web analytics

Golriz Ghahraman in the House on the TPPA

Written By: - Date published: 6:04 am, March 1st, 2018 - 177 comments
Categories: capitalism, democracy under attack, Economy, Free Trade, greens, labour, nz first, trade - Tags: , , , ,

Yesterday in parliament,

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership—Release of Text

Hon DAVID PARKER (Minister for Trade and Export Growth): I move, That this House note that the text of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership has been released, and will be signed on 8 March 2013.

Parker gave his speech and was followed by Todd McLay,

Hon TODD McCLAY (National—Rotorua): Mr Assistant Speaker, thank you. I want to congratulate the Minister for Trade and Export Growth for delivering, almost word for word, an identical speech to the one I gave in this House for the TPP agreement just two years ago. The reason for that is that I agree with him. This is a high-quality agreement that is good for New Zealand. I agree with him absolutely.

So, we’re clear on what is happening here.

Here’s the video and transcript of Golriz Ghahraman’s speech in parliament yesterday. I was going to pull out some quotes, but I think it’s worth reading, or watching, the whole thing (ten mins).

GOLRIZ GHAHRAMAN (Green): Madam Assistant Speaker, I stand today in support of this motion, that the House recognise the text of the newly named Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has been released, some two weeks before it’s set to be signed with no more opportunity for amendments or input. This deal undermines our democracy in a multitude of ways and not least of all through this secret negotiation process, through the lack of consultation certainly before the text was properly released, rushed to signing at a time when 75 percent of New Zealanders would like to see some independent analysis of the newly negotiated text.

We were promised a transformed deal. We were told over and over again by the coalition that the risks—the grave risk, to our democracy, our human rights, our workers’ rights, our environmental protection, and our Treaty of Waitangi—have now vanished. It turns out that was mostly spin and it is profoundly disappointing to know that the coalition used fairly minor changes to justify its total reversal of position on this deal so soon after the election.

It turns out that was spin and even on the most grave risks to our democracy, the investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses—the clauses that say that multi-national corporations, foreign investors can sue our Government for law change—those clauses remain the same. ISDS remains. Now we are a small nation. We need trade and the Green Party is for trade—trade that benefits New Zealand and helps us to address the global problems facing our planet today. We are not for a deal that marries us to a failed global economic model that Kiwis voted against this election. So our democracy is under threat—our ability to adopt transformative change that helps us to face threats like climate change, record inequality, and to honour our founding constitutional document.

There’s good reason we do not give Kiwi businesses the right to sue the Government for law change, because the Government should look out for the interests of everybody. Health policy, education policy, environmental policy should be all about providing schools, better hospitals, protecting the natural environment, not the profits of a few elite. But that is exactly what we’re about to give away to foreign businesses. They can hold these privileges over our Government—this one and future Governments—in a system that sits above our law, above our courts, above our democracy.

It’s important when it comes to the ISDS clauses to note that we’re not actually talking about contracts breaches. Supporters of this deal keep saying that foreign corporates, investors now have to sue for contract breaches in our courts. Well, that was never the key concern. The key concern was the investment chapter, which creates robust privileges, minimum standards of treatment for foreign investors that ordinary Kiwis do not have. It’s the investment chapter that they can use to sue us using the ISDS clauses. We don’t have to have entered into a contract with them at all. It’s enough that in March 2018 we are entering this agreement. From then on, they can use these privileges that we are about to give away to them to unduly influence our elected officials—a right that ordinary Kiwis don’t have.

The only real change to the ISDS regime in this agreement is the side deals or the side letters. One of them is with Australia and the supporters of this deal point out that that’s 80 percent of our trade. It’s a big trading partner. It is a big trading partner, Australia, but we all know that corporates can base themselves anywhere. So once we enter this deal corporates, even Australian-based businesses, can registered a base in any one of the signing nations and use that base to sue us using the ISDS clauses. It’s no protection at all. As Greens, what’s particularly chilling to us is that we know elsewhere in the world where ISDS clauses have been accessed to sue Governments, corporates have used them to stop environmental protection. When Indonesia tried to stop particularly damaging types of mining happening in its native forests, it had to exclude foreign investors because it couldn’t afford the compensation. It had entered into a similar agreement with the UK and Australia, and just the mere threat of access to ISDS clauses was enough. The Indonesian environmental Minister had to admit, “If we shut them down, they will need compensation and Indonesia can’t afford it.” That is chilling.

At this moment in global history can we really afford to give primacy to the profits of multi-national corporations over the threat of climate change? Is that what Kiwis voted for this election? Most of us voted for transformative, progressive change—a change in approach even on trade. In fact, this agreement is blatantly not all that much about trade at all. Most of the thousands of pages are about giving special privileges to multi-nationals to be free from Government regulation. Most Kiwis would be horrified to find that its e-commerce chapter, effectively, prevents public oversight of this century’s data-driven economy. It allows these foreign investors to base their data elsewhere, bypassing our Privacy Act. It guarantees that New Zealand will abstain from regulating future unknown technologies. Who does that benefit and what does it have to do with trade?

So instead of the progressive promise of its new name, we have before us the text of an archaic kind of agreement, which is just the kind that formed the backbone of the corrupt new and liberal regime that caused the devastation of the latest global financial crisis. The environmental and labour protections that are constantly invoked to show the progressive nature of this deal are, essentially, lip service. Actually, climate change isn’t even mentioned at all and our obligations pursuant to the Paris Agreement aren’t considerations here. In fact, any mentions of labour or environmental protections are not all that enforceable in law. They’re outlined with very little specificity. They say things like—the environmental chapter says, “Transition to a low-emission economy requires collective action.” Great—it does. What does that mean in law?

Parties also agree to cooperate on matters of joint interest, including things like developing low-emission technologies. Again, these are soft, unenforceable acknowledgments in law. Compare that to the incredibly detailed, biting and binding language of the investment chapter. Actually, we know that similarly worded protections have failed to stand up against corporates elsewhere in the world. In 48 percent of cases where these types of protections and similar deals have been invoked by Government, only four have been successful.

So instead of installing a transition to an innovative and sustainable economy that New Zealanders voted for, this deal will actually make it far harder and far more expensive for us to implement things like the zero-carbon Act. That is exactly why the narrative of consensus around this kind of deal is all but illusory now. Mass protests across the world—I was at the one in Auckland when the previous deal was put up. The city shut down. The EU will no longer enter this kind of agreement. Its human rights regime and climate change obligations sit above this kind of trade deal. New Zealand should be placing ourselves among the nations that are changing trade, that want to find ways to make trade fair. Our hope and intention is that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the last of this kind of deal. I want to work towards introducing change that will require us to make trade fair, to make negotiations like this democratically processed, transparent. These trade agreements should be contingent on our human rights, our Treaty of Waitangi obligations, our need for environmental protection, and our obligations to tangata whenua, with no more investor-State dispute settlement clauses.

We need to make trade fair and fit to serve our needs in the 21st century, with all the lessons of the failed neo-liberal regime. Instead, on 8 March, we will not be entering a fair or free trade agreement at all. We will be ceding sovereignty to foreign investors.

_______________________________________________________________________

Full Hansard transcripts of all speakers is here. Videos start here.

Sign the petition calling for Labour not to sign.

It’s Our Future are running a nationwide week of action starting this Saturday, details here.

177 comments on “Golriz Ghahraman in the House on the TPPA”

  1. Ed 1

    “We need to make trade fair and fit to serve our needs in the 21st century, with all the lessons of the failed neo-liberal regime. Instead, on 8 March, we will not be entering a fair or free trade agreement at all. We will be ceding sovereignty to foreign investors.”

    1984.
    All over again.
    Neoliberal lackeys.

    George Carlin’s speech on who owns the US could just as well apply to NZ.

  2. 54% of the population didn’t want this agreement. Labour and NZ First are going against the wishes of the people.

    Thing is, the only option that the country had to stop it was the Greens. Perhaps next time that 54% will realise that.

    • Ed 2.1

      There is no next time for the TPP.
      Once it is signed, it’s very hard to get out of.
      Ask Greece.

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 2.1.1

        Are you for or against brexit ed?

      • Peroxide Blonde 2.1.2

        What was/is Greece trying to get out of?

        • Ed 2.1.2.1

          The EU

          • dukeofurl 2.1.2.1.1

            Dont you mean the euro ?

            AS for getting out of (trade) agreements, Trump doesnt seem to think its a problem getting out of NAFTA and hes using that threat to get parts changed.
            But of course big countries have always played by different rules to small ones

            The euro and its associated financial straight jacket was likely impossible to get out of.
            A bit like joining the IMF, they will allways be around to ‘enforce discipline’

  3. Anon 3

    Decent speech, hugely disappointing the resignation at the end there to this going though and only commiting to try to prevent future such deals. Why not threaten to pull confidence and supply? Sure, National and NZ First /could/ govern, and it would be a terrible thing, but Labour /might/ just flinch. At this point there doesn’t seem to be much to lose, and while I appreciate the Greens don’t like playing hard ball I think there comes a time when standing on principle demands it.

    Why vote for “anti-neo-liberals” who push things like TPPA? Why vote for principled parties which just roll over? And why vote for anyone on the right? This lying Labour government, this green party defeatism, is just so incredibly disheartening because it just leaves us with nothing. Why shouldn’t the left in this country just revolt at this point?

    • solkta 3.1

      “pull confidence and supply?”

      That would be incredibly stupid given that the Greens have other policies they wish to achieve. Labour could simply not allow the tail to wag the dog so much, it would leave them nowhere to go. Do you really want Bridges and Bennett running the country?

      The question I have is what the fuck are Labour members doing about this? Why do they let their party crap on them to such a degree?

      • Anon 3.1.1

        Those policies mean nothing if the TPPA is signed.

      • Anon 3.1.2

        And the greens are defacto Labour partners, Labour doesn’t want to find itself in Nationals position of no-one to partner with. Heck, NZ First might be the ones to back down, maybe they really don’t want to be with National that badly. Maybe winnie would force an election.

        I really don’t care what the outcome is, it’s gotta be better than constant defeatism.

        • solkta 3.1.2.1

          “I really don’t care what the outcome is”

          Little point in discussing it then.

      • The Chairman 3.1.3

        Are you implying the Greens deem their policy wins with Labour are more important than taking a real stand (pulling their confidence and supply support) and opposing the TPP?

        And if that resulted in National governing it would be their fault and not Labour’s for supporting the TPP?

        Are the Greens happy for history to show they are the party that failed to take a real stand against the TPP?

        The Green’s opposition means little if they aren’t prepared to back it and take a stand.

        • solkta 3.1.3.1

          I would think that and surviving as a parliamentary party. It would be certain death to take down what is looking to be a popular government over one issue where 94% of Parliament is in support.

          But of course you are a concern troll targeting the Greens. How about some concern for how Labour is lying to their own people? It is from within Labour that the opposition must come if this is to be stopped.

          • The Chairman 3.1.3.1.1

            Polls have indicated the majority of voters are against the TPP so one must question your certain death assertion. Moreover, why would you or others blame the Greens for standing their ground and not Labour for supporting the TPP?

            Seems you are the one that would be targeting the blame on the Greens for this.

            Additionally, you say you think their policy wins with Labour are more important than standing against the TPP, but has the party canvassed their supporters to see what the majority think?  And if not, why not? They campaigned against the TPP, thus one would assume their supporters largely oppose it.

            • solkta 3.1.3.1.1.1

              But of course you are a concern troll targeting the Greens. How about some concern for how Labour is lying to their own people? It is from within Labour that the opposition must come if this is to be stopped.

              • The Chairman

                You are the one targeting the Greens, falling for the narrative the blame will fall on the Greens.

                Have you considered that the Greens taking a genuine stand is one way to force Labour’s hand? Will Labour really be willing to throw away power for the sake of keeping the TPP in play?

                • solkta

                  But of course you are a concern troll targeting the Greens. How about some concern for how Labour is lying to their own people? It is from within Labour that the opposition must come if this is to be stopped.

          • Janet 3.1.3.1.2

            Yes but 54% of the people do not support it….and probably more if more information had been out there from the beginning.
            What do we do now .. Start walking to parliament ? I will if you will.

            • solkta 3.1.3.1.2.1

              All we can do is keep the pressure up on Labour, but i can’t see them backing down now given the international embarrassment that would result. The Greens could sink the government but that would just mean a new government without the Greens but still with the TPPA.

              If 54% of people truly do not support it and see as a bottom line then we could expect more voters for the Greens next time. I get the impression that Labour are winning the bullshit war and that many think Labour have sorted things.

              • The Chairman

                “All we can do is keep the pressure up on Labour…”

                The Greens taking a genuine stand (forcing Labour to choose between remaining the Government or maintaining their support for the TPP) would be the ultimate pressure we could apply at this time.

                Moreover, provides them with a legitimate reason for pulling out.

                “The Greens could sink the government but that would just mean a new government without the Greens but still with the TPPA.”

                Here you go again (above) with the narrative, if the Greens did take a genuine stand it is not a foregone conclusion Labour would throw away power for the sake of the TPP.

                More support for the Greens at the next election doesn’t put an end to the TPP now. And not taking a genuine stand risks the Greens securing more support going forward.

                Would you continue to support a party that won’t take a stand when given the platform?

                • You_Fool

                  So in your scenario what is the pressure on Labour?

                  Greens threaten to pull C&S over the TPP.

                  1) Labour call the bluff, but Greens follow through. C&S vote is called and fails. Next step?
                  a) Greens support Nat? That is not going to go well for the greens or their values, it will take about 1.5 days before they have to make the same stand on principles once Nat try to do something which is blatantly against the Greens principles.
                  b) NZF support Nat? Then the TPP is passed anyway, so the Greens have thrown away access to the levers of change for nothing
                  c) new election is called, Nats, NZF and Lab all dump on the Greens for having caused the new election and the cost; NZ public being idiots listen and Greens fail to get 5% – Now greens are out of parliament
                  d) New election is called, same as above but NZ voters are smart and intelligent enough to recognise the Greens are in the right and vote for them in droves and we get a Green/Lab government (best case scenario for Greens)

                  2) Labour back down,
                  a) NZF throws a tantrum (Winnie is invested in this deal now, there is no way he will roll over and let it die) and break the coalition agreement and jumps in with Nat, same out come as 1 b) above
                  b) NZF throws tantrum, breaks coalition and let a new election be called, 1 c) or 1 d) are outcomes
                  c) NZF let it ride, but put the boot from now and then during the next election
                  d) NZF let it ride and there are no consequences for the Greens

                  The likelihood of 1d) or 2d) are very very slim, and all the other scenarios are very very bad for the Greens. So why should the Greens waste the chance to get real change again?

            • The Chairman 3.1.3.1.2.2

              “What do we do now .. Start walking to parliament ?”

              Unfortunately, that will achieve little.

              The only thing that has a real chance of stopping this is for the Greens to threaten to pull their support of the Government.

              Thus, we mustn’t fall for their lip service and must put pressure on them to back that up and stand their ground, utilizing the platform they’ve been given.

              • KJT

                Chairman. We already know that you hate the Greens.

                So. we will not be taking your brand of Hemlock.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3.1.3

            94% of parliament may be for it but 54% are against it. Which means that it wouldn’t be passing of we were a democracy.

            • KJT 3.1.3.1.3.1

              Exactly.

              I suspect more than 54%.

              More and more National voters will be against it when the first ISDS case hits home.

        • james 3.1.3.2

          “The Green’s opposition means little if they aren’t prepared to back it and take a stand.”

          + 1

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 3.1.4

        But according to Draco 54% of New Zealand voters only voted on this issue? You can’t bring other issues into it now

  4. UncookedSelachimorpha 5

    Superb speech. Labour is being totally useless on this one.

  5. Tracey 6

    Sad but predictable from Labour.

    • veutoviper 6.1

      And National, and NZF, and ACT?

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.1.1

        But don’t hope for much from that lot, with Labour I hope for better

      • tracey 6.1.2

        Well, ACT and national were declared supporters of it veutoviper, so them wanting TPP is predictable too because they didn’t protest it the way Labour did.

  6. Ad 7

    Has National conformed its support for this Bill?

    • veutoviper 7.1

      Yes.

      As I posted on Daily Review last night at 3 and 3.1, a Notice of Motion was introduced by David Parker and debated in the House last night, noting that the text of the CP-TPP had been released and the agreement will be signed on 8 March 2018.

      14 speeches took place –

      6 Nats – McClay, Brownlee, Simon O’Connor, Muller, Mitchell, Guy

      5 Labour – Parker, Mahuta, Nash, Allan, Tinetti (2 short videos for Tinetti)

      1 Act – David Seymour

      1 Green – Ghahraman

      1 NZF – Peters

      The Ayes took the voice vote.

      All the speeches can be viewed on the Parliamentary website’s On demand facility. https://www.parliament.nz/en/watch-parliament/ondemand

      • Ad 7.1.1

        Much obliged.
        That makes near Parliamentary unanimity for passage of this bill.

        Not even the introduction of MMP got that.

        • adam 7.1.1.1

          A cynic would point out that the corruption has reached almost everywhere then…

          • Ad 7.1.1.1.1

            In our humble Parliament, only 6% remain honest and true and good. The rest, the mean old 94% of them are so dirty, so full of dirty dirty New Zealand voters.

          • Ed 7.1.1.1.2

            As Brady said

          • One Two 7.1.1.1.3

            That is the conclusion..

            It could be 100%

            If the greens were in government…they may have buckled under the pressure…but that is impossible to know…

            The power behind such contracts, ensure they get signed…

            So you are rightfully cynical that on ‘important’ issues…voting is meaningless…

          • SpaceMonkey 7.1.1.1.4

            I don’t think that’s cynical at all… I think it’s a rational observation.

        • veutoviper 7.1.1.2

          I had major concerns re the original TPPA, and still have some concerns with the CP-TPP – but these hinge primarily on the suspended provisions as opposed to the main provisions.

          I think the CP-TPP is now workable provided the US is not included. And I believe that if the US tries to now come into the CP-TPP, we are into a whole new ballgame and rounds /years of new negotiations with the CP-TPP probably not surviving in anything like its current form or participants.

          IMO for NZ to not go into the CP-TPP at this stage would not result in the overall agreement falling over as we are really a rather small player compared to the size etc of some of the other countries in the agreement – and the rest will go ahead anyway without us. Moreover, many of these are countries with which we already have direct FTAs or CEPs (and/or are trading partners in the ASEAN Australia New Zealand FTA) and the CP-TPP in effect adds to these existing agreements. So it would be cutting off our nose to spite our face.

          Obviously lots here will not agree with the above. LOL

          • The Chairman 7.1.1.2.1

            Seeing as the benefits for joining are minimal and don’t outweigh the downfalls, we’d be better off if it went ahead without us.

          • tracey 7.1.1.2.2

            Smoke and mirrors. Any benefit is predicted and longer term.

            I wonder how much was spent from go to whoa on this agreement?

            The things is, the foreign investor clause is unchanged since Labour came to govt, so what were they talking about pre election when this clause upset them?

            • McFlock 7.1.1.2.2.1

              From Parker’s speech:

              In terms of the five points that we made clear before the election that we wanted to see were properly protected, the first I’ll mention is the Treaty clause. We’ve got fantastic Treaty protection clauses in all of our free trade agreements. It’s the same clause as previously. It’s been to the Waitangi Tribunal. They gave that a very good pass. They said it protects the interests of the Government and Māoridom, to do anything that is necessary in the name of the Treaty. They said you could tickle it in one or two ways and make it even better, but our negotiators made the point that if we did that, we would reopen the text of that and we’d likely go backwards in respect of our Treaty clause rather than forward.

              In respect of PHARMAC, we said we wanted that better protected. It’s true that the prior agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), protected the form of PHARMAC; it did, though, impose additional costs on PHARMAC, being the cost of medicines on longer patents, particularly biologic drugs, and also some transparency costs. Those are fixed in CPTPP and no longer apply. In respect of the right to regulate, there is no doubt that New Zealand can regulate for public health and environment, we can run a public education system, we can fund our State-owned enterprises, and we can have appropriate environmental regulation or safety regulation. There is nowhere that the Government is prevented from property regulation, whether it’s for plain packaging of cigarettes or it’s for climate change reasons.

              In respect of land, which was our next provision, the last Government was saying that we had to choose between either controlling who owns New Zealand’s houses or trade agreements. They said you can’t have both. They said that to ban foreign buyers of our houses would breach lots of our free trade agreements and they said that that would cause tens of thousands of job losses. They were wrong—

              Hon Gerry Brownlee: Tell us about Singapore?

              Hon DAVID PARKER: —and we’ve shown how you can do that, and we’ve got legislation that if passed before the CPTPP comes into effect, protects New Zealand’s interest in that regard. We were told that the alternative was that you could do stamp duty by the Government and therefore we shouldn’t be worried about it. They were wrong on that too, because that would have breached the South Korean free trade agreement.

              Hon Phil Twyford: How could they have got it so wrong?

              Hon DAVID PARKER: How could they have got is so wrong? I do not know. It’s either incompetence or disingenuousness—maybe both. It was election time, and we’ve now shown those claims to be incorrect.

              In respect of the one complication that we do have in earlier trade agreements, the interjection came in, “What about Singapore?” It is true that that issue remains unresolved, but we are in negotiations with Singapore in an endeavour to reach an acceptable conclusion there. So that leaves, in respect of all the issues that we raised, including at the protest meetings—I think I went to either one or two. The Opposition accuse me of hypocrisy for now voting for this vastly different agreement. I have to say, even when I went to those meetings and I read out the Labour Party’s five conditions, which are similar to those that are recommended by other parties, I was booed by some of the crowds because they didn’t think that I was tough enough for them.

              It is my opinion that we have largely protected the sovereignty risk to New Zealand. The one area that we haven’t succeeded completely is investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses. The new Government agrees that these international dispute tribunals are undesirable. We don’t think that a multinational should have a greater right to sue the New Zealand Government than a New Zealand company investing in New Zealand. We’ve moderated the effect of ISDS clauses in a number of ways. We’ve excluded commercial contracts with the Government—so multinational builds: the Waterview tunnel, previously, under the TPP agreement, they could have sued the New Zealand Government; under CPTPP they can’t. In respect of investment screening, they can’t bring claims either.

              In respect of who can sue, we’ve got carve outs with side agreements. We have a new side agreement with Australia, it’s similar to the one we had last time in respect of TPP, and that carves 80 percent of foreign direct investment into New Zealand from CPTPP countries so they can’t use those tribunals. We’ve got side letters with other countries that will become clear on 8 March.

              The ISDS line is a bit weak, imo. It’s a bit rich saying 80% of stuff now won’t be affected, when the idea of the deal is to bring in lots of new stuff.

              Not a tragedy, but a bit blah. But it’s not like Labour ever said they were staunchly against the thing. NZ1 is more of a surprise, actually.

              • tracey

                Except they said they had bottom lines and one bottomline was not achieved, so turns out it wasn’t a real bottom line, just a vote for us bottom line.

                • McFlock

                  I’m not sure it’s as harsh as that – people put a little bit of last minute slack in their negotiating “bottom lines” all the time.

                  • Tracey

                    True. If you are vague enough you cant be held to anything… one reason I didnt vote Labour.

                    When we keep voting in the vague the deceptive and the liars we cannot be surprised when we get mostly what their donors and tgey want rather than what we want.

                    • McFlock

                      I think if they were liars, they’d never have had any intention of walking away from the deal, even if none of the five criteria came close to being met.

                      That would be inconsistent with the other policies I can think of off the top of my head, which have been either explicitly fulfilled or at least seem to be genuinely in progress.

                      As opposed to simply saying the easiest thing and meaning it until you walk out the door.

                      As to vague, I sure can’t complain about that – I don’t have categorical beliefs (or worse have conflicting impulses) on any number of topics. Labour were always clear that they supported free trade, supported ISDS if done the way they liked it, and so on. If TPP variants were a dealbreaker for any voter, they should have gone with the Greens.

                      How thoroughly Lab were true to themselves on ISDS depends on the side letters that will be released next week.

              • weka

                Ghahraman covers the ISDS issues, including why the 80% thing is wrong, in her speech.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.3

          And proves, beyond doubt, that we don’t have a democracy.

  7. adam 8

    As I said yesterday the options have diminished.

    The only option left in dealing with climate change is direct action, look on the bright side, plausible deniability for the Ad’s of the world.

  8. Johnr 9

    Stunning speech. She is the exception to the rule, that. All government, of whatever ilk and the servants thereof ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND.

    Selfishly I’m not unhappy to be in my twilight years and not have to put up with the consequences of neo-liberalism too much longer. But, I get really, really sad when I think of the future for my children and grandchildren and the third world culture we are developing.

    • tracey 9.1

      The vitriol spewing forth under a TVNZ facebook post about her objections to Seymour’s puerile support of the denigration of women, is frightening. racists, sexist, anti muslim it’s is all there.

  9. Stuart Munro 10

    Just another patronizing failure from Labour. Ten years from now, things will be even worse – but not for those motherfuckers – they’ll still be queuing for the benefits that attend selling out our country, like they were Stan Rodgers. Filling board and local government with their uninspired and frankly lazy vacuity.

  10. Ed 11

    Make sure you march this weekend.

  11. Sparky 12

    The Greens, in my opinion, left it far too late to stand up and be counted. A lot of ordinary people have stood up openly and loudly against this thing and donated money (myself included) to try and stop it, since day one.

    I would have loved to attend the march but sadly will be out of the country. The very best to all who do go and my respect to those who have fought this thing so hard and persistently.

    Personally I think there is little doubt it will pass so the focus will need to shift to developing true left political parties who will amongst other things make plans to repeal this abomination of an agreement before it does too much damage to our environment and way of life.

    • weka 12.1

      “The Greens, in my opinion, left it far too late to stand up and be counted.”

      The Greens have been opposed to the TPP all the way through and have been consistent on this. Russell Norman was speaking out against it when he was leader.

      I get that people are disappointed that the Greens couldn’t stop this but this is totally on Labour and NZF.

      If more NZers didn’t want the TPPA they would have voted Green. My guess is that lots of NZers aren’t comfortable with it, but basically don’t care enough about it. I also think that Labour and NZ misled people on what might happen, but it’s hard to tell if people are now ok with what Labour have negotiated, or are just resigned to it.

      • savenz 12.1.1

        @Weka, “but it’s hard to tell if people are now ok with what Labour have negotiated, or are just resigned to it.”

        My take is that many voted Labour and NZ First because the thought they were against TPPA and the non negotiable lines like the ISDS is still there and others so they will feel betrayed.

        People are not lawyers they will not be calmed by some technical BS, Labour and NZ First said they didn’t support it, got voted in, and now gone back on their word.

        Greens last campaign was centred more on beneficiaries and so if you were not a beneficiary it might have seemed ok to turn back to Labour (or NZ First) and vote for them instead (thinking they were safe on TPPA).

        Nobody in their right mind would expect such a u turn and so quickly from Labour and NZ First.

        Two, most people are resigned now on TPPA as after protesting and protesting on the issue are just resigned to not being heard. Therefore they probably won’t have the numbers on protesters because everything Labour says means they are hard on the issue and will not listen to the public.

        I think it’s gonna be the end of NZ First and will ultimately destroy the Labour brand. Three strikes your out. NO 1, Rogernomics, NO 2, Student Fees, NO 2 signing the TPPA and leaving NZ exposed to all the clauses which will take place immediately so everyone will know straight away it’s effected them from councils to immigration.

        People used to complain that Labour are National Lite, I think the TPP proves unfortunately Labour has not changed it’s spots.

        Small issues for people Labour will kinda do, but ultimately labour are prepared to pander to multinational business and keep the ponzi economy going for another few years out of insecurity which is flamed by the neolibs who give them every reason to go ahead (they are now down to international co operation as the economic reason is so weak). Complete sell outs.

        Labour clearly has no idea what’s gonna happen when the middle class start losing their jobs and locals end up paying for overseas tourists health care and transport options, continuing pollution and IT causes effecting the new economy.

        Guess what, they aint gonna vote Labour, which is why even more important that the Greens are clearer in the opposition and ALL the public know it.

        Better a vote to the Greens than not voting and Natz getting in.

        Looking forward to seeing more Green MP’s back next election if they get the TPPA message right and to a large audience.

        NZ First and Labour – you had it all, they people gave you a chance, and you screwed up!

        • weka 12.1.1.1

          If there is a chunk of Labour voters who feel betrayed where are they? I’m not seeing anything on twitter, and there’s been a few people on TS but not many.

          I think it’s true that there are Labour voters who thought Labour was against the TPP, but of those there will be some who still trust Labour and are happy with their negotiating, and of the others most don’t care enough and/or are happy with Labour’s governing generally, and/or don’t understand the TPP still.

          • tracey 12.1.1.1.1

            Makes you wonder who all the people in polls were then but I didn’t vote labour because on this TPP issue alone I didn’t believe for a minute they were truly against it.

            • Richard Christie 12.1.1.1.1.1

              +1

              Although I did give my electorate vote to a Labour candidate.

              Labour won’t ever get even that support from me ever again.

              We’ve been waiting thirty four years for them to rediscover their values. I continued to generally support them until the end of the Clark era (and what a disappointment and wasted opportunity that was).

              By 2005 even those like me – i.e. naturally tending toward loyalty and slow on the uptake – realised such hope was misplaced.

              Those who continue to believe Labour are anything but a neoliberal party have got to be patently stupid.

          • savenz 12.1.1.1.2

            Weka, only the media and people who want to influence are on twitter.

            Normal people don’t have twitter! So if you think voters are on twitter think again…

            If young people are on twitter they are more likely to be following the Kardashians and voting for the consumption and reality TV experience that most Green voters and sympathisers hate.

            • weka 12.1.1.1.2.1

              Fuck off with your snobbery savenz. The reason I said twitter and TS is because those the places I engage with Labour voters most. And there are definitely ‘normal’ humans in both those spaces including lots of Labour voters.

              To clarify, I’m not seeing *that many people saying “I voted Labour and I feel betrayed because I thought they said they would oppose the TPPA”.

              Most of the Labour voters I see are not saying much, or thought this is what Labour would do anyway. There are plenty of people fucked off about the TPPA, but they’re not framing their comments as I just said above.

              What I’m seeing is that we don’t actually know much yet about what different people are thinking based on their voting Labour.

        • One Two 12.1.1.2

          Nobody in their right mind would expect such a u turn and so quickly from Labour and NZ First

          The power behind globalist contracts is undeniable…

          It was entirely predictable that TPP would be signed, and that the current govt will sign it..they didn’t turn…

          ANY government will have signed…that’s the power weilded by globalist contract pushers…

          • Sparky 12.1.1.2.1

            That’s why politics is hard and well paid. You are asked to make tough decisions. If Trump can say “no” surrounded by globalists why can’t we?

            • One Two 12.1.1.2.1.1

              Saying No and then re-joining the pact…(assumption)

              Not the same thing….

          • savenz 12.1.1.2.2

            Well, don’t be complaining then, when normal people don’t vote and blame ‘stupid’ voters.

            The missing million voted and Labour and co limped in.

            When the missing million get disillusioned and don’t vote, or inward migration votes right and is adding 1% pa to the Natz votes per year, then that is the trend we are seeing.

            If you wonder how a bunch of stupid greedie folks as MP’s representing National are so popular then look at what happens when ordinary folks vote Labour or try out a smaller party (NZ First).

            Yep, Labour and NZ First are not quite as bad as National, but betrayal hurts more. Why the F did they have to do it, that’s my question. It’s such a risky move by Labour and NZ First in everyway when they would have had next election in the bag, by doing nothing.

            • One Two 12.1.1.2.2.1

              The system is rigged…your comment says you understand that…

              Don’t get emotional or feel betrayed…

              Don’t vote

              • savenz

                @ One Two, Don’t agree, not voting is worse.

                Sadly you have to vote for the least worst party, or the absolute villains get in by default like the Natz.

                • One Two

                  If the voting numbers collapse, so does the current parliamentary system….

                  What happens at and after that point in time I couldn’t tell you…

                  Voting for ‘least worst’ ensures the decline continues….and it is already well understood what the status quo is, and where it is headed…

                  Collapsing the system, due to ‘unknown’ outcomes, is the preferred option, IMO…

                  Those who continue to vote are the single largest barrier to preventing the possibility of a genuine change of direction…

                  That is why I do not vote..

                  • solkta

                    “If the voting numbers collapse, so does the current parliamentary system….”

                    Why is that so? What is the critical number? 50%? 70%?

                    Turnout in the last five US presidential elections has been 55.5%, 54.9%, 58.2%, 55.7%, 50.3% and that system hasn’t collapsed.

                    If there were more than 50% of people with a common vision on how things could be done differently then why would they not just form a parliamentary party and just do it? Certainly in a small country like NZ.

                    The idea that a consensus on restructuring society would spontaneously emerge after a collapse is just idiotic.

                    • One Two

                      Didn’t read the comment as I had written it , which is a common issue with one dimensional engagement such as online blogs…

                      I’ve repeated a couple of the sentences for you…

                      The idea that a consensus on restructuring society would spontaneously emerge after a collapse is just idiotic

                      What happens at and after that point in time I couldn’t tell you

                      Voting for ‘least worst’ ensures the decline continues….and it is already well understood what the status quo is, and where it is headed…

                      IMO the current frameworks will not accept or allow genuine change, ergo voting is an endorsement of the anti biological agenda which is dominating…

                      30% would be the end of The Westminster system in NZ

                      Do I think that will happen…

                      Yes, i do…but only when the breakdown of ‘civil society’ has become unavoidable….The voters will ensure that the life support stays on until the point of no return has become undeniable…

                      Then the rebuild can begin…how that plays out , remains to be seen…

                    • solkta

                      30% would be the end of The Westminster system in NZ

                      Why? What grounds would you argue this figure on?

                      It certainly has not worked in the UK:

                      At the 2001 general election the turnout was 59.4%; in 2005 it was 61.4%; in 2010 it was 65.1%; and in 2015 it was 66.1%.

                      http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/electionsvoting/chartists/contemporarycontext/electionturnout/

                      What happens at and after that point in time I couldn’t tell you…

                      That is a very important thing to be able to tell someone. I care particularly because i have a daughter. If you want society to collapse but don’t have confidence that a consensus on restructuring society would spontaneously emerge then man you crazy.

                    • One Two []

                      30% is my opinion on where the failure point of the political system might be…it could be +/-….

                      No confidence and an abandonment of faith in the establishment…on current downward trajectory that’s where it’s headed…propped up by ‘least worst’ voter still clinging to a belief in the state…

                      I do not wish to see collapse…but it’s going there anyway…

                      It’s as if many commentators here have little ‘worldly’ experiences and are unable to comprehend just how deeply destructive the established frameworks are…and what those entities are doing…and will do to try and survive…

                      It’s not turning around…it’s going to return to small localized communities who figure it out amongst themselves…

                    • solkta

                      So your opinion of 30% is based on absolutely nothing. The US can handle 50% no probs, and the UK 40%, but NZ could not handle 30% because, 30%.

                      You have also not given any explanation why this or any number would force Parliament to collapse. For that to happen the National Party would need to pack up their toys and sing go “oh great anarchists we surrender all our wealth and power to you”.

                      Even if Parliament were to collapse for no apparent reason, the army would then step in and take control. If it got to the point where the army started to fall apart then there would be battle hardened and well armed groups of revolutionaries scattered around the country. These groups would not be without their own power structures and the more successful groups would likely have the most authoritarian structures. Criminal groups would also by then be taking advantage of the situation with Black Power and the Mongrel Mob seizing whole towns.

                      You would likely end up with your localized communities, but these would most likely be run by warlords.

                    • One Two []

                      Those numbers already explain the problems with the present day events…

                      If NZP could still exist at 30%, well…hardly a democracy with these days numbers anyway…is it…

                      How is the remainder of your comment, not a description of present day…

                      Warlords already rule…they come in different forms…they all wear costumes, some call them uniforms…some call them suits…others are plain cloths…

                      Like a condemned building…it is too rotten to repair…it has to be demolished because it is unsafe…no longer fit for purpose…

                      Actively or passively…it will be…

                    • solkta

                      Warlords already rule…

                      Are you on drugs? To get an idea what a country ruled by warlords looks like I suggest you watch the movie Black Hawk Down.

                      Like a condemned building…it is too rotten to repair…it has to be demolished because it is unsafe…no longer fit for purpose…

                      So when was our democracy fit for purpose? At what point was it more democratic than it is now? Was it more democratic before MMP? Before Maori got an equal vote?

            • SpaceMonkey 12.1.1.2.2.2

              Because now is exactly the right time to do it… reasonably close to the last election… Labour increasing in popularity on the back of Jacinda Ardern’s photogenesis. I’m picking they will be thinking enough of the electorate will have forgotten this betrayal by the time the next election rolls around, especially if they can deliver positives for their constituents in other areas.

      • tracey 12.1.2

        It is amazing what the Greens are held responsible for. The Nats hate them for not letting them continue their rule, for caring about people and the environment, and some labour people seem to not like them for not standing up to labour and NZF.

      • D'Esterre 12.1.3

        Weka: “My guess is that lots of NZers aren’t comfortable with it, but basically don’t care…”

        Best not to be too hard on your fellow citizens. Most are too busy making shift to do more than pay passing attention to the issue. Many don’t get news now as we used to, and don’t necessarily know too much – or indeed anything much – about the current situation. Even, of course, supposing that the msm actually report it. Of which task they haven’t done a great job lately.

        “hard to tell if people are now ok with what Labour have negotiated, or are just resigned to it…”

        Labour always said that they support trade: it was just some aspects of the TPPA which they wished to change.
        I was one of those who protested against it; my chiefest worries were the foreign buy-up of land, Pharmac and the ISDS provisions, given that the US was to be a signatory. When Trump took the US out of it, like many people I thought the whole enterprise would die the death. When it didn’t, I thought, well at least the US won’t be involved, so there won’t be quite the litigiousness that uncle Sam brings to such matters.
        I wonder if quite a few other people share my view: we’d rather an FTA without the ISDS provisions, and one which protects both Pharmac and our land. But an agreement which offers some protections – and without the US – is tolerable.
        On the other hand, if the US changes its mind and decides it wants back in, the amended agreement would have to be renegotia

  12. savenz 13

    Better the Greens stand up on this now, than be as lukewarm as they have seemed on it.

    Good to see this from the Greens.

    But voters also expect results, so Greens should do what ever they have to to show Labour and NZ First the ‘light’ by stopping the signing on 8 March – even if it a postponement of signing is better than appearing Luke warm.

    I think there should be a referendum on TPP so it can be properly decided by the people.

    The fact that TODD McCLAY was so congratulatory says two things, he knows how damaging it is to Labour, NZ First and ultimately the Greens and he knows that his neoliberal agenda and pandering to big multinational business is almost impossible to stop once signed no matter what government gets in.

    • Sparky 13.1

      Agreed Savenz. You and I are pretty much on the same page. The Greens may have been opposed but in my opinion its been pretty tepid opposition at best. Especially of late.

      And yes I agree NZF (who I voted for) are probably done and in the longer term Labour too. Maybe the only good thing to come of this anti democratic travesty is it makes room for new true left parties. Perhaps a New Labour Party (NLP) or similar?

      • tracey 13.1.1

        When told they were not in Cabinet, this should have been something they could speak very vocally about. The lie is that labour somehow changed the investor clause when in fact the clause as it relates to us is the same as 12 months ago. So, labour, the clause didn’t change but you have?

        Funny how the labour voters abhorred the deception of the John key Government and are “meh” about this.

      • KJT 13.1.2

        Exactly.

        I suspect more than 54%.

        More and more National voters will be against it when the first ISDS case hits home.

    • solkta 13.2

      “Better the Greens stand up on this now, than be as lukewarm as they have seemed on it.”

      I’d like you to try and back up that lukewarm comment. To help you not achieve that, here is several years worth of objection from them:

      https://www.greens.org.nz/search/content/TPPA

      I guess it would “seem” like that when you choose to wear a blindfold.

      • savenz 13.2.1

        The biggest problem with the Greens not increasing their vote is the Green enablers who seem to be supporting the Greens current way of working and telling them they are doing the right thing, which clearly is marginal at around 5%.

        Bad advice!! Greens need to change, listen and be quick about it.

        Natz win, because they have people polling all the time, telling them this stuff so they change their messages to appeal to voters. Of late they just straight out lied, but it looks like Labour might be going for that approach on TPPA.

        As for the ‘lukewarm’, its from the site ‘notourfuture’ link. Not my own words, but I agree with them so they should be looking at stuff like that, it’s called being in touch.

        I think if you can’t even be bothered to look at the main media views against TPPA and their perception of the Greens then it might be you with the blindfold on.

        • KJT 13.2.1.1

          It is not the Greens being “lukewarm as much as the media simply ignoring us.

          Why blame the Greens for a Labour betrayal, anyway.

          Would you prefer we crashed the Government and let National back in?

          • savenz 13.2.1.1.1

            Read my comments, they are to help the Greens, they are not seeming like they are capitalising on this difference with Labour and NZ First to a wide audience and therefore many on anti TPPA may not vote next time.

            It even helps Labour, if a Labour voter votes Green next time instead of not voting which might get the Natz back.

            Either way, it works for the Greens and even Labour to be clearer on this difference on TPPA.

            This is exactly what happened with Labour 3 years ago. Everyone was telling them what they could do to change their ways and get people to vote for them. Many defended Labour and said they could never do any better than they had and they did everything right. (Just like with the Greens).

            Eventually though Labour decided to give change a try and hey presto limped on home to win the election. Sadly Labour have gone back to their old ways and so may well lose support again….. so then where are these anti TPPA going, to the Green Party, Mana or not voting??

            If Greens lose their identity or ability to speak out on major issues that are very polarising, then like ACT and the Maori party, they are toast. Which actually killed the hold of National in the end.

            What’s better for the left?

  13. Son of Don 14

    ‘Has National conformed its support for this Bill?’

    This has absolutely fu*k all to do with National. Its about a Party that came into existence after members left the Alliance (‘Waka jumping’, how ironic…), signed up to a coalition and now is showing that ‘a snout in the trough’ appears to be more important than principals. After all the rhetoric, protests and espoused principals the Greens are no better that the supposed ‘neoliberals’ that many on the left despise. Like many from the right, there is space in NZ politics for a true environmental party, at the moment NZ clearly does not have one.

    [I don’t write posts to provide space for RWers to merely express their hatred of the Greens. Make some actual political points beyond your personal belief that the Greens are whatever, and up your game. Commenting in the context of the post will work, using other people’s comments to slag off the Greens won’t. I have a feeling that I have warned you about this before, so if this continues I will be looking back at your commenting history and moderating accordingly – weka]

    • Stuart Munro 14.1

      Oh I don’t know.

      The Gnats were the braindead morons who turned a reasonable uncontentious trade deal among friendly nations into this corporate wet dream in hopes of sleazing their way into the US market. They didn’t fight our corner at all.

      Labour improved it, but lied their asses off about ISDS – which they promised not to sign, and now propose to. The Gnats were so irresponsible they gave up ISDS without a thought – there is literally nothing those vermin wouldn’t do.

      Actually the Greens are infinitely better than the neoliberals – but the neoliberals are so vile that’s just not much of a recommendation.

      • Sparky 14.1.1

        +1 Stuart……

      • tracey 14.1.2

        Well said, that rant was hilarious from Son of Don. Hilarious and deluded

        • Stuart Munro 14.1.2.1

          I’m afraid Son of Don is not fated to be a critical success. The least he should be chewing the Gnats over for, even if he supports the TPPA, is their failure (didn’t even try) to secure an access agreement with Japan, which Oz did while Groser was busy snuggling up to Washington. Selling out is never a good deal.

    • weka 14.2

      another moderation note for you. I would like a response to both now thanks.

  14. weka 15

    For the people that think that the Greens should withdraw Confidence and Supply over this as some kind of taking a stand gesture, and to expand on what Solkta said above,

    1. the Greens gave their word before the election that they wouldn’t hold Labour or the country to ransom over C/S

    2. I’m sure there are some situations where they might break that promise e.g. were Labour to try and undermine the basics of the NZ constitution, but as bad as the TPPA is, we are not at that point yet.

    3. if the Greens withdrew C/S now, there would be another election. Either National would win (because look at the numpty lefties who can’t work together), or Labour would win. In either case the Greens would be outside of government because what party is going to form govt with another party that is untrustworthy. And the TPPA would go ahead.

    We would also lose our Green Minister for Climate. That would be a massive loss, far worse than the TPPA signing imo.

    4. it’s possible that the Greens wouldn’t even make it back into parliament. The MSM would slam them like nothing else during the election campaign, and many NZers vote based on perceptions of competency and trustworthiness. If NZ had wanted a large Green Party in parliament, they would have voted for that last year.

    5. with the Greens out of parliament, the neoliberals in Labour would have free reign. NZF obviously aren’t going to do much to restrain that, but that’s not news because they are a centrist party (and really people should stop buying into Peters’ rhetoric).

    6. if the Greens did with C/S at this point it would create a crisis in the party. Built deep into the party’s DNA is the importance of relationship. It took literally decades for Labour to get to place where they could work constructively with the Greens. If the Greens withdrew C/S and brought down the govt, what do you think would happen then to relationships between the two parties? The left would have no way to form government. Either Labour would do it on their own, in which case we would cement in neoliberalism even further, or National would and we would see the collapse of the left.

    I get that people want a silver bullet fix here, but this is not on the Greens. They did what they could. This is on Labour, NZF and the people that voted for them.

    • savenz 15.1

      I understand it’s a gamble. Although I think a new election was caused by TPPA, then the opposite might happen and Greens win more votes and more Green MP’s get in.

      I think if Greens stuck up for their principles on such an issue that at least 50% of the population are against, they would get back to the 15+% they should have had.

      But I understand that NZ First might be gone so therefore, it might put the Natz back in.

      But saying that the NZ history always rewards bravery, and loves being an underdog against the world (Lange and no Nukes) and Marilyn Waring. So it would totally be good for the Greens longterm brand.

      It might make Labour and NZ First postpone at the least until more research is done. They could say they were ‘listening’ to the people. Win win.

      Even if Labour and NZ First had bilateral deals with each like the China one, it would be safer, as they could withdraw from a deal with one country and still have the other deals and that in itself would safe guard them more against ISDS.

      ISDS has become a lot more prevalent as wealth gets centred into the hands of less people and so the trend of suing for damages, is bound to continue.

      • weka 15.1.1

        What I see there is a bunch of reckons based on not very much, and that don’t address the issues that I raised. It’s not a gamble, it would be suicide for no good end.

        The *only way the Greens withdrawing C/S would stop the TPPA is if the Greens then won a majority in the consequent election, that’s not going to happen.

        Even if the Greens increased their MPs (highly unlikely), they still can’t form govt on their own. Most likely is that Peters would do a deal with National that included the things they want re the TPPA and the TPPA would go ahead. In fact, Labour would sign the bloody thing before the election anyway.

        Very hard to see how Labour and the Greens could form a govt immediately after the Greens bringing down the exact same govt by withdrawing C/S. They’d be a laughing stock. NZers value stability of govt very highly. So the other option is that Labour would win and form govt with NZF and the Greens would be out of govt and have lost their portfolios.

        What would happen at the next election? The Greens would no longer be trustworthy to Labour, so their chance of being in govt would be small, and the TPPA would still have been signed.

        The Greens play the long game always, that’s why they’re still there and still making inroads. They’re not here to save NZ from its own stupidity though.

        • tracey 15.1.1.1

          Well said. It cannot be the Greens fault if the media don’t hang its opposition to TPP fromits headlines.

          • savenz 15.1.1.1.1

            It’s not even on the main page of their website, Tracy. Hardly going for it against TPPA. Nope Greens can’t Blame the media if they can’t even plug on their stance on TPPA on their own home page which they control.

    • Macro 15.2

      So totally agree with this weka.
      I’ve been drafting something along the same lines – but you have said it so much better than I.
      We need to be in this for the long haul. In due course, when sense prevails, it will be possible to withdraw.
      I have been to the anti – TPPA rallies of the past, and even then, it was patently clear that Labour spokespeople were speaking with a forked tongue on this issue. I did think that NZF were a little more earnest in their opposition – particularly the new Deputy Leader when he spoke in the Auckland Town Hall. But then, that is what you get when you put your trust in Winston (which of course I never have).

      • savenz 15.2.1

        According to the law society, although in the agreement it is not easy to withdraw from TPPA.

        You know that the neoliberal will say, too costly to withdraw, we’re stuck with it.

        Better delay signing an agreement that is risky and puts NZ at grave risk from Many many different quarters.

        Look at the UK withdrawing after Brexit. Costing them billions and will take years.

        • Macro 15.2.1.1

          I totally agree that we should have nothing to do with this bag of festering worms – but you see the reality of our current Parliament. It is a foregone conclusion. Labour and Nacts alone would see this thing through. That NZF offers its support as well shows their deception on this matter even more so than Labour. The Greens are the only group to oppose.
          However, hopefully in time the NZ public will wake up to the fact that they have slept on while their sovereignty has been stripped from them in favour of corporate interests and demand it back.
          I agree it won’t be easy, but there is an escape clause – unlike Ti Tiriti.

          • Son of Don 15.2.1.1.1

            So why not vote against the Gov’t (i.e. no confidence) and put it back to the voters?

          • savenz 15.2.1.1.2

            Macro, rather than hoping for escape later it would be better to lobby for a better agreement!

            Don’t all lawyers tell people don’t sign if you don’t understand it!

            Politicians have not read the 6000 pages and don’t seem interested in listening to lawyers like Jane Kelsey who say ‘don’t sign’.

            At least they should get Geoffrey Palmer to do an analysis first.

            • Macro 15.2.1.1.2.1

              People are doing that!
              Have you signed the petition yet?
              But we have to face reality. This is a battle where the power is in the hands of the majority of MPs who think they know better than the public, and there is limited time to organise any substantive retaliation. This atrocity will happen whether we like it or not. From the standpoint of the Greens (the only party to stand against this idiocy) the wise position is to keep their powder dry – to work on the long view, and work towards gaining far more support in future parliaments to demand it be redressed.

      • weka 15.2.2

        I haven’t followed NZF since the election so don’t have a good sense of what has happened for them re the TPP, but totally agree, this is Winston Peters we’re talking about, and a very centrist party, so of course they’re not going to oppose the TPP on core principles because it doesn’t clash with their core principles. Anti-neoliberal my arse. I’m actually more angry with voters at this point than I am with L/NZF.

    • son of don 15.3

      While you may despise my politics its ‘unfortunate” that the Greens have taken this stance. Lets be clear; it took the Green Party so long to get around the table because of the Clark era – it appears you are no more than a party of convenience for Labour.
      Environmental issues are supported by the right; the farming lobby is certainly a strong advocate but it doesn’t mean we all support current intensification. Who do you think buys the electric cars, supports organisations such as WWF, anti whaling or QE2 Trust? its us with a disposable income who want a better place for our kids. Personally i think that the Green party will head the same way as ACT or UF unless it gets back to the basics which was the environment and unshackles itself from Labour.

      [I am not the Green Party. Read the Policy and don’t refer to me as the Green Party again or I will ban you for a long time. There are very important reasons for why authors here write for themselves and not for organisations. I suggest you pay more attention. – weka]

      • Macro 15.3.1

        Environmental issues are supported by the right; the farming lobby is certainly a strong advocate

        Yeah Right!
        The Nats wouldn’t know an environmental issue if they fell over one.
        And the Greens FYI is not just a one issue party, you cannot fix the environment if you ignore the needs of the people. The right has been ignoring the needs of the people whilst pandering to corporates for decades.

      • weka 15.3.2

        moderation note for you above.

      • Grey Area 15.3.3

        “Get back to basics”- in other words get back in your box and don’t get involved in those pesky social issues.

      • tracey 15.3.4

        The farming lobby continues to vote national, the anti Environment party…

      • Environmental issues are supported by the right

        No they’re not.

    • Grey Area 15.4

      Good summary Weka.

    • Jess NZ 15.5

      Agreed 100% Weka. Assigning Greens the responsibility is disingenuous – more to the point, why aren’t Labour voters mobbing their representatives to do as they promised?

      Why aren’t Labour and their voters sticking up for THEIR principles? That plus Greens consistent opposition would sink the TPP. Not the Greens hanging themselves to dry on their (yes, consistent) principles.

      • Sparky 15.5.1

        Sadly most people read the drek from the MSM who have said next to nothing about this. I suspect many will be shocked when they see what they are up for when this thing passes. I honestly think too there’s an underlying silent opposition. People who disapprove but feel disenfranchised by the elected dictatorship or/and who are just so busy in their working lives paying ever increasing rates of tax that they just do not feel they have anything left to fight with.

    • Sparky 15.6

      In my opinion if the TPP is not reason enough for the Greens to use any power they have to hold Labour to account mate I do not know what is……

      • weka 15.6.1

        That might make sense if the Greens had that kind of power (I assume you mean to force Labour to stop the TPP). They don’t. By all means try and make a case that they do, but I think we covered that fairly extensively in the comments already.

        One thing that’s more important than the TPP is climate change.

        • Sparky 15.6.1.1

          I think its more about the coalition coming apart at this early stage. You really don’t feel that would make Labour think twice, I do.

          The TPP “is” climate change when you consider what it means. Just look at the effect on govt policy NAFTA has had in signatory countries.

          Quite honestly that said if climate problems become more severe I and think they will based on what we are seeing I doubt any of this will have much relevance when water and food become scarce.

          • weka 15.6.1.1.1

            Precisely. So everything we can do right now to mitigate the worst of CC is critical. Shaw giving up the Climate portfolio would mean Labour would have it and we already know they weak on climate and won’t do what is needed. There are still ways to work around the TPPA. Fucking the left’s chance of being in govt for 3 terms will not help that and will basically seal our doom over climate change.

            “I think its more about the coalition coming apart at this early stage. You really don’t feel that would make Labour think twice, I do.”

            Are you suggesting they threaten Labour but don’t follow through? Or threaten Labour but be prepared to follow through?

        • savenz 15.6.1.2

          TPP and climate change are so linked as is the entire welfare system to this agreement!

          • weka 15.6.1.2.1

            Yes, and if the Greens throw away their politics power over the TPP, they won’t be able to do anything about the govt response to CC.

            CC unattended to will make the TPP look like a kindergarten sandpit squabble.

            • Molly 15.6.1.2.1.1

              My concern, is that the agility that is going to be required by governments to deal with climate change will be hampered by signing the TPPA.

              I agree, however, the criticism should lie with those who are signing it, with complete disregard for public opinion and reliable data. Labour, NZF, ACT and National. Don’t expect better from National and ACT, but this could have been where Labour and NZF showed definitively how they are different from the previous government. They’ve failed at the first significant hurdle.

              • weka

                yes. I think the TPPA will hamper our CC efforts. But not as much as if Shaw had to give up the Climate portfolio and the Greens were out of government and perhaps out of parliament.

                Kind of gobsmacking that so much energy in this thread has gone into hassling the Greens instead of holding L/NZF accountable.

      • Stuart Munro 15.6.2

        It’s a coin toss.

        The last big policy play the Greens made has left them somewhat bruised. Bringing down the government over the CPTPP, though it would attract public support, would be condemned by corporate media and all the self-serving assholes in the country. In Metiria’s case that proved to be quite a few.

        At some point Labour and NZF have to take some responsibility – the Greens can’t do all the heavy lifting.

        • savenz 15.6.2.1

          I agree and even if Greens don’t use their trump card to stop it, then they should at least be A LOT more public about their disagreement so the public votes for them next time.

          • Stuart Munro 15.6.2.1.1

            Yes – better a chorus of disapproval than a lonely voice.

          • weka 15.6.2.1.2

            did you vote for them savenz?

            • savenz 15.6.2.1.2.1

              Yes, I voted party vote Green last election with Labour as my electorate.

              But I was not that happy about voting for Greens, because the things I was concerned about did not seem to be the priority of the Greens. (Yes they were policy but did not seem to be the driving force of the party anymore).

              I have no problem with the beneficiary rise (apart from how was it to be paid for and wouldn’t that mean that it seemed worse for those on low wages). but did have an issue with the lack of ‘bigger picture’ environmental policy and global policy like TPPA lobbying. The problem is that we don’t have enough high paid and meaningful jobs anymore in my view and the current immigration policy is undermining that and their is too much focus on the economy and not enough on preservation of what we have (environmental and social policy) as being of higher value than a few $$$ gone by lunch time. (Just look at the power assets sales, frittered away).

              I also do not believe in any tax increase that relies on income taxes because many can avoid it (a lot of people in this country don’t even put in a tax return and IRD takes 15 years to catch them and they are multimillionaires dealing P). Richer people can just buy property here, bring over families and effectively not pay taxes, while having a great lifestyle on the work of those who are paying taxes, which I don’t think is fair.

              Therefore rather than the capital gains I’d prefer things like stamp duty and Robin Hood transaction taxes and the like so that everybody has to pay in real time, and you can’t get a good accountant or lawyer to avoid taxes or just not bother pay taxes at all (maybe you never did?)

              Banks make billions in this country and they should be taxed more.

              But I liked Shaw and thought he was a very honourable person, and the idea that the Greens might go below 5% was appalling.

              Not only would that wipe out the Greens it would also mean Labour did not have enough partners to win the election.

              If the Greens had polled higher than I might have voted Labour with their current policies of supposedly reducing immigration and not signing TPPA.

              So that’s why I think Labour have made a massive gamble on TPPA for zero reason as there is no economic reason to continue with TPPA because I am sure I am not the only one who thought they would honour their word. The non negotiable are still there, and they did it anyway and the spirit of the promise was not met.

              I am at still at a loss why NZ First and Labour are in such a hurry to sign this dog of an agreement. NZ is not ready or has done enough analysis on it. It’s a gift to the right wingers in every way.

    • tracey 15.7

      Greens are between a rock and a hard place as they always are.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 15.8

      Exactly. You can’t expect the minor party (Greens) to change this by force. They are the only ones doing and saying the right thing here I feel. Labour and NAct (and NZ1) are to blame for TPP – and they are the ones who could very easily change the situation.

  15. veutoviper 16

    OK , so this is going to sound like something a certain concern troll here might write, but explain something to me – a swing voter earlier in life but a Labour voter mainly over the last decade or so since Clarke came to be PM but one who has also given my electorate vote to the Green Party in most elections over that time except not in 2017.

    Golriz Ghahraman appears to be solely on her own last night when she gave her speech. Not another Green MP in sight. (See the wide sweep view immediately after Poto Williams calls her at the start of the video.)

    Ditto the night before (Tues, 27 Feb) when she spoke in the international treaty examination of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled.

    https://www.parliament.nz/en/watch-parliament/ondemand?itemId=198631

    Tuesday night is understandable, but surely if opposition to the CP-TPP is so important to the Green Party and its voters, there should have been at least one other MP there supporting her. Preferably as many as possible to show the flag.

    The Notice of Motion was the first item on the Order Paper for the day under Government Business so there was many hours advance warning. It was not a last minute addition.

    https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/OrderPaper_20180228/09e293fab4415c5da1b4a46394c2ac07195a5dd2

    • savenz 16.1

      That’s sad about the Greens, if that’s true veutoviper.

      Mission accomplished by the neoliberals to have a full house in parliament.

    • weka 16.2

      You realise they have a hugely reduced caucus right? And a hugely increased workload.

      I don’t watch parliament TV a lot, but when I do it’s not unusual to see the House empty.

      I trust the Greens to prioritise their time wisely. Them all turning up in the house for the ten minutes of GG’s speech might have made you feel better (although given you vote Green I’m not sure how that works exactly), but maybe they felt that the TPPA is a given now and they are better spending their time elsewhere.

      Honestly, this whole line that the Greens haven’t done enough on the TPP is bollocks. They’ve been the sole party in parliament who have consistently opposed it all the way. I’ll just keep saying it, if you want the Greens to do more, you have to get them more votes. It’s really bloody simple.

      • savenz 16.2.1

        Weka, you said yourself they are prioritising their time, so clearly they feel that TPP is not worth a full set of MP’s.

        TPP oversights all their other decision making (see link below) so therefore is essential to be 100% clear and 100% vocal and 100% not Lukewarm on it.

        Saying that, Greens are still the best party in a sea of betrayal.

        Greens should be capitalising on this very strongly to pick up votes! I’m trying to help them, it’s about to be signed in a week, not the time to be looking at other priorities.

        http://gisborneherald.co.nz/opinion/3238551-135/the-new-tpp-and-our-shrinking

        • weka 16.2.1.1

          “Weka, you said yourself they are prioritising their time, so clearly they feel that TPP is not worth a full set of MP’s.”

          Well I’m guessing, and I’m not putting a spin on it that that means they think the TPP isn’t important. In fact I’m definitely not saying that.

          If you think the Greens are lukewarm on the TPP, then by all means keep undermining them and see how that works out. I don’t see the rationale or the use in that strategy myself.

          Am really sick of seeing people telling the Greens how to do their job, esp when the things they are saying don’t stand up under scrutiny.

          Also, if you can describe how anyone can stop the signing next week, have at it. Not even the Greens withdrawing C/S would achieve that.

          • savenz 16.2.1.1.1

            If Greens have the moral high ground as they do being the only party to not sell out on TPPA, they should be shouting it from the rooftops.

            If you look at veutoviper comment above, that’s the Labour spin so it’s even more important that the Greens are very visible in their stance.

            Otherwise when the time comes, Greens will be undermined as per veutoviper comment.

            So now’s the time for all the Greens to be strongly visible on this issue.

            Part of the issue may be that maybe the Greens now seem to only have one of two issues they talk about each. When collectively on big issues they should all be speaking out.

            AKA how TPPA effects human rights
            how TPPA effects climate change
            How TPPA will effect benefits
            How TPPA will effect food
            How TPPA will effect the environment
            How TPPA will effect housing
            How TPPA will effect privatisation
            How TPPA will effect transport
            How TPPA will effect health
            How TPPA will effect IT/data and the new economy
            How TPPA will effect Maori and the treaty
            etc etc

            • weka 16.2.1.1.1.1

              I think you don’t understand how government works.

              Nor do you understand the Greens with less MPs and far more work to do than when they were in opposition. The work you are expecting them to do on the TPPA is huge, and given the thing is going to be signed next week I can’t see the point. You haven’t made a case for how that would work. Please tell us how the Greens putting all that energy into shouting from the rooftops would stop the TPPA.

              I’d have more respect for you if *you had been shouting from the rooftops instead of just hassling the Greens.

              • One Two

                Please tell us how the Greens putting all that energy into shouting from the rooftops would stop the TPPA.

                TPPA / Climate Change

                • weka

                  That doesn’t answer my question. Try whole sentences with an intent to explain. (sorry, but am sick of a whole day of people giving their reckons without saying how it would actually work).

                  • One Two

                    TPPA and Climate Change are intrinsically linked

                    Globalist constructs are directly responsible for the destruction of planet earth, and the inhabitants

                    It cannot be either or. It must be all or nothing until there is no more energy to shout with, or energy to be shouted at

                    All or nothing is the message coming through articles and comments on this site with regards to climate change

                    If The Greens are choosing to be selective, they are choosing to be irrelevant

                    • weka

                      They’re not choosing to be selective and you still haven’t answered the question.

                    • One Two []

                      How aren’t they being selective? (Note that it doesn’t matter anyway)…

                      The question you’re seeking an answer from, is not the right question IMO…

                      It’s not WHAT (would it achieve) it’s WHY (they should ‘shout’)…

                      Shouting about TPP won’t change the signing outcome at face value…

                      But as I’ve stated TPP and CC are linked…

                      ‘Shouting’ about one or the other is choosing to be selective because they’re two sides of the same coin…

                      All or nothing…yes or no…there is no room for maybe…

                      Which is how I see TG…

                • savenz

                  @ One Two, By making the public aware that the Greens are against the signing, so come next election they vote Green rather than not voting at all, which a lot of people might do, if there is a group think that globalism is the only way to go and you and the natural environment is just collateral damage.

                  • One Two

                    What TG might do if they had the clout, is speculation based on, very little…

                    For those who do vote, I can understand the attraction…

            • KJT 16.2.1.1.1.2

              We are shouting it from the bloody rooftops, and have been for some time.

              Despite what people who get their news from the Herald and TV may think.

              It is obvious, however, that no evidence, opposition or Democratic opposition from the majority of New Zealanders, are going to sway Labour on this.

              Unfortunately, our Governments, once in “power” can do what they bloody well like, no matter if the rest of us are 100% opposed.

            • greywarshark 16.2.1.1.1.3

              Is there an icon for a fairy godmother – dressed in a nightdress with a wand supplying good things? We are into wishful happenings which aren’t going to jell, and a little reminder of that might be a helpful hint.

  16. savenz 17

    From Tony Holman QSO is a former North Shore City councillor (1995-2010), has been CEO of the Royal NZ SPCA and is a former chairman of Watercare Services Ltd. Tony lives on the North Shore.

    “Although much factual and research information has been published in various places, many are probably not aware of the effects TPP will have on their local council. Unfortunately they may be considerable.

    It is important for citizens to put aside the comforting, vague spin words from the Government and its advisers. A reality check shows that local government will have to conform to major restrictions and interventions from overseas corporates, in the same way that central government is going to subject itself to.

    In essence, this is the penultimate stage of the complete privatisation of all public services. Penultimate because within three to five years after the TPP becomes operative, further regulations will come into being giving even more power to the supra-national corporates, including through ISDS.”

    http://gisborneherald.co.nz/opinion/3238551-135/the-new-tpp-and-our-shrinking

    • tracey 17.1

      Jane Kelsey has written about this at length.

      Our media has had time for at least one person to be au fait enough with TPP to ask probing questions of those for and against. They haven’t.

  17. savenz 18

    Even the UN experts are against it!

    “Last week a panel of UN experts issued warnings on the TPP.” In particular they voiced concern over adverse impacts on human rights. These concerns related to the “. . . potential detrimental impact these treaties and agreements may have on the enjoyment of human rights as enshrined in legally-binding instruments, whether civil, cultural, economic, political or social. Our concerns relate to the rights to life, food, water and sanitation, health, housing, education, science and culture, improved labour standards, an independent judiciary, a clean environment and the right not to be subjected to forced resettlement.”

    http://gisborneherald.co.nz/opinion/3238551-135/the-new-tpp-and-our-shrinking

  18. tracey 19

    weka

    There is an analysis of the “bottom lines” of the parties pre election. labour’s was vague but NZF was not.

    https://itsourfuture.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/IOF-political-party-positions-Final-Copy.pdf

  19. tracey 20

    Golriz continues to attract vitriol for her defence of someone accused of genocide. Given this response it seems to me it was an even more courageous decision in the name of human rights to have done so.

  20. eco maori 21

    Stop signing away our rights as a sovereign nation signing away the mokos positive prosperous future . Stop listening to the neo libreal lies and listen to the people who don’t want big busness to own everything we all need to protest the signing of this contract of lies.
    ana to kai

  21. Whispering Kate 22

    Labour has always treated the Greens like shit, every since the pig farmer the Labour Party has been just another alternative National Party. Why the two of them don’t just join up and make one huge right wing party I have no idea. Labour are about as useless as teats on a boar hog for all the help they are to the left. A left wing party they are not and haven’t been for years now.

    I never trusted them as far as I could kick them, but the Greens just didn’t get enough votes to have the clout they need to change this TPPS or what the hell it is called from the disgusting agreement it is. Jane Kelsey needs a medal for all the hard work she has done to disclose what a crock of a deal it is.

    The Greens need to get out of Government, grow their following and they won’t have too hard of a time of it with the climate going to hell in a hand basket. We are a nation of people walking around with our eyes shut. It will be battening down he hatches for all of us eventually.

    Jacinda is a massive disappointment to a lot of people in NZ – just another persuasive charmer like others we have had to put up with.

  22. Carolyn_Nth 23

    I’m with weka’s comments above. I am staggered that so much of the above discussion is attacking the Greens – the ONE bloody party to stand by their policies and previous campaigns and continue to stand against the (pretty much same old) TPPA.

    Too many leftyies just seem to be savouring their team being in government.

    It is Labour and NZ First who have sold us out on the TPPA.

    They deserve the full weight of left wing anger and criticsm.

    It doesn’t surprise me from Labour. I never trusted them on their waffley veneer of opposition to the TPP – especially the centrists that play a key part in Team Ardern. It’s one of the reasons I was depressed and not celebrating when Labour-NZF formed the core of a government.

    The GP has been kneecapped and have little power to turn things around in the face of the centrist sellouts in and supporting other parties!

    But we can start now building a flax roots movement for the next election. That is what this Sunday’s protests are for.

    I also think the GP needs to be more hard headed about how they oppose the wealthy and powerful in the future. Too many of the latter are just not into democratic negotiations – they play hard ball for power.

    • weka 23.1

      thanks Carolyn. I agree, the week of action is about what happens next. Notable to me is how few people have signed the petition. I’m guessing that lots of activists are burnout out on this issue. So it doubly sucks to have lefties attacking the people who oppose the TPPA.

      • Carolyn_Nth 23.1.1

        You know, I can’t remember if I signed the petition or not. So I signed (again?)

        However, i think a presence in the demo takes more effort and public presence. Signing a petition is easily done and easily forgotten. So many online petitions these days.

      • Richard Christie 23.1.2

        Notable to me is how few people have signed the petition.

        I haven’t signed the latest of at least three on line petitions I’ve seen.

        Have the first two I signed suddenly become invalid? How many do we need? how many times do we have to sign?

        The only way to justify having to continually restate opposition is to buy into the spin Labour’s bullshit that the text has substantially changed and the reasons for objection have been removed. But the reasons remain.

        I think you might find a substantial number of people already believe they’ve made their objections known.

        But, sigh, I’ll go and sign it again, even though continually repeating an action expecting a different result is said to be an indication of pure foolishness.

        • savenz 23.1.2.1

          People are not signing petitions because they are sick of it. How many times do you have to say the same thing! Same for protests! Millions have already spoken but have given up being listened too.

  23. Carolyn_Nth 24

    And we need to start building the NZ left for real change.

    Days of action this weekend – mostly Sunday, except a Saturday event in Nelson.

    It’s our Future list of action times and locations this weekend, with links for specific events.

    Our Nationwide Day of Action has morphed into a Nationwide Week of Action

    Events around the country;

    Whangarei Sunday 4th of March:

    Rally 1pm, Tawera Park near the Whangarei Info Centre

    https://www.facebook.com/events/571225906585646/

    Auckland Sunday 4th of March:

    Rally 1pm, Aotea Square, Queen Street
    https://www.facebook.com/events/805505526324341/

    Waihi Sunday 4th of March:

    Details to come
    https://www.facebook.com/events/155211191848613/

    New Plymouth Sunday 4th of March:

    Rally and picnic, 1pm Puke Ariki Landing
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1804674232898957/

    Wellington Thursday 8th of March:

    Rally, 1pm, Parliament grounds
    https://www.facebook.com/events/161873691200281/

    Nelson Saturday 3rd of March:

    Rally, 10.30am, Cathedral Steps
    https://www.facebook.com/events/143815816431911/

    Christchurch Thursday 8th of March:

    Details to come
    https://www.facebook.com/events/218094512072247/

    Dunedin Sunday 4th of March:

    Rally, 12pm, Upper Octagon
    https://www.facebook.com/events/577900969251483/

  24. savenz 25

    On the context of whether the Greens have been vocal enough in their disapproval of TPP.

    Have got the standard email from James Shaw and it’s all about “That’s why I announced today two new measures to ensure transparency and counter the influence of money in politics” etc (no issues with that).

    But nothing about TPPA.

    So will anyone turn up to the protest marches many of which are planned for tomorrow, there is certainly NOT much publicity on it from Greens who are the only party still in opposition.

    It will be interesting to see how many (if any) Green MP’s turn up to the marches.

  25. D'Esterre 26

    Weka: “My guess is that lots of NZers aren’t comfortable with it, but basically don’t care…”

    Best not to be too hard on your fellow citizens. Most are too busy making shift to do more than pay passing attention to the issue. Many don’t get news now as we used to, and don’t necessarily know too much – or indeed anything much – about the current situation. Even, of course, supposing that the msm actually report it. Of which task they haven’t done a great job lately.

    “hard to tell if people are now ok with what Labour have negotiated, or are just resigned to it…”

    Labour always said that they support trade: it was just some aspects of the TPPA which they wished to change.
    I was one of those who protested against it; my chiefest worries were the foreign buy-up of land, Pharmac and the ISDS provisions, given that the US was to be a signatory. When Trump took the US out of it, like many people I thought the whole enterprise would die the death. When it didn’t, I thought, well at least the US won’t be involved, so there won’t be quite the litigiousness that uncle Sam brings to such matters.
    I wonder if quite a few other people share my view: we’d rather an FTA without the ISDS provisions, and one which protects both Pharmac and our land. But an agreement which offers some protections – and without the US – is tolerable.
    On the other hand, if the US changes its mind and decides it wants back in, the amended agreement would have to be renegotiated. Again. That’d take a while….

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    1 hour ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 hours ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    7 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    10 hours ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    2 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    2 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    2 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    3 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    7 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago