k, could be used to make us a high tech economy with improving living conditions rather than a low tech economy with declining living conditions.

            • John

              As I said previously, of $10.6b of exports, nearly $8b are NOT dairy, according to the latest figures from statistics NZ for the year ending March 2015.

              Yes, we could return 75% of our farm land back to forest, but we’d go bust, not be able to afford any imports like fuel, metals, electronics, medicines etc etc.

              With so much less tax you can forget the country being able to afford things like unemployment benefits, WFF etc.

              And what use is it putting 200,000 people into high tech jobs when without trade agreements like the TPP we’d be totally uncompetitive selling our high tech on a world market?

              • lprent

                And what use is it putting 200,000 people into high tech jobs when without trade agreements like the TPP we’d be totally uncompetitive selling our high tech on a world market?

                Because we don’t have a free trade agreement with any country (apart from aussie) that we sell significiant amounts of hitech into now? Just thinking through the last two decades of building and selling hi-tech, probably less than 5% has gone to countries that we had free trade agreements with. Those were all to aussie.

                Anything that we trade that is high tech is not a commodity item. Usually there are few competitors in a vertical worldwide market, and people buy us or the competitors because of what we know – free trade agreements are largely irrelevant in hitech industries.

                You really are an ignorant fool.

              • Draco T Bastard

                As I said previously, of $10.6b of exports, nearly $8b are NOT dairy, according to the latest figures from statistics NZ for the year ending March 2015.

                As I nicely pointed out, that doesn’t actually refute my assumption which wasn’t what you said it was. You should learn to read – then you might actually be able to learn other things rather than remaining an ignoramus.

                Yes, we could return 75% of our farm land back to forest, but we’d go bust, not be able to afford any imports like fuel, metals, electronics, medicines etc etc.

                No we wouldn’t or, to be more precise, we’re going broke under the current paradigm. Stopping a lot of the present farming would allow us to build a better, sustainable economy.

                With so much less tax you can forget the country being able to afford things like unemployment benefits, WFF etc.

                This may come as a surprise but the government doesn’t actually need taxes to be able to spend. They can, and should, create the money that they need. Taxes are then used to decrease the amount of money in circulation to constrain inflation.

              • Tracey

                you mean India is in the TPP and will be bringing their wages into line with TPP countries? Great news John, I hadn’t heard that.

  12. Colonial Rawshark 12

    Can we please get on board with the reality that the TPPA as led by the USA, has always been to do with the politics of falling in line behind their priorities (i.e. what is good for the corporations), and nothing to do with the economics of what would be good for NZ.

    That is clearly the brief that Groser got and that is clearly the brief that the NZ team has been negotiating to.

    That is why from an economic perspective, the TPPA makes no sense at all. It is primarily a political agreement to remove sovereignty, not an economic one to improve the wealth of NZ.

    • greywarshark 12.1

      You have got to the point exactly.
      It has occurred to me that one of our faults as NZ is that we are not sceptical about the right things. That we lack curiosity and a desire to know about things relating to our lives, in NZ, and with our global interaction now, in the whole world. Just thinking about our own concerns and choosing to believe the story most beneficial to us, so any half-truth suffices to satisfy. I think that explains the hounds that troll around here.

    • BM 12.2

      You tube university strikes again.

      • greywarshark 12.2.1

        We just put youtube hints in for your benefit BM. A lot of people like you find it hard to keep up with the modern world and use all of its advantages for information gathering and knowledge. Youtube has a lot of free educational links. Apparently you know about it, but obviously have a lot to learn yet.

      • Tracey 12.2.2

        As opposed to soundbite univeristy based on a cut and paste of a politician press release BM?

  13. esoteric pineapples 13

    Historical events it reminds me of:

    British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain coming back from Hitler waving a bit of paper and saying we have peace in our time.

    Jack returning home to tell his mom he’s sold the family cow for some magic beans (except in his case he got lucky and they really were magic)

  14. Sable 14

    This treasonous agreement needs to be canned….

  15. ianmac 15

    I think that it was Jane Kelsey who said that TPP was little to do with trade.
    But a lot to do with intellectual property, education (who will gain a monopoly on educational texts and tests- McGrath?), health, security etc

  16. JanMeyer 16

    All this hand wringing! It makes little sense criticising one perceived weakness (eg Pharmac) when we don’t have the full picture. Of course there will be trade offs as in any agreement of this type. The test will be the ‘net benefits’ to the country. Challenging as it is, we really do need to withhold judgment until the final agreement has been negotiated. If it turns out the NZ negotiators have signed us up to a package of terms that the Labour Party and its allies believe is not in the best interests of the country then they can campaign in the next election on withdrawing from the agreement. I predict this won’t happen (at least in so far as the Labour Party is concerned)

    • Colonial Rawshark 16.1

      Jan Meyer you clearly do not understand the negotiating concept of a “red line” or a non-negotiable.

      If you believe that it is OK to sell out on Pharmac as long as we (maybe) get something else in return, what else would you be OK to sell out on?

      If you believe that you should only complain about a bad deal AFTER it is signed, how have you not lost tonnes of money buying a home?

      You would be a terrible negotiator for NZ.

      • JanMeyer 16.1.1

        “If you believe that it is OK to sell out on Pharmac as long as we (maybe) get something else in return, what else would you be OK to sell out on?”

        Who said anything about “selling out on Pharmac”? Are you referring to the possibility of extending the term of patents on certain drugs? Ok let’s assume that. Firstly, there will be an analysis of the financial implications of this which will depend on the patent extension. Yes, this could well mean an extra marginal cost to Pharmac. But the goverment has stated that to the extent that Pharmac does incur higher costs the consumer will still only pay $5 per prescription so no change there. Secondly, and more importantly, Pharmac is part of the governemt and is taxpayer funded, so if it can be estabalsihed that a consequence of signing TPP is to create economic growth greater than what the country would have otherwise experienced, and this growth leads to higher tax revenues for the government which comfortably exceed the higher costs for certain drugs, do we still have a problem?

        And that’s without taking into account the other benefits of greater economic growth such as increased employment and the ability to use higher tax revenues to fund investment in schools and hospitals etc.

        • Karen

          Wow, you really have swallowed the Key/Groser spin. I suggest you start reading a bit more widely, starting with Jane Kelsey.

          • John

            Jane Kelsey took every shred of credibility she had, and flushed it down the toilet when she said in a radio interview there wasn’t a thing – not one single solitary thing – in the TPP, that would be of the slightest benefit NZ.

            Even if you gather together all the extremists on the TPP, and take the most extreme extremist, they don’t go that far. She’s so far out she’s on another planet.

            • Colonial Viper

              For a corporate rights agreement that you keep insisting is going to be so beneficial to NZers, they sure want to hide it from NZers. Maybe its not as good for NZers as you think.

              And Dr Jane Kelsey is a national treasure.

          • JanMeyer

            John is more ‘direct’ in his comments but I will add that Jane Kelsey doesn’t support any free trade agreements (including the excellent China Free Trade agreement) so hardly surprising she is against the TPPA. The problem as Prof Kelsey sees it is that as companies get richer from doing more trade under free trade agreements they become wealthier and join the growing club of ‘transnational companies’ that can afford to hire expensive lawyers who can challenge our laws under said free trade agreements and impinge on our sovereignty. It’s madness (and the sensible folk in the Labour Party know that).

            • Colonial Viper

              Trans-national corporations are extractive enterprises.

              Their power needs to be curtailed.

              The TPPA is a trans-national corporate rights agreement.

              It needs to be stopped.

              Jan Meyer – you won’t be thanked for your efforts, you know. You’ll just be another human being whose rights will be ended by corporate control over your food, your medicine, your information.

      • John 16.1.2

        It’s idealogical insanity to throw away a massive gain, because there is a small cost.

        It’s like turning down a well paying job when you’re on the dole, because you’d have to buy a new shirt.

        • Karen

          Ahh, but the problem is that there will be massive costs for small gains, as anybody who has bothered to read widely on this issue knows.

          I am sure, however, Groser and Key will both do well personally out of it.

          • John

            That’s what protesters have said about every trade agreement we’ve ever signed.

            And so far they have a record of being wrong 100% of the time.

            • lprent

              Interesting, so you have gone from critics to protesters.

              What about political parties?

              • John

                I didn’t realise there was a rule that you can’t talk about critics and protestors in two different posts – you should make that clear in your policy.

                NZ First said the China FTA was of so little value to NZ that Goff got into a little bit of bother by saying their stance was “bullshit”.

                And the Greens protested against it with the same arguments we’re hearing now.

                As did the Maori Party.

                So there’s three political parties.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The primary purpose of the TPPA is to advance corporate rights over the top of sovereign and citizens rights. The objective is to enshrine the corporate right to profit as the ultimate right, ahead of all other human or democratic rights.

                  It is not a trade agreement.

                • lprent

                  Yes, however both National and Labour supported it. So more than 75% of the house right.
                  Same for every other FTA and treaty NZ has ever done.

                  But this restraint of trade agreement? I don’t think Labour will wind up supporting it because it will be terrible for NZ.

                  So even if all of National’s puppet parties line up, then barely 50% of the house will support measures.

                  And no-one from National and their dumbarse followers like you can point to ANY advantages from the agreement for NZ.

                  • John

                    No advantages?

                    You seem to have positioned yourself way out on the horizon past the most extreme fringes of the greens.

                    Out there, with hands over eyes and fingers in ears, you can’t see or hear estimates from MFAT that TPP will bring an additional $4.1 billion increase in exports and another $2 billion a year in other benefits i.e better profitability, and increases in our services, tourism, etc.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      you can’t see or hear estimates from MFAT that TPP will bring an additional $4.1 billion increase in exports and another $2 billion a year in other benefits i.e better profitability, and increases in our services, tourism, etc.

                      You’ll be able to link to that then won’t you?

                      Personally though I think the US Trade estimate of 0.01% increase is probably more accurate.

                    • lprent

                      No link. I guess you ‘forgot’ that. Probably because you didn’t specify what time period these mythic increases would come over.

                      MFAT’s estimates on agriculture, if you can pull your finger out of your lazy arse long enough to look for a link, are based on getting all of the tariff and non-tariff barriers dropped. In other words it is a potential return if the US and Japan dropped them now. The other nations don’t matter for this, either the potential market is tiny or we already effectively have free access anyway.

                      However what is on the negotiating table from our MFAT team is that tariffs will be slightly reduced – hopefully within 10-15 years. We’d talk about some of the non-tariff ones after that. In other words these would be the benefits, not now or in any time in the near future. But in 10-15 years if everything goes perfectly. Since the US congress and the Japanese diet haven’t displayed any ability to agree with each other, let along any other countries, and both play pork barrel politics at the expense of free trade – well picture my scepticism on future hopes of them doing anything constructive for little old us..

                      Why do you think that John Key is on the phone tonight whining to other pacific rim states that he doesn’t have anything to show for the TPPA in agriculture.

                      The tourism figures are complete crap. Essentially the number of tourists we get are related to our exchange rate and how many we can handle. The second is usually the constraining factor. Trade agreements have little to do with incoming tourism.

                      Services, maybe a smidgen in a couple of small markets. However our services are sold like our tech. If we get a contract we get it because we are have the best skills and IP for a vertical global niche. MFAT are either outright lying on that one or they should do some remedial courses in business.

                      You appear to be a great believer in snorting horseshit direct to your brain. It probably explains why you can’t use it.

                    • John

                      The $6b a year benefit to NZ was by 2025.

                      You say you can’t find any benefit – I found that in 10 seconds with a google search. Perhaps you don’t WANT to find any benefits.


                    • lprent []

                      …found that in 10 seconds with a google search. Perhaps you don’t WANT to find any benefits.

                      It was trivial to find it. But if you cite it, then you link to it. In this case your link wasn’t the one that you were referring to. There is absolutely no mention of tourism and the numbers are quite different from the ones that you appear to have invented in your previous comment.

                      However the numbers you didn’t quote from this document were prefaced with (my italics)

                      A study by the East West Centre predicts an agreement could generate the following GDP and export gains from lowering of trade barriers and regional integration benefits

                      You ever wonder why MFAT phrased it that way? Go and look up and read that study, and in particular the assumptions that it used to arrive at the numbers. Hint: it also easy to find on the net – I wonder why MFAT didn’t link to it eh?. We wrote about it when it was released FFS.

                      Those completely pie in the sky numbers were based on the US and Japan doing a rapid phase out of all agricultural tariffs.

                      This isn’t happening. As Gareth Morgan, that hard headed and hard line free trade economist, points out in this post this week (my italics again)

                      The billion dollar question is whether the extra trade that is promised will even materialize. Murmurs coming out of negotiations suggest that the Japanese, Canadians and Americans are not budging on the key issue that matters to us – access for our agricultural products. These markets have traditionally been tough nuts to crack – particularly Japan which has had very high tariffs on food.

                      So why we are even bothering with this process – to be discussing such fundamental issues for our economy at the eleventh hour? It raises the question whether our interest in the TPP is really just part of a desire to be part of a club regardless or whether we actually win anything from this round. We’ve talked before about the geopolitical clash that TPP actually represents and New Zealand is trying to stay in the good books of both China and the US. If that’s all we are to get from this TPP affair – then the government’s acceptance of an agreement that Mr Groser has procured nothing from, could well be National’s most embarrassing moment. That’s how threatened New Zealanders feel by the ISDS aspects of this deal.

                      Gee, those morons at MFAT who are meant to be getting us the deal on that seemed to have been a little optimistic on those numbers eh? It happens to be the exact sticking point that everyone who knew those countries politics predicted back when the US and Japan joined the TPPA negoitiations.

                      Before those countries entered into negotiation, a workable agreement looked pretty possible. After that it looked like we would be screwed in negotiations – and that is what appears to have happened. NZ is winding up with, not a free trade agreement, but a restraint of trade agreement where we get screwed over by american corporates with nothing in return.

                      (You really do seem to like the smell of dry horseshit)

                    • John

                      Draco says “Personally though I think the US Trade estimate of 0.01% increase is probably more accurate.”

                      I’d happily bet you a months pay that that is wildly underestimating the benefit.

                      The over $8b annual increase in exports to China since the China FTA is around 4% of GDP. i.e 400 times greater than that.

                      So you think an agreement that takes in nearly half of all our exports, including the addition of the worlds largest, and third largest economies, and currently covers nearly 50% of all of our exports, will only be worth 1/400th of what the China FTA was worth.


                      Taking bets now.

        • lprent

          It’s idealogical insanity to throw away a massive gain, because there is a small cost

          It is when there isn’t any gain and there appears to be no prospect of getting any noticeable gain for the next 20 years or so, but the costs happen immediately.

          If you think there is a “gain”, then point to where it is likely to come from in specific terms (none of the ideological/religous economic stupidity of generalisations please). Because I can’t see any.

          We already have effective free trade for good and services (outside of agriculture) with almost every country in the TPPA now. And agriculture is being played down so much by our negoitiators that it doesn’t appear that there will be ANY noticeable loosening of overseas markets for more than 15 years.

          • John

            So you don’t see any benefit to NZ if the 38.5% – 50% tariff on our beef entering Japan is reduced or removed?

            Or removing tariffs when the average annual tariff for thousands of export growers is –
            $29,000 for every Kiwifruit grower.
            $50,450 for every onion grower
            $95,000 for every buttercup squash grower.

            Those three products alone would put an additional $100 million into Kiwi pockets if tariffs were removed, or significantly more as sales increase.

            Considering average profit margins for most businesses are in the 5-10% range, just a 5 or 10% tariff often means the difference between whether a product can be exported from NZ, or that it’s just not worth it.

            Similarly much of the world has tariffs on processed timber, meaning one of our largest export sectors – forestry – get us the lowest possible value.

            It’s insane you don’t want an agreement that would let us add significant value and a large number of jobs to our forestry sector.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Those three products alone would put an additional $100 million into Kiwi pockets if tariffs were removed, or significantly more as sales increase.

              Probably not actually as real economics, the actual availability of resources, will prevent our agricultural sector from growing to fill those markets.

              That’s the bit you, and many others from all sections of society, miss.

            • Sacha

              Are those tarriff costs just for Japan, John?

            • lprent

              Ah when? As far as I am aware none of those things are on the negotiating table for significant tariff reductions more than 15 years.

              So you think differently? Point to where there is ANY hint that these are on the negotiating table for more than token (ie useless) tariff reductions from Japan in the next decade.

            • Clemgeopin

              If those tariff reductions are applicable only after 15 or 20 years hence and not immediately, then the smarter thing to do would be to carry on as usual now and consider negotiating after 15 or 20 years.

              If non residents foreigners have unfettered/unrestricted rights to own our land, houses, property here, I put it to you that extremely powerful, high-populated and wealthy countries such as USA, China, India, Saudi Arabia etc will swallow all of New Zealand in no time within a few years.
              It concerns me. Doesn’t it concern you? Doesn’t seem to concern Key as he will probably be somewhere in USA by then! Controlled resident immigration is OK, but if we allow non residents buying our property here will be disastrous for us and our future generations as well as our culture and way of life. We will end up being tenants in our own country controlled by wealthy non residents.

              I think it is madness going into a single agreement with multi countries and lose all controls and sovereignty. It is wiser to do bilateral separate individual trade deals with other countries rather than being with the TPPA and be controlled and stuck into big corporate-dictated modern slavery.

              • Draco T Bastard


                The one thing we should have learned over the last 30+ years is that neo-liberalism simply doesn’t work for the majority of people in the short term and won’t work for the rich in the long term either. Societal collapse due to greed of the few and imposed poverty on the many doesn’t work for anyone.

              • John

                If you carry on as usual now, then in 15-20 years try to get those tariffs reduced, it will then take a further 15-20 years to get them removed.

                In the meantime the other countries in the TPP have been trading at a great advantage to us, and when we finally get tariffs finished (what under your plan) is 30-40 years time – 2045-2055 we’re trying to break into markets as the newby where there have been established relationships for decades.

                Sounds like a recipe for economic disaster to me.

                I’m not too worried about foreign ownership. People seem to forget that every time a foreigner buys a property here, a Kiwi has a lump of money to invest somewhere else in NZ.

                • Clemgeopin

                  Isn’t it the right thing to do to bring the terms of the agreement to the supreme powers in the country, i.e, the PEOPLE, the voters, (as well as the media and the parliament) to discuss , debate and DECIDE if the agreement is actually in OUR interest or in the primary interest of USA (& other big countries) and the big powerful corporates?

                  This kind of deal being a long term deal for the nation and futurew generations, don’t you think it is the right thing to do to get cross party agreement with at least the main two or three opposition parties (at least 2 of Labour, Greens and NZF) to give the deal some legitimacy rather than just a National party deal with the support of its bum-licking parties, ACT(0.5%%) and Dunne (0%)?

                  Is it true that the finer points of the agreement will only be revealed after a few years and not immediately?

                  Are all the National party MPs comfortable with the TPPA? If they are, that is really scary and dumb on their part.

                  Will this government actually give us all the full details of the actual agreement done under closed doors, including the actual costs and benefits to NZ? Why haven’t they done that already?

                  • John

                    No – that’s a really bad idea.

                    Labour have said it’s a bottom line that Pharmac is untouched.

                    So there could be a $2000 gain per capita for NZ, but if there’s just a $5 cost per capita, they’ll throw the whole thing out.

                    That’s financial lunacy for NZ.

                    As for the secrecy – it would be nice to know the detail but most of the US Congress doesn’t even know. The problem with public debate on negotiations is it often has the effect of causing controversy and significantly weakening a countries position.

                    As someone said, if a country’s negotiating position is publically debated, it’s like going into negotioations to buy a $500, 000 house, and telling the buyer that you’d like it for $400,000, but if pushed you could go to $600,000.

                    Another issue is the public don’t really know what to think, and are often swayed by scaremongering or politicing.

                    For example , the stunningly successful China FTA (negotiated by Labour) had significantly more Kiwis against it (44%), than for it (32%).

                    And Clarke signed it BEFORE it was voted on in NZ parliament.

                    • lprent

                      And Clarke signed it BEFORE it was voted on in NZ parliament.

                      That was because it was never voted on in the NZ Parliament. Parliament has no ability to vote on treaties. They get a glance at it in select committee. The executive council signs treaties.

                      At best parliament may get to vote on some enabling legislation after it is signed.

                • Clemgeopin

                  From your first sentence you are agreeing that the tariff concession will only kick in after about 15 or 20 years?

                  What about the easier access to non residents buying of NZ property, the copy right law controls, the Pharmac hand wringing etc—–will those take effect immediately or also after that same period, 15 to 20 years hence?

                  Money and trade is important, but not at any tangible or intangible cost. What use is it if a country gets extra money but loses its soul forever?

                  I am getting more and more convinced that bilateral agreements are better and wiser for the long term.

                  At the very least, this deal should be rejected unless BOTH the National and the Labour caucuses unanimously or overwhelmingly vote for accepting it after studying the all the terms of the deal and going through all the hooks and fine prints.

                  • John

                    Clemgeopin asks “From your first sentence you are agreeing that the tariff concession will only kick in after about 15 or 20 years?”

                    No. Most trade agreements have tariffs reducing straight away, but can take gradual reductions over many years to reach the final reductions.

                    As one of thousands of small Kiwi businesses who rely 100% on protecting our copyright, I’m all for having strong copyright regulations that stop big corporations ripping me off as they regularly do now.

                    I see your point with bilateral agreements, however with the TPP, if we miss out on all these markets while the rest of the Pacific Rim gets free access, then we will be disadvantaged and have difficulty in ever breaking into these markets, not just for years to come, but for decades

                    Just like we struggle to get any traction into the EU market, and can’t really compete. We don’t want that to happen to 45% of our current export markets (i.e. TPP countries)

                    • Clemgeopin

                      Thanks for taking the time to reply so late in the day….(unless you are bit of an insomniac. Whoops! That’s me too! Kind of, sometimes)

                      John, you argue very well but you conveniently leave out uncomfortable truths!

                      You mentioned copy-right stuff about big corporations ‘ripping you off as they regularly do now, but you ignored the other important issues I raised : “What about the easier access to non residents buying of NZ property, (the copy right law controls), the Pharmac hand wringing etc—–will those take effect immediately or also after that same period, 15 to 20 years hence?”

                      And this:

                      “At the very least, this deal should be rejected unless BOTH the National and the Labour caucuses unanimously or overwhelmingly vote for accepting it after studying the all the terms of the deal and going through all the hooks and fine prints.”

                      What do you honestly have to say about all that?

                    • leftie


                      The TPPA is not like most trade agreements.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      The reason I suggested that the TPPA deal should not be agreed upon unless AT LEAST the two main political party caucuses of National (47%) + Labour (31%)=78% (or >67% of nation’s reps) unanimously or overwhelmingly agree to the deal.

                      For a deal that has such long term serious economic, social and environmental consequence for the people and the country, an approval from only the ruling National party (47%) and its very tiny coalition parties, ACT (0.5%) & U.FUT(0%)=47.5% does not even represent a reasonable or a decent proportion of the people of the country.

                      So, the PPTA deal needs the endorsement of at least 2/3 or 67% of the nation’s representatives from a mixture of political parties, Nats, Labour, Greens, NZF etc. or at least the approval from National and Labour.

                      Even better would be to give a free conscience votes to all the MPs to decide what is best for the country. If the vote falls below 67%, reject the deal and go for slow and steady bilateral deals between different countries, thus preserving more of our sovereignty, independence, control and freedom too.

                      I hope all MPs, including at least some National MPs and Dunne will act in a responsible, honest and patriotic way with integrity and good conscience.

        • greywarshark

          You are so gullible John. ‘It’s idealogical (sic) insanity to make a massive loss, because there is a small gain’/ FIFY

          • John

            That’s exactly what all the idiot protesters said about the China FTA.

            • ropata

              it made a few farmers rich and let the government pretend that GDP was OK. but in reality foreigners were (are) buying up prime farmland and residential property and pumping up the Key/English ponzi scheme.

              Meanwhile inequality hit a record high and your neoliberal idols sunk NZ further in debt

              • John

                Actually a huge number of people have benefited from the China FTA.

                The govt would have to massively cut spending on health, education and benefits without it, so that pretty much covers the whole country.

                And latest figures from Stats NZ show that $2.8b of exports to China in the year to March 2015 were dairy – the other nearly $8 billion were other products.

                Not to mention tens of thousands of new jobs created by exporting an extra $8 billion of products.

                And if you really hate the China FTA, you can blame the Labour Party for it.

                Personally, I think they did a great job.

                • Clemgeopin

                  Don’t stupidly compare China-NZ FTA with TPPA. One is a bilateral deal agreed upon by two countries for mutual benefits. Easy to alter or get out off if need be.

                  TPPA is a muli-nation agreement which will/may end up being in the interest of USA and other large countries to the detriment of the sovereignty of our small NZ nation and will be expensive and/or too hard to get out of.

                  I think any one with a little bit of brain or honesty can see that.

                  • John

                    US research showed the TPP will actually be far more beneficial to small and medium businesses breaking into new markets, than big companies who have the financial clout to already have set up in other markets.

                    I’m simply not swayed by the fear-mongers and doomsayers. They’ve always been wrong in the past.

                    Even recently Jane Kelsey was still banging on about how disastrous the China FTA was. That’s taking extremist views to a new level of delusion.

                    [lprent: Link to things that you cite or lose your ability to be a troll. This has been pointed out to you repeatably over the last day.

                    Banned for a week. Spend it reading how Jane Kelsey always references the material that she argues with. ]

                    • JanMeyer

                      I would like to register my disapproval of this ban. “John” has contributed a huge amount to this debate in an informed and well reasoned manner. Of course not everyone will agree with his conclusions but I am disappointed we will not have the benefit of his commentary as the great thing about a blog like this is to have a contest of ideas, not everyone singing from the same song sheet.

                • greywarshark

                  @ John
                  Actually a huger number of people have not made a net benefit from fta,
                  but I presume you don’t want to know that. It’s great to sing the song of the victorious and presumably you have done well or expect to, and are in
                  a position to steer your family to personally good outcomes and opportunities.

                  And Clem makes good points at 1.11 am in the morning. Dedicated pollie watching!

  17. Penny Bright 17

    Ok folks! Wednesday 29 July 2015

    Should be interesting in the House today!

    Will be back outside Auckland Uni from 3.30 – 5.30pm – letting our banners / placards ‘do the talking’ – exposing the ‘INTERNational’ Party and the $ELLOUT ShonKEY John Key! (As it were ……. )

    WHEN: Wednesday 29 July 2015
    TIME: 3.30pm – 5.30pm
    WHERE: Symonds St / Grafton ROAD (not Grafton Bridge) intersection.

    (Opposite Auckland Uni – close to Princes St – Auckland Uni Library)

    There are THOUSANDS of people (mainly students) who can see our message!

    Who wants to come along?


    (It’s also FUN!)

    Dress warmly and bring a brolly 😉


    John Key – Tim Groser – WALK AWAY FROM THE TPPA!

    Penny Bright

  18. Penny Bright 18

    How many DECENT National Party members / supporters have contacted (phoned / emailed) the National Party and told them in no uncertain terms:

    If the National Government does not ‘WALK AWAY’ from the TPPA – I/we will WALK AWAY FROM NATIONAL!

    (As happened in the recent Northland by-election).

    Penny Bright

  19. Saarbo 19

    Is the Agricultural benefit 0.01% of GDP or $850m, because I think they are 2 very different numbers?

  20. b waghorn 20

    Keys doesn’t trust his man to go it alone!
    On a side note as fonterra sells in a auction format what’s to stop a country with huge tarrifs buying our product and costing farmers when they would be better off selling to a low tarrif country.

  21. greywarshark 21

    Comments on Radionz blog. The third one from sosspill gives a good reasoned discussion on TPPA consideratons.

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  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
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    23 hours ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    1 day ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
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    1 day ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
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    1 day ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
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    1 day ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
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    2 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
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    2 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
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    2 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
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    2 days ago
  • Clean Vehicles Bill passes first checkpoint
    The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill will help New Zealand drive down transport emissions by cleaning up the light vehicle fleet, Transport Minister Michael Wood says. The Bill passed its first reading today and will establish the legislative framework for key parts of the Government’s Clean Car Package, including ...
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    3 days ago
  • Funding boost supports ongoing Māori COVID-19 response
    The Government is responding to the need by whānau Māori and Māori Health providers to support their ongoing work responding to COVID-19 and to continue increasing rates of Māori vaccination, Associate Minister for Health (Māori Health), Peeni Henare and Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.   This increased ...
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    3 days ago
  • Significant increase to COVID-19 penalties
    Penalties for breaches of COVID-19 orders are set to significantly increase from early November 2021 to better reflect the seriousness of any behaviour that threatens New Zealand’s response to the virus, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Throughout this Delta outbreak we’ve seen the overwhelming majority of people doing ...
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    3 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill returns to Parliament
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has returned to Parliament for its second reading in an important step towards giving enforcement agencies greater power to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity. “The Bill addresses longstanding gaps in our counter terrorism legislation that seek to protect New Zealanders and make us safer,” Justice ...
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    3 days ago
  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
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    4 days ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
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    5 days ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
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    1 week ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
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    1 week ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
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    1 week ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
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    1 week ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
    171 catchment groups have now been invested in by the Government 31 catchment groups in the Lower North Island are receiving new support More than 5,000 farmers are focussed on restoring freshwater within a generation through involvement in catchment groups  Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land ...
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    1 week ago
  • Fight to protect kauri on track
    The Government is pitching in to help vital work to protect nationally significant kauri forests in Auckland, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “Ensuring the survival of these iconic trees for future generations means doing everything we can to prevent the potential spread of kauri dieback disease,” Kiri Allan said. ...
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    1 week ago