Labour to defy TPP on property ownership?

Written By: - Date published: 9:46 am, October 7th, 2015 - 164 comments
Categories: Globalisation, grant robertson, housing, labour, leadership, trade - Tags: , , , ,

If this report is accurate it opens an interesting can of worms!

Labour threatens to defy TPP property provision

The Labour Party is threatening to defy a key provision of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) if it becomes the next government.

The agreement prohibits current and future governments from blocking foreign investment in most forms of property.
But under Labour Party policy, people from overseas should be allowed to buy property only if they plan to live here permanently, or build a new house rather than buy an old one.

At present, foreigners can buy any property in New Zealand unless it is sensitive land or some other category that comes under the control of the Overseas Investment Office. The TPP would cement this open-door policy for property buyers from signatory nations.

Labour Party finance spokesman Grant Robertson said he would not be bound by this provision. “We want to reserve the right to legislate in the best interests of New Zealanders,” he said. “We think it is in the best interests of New Zealanders to give all of us a fair go at buying our own home and if that requires passing legislation to limit overseas buyers from purchasing land and housing, then we want to be able to go ahead.”

“There are consequences if we make a law, if that goes against the agreement. We have to look at all those and balance them up.”

164 comments on “Labour to defy TPP on property ownership?”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    There are only consequences to going against the agreement if it’s in place. Robertson is clearly signalling that National have every chance of a Labour yes vote.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Well they don’t need Labour to vote yes to pass it anyway, so that’s a bit moot.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        It is going to be tight for them on some of the legislation though. I saw something from the Maori party this morning saying that they would oppose the TPP. If Peter Dunne defects as well, then I don’t think that they can pass the supporting legislation.

        They will need to pass some legislation. The copyright duration is lifetime + 50 years in the act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1994/0143/latest/DLM345932.html

        I am pretty sure that to remove some of the few remaining tariffs, so acts will have to be removed. It’d be interesting to see what acts might require amendment or removal. Obviously we can’t be sure until we see the fine print. Some of the changes may not be required for years.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2

        True insofar as it goes. Very bad politics to sign the country up to a treaty on the basis of one vote though.

      • Chris 1.1.3

        Regardless of how Labour votes on this there’s no way they’d change it if they went into government. They might vote against it in the knowledge they won’t defeat it just to look tough, but if push comes to shove they won’t do anything to change things. Even now Robertson’s leaving the door open to change nothing. We’ve heard this sort of bluster from Labour before. Heck, it’s them that started all this mess. Sickening gits.

      • Tracey 1.1.4

        They can’t block the agreement but they can vote down any legislation subsequently needed to give effect to different aspects of the agreement.

    • leftie 1.2

      @OAB.
      What part gave you that idea? That’s not the impression I got.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1

        The part where Robertson talks about the deal as though it’s a fait accompli:

        “There are consequences…”

        …and the general tone of his remarks. If there’s no deal there are no consequences of the sort he cites.

        • leftie 1.2.1.1

          @OAB

          There ARE consequences to the TPPA that John Key is so desperate to sign us up to, that’s what the discussion is all about. No one has seen the actual text of the agreement, so how do you expect the tone to be? I don’t think we should jump to assumptions and think National will automatically get a yes vote from Labour.

          ” Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support the TPP if it undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty.

          We have five key principles which will be non-negotiable bottom lines to protect New Zealand’s interests when the agreement finally makes it to Parliament.

          Pharmac must be protected
          Corporations cannot successfully sue the Government for regulating in the public interest
          New Zealand maintains the right to restrict sales of farm land and housing to non-resident foreign buyers
          The Treaty of Waitangi must be upheld
          Meaningful gains are made for our farmers in tariff reductions and market access.
          The National Government must release the TPP text before making a final decision whether or not to commit New Zealand to it. This would give New Zealanders the opportunity to decide if the concerns we and others have raised are properly addressed.

          Labour will carefully consider the impact of the draft TPP agreement on New Zealand’s interests, and we will not support the TPP unless it protects New Zealand’s sovereignty and is in the best interests of New Zealanders.”

          <a href="http://www.http://campaign.labour.org.nz/

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.1.1

            If the published summary is anything to go by, all but one of those carefully worded conditions have been met: housing. Robertson says Labour will legislate in this area despite the TPP being in place. At least that’s how I read it.

            • Tracey 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Couldnt Robertson have been accepting that parliament doesnt get to vote on TPP, therefore it is a fait accompli but not the legislation that is need after the fact of signing?

  2. James 2

    And when they do – its going to make all the scaremongering look like, well just that.

    Also come election time will notice no difference, despite all the doom and gloom some tried to spread.

    They will remember Labour were all anti until Helen Clarke said it was a good thing.

    All in all – Positive result for National, negative for Labour.

    As an aside – Talkback is generally positive with the anti callers sounding like they are a few cans short of a sixpack. (like the guy yesterday who said we shouldn’t do it because Americans are dodgy – that was his only argument)

    [lprent: Banned for 3 weeks.

    The NZ Herald appears to have lied by omission in the article that you didn’t link to. A subsequent article in the NZ Herald added a crucial rider to her statements. I suspect a Dirty Politics effort by National.

    Since people keep repeating this bullshit, I’m banning people by adding one week per person on to the previous persons ban. Since I moderate going backwards…

    The ban will be waived when you find the article and link to the interview where Tim Groser who emphasized the rider.

    This is part of my political education campaign to get rid of dirty politics and the idiots who perpetuate and repeat it. ]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      You missed the part where Robertson also clearly signals that a Labour government will legislate and we’ll wear whatever consequences arise.

      It’s sad to hear that you find that scary. Chin up.

      • Chris 2.1.1

        But it wouldn’t surprise if Labour buckles and supports it, especially if Key can’t get the numbers. That’s how Labour rolls. Hypocritical gits.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1

          That isn’t how I see it at all: Labour have to consider the pros and cons of being in or out. Robertson’s saying that if we’re in, future Labour governments will legislate in the public interest, and TPP commitments will necessarily come into play.

          Agree with them or not, if they judge that the benefits of ratifying outweigh the costs, it’s in the public interest for them to vote to join.

          • Ron 2.1.1.1.1

            I heard a news item where someone from Auckland Law faculty stated that regardless of what Robertson or anyone else says we cannot just change a treaty once it is signed. We can try to re-negotiate parts of it but would be unlikely to succeed. I can see the logic if every time you had a new government they could abrogate the treaties signed by earlier governments.
            She said that if we did try to make arbitrary changes we would be open to being sued by all the other countries.

            Also Parliament gets no say in the TPP it will be approved by the Executive Council only. Parliament will be allowed to debate the TPP but not change anything.

            • Matthew Hooton 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The other option for a Labour/Green government would simply be to withdraw from the TPP even if it is ratified by Nationals, as the TPP allows. On your Executive Council point, you are right that it is the ratification body and not parliament, but of course the Executive only serves with the confidence of Parliament. So parliament could fire the government if it choose. So, in a sense, the EC can only act if it had the support of parliament.

              • vto

                Yea well I continue to maintain that because the treaty fundamentally affects the power of our vote, by way of placing limits on what laws our elected people can make, then it is beyond the ability of any arm of government or Parliament to enter into the treaty.

                Quite simply, the government does not have the ability to change our vote like this.

                The government is subject to out vote, not vice versa..

                and you can shove the whole “parliament is sovereign and can do ANYTHING it wants” up ya bung (not you Matthew, the typical “you”)

                and the Queen and her crown can also contort themselves up their bung too

                all government and the queen have to enforce this is guns and physical violence

              • Chris

                “So, in a sense, the EC can only act if it had the support of parliament.”

                That’s a deceivingly circular thing to say. The EC is part of government, which by definition has a majority in parliament. In practice what you say means nothing. The decision in this case is not made by parliament, but by Key and his mates. Your comment is wholly disingenuous.

              • Tracey

                Matthew, can you copy and paste the version of the agreement that you have seen?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Robertson wan’t suggesting renegotiation: hence the “consequences” he mentioned.

      • Tracey 2.1.2

        And it’s safe to do that cos Key says no one will sue under the TPP.

    • mikesh 2.2

      Helen didn’t say it was a “good thing”. She said, or implied, that if a deal went ahead we could not afford to not be part of it. Which of course is not the same thing at all.

      • Heather Grimwood 2.2.1

        To Mikesh: I agree that Helen didn’t say “it was a good thing”, and I felt her photo shown in a clip on Standard showed untypical bodylanguage.

      • Enough is Enough 2.2.2

        It would have made her life a lot easier for her former colleagues if she had just kept her thoughts to herself though.

      • leftie 2.2.3

        @Mikesh
        Helen Clark said ONLY if it is a GOOD deal, that’s the part that media and others are purposely omitting.

      • leftie 2.2.4

        @mikesh

        Helen Clark said ONLY if it is a GOOD deal. That’s the part that’s been purposely omitted by media and others.

    • millsy 2.3

      One wonders if Clark was deliberately put up to voicing her support.

      Whether it be by a pro-TPP faction in the party, ‘Team Key’ or private business.

      • BM 2.3.1

        I heard from reliable sources that wasn’t even Helen Clark in that interview, it was actually Tim Groser wearing make up and a wig.

        Damn you National and your dirty tricks !!!!

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.2

        One wonders if Clark was deliberately put up to voicing her support.

        Helen Clark wants her UN promotion and she’ll need US support to get it.

    • Rosie 2.4

      Talkback – the home of rational, critical thinking. Not.

      Nice try though, using talkback radio as a measuring stick gauge to the nations understanding of the threat of the TPP.

      It’s Clark btw.

      • James 2.4.1

        Sorry on Clarke / Clark.

        As for measuring sticks – nor is the standard. Hard to find reasonable ones. We generally have friends who are like minded.

        I guess we will have to wait for the polls.

        If many on here are correct we should see a huge slump for Key and National.

        • Tracey 2.4.1.1

          NOT until the opponents get to see the final details. At the moment is it a one-sided publicity campaign because only one side has knowledge of the whole deal and can use such detail as it chooses.

    • Bob 2.5

      lprent, that’s a bit harsh, here you go:
      Clark, head of the United Nations Development Programme and a former Labour prime minister, said being in the TPPA was critical for New Zealand.
      What’s your take on the TPPA?
      “What always haunts one as the New Zealand Prime Minister is ‘will there be a series of trade blocs you’re not part of?’. Because that’s unthinkable for New Zealand, an exporter and small trading nation. So of course New Zealand has to be in on the action with the TPP and go for the very best deal it can.”
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/72604363/former-pm-clark-backs-controversial-trade-deal

      Seems like a pretty clear endorsement for the TPP to me!

      EDIT here is the link to the excerpt of the interview where she backs the TPP, doesn’t look like dirty politics to me: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/-new-zealand-has-to-be-in-on-the-action-helen-clark-backs-tpp-avid-060a2b340101010501010f1013-000000-4b5334f6cfdf0094-6e440060dd44-a8b1

      • infused 2.5.1

        Yeah. We all heard it. Left say it’s taken out of context… uhh, it’s there in full context.

        • Tracey 2.5.1.1

          A few weeks ago you were adamant this will never happen. Is that because you don’t believe the Congress will pass it in the USA?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.5.1.2

          Too funny. You forgot to check the Fairfax report, which doesn’t cut the beginning of her statement.

          What were you saying about full context? No wonder your opinions are so often several facts short of a picnic.

    • dukeofurl 2.6

      Even the government numbers say that the copyright extension will cost the public $50 million EXTRA every year.

      I notice a puff piece from Charles Finny in te Herald gets this wrong
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11524659
      “There is one negative, we will have to pay more for books and movies. That cost will be $55 million over the next 20 years. ”

      While the graphic in Audrey Youngs story gives it as $55 million every year.
      “There will be tougher penalties for skirting copyright protection measures such as technological protection measures (TPMs). These technical locks designed to stop DVDs and other items being copied are used by copyright owners to guard or restrict the use of their digital material.”

      • Anno1701 2.6.1

        “These technical locks designed to stop DVDs and other items being copied are used by copyright owners to guard or restrict the use of their digital material.”

        and they will be reverse engineered/cracked & redundant within weeks (if not days ) of release , just like EVERY other form of copy protection/DRM ever made

        • infused 2.6.1.1

          By that nickname I can see you are in the scene.

        • dukeofurl 2.6.1.2

          That assumes everyone is capable and able to access these hacks. Try and distribute them widely and they will come after you.

          Ask Kim Dotcom what happens when the state goes after you on behalf of Hollywood and record companies

          • Anno1701 2.6.1.2.1

            Their capacity to catch pirates isnt quite they would lead you to believe

            as long as you are careful its pretty difficult to get caught ” violating copyright “

    • Srylands 2.7

      Explaining is losing. Good luck with your political education campaign. The fact that you “ban” people for simply stating the obvious is an indictment on your arrogance.

      • Colonial Viper 2.7.1

        If you can’t be bothered with serious political discussion and accurate political detail, you can fuck off to Kiwiblog.

    • Planet Earth 2.8

      So, you’re banning someone because “The NZ Herald appears to have lied by omission in the article that you didn’t link to”, is that right? OK, I guess it’s your blog.

      Helen Clark stated [deleted]

      IMO to interpret that to mean “TTP is a good thing, not a bad thing” is not that unreasonable. But you’re the boss.

      [lprent: Banned for 4 weeks. No link to either that statement or Tim Groser’s one. Incidentally the statement by Helen appears to be truncated in every clip that I have seen so far – like this one. You need to read the policy about substantiating assertions of fact. Plus you really need to grow a brain and read my warnings ]

    • James 2.9

      I was going from the video in stuff and I did not hear the rider you mention.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/72604363/former-pm-clark-backs-controversial-trade-deal

      [lprent: And did that clip sound like she’d finished speaking? Perhaps Groser heard the whole thing? He was pretty clear about the “crucial rider”. Not that Helen sounded particularly enthusiastic about pros for the TPPA in the clip. It’d have been interesting if she’d given her appraisal about the cons. See you in the few weeks. ]

    • NZSage 2.10

      No need for banning’s Iprent.

      There are plenty on here who are more than capable of countering and ridiculing National’s sycophantic trolls and I for one thoroughly enjoy it when the do!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.10.1

        This particular lie – “Helen Clark supports the TPP” is a long way from her actual words.

        It’s tiresome, having to constantly rebut the same zombie arguments and downright lies. It gets in the way of genuine discourse.

        There are plenty of righties who get that and manage to behave in a relatively civilised manner. Educational bans help maintain the quality of argument – as the policy says, coming here and starting flamewars is unwelcome. So is making groundless assertions of fact.

        • northshoredoc 2.10.1.1

          “It’s tiresome, having to constantly rebut the same zombie arguments and downright lies. It gets in the way of genuine discourse.

          There are plenty of righties who get that and manage to behave in a relatively civilised manner. Educational bans help maintain the quality of argument – as the policy says, coming here and starting flamewars is unwelcome. So is making groundless assertions of fact.”

          It is a pity that the same standard isn’t applied to some of the “lefties” or just outright “un-put-in-boxable loons”.

          [lprent: I do apply the same standards, and ban for the same kinds of reasons left and right. But generally those on the left tend to take notice of warning while many on the right do not. I think it has to do with who values the site existing. ]

          • marty mars 2.10.1.1.1

            what’s up doc?

          • northshoredoc 2.10.1.1.2

            @lprent – IMO you are extremely disproportionate in your banning behaviour, however as someone else remarked it is your site and you can do with it what you want.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.10.1.1.2.1

              As per criminal trial judges, perhaps there’s a pattern to the length of Lprent’s or any other moderator’s bans.

              If you’re going to walk the line, do it just after lunch. Never piss off a hungry moderator 🙂

              It would be astonishing if personal and/or political bias weren’t part of the mix.

              • northshoredoc

                “It would be astonishing if personal and/or political bias weren’t part of the mix.”

                Absolutely, in my opinion it’s silly to deny that that’s the case.

                • Chooky

                  lol ” just outright “un-put-in-boxable loons””…really loved that phrase!…think it applies to the one above you

      • lprent 2.10.2

        I am thinking of my fingers and time.

        This is the classic troll pattern of creating a myth, unsupported by anything substantive, that results in me having to quell meaningless flamewars. I expect that people will not make assertions of fact without linking to sources, look at the limitations of sources, and actually arguing based on sources for facts (however ridiculous their opinions are). I find that tends to reduce the argument to what is known rather than the creation and perpetuation of idiotic myths that cause equally idiotic flamewars.

        Coming in and making an assertion of fact without substantiation does not. It just leads to flamewars and more work for moderators.

        This is a behavioural issue, and I quell those as soon as I recognise that they are a problem. After all these are my hard-worn fingers doing the moderating and my time I am doing the moderation in. I don’t need the extra work being provided by fools who don’t heed warnings.

        • northshoredoc 2.10.2.1

          “Coming in and making an assertion of fact without substantiation does not. It just leads to flamewars and more work for moderators.”

          Agreed, however this happens repeatedly on this site and only some seem to be called on it most usually those of a different political flavour from yourself.

          As I’ve said previously it is your site and you can do with it what you want.

          • lprent 2.10.2.1.1

            Feel free to point them out. Ask for a link, reference, or citation when someone states a fact without substantiation. If they link, then look at the links that they provide and explain why that is bullshit or just more opinion. I watch for people acting as pointers to those things as well when I am moderating.

            However remember that they have to be assertions of specific facts. Not assertions of personal opinion or experience or expressions of “common knowledge” or personal interpretations of facts. The wording is crucially important in separating the two.

            Much of the time, when people point to what they consider an assertion of fact without substantiation, it turns out that they are pointing to something that isn’t specifically checkable or even has a source. A lot of the time, it is that people simply disagree on the interpretation. These are all things that we allow allow under the concept of robust debate.

            The basis I mainly use is based on defamation law, where opinion is just opinion, but where stating facts may be defamatory. The reason for that is obvious.

            The policy outlines the general procedure on assertions of fact. But remember the other part of the policy about wasting moderators time.

            • northshoredoc 2.10.2.1.1.1

              I will forward you a gross of pins and a dance manual.

            • Chooky 2.10.2.1.1.2

              Iprent…I just love it when you ban some people…

              ( but I hope I am not next….and where is wee lefty Clem?…who overstepped the line….i miss him)

            • Melb 2.10.2.1.1.3

              Oh good, so you’re banning people for misrepresenting stuff now?

              You should ban Mickey Savage for the post summary “Hekia Parata has announced that student achievement and not need caused by poverty will be a central part of any future funding system.”

              Nothing of the sort has been announced.

              Hekia has gone rogue

              How many weeks are you gonna ban him for?

              • Tracey

                Principals Reject Parata’s Funding Plans

                Friday, 2 October 2015, 4:36 pm
                Press Release: New Zealand Principals’ Federation
                Media Release 2 October 2015

                Attention: Education and Political Reporters for immediate release

                Principals Reject Parata’s Funding Plans

                Minister Parata’s announcement to scrap the decile system of funding and link future school funding to student achievement has been roundly rejected by school principals.

                ‘It is well known that there are more children in low decile areas of New Zealand who arrive at school ill-prepared for learning,’ said Denise Torrey, President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF) and these children take expert specialist teaching to help them catch up,’ she said.

                ‘We cannot expect that these children will achieve at the same rate as children from advantaged backgrounds and some children with severe special learning needs may never reach whatever target the Minister sets for achievement,’ she said. ‘It is counter-productive to withdraw funding from the very schools that require more support because they have a higher rate of disadvantaged and challenged learners,’ she said.

                Education sector leaders have been actively pursuing ways to work alongside the Minister to co-construct a fair and equitable school resourcing formula which can better accommodate the needs of all students.

                ‘I find it disturbing that the Minister’s announcement today ignores our request to help shape an alternative funding system and mirrors what has already happened in the UK where poorer public schools are starved of funds to make way for private charter schools,’ said Torrey. ‘The results in the UK are disastrous and Kiwi kids deserve better,’ she said.

              • Tracey

                Should he have highlighted her saying that objecting to charter schools was a kind of support of Apartheid?

                or

                “Hekia Parata has broken her word not to open another round of charter school applications this year, the Green Party said today.

                Under questioning from the Green Party in February, Hekia Parata was asked if she was planning another round of charter school applications this year, her reply was a categoric “No”.

                The Government announced this morning that there is to be a third charter school application round opening today.”

          • Tracey 2.10.2.1.2

            Am thinking some prominent leftie commenters have been banned, Felix is one who comes to mind.

    • Tracey 2.11

      When the prosecution closes its case you SHOULD think the defendant is guilty, cos it has been pretty one-sided tot hat point. Once the defence starts you begin to question the prosecutions case more.

      That is where we are in the TPP, the government has all the info and is releasing what suits them to paint a particular image. To say most people support is to say most people like how the government is presenting it, unfettered by details or opponents (who don’t have all the information yet).

    • Tracey 2.12

      So, Helen Clark saw the draft that was confidential to preserve negotiating positions?

  3. georgy 3

    What arguments/reasons have we had from the nat govt ? Only that it will be good for NZ ! That sounds like a dodgy argument. Let us have some facts – that is, actual information. And wouldn’t it be good if the media provided some objective independent assessment of the impact of TPP on NZ?

  4. vto 4

    What’s with the “only if you build new” exception?

    That is complete bollocks

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      Increases housing stock.

      • vto 4.1.1

        Yes that is the argument, but in reality over a longer time all it does is reshuffle the same players in the market. Still same number of players with same aims and same results. i.e. it doesn’t increase housing stock to help reduce price pressures

        • dukeofurl 4.1.1.1

          Your logic is all twisted. The new housing only is as applied by Australia.

          More buyers for new houses means more new houses built.
          Simple really, is often called supply and demand – surely you have heard of it

          • vto 4.1.1.1.1

            Yes I have heard of it.

            Isn’t it that thing which doesn’t supply the demand by the poor for affordable housing?

            And no, the logic is not twisted thanks, if you think about it

            • dukeofurl 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Poor people rent mostly – unless you know some ‘poor people’ who have $25-$50k for a deposit handy.

              More places for rent reduces the prices they can ask. ( foreign buyers would be big supply for renting stock!)
              Its supply and demand.

              You dont seem to have any idea of real life past your keyboard?

              • weka

                “More places for rent reduces the prices they can ask”

                Only if there is more supply than demand. I doubt that increasing the number of rentals in Ak or Chch would decrease rent unless there were so many new houses that there was a surplus of houses for rent. Do you think that’s going to happen?

              • vto

                you missed the point again

                there is demand from poor people for housing to own

                where is the supply?

                where is it?
                where is the magic supply to meet the demand that we are told the market will conjure up?

                • vto

                  and before you come back and say “blah blah they are demanding more than they can reasonably demand blah blah” it needs to be pointed out that housing, alongside food, is one of life’s most basic requirements. The fact the free market hopelessly fails at providing one of life’s base requirements should trigger a thinking person’s brain into action on the limits that the free market has…

                  or do you imagine it has no limits?

                • BM

                  You’re a wealthy guy maybe you can build a few and then sell them at cost to worthy people.

                  • DoublePlusGood

                    Why do that when the government can just do it far more efficiently and equitably?

                    • BM

                      I disagree, if everyone waited around waiting for the government to do it nothing would ever get done.

                      I’m sure a well off lefty such as vto would be chomping at the bit to help the less well off.

                      Any way, who knows, maybe he already is.

                • dukeofurl

                  Its like the market for cars

                  Brand new cars only can be afforded by a small sector, so when a new car is released on market, the buyers old car goes to nearly new ( say 3 years old) that again appeals to wider market, who then release their car to those that buy around 10 years old and so on.
                  Those cars older than 15 years go to those who are just starting out owning a car.
                  Ipso facto: more new cars means more used cars further down the chain.

                  You can theorise about the reverse happening too.

                  No new cars coming in means older cars will rise in value. Its a truism.

                  We have a supply of used cars from japan, this had absolutely pushed down prices of used cars over last 25 years.
                  I cant believe what I paid for a used car 15 years ago !!

  5. Eyre 5

    Maybe we should asked Grant Robertson, why labour didn’t do this in the fta with China. Just saying

  6. Nick - Upper Hutt 6

    Once again the neo-liberal tail is wagging the Labour dog. It appears that the party is positioning itself to vote “yes” for the deal then claim later, when in power, that they can’t achieve what they promised in the election as “their hands are tied”.
    The TPPA is expected to have provisions that transfer sovereignty to overseas Corporations with far deeper pockets than NZ, with a long “get out” clause.
    Any suggestion that any NZ Government will defy anything is wishful thinking at best.

    Sidenote: I understand that in recognition of the de facto situation, John Key is shortly to announce that the US Flag will replace the referendum choices with a promise from Obama that we could have our own star in 2030!

    • Bob 6.1

      “The TPPA is expected to have provisions that transfer sovereignty to overseas Corporations with far deeper pockets than NZ, with a long “get out” clause.”

      Meanwhile, in reality: “Regulatory Coherence…”The chapter does not in any way affect the rights of TPP Parties to regulate for public health, safety, security, and other public interest reasons”
      http://www.tpp.mfat.govt.nz/assets/docs/TPP12%20summary%20of%20the%20Agreement.pdf

      • crashcart 6.1.1

        Recon with enough money you could find a lawyer that would argue that legislating against forign ownership is not a public interst policy? This is born out by specific provisions in the TPP that state no nation is to introduce such legislation.

        This is the funny thing. You keep trotting out that line like it is some kind of a vaccine against corps that might want to sue the government. However if this was written to allow governments to legislate as they see fit there would be no need for any ISDS clauses or any clauses about oversea’s purchasing of land.

      • KJT 6.1.2

        You forget. “Except as an unaccountable business tribunal decides”.

    • Matthew Hooton 6.2

      No sovereignty is transferred, in the sense that New Zealand can withdraw from the TPP in the future whenever it wants. Although, in another sense, something like temporary sovereignty is transferred, in the same way, for example, us being part of the Ottawa Treaty means we are currently not sovereign in terms of equipping our army with land mines.

      • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 6.2.1

        This is a question I would like to ask. Is it possible to view the TTPA and the institutions it creates the same way we view the Treaty of Waitangi and the Waitangi Tribunal? That the decisions are recommendations that a parliament in normal course would abide by but ultimately are not binding?

        The most concerning aspect of the TTPA for me is the Investor State Dispute Settlement process. http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/of-tpps-isdss-and-the-constitution

        The concern is this un-elected and foreign three man panel will dictate how NZ is run. That policies for the public good will not be enacted or will be overturned due to the fear or actuality of being sued by foreign capital.

        Right from the start our politicians should announce that Parliament is sovereign and it reserves the right to overturn any decision made by the Investor State Dispute Process. That Parliament is the final arbiter of the public good not the ISDS. That the ISDS decision making power for New Zealand is a creation of Parliament, gets its authority from Parliament and ultimately is answerable to Parliament. That kiwis have fought for democracy, that women and workers have campaigned long and hard for representation, that Maori with the spirit of Treaty of Waitangi has its place in Parliament. That at the end of the day these are more important than some three man panel.

        My wife and young kids are Finnish and we could live in Finland but we choose to live in New Zealand. It is the place I feel I belong and in part due to the lack of sovereignty in Finland, I believe New Zealand gives more opportunity to my wife and kids.

        You see Finland is a proud and successful country -in WW2 it had to fight off both Stalin and Hitler to keep its sovereignty. But for the last 20 years it has walked down the path of giving away chunks of sovereignty to the EU in exchange for ‘trade’. Politicians and civil servants have made lifelong careers creating new structures for this ‘trade’. But they were not democratic structures and when tested by the GFC they were found to be inadequate. Now there is no way for Finland to walk back up the path to full sovereignty and there is no electoral ‘reset’ button.

        I challenge our MPs to announce that Parliament is always sovereign and it reserves the right to overturn any decisions made by the Investor State Dispute Process. That Parliament is the final arbiter of the public good not the ISDS. And let us see if any Member of Parliament or even Prime Minister -current or former will announce that actually there is now a higher power.

        • Matthew Hooton 6.2.1.1

          In practice, parliament does have the power to overturn any ISDS decision against NZ it doesn’t like. It just votes to force the executive to withdraw from the TPP and not to implement any adverse finding.

          • Pat 6.2.1.1.1

            and of course thats going to happen….governments of any hue will have one eye on the ISDS provisions when formulating policy and will seek to avoid the risk …the chilling effect will have served the purpose in all but the extreme case

          • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 6.2.1.1.2

            Surely NZ only has to leave if all the other members of the TPPA ask them to leave. A future NZ government could reverse a ISDS decision for instance and if the other governments who are mostly democratic agree it was a fair call then no problem.

          • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 6.2.1.1.3

            I see Mathew doesn’t want to reply to the idea that the TPPA Treaty is the same as the Waitangi Treaty and is ultimately non-binding on Parliament. That if NZ doesn’t abide by the TPPA in some respect then it is up to the other party(s) to decide whether to ask NZ to leave the TPPA or not.

            Of course Mathew likes his interpretation. It gives the ‘right’ a bigger stick to hit the ‘left’ with when there is a public dispute on the fair allocation of costs and benefits between capital and labour.

            Mathew’s ‘stick’ being right-wing PR people like him can threaten being sued by foreign capital. They can tell left wing government they have a choice of deciding for capital or they can leave the TPPA. My interpretation although still not good -there is still a stick. But smaller because if a left wing government acted for the public interest by say overturning a ISDS decision then it would be up the US and other countries in the TPPA to decide if this use of sovereignty was bad enough to kick NZ out of the TPPA club.

            • Matthew Hooton 6.2.1.1.3.1

              As an international sceptic myself, I agree with you that the TPP is non-binding on parliament. Parliament remains completely sovereign in New Zealand. Just as our parliament could vote to buy our army landmines despite the Ottawa Treaty.

              • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal

                On a personal level losing sovereignty fills me with unease. My wife and young kids are Finnish and we could live in Finland but we choose to live in New Zealand. It is the place I feel I belong and in part due to the lack of sovereignty in Finland, I believe New Zealand gives more opportunity to my wife and kids.

                You see Finland is a proud and successful country -in WW2 it had to fight off both Stalin and Hitler to keep its sovereignty. But for the last 20 years it has walked down the path of giving away chunks of sovereignty to the EU in exchange for ‘trade’. Politicians and civil servants have made lifelong careers creating new structures for this ‘trade’. But they were not democratic structures and when tested by the GFC they were found to be inadequate. Now there is no way for Finland to walk back up the path to full sovereignty and there is no electoral ‘reset’ button.

                EU structures like the Euro currency has been a trap for many European countries. There is a lot of bitterness about the stagnation in their economies but now that they have lost control over economic levers there is not much they can do about it. Hence the rise of populist party’s like the anti-EU True Finns Party.

                There is no easy way out for the Finns. Whereas New Zealand has major problems -housing unaffordability, an immature undiversified economy and so on. But the ace in our hand is our sovereign ability to fix these problems. We should not discard that ace so easily.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  Sorry, meant international LAW sceptic.

                  I think the EU really does remove sovereignty to some extent – some of its treaties, like the Euro one, don’t even have withdrawal procedures. But the fact we can talk about the UK voting to withdraw from the EU means, even in the EU case, that sovereignty remains at Westminster.

  7. Bill 7

    Just like the wee snot rag who swears he’s going ‘have you’ – as he runs off down the street. I mean, get real.

    Robertson says Labour would pass some legislation. Robertson says there could be consequences. After the “look at all those” to “balance them up” Robertson and Labour will be off down the street crying for their mammy.

    • weka 7.1

      yeah, ‘balance them up’ didn’t inspire me with confidence. I just searched Labour’s website and couldn’t find anything for ‘tpp’ or ‘tppa’.

  8. Anne 8

    I’m with Grant Roberston and Labour on this one. For me, it’s the over-riding TPP sell-out of NZ and it’s no surprise neither the government nor the MSM are concentrating on the ultimate negative impact it will have here. We will end up owning nothing of our own country.

    It’s the biggest white elephant in the TPP room (imo), and it’s effect is being conscientiously ignored by officialdom and most of the media.

  9. Nigel Gregory 9

    What exactly is the Labour Party view on the TTP?
    I really struggle with the party at the moment as there is nothing there that gets me thinking they are a government in waiting.
    I’m not saying they don’t have view, just that I really struggle to understand what it is.
    All this obtuse language from Grant Robertson doesn’t help.
    When I think of what Labour could be in a world crying out for alternatives to this deflation and austerity I shake my head.

    • dukeofurl 9.1

      http://campaign.labour.org.nz/news

      Shake your head no longer, see its easy to find out stuff – thats if you really want to and arent a ‘concern troll’ because thats exactly what you sound like.

      • Nigel Gregory 9.1.1

        Not at all a troll, that’s a bit harsh.
        I am also a labour voter and union member.

        I read through the link you posted by the way including Labour policy on the TPP.

        Are Labour in favour of TPP? I still don’t really know. My personal opinion is that Labour would have signed…no proof just personal opinion. They would have been in the same hotbox as everyone else.

        • Ad 9.1.1.1

          Even Labour’s pretty principled/nuanced position took far too much wangling and arguing through its caucus.
          Colossal wasted opportunity to feed some red meat to its base.

      • Nigel Gregory 9.1.2

        I just listened to Annette King regarding the TPP on RNZ, maybe I have jumped the gun a bit on accusing Labour of hedging bets with this deal.

        I accept that she sure sounded as if Labour don’t support this deal. Even going so far as to say she doesn’t believe what we are being told on drug costs.

        I stand corrected.

        • maui 9.1.2.1

          Since we’ve signed off there’s nothing on Labour’s facebook page saying they wouldn’t sign it or that they fundamentally disagree with it.

          • dukeofurl 9.1.2.1.1

            Of course not.
            The full details aren’t available, theres a managed release of SOME information.
            I would expect the MPs to get together to consider the details and go from there.
            Its not like national who have a small clique running their policy, and you have a big range of views to consider.

            Did you expect Little to be some sort of supreme being, who hands down policy on high for the masses?

            • maui 9.1.2.1.1.1

              That’s the sensible approach right? Sign up for that interest free loan you’re suspicious of, then after reading the terms & conditions decide if you should have taken the loan or not…

    • maui 9.2

      Agree with you Nigel. Its seems to me that they often portray a 50% alternative, the other half is more of the same. I don’t know if you can win elections like that as it seems a big gamble. Not sure if you can reinvigorate your support base with a wishy washy message.

      • dukeofurl 9.2.1

        Thats the way politics works, it has to be making your brand visible most of the time. Plus if you make balck and white pronouncements the government will tear it apart.

        They just dont have resources of government who can be seen to “act” 6 days a week.

        National play negative too- which your type of comments to easily overlook,- Key is relentlessly negative in parliament but puts on his happy face when mixing with the public and free loading with sports stars

        Come election time when “some” of voters want clear policy ( most are only concerned with a few things which varies with demographic.

  10. The Chairman 10

    What happened to Labour’s five bottom lines?

    Most if not all conditions have been breached.

    Surely they must not support the deal?

    Is there an escape clause? And if so, what is the time frame and repercussions (if any) for pulling out?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Most if not all conditions have been breached.

      Surely they must not support the deal?

      Yep, they need to come out and say that they will be removing NZ from the deal and they need to do it now.

      • The Chairman 10.1.1

        Yet, we now have Grant Robertson saying Labour will now weigh up consequences opposed to wholeheartedly sticking to there so-called five principles.

      • Wayne 10.1.2

        Draco,

        As I have said before, you know that this is wishful thinking on your part.

        • DoublePlusGood 10.1.2.1

          Only because Labour are as bereft of any economic competence as National.

  11. Nigel Gregory 11

    Annette King’s language on RNZ was pretty explicit, although she would not be drawn in to saying Labour don’t support the deal.

    • Enough is Enough 11.1

      So its not that explicit at all then if she cant say whether they support the deal.

      I think everyone from John Key to Draco would have wanted a better deal. However the question is which side of the line you stand on?

      Will Labour pull New Zealand from the TPP when it becomes government?

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        Probably not. They seem to be more concerned with NZ’s reputation with the corporates that are taking over the world than the people of NZ.

      • Brigid 11.1.2

        Nope. I don’t believe they will

      • lprent 11.1.3

        I suspect where Labour goes will depend entirely on the detailed text of the agreement. Part of the problem is that it sounds like Labour were not involved in the negotiation after the US went into it, nor was their views and opinions sought (apart from maybe a few TPPA supporters), and they consequently have no skin in the result.

        I suspect that was a BAD mistake politically.

        • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 11.1.3.1

          When did the US join the TPP? I thought it was on Helen’s watch. Was it at the end of her administration when she was more interested in what would benefit her not the country?

          I thought the strategy of doing lots of small high quality free trade deals was a better approach. As soon as a big player like the US joined the trade deal this sovereignty loss outcome was probably inevitable.

        • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 11.1.3.2

          ?

  12. weka 12

    Interesting change of headline from RNZ. Earlier it said that Labour were ‘threatening’ blah blah about the TPP. Now it says ‘Labour told TPP property provision here to stay’.

  13. The Chairman 13

    Andrew Little is on holiday and trade spokesman, David Parker, is also out of the country.

    How convenient.

    They should both be here, on the front-line fighting this.

    Instead, we have King failing to commit and Robertson (seemingly buckling) stating Labour will now weigh up the consequences.

    • weka 13.1

      I saw something earlier where King was very clear that Labour didn’t support the TPP if it breached Labour’s five bottom lines (can’t remember where, might have been teh ODT).

      Robertson soundbites sounded ambiguous and uncommitted.

      • weka 13.1.1

        Labour deputy leader Annette King said Labour had made it clear it would not support the TPP if it did not meet the bottom lines of meaningful gains for farmers, the ability to restrict house and land sales, protecting Pharmac and the ability to govern in the interests of New Zealand.

        http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/358445/roadblocks-ahead-tpp

        • The Chairman 13.1.1.1

          Thanks for that.

          I was referring to Nigel Gregory’s comment above.

          It now seems Robertson’s and King’s comments don’t align. With the inconsistency robbing the Party of their credibility.

          • Pat 13.1.1.1.1

            no need to get to het up around opposition response as yet…they ,like everyone else will need the detail….but on whats there at the moment dont look good thats for sure

            • The Chairman 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Of course. But they need to comment with some consistency.

              • Pat

                one would hope they get their response co ordinated pretty quickly…after all has only been out a day…give them a day or two more to assess….then if they cant get themselves sorted they deserve a bagging

                • The Chairman

                  This is a major issue. Therefore, they should have had a team set up (ready to go from day one) allocated to the task of fighting this, coordinating responses etc…

                  It’s far from a united, competent, professional look they are trying to portray

                  • Pat

                    think thats a big ask considering no one knew if/when it was going to be agreed and importantly what it was to contain…even now there is very little known…labour made it known their position depended on the quality of the deal and the devil is in the detail which is lacking and even then subjective

                    • The Chairman

                      Rubbish.

                      The team should have been set up in waiting, ready to launch into action when the time arose.

                      Moreover, they could have reached out to their potential coalition partners, presenting a united opposition front.

                      Lost opportunity? Indeed.

                      There has been enough info released for them to comment. And of course, they have. Yet, it seems far from coordinated. As highlighted above.

                    • KJT

                      Except anyone! who has kept up with it, on Wikileaks, The Guardian, and the New York times, to name just a few of the many sources, have had a pretty good idea of what the final agreement is going to be, for months.
                      Including the fact that the US and Canadian Government’s have been assuring their farmers, they are going to allow SFA on dairy.

                      Are Robertson and the other dries in Labour deliberately looking the other way.

                      Labour still doesn’t know if they want to be “the Labour party”, or National (TM) lite. And their MP’s still cannot get their shit together to agree which way the party will go.

                    • Pat

                      KJT…for Labour to form a position they can defend they will require far more detail than is currently available…Wikileaks , Guardian ans assumptions aside…to do otherwise risks blowing up in their faces….Robertson has already been show to have misunderstood a basic principle…do it once and do it right

                    • KJT

                      Robertson showed up one basic principle.

                      Labour MP’s still don’t know “what the fuck they stand for”. If anything

                      Surely aspiring NZ leaders listen to US Presidential candidates stump positions to their rural voters, especially when dairy access is such a big deal here.. No fucking way was NZ ever going to get any significant movement.

                    • Pat

                      time will tell KJT

                    • KJT

                      It already is. 86 cases under ISDS provisions bought by US corporates this year to date.

                      Finance firms are offering lending already, under the security of future ISDS cases.

                    • Pat

                      you are preaching to the choir KJT….my opinion is TPPA is a disaster for the COUNTRIES involved but maintain Labour cannot be expected to formulate its coherent response 5 mins after its signing without access to some detail.

          • Rodel 13.1.1.1.2

            nonsense as usual.

  14. Observer (Tokoroa) 14

    It is too early for any NZ “common man” to make an assessment of the Prime Minister’s deal with Japan, Canada and United States.

    Each of those nations are big enough to see to their own prosperity. Particularly the United States which is predictable in seeking it own interests without so much as a “damnit” for any other nation on the planet.

    It is a real pity, that a Democracy like ours has been shut out from seeing the written words of the decisions that John Key took.

    In general terms, NZ First will not be an easy sell; The Greens will be ambivalent and National supportive; Labor will have its five bottom lines.

    It will not go well for John Key if he has agreed to the United States Government, and the US Corporations, buying and owning NZ Land and resources at will.

    Dispossessing NZ people will be seen as treason. Which is what it is.

    • Stuart Munro 14.1

      I think in the long term the dispossession will precede without the guilty being punished. The scoundrel Max Bradford lied through his teeth about cheaper power and dispossessed us of our national resource and thus far no colourful revenge has been enacted upon him.

      King Aelle threw irritating Vikings in a snake pit – it would be shame if a thousand years later we could not come up with something at least as inventive for Groser and Key – though confiscation of their ill-gotten wealth is probably the thing that, as supremely greedy specimens, would make them regret their treason most.

  15. Bill 15

    Hmm. Within about three hours, not only the headline, but the basic text changes to a remarkable degree. Compare the lengthy quote of the post to the link as it stands now. Chalk. Cheese.

  16. Nigel Gregory 16

    I still take the view that I don’t know what Labour’s position is on the TPP. Why is that?

    Take Pharmac…most commentators are declaring it hasn’t been scrapped under this deal but who believes it’s been strengthened or further improved?
    Who does not believe it’s going to be a case of death by a thousand cuts?

    It’s a pretty simple logical step to call this deal a step in the wrong direction for the majority of New Zealanders as a left wing party.

    • KJT 16.1

      Labours position on the TPP had five bottom lines. Their bottom lines have not been met, so you would expect them to unequivocally oppose.

      Right?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1

        According to the published summary, and indeed Labour’s own statements, all but one of the conditions have been met. Robertson’s statement clearly implies that Labour will legislate in this area with the TPP in place.

        So no, that’s far from unequivocal opposition.

  17. Nigel Gregory 17

    Yes of course more obtuse language from Grant Robertson, implying this or that, not quite sure.
    The TPP looks like a pig, walks like a pig, etc etc…

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/hillary-clinton-opposes-tpp-trade-deal-1.3261291

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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