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Little on TPP: “I don’t support it, we don’t support it”

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 am, January 28th, 2016 - 351 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, jobs, labour, trade - Tags: , ,

Labour has been walking a tightrope on the TPP. Labour supports free trade, but opposes aspects of the TPP that limit our sovereignty. At some point the party was going to have to come down on one side or another, and it seems that Andrew Little has now done so. The news that the TPP was likely to cost 5 to 6,000 jobs in NZ seems to have been the last straw. On One News last night (partial transcript from video):

Labour finally confirms it’s opposed to controversial TPPA

[Little] “I don’t support it, we don’t support it”

[Little] “Very difficult as it is for us as a party that for 80 years has supported for, championed and advanced the cause of free trade, we see an agreement that cuts right across the rights of New Zealand citizens…”

[Vance] “Plus Andrew Little points to US university analysis which predicts the deal will lead to between 5,000 and 6,000 jobs lost in New Zealand by 2025. The report also estimates GDP growth of less than 0.8% again by 2025.

Vance has occasionally got things wrong in early reporting, but I hope she’s right on this occasion and I hope to see this confirmed by Labour soon. Then brace yourself for the attack machine. Here’s Dita DeBoni:

The smear campaign against people who oppose the TPPA has almost stifled proper debate

The smear campaign against people who oppose the TPPA – or see much to question in it – has almost completely stifled proper debate about this game-changing deal.

Doubters have been called ‘children’, hippies, dirty lefties, communists, ‘anti-trade’, and much worse. Even if they are respected economists, doctors, business leaders or even revered rugby players, they are in for a drubbing for questioning the TPPA.

The latest attack lines suggest that because the sky hasn’t immediately fallen in, the TPPA must be A OK. This, despite well-founded fears of future unintended consequences. …

More mud will fly, but Labour’s case is sound. The TPP limits our sovereignty, it will cost jobs, and the economic gains are not significant enough to justify it.

351 comments on “Little on TPP: “I don’t support it, we don’t support it””

  1. Tony Veitch 1

    Could I suggest a post on the lines of: An Open Letter to Peter Dunne.

    It seems to me he is the key to securing the successful passage of the supporting legislation through parliament. He is an intelligent me and must have read and weighed up all the information about the TPP. A respectful appeal to him might have an effect!

    • Rae 1.1

      He has a totally closed mind when it comes to this, anyway, it would not necessarily make any difference, as ratification won’t be getting put to the vote.

    • Rosie 1.2

      A waste of time unfortunately Tony, for two reasons.

      The TPP as Rae points outs, doesn’t go to the parliamentary vote for ratification. Only lip service is paid to the process of democracy – from what I understand, parliament will vote on it but it’s meaningless as ultimately it’s cabinets decision.

      A respectful appeal to Dunne will never have an affect. He believes what he believes and is closed to persuasion and argument. Despite the huge opposition to asset sales and to the introduction of new GCSB legislation, where he had the remaining vote, the one to rule them all, he still went ahead against the wishes of the public. Don’t get me started on how he treats the constituents of his electorate when they disagree with him!

      He always does what he wants and is incapable of listening to the public.

  2. Matthew Hooton 2

    In the announcement, Andrew Little says he would try to negotiate changes to the TPP. But if he fails, do you know if Labour’s policy is that it would then activate article 30.6 of the treaty and withdraw? If not, it is a bit of a hollow announcement.

    Also, which of these other treaties which limit our sovereignty do you think NZ should withdraw from? Every single one of them limits out sovereignty.

    [Snip – I let the comment through but I can see that it is messing up the post. The treaties Matthew is referring to can be accessed at http://www.treaties.mfat.govt.nz/search/results and yes there are a number of them – MS]

    • BlueSky 2.1

      Which of those agreements limit the rights of a democratically elected government to freely and without legal consequences from foreign corporations legislate in the interests of the country and its citizens?

      If any do the signatories signed away some portion of the sovereignty of the nation.

      It is doubtful that they all do.

    • Ben Clark 2.2

      Trying to prove your point by shear volume of text doesn’t make it any more right Matthew.

      It’s a quid pro quo (as someone quotes Goff further down) – it’s whether the loss of sovereignty is compensated by enough benefit to the country. In this case it’s a significant loss of sovereignty (mainly to corporations) in the extended copyrights (note: trade restricting, not free trade) & ISDS etc. But the economic benefits are small, and given the structure of the agreement, likely to go to the few who don’t need it, not the many who do.

      Labour, generally free trade supporters, have weighed the sums and decided it’s not worth it. (no doubt partly because this is properly a ‘free trade’ deal, with its added restrictions etc)
      That doesn’t mean any agreement that limits sovereignty isn’t worth it.

      I know John Key likes to stretch arguments to absurdity as a way of dismissing them (eg “you want to raise minimum wage to $15? Why don’t you raise it to $50 and we’ll all be rich!”), but you’re a better debater than him I’m sure Matthew…

    • You_Fool 2.3

      I think your parrot is a bit sick sir, maybe take it to a vet?

    • Matthew Hooton 2.4

      Oh dear, it would’t let me post treaties beyond those that start with the letter A. There are hundreds more of them. All of them limit “sovereignty” – although, as Goff points out, most, like the TPP, allow for unconditional withdrawal so there is no loss of ultimate sovereignty at all. Go to http://www.treaties.mfat.govt.nz to take a quick look at how many treaties NZ is party to.

      • Chris 2.4.1

        Of course with such a limited meaning you’re giving to sovereignty. You’re deliberately mixing up the usages to try to make what you say sound credible.

    • lprent 2.5

      Most people don’t have a problem supporting agreements that actually assist us. There is always tradeoffs of the types noted in your list. THey need to be balanced with advantages that the TPPA does not exhibit.

      The problem is that the TPPA helps assist corporations and does bugger all to assist people in NZ. The more I look at the TPPA, the less I see how it helps more than a tiny fraction of the citizens of NZ, but it imposes significiant constraints and costs on everyone here.

      It is a restraint of trade agreement, and definitely does bugger all to assist in freer trading.

      To date people supporting it have failed to show any significiant advantages in return for the hard fought advantages that we will have to curtail.

      Quite simply, the supporters of the TPPA have failed to make a case for how it helps NZ or even how it supports the citizens of the other participants.

      It is a failed bit of negotiation, and should be scrapped. Apart from anything else it will get in the way of negotiating reciprocal deals that do benefit our citizens.

      • Matthew Hooton 2.5.1

        That is not the case Little is making. He says it benefits NZ overall but that the “loss of sovereignty” overwhelms that. But I don’t take his that seriously. He doesn’t say a Labour-led govt would withdraw it but would try to renegotiate bits of it. He can have a crack at that. But he will fail and then he will still not withdraw. So its just nonsensical rhetoric rather than anything that indicates the policy programme of a future Labour-led government, of which there is now almost no chance one will be elected in 2017.

        • Lanthanide

          There’s still ~18 months to go till the election, Labour can easily come out before then and say they will negotiate and if that fails withdraw.

          • Matthew Hooton

            Yes, also, I still think this is more symbolic than real. Unless US ratifies between presidential election and swearing in, I think it is unlikely to ever go ahead. That might be a better line for Little than the nonsense he is spouting, which is so easy to prove to be false, as Goff has done in half a dozen sentences.

            • Lanthanide

              Yeah, it somewhat works as an attack against National as well – the TPPA doesn’t have any realistic chance of going through, but the government are trumpeting it as their one big accomplishment. But they haven’t accomplished anything, and are unlikely to. This is a tired 3rd term government with no policy agenda of its own, spinning make-believe and fairy-tales to distract the public.

            • BlueSky

              Why do we need to do anything before the largest members of the TPP do?

              • Penny Bright

                EXACTLY right, in my opinion.

                ‘Where’s the fire?’

                What’s the rush to sign the TPPA – when it may very well NOT come to pass in the USA ?

                Penny Bright
                2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

              • Matthew Hooton

                We don’t and won’t. Until both US and Japan ratify, there will be no changes.

            • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal

              Mathew I don’t think Andrew has to answer hypothetical questions.

              Currently the TPPA is not ratified -it may never be ratified, it may be modified to make it more acceptable. Things could change and then Labour’s position may change.

              Andrew and Grants position is they see the losses to NZ through constraints on our decision making ability (sovereignty) from the TPP agreement as it is currently formatted being greater than the minimal benefits from gains of trade.

              If the TPPA is ratified then Labour will have to decide how to respond. But currently it is not. There is still water to go under the bridge……

              • Matthew Hooton

                So, is Labour’s policy that Todd McClay should or should not sign it on 4 February given the other 11 countries are going to?

                • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal

                  Mathew it is a symbolic signing. You know that signing doesn’t equal ratification. Todd McClay can symbolically do what he likes -he can go down to the beach and declare that the tide will not come in…. Good luck with that

                  Labour have declared they do not support the yet to be ratified TPPA as it currently exists. Mathew I am sure you can work out what that means.

                  • Matthew Hooton

                    You make a good point. So why are people going to riot against the signing?

                    • weka

                      🙄 You guys are really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

                    • Chris

                      Maybe because it’s a filthy little arrangement made in private to help the rich get richer on the backs of not only the poor but now on pathetic little countries like ours? These people stop at nothing. Now they’re taking on whole countries. And rioting’s been justified for way less than the TPPA.

                    • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal

                      Gosh Mathew are you encouraging people to break the law and riot?

                      My understanding is on the 4th of February that people are going to get together, have a friendly party, walking around Auckland telling people they agree with Little, Turei and Peters that the TPPA as it exists is a crap deal and hopefully it will never be put into action.

                      Meanwhile McClay is meeting some guys from around the world who think the TPPA is fantastic (one suspects that like you Mathew they are in the corporates pockets) to announce the deal is signed, even though the deal may never be ratified.

                      It seems to me that the left have a much clearer idea of what is going on than the right!

                    • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal

                      I suspect the genuine guys on the right are actually relieved that there is a strong defence of our sovereignty from our left wing parties because they know if there wasn’t then the corporates and the US and co will roll us over as easy as pie.

                      Kiwis know that economic trade deals with Aussie doesn’t mean they play nice and this deal has the potential to be much worse. I am sure many on the right cringe at how easily the Gnats rolled over in the negotiations -what did they deliver for their farming constituents again?

                    • weka

                      Good comments Brendon, both of those.

                  • Chris

                    It’s not a symbolic signing. It’s a necessary stage to go through to allow ratification to happen. And NZ will ratify it because for Key that’s the objective of this whole TPPA shambles, regardless of anything.

            • Stuart Munro

              There’s something pretty dodgy about a Treasury analysis that does benefits without looking at costs. One imagines cost benefit analysis is a familiar practice to wonks and business people – producing an analysis with half the ledger missing is naked and incompetent bias that should see everyone involved in its presentation sacked.

        • lprent

          Nope. You are just spinning his words. What he said was that it doesn’t benefit us enough to justify the loss of sovereignty.

          Which is exactly what I think. There simply isn’t enough in it to make it worth while. We could do a whole lot better not being in it, doing a few more equal bilateral or multilateral deals, and having room for job-producing exporters to grow without being constrained by the daft restraints on our legal systems.

          In my tech industry area just not having to put up with US style litigation on intellectual property will easily produce more benefits for NZ that the paltry benefits from this pile of crap.

          Have you looked at the rate of growth in the tech sector in the last 20 years? It far exceeds the benefits from dropping a few agricultural tariffs in the next 15 years. But the TPPA hobbles us with an obsolete and outright stupid intellectual property model.

          • lprent

            Oh I forgot to mention, we also employ directly and indirectly far more people that the agricultural sector does now. What this treaty will do is to slow that employment down.

          • Draco T Bastard

            But the TPPA hobbles us with an obsolete and outright stupid intellectual property model.

            That’s the big one for me. It’s becoming clear that the IP laws that we have now simply aren’t fit for purpose and actively prevent the innovation that they’re supposed to encourage and support.

        • How do you translate “it costs us jobs” into “gosh this chilling effect on sovereign passing of laws is just not worth it”?

          Because “it costs us jobs” is basically Labour speak for “we won’t support this policy as-is.” That’s always been their bottom line on any policy- if it doesn’t move towards full employment or at least not move us away from full employment, they see it as a bad call. They were against acting on climate change as well, (I heard one Mr Mallard scoff at a Green Party MP’s speech about the finite limits of resources in the world that we can’t respect that as it would “cost jobs”) until they realised it didn’t “cost us jobs”.

          And I wouldn’t be surprised if Labour withdrew us from the TPPA if it does go ahead as released. Because it’s a terrible agreement, bad enough that even Labour, staunch free trade advocates, realise that the concessions made (including higher costs for Pharmac, draconian amendments to our copyright law, and the inability to limit certain types of foreign investment, or nationalise industries if necessary) are not worth it for a few GDP points going to the richest people and corporations in our country. Hell, strictly interpreted, you could be sued for raising the corporation tax under the TPPA.

    • Dialey 2.6

      How many of these agreements give away our sovereignty to foreign corporations? There is a difference when it is a government to government give and take, as opposed to a corporate profit grab

    • Sanctuary 2.7


      Bit early to be on the angry juice even for you, Mr. Hooten.

    • Anne 2.8

      Anyone with a text a tenth as long as Hooten’s would be having it deleted and an admonishment attached. May I request such a deletion on the grounds of consistency?

      [lprent: I looked at it and decided that I’d tolerate it in the interests of debate. However I wasn’t happy about it. It is obviously copied from somewhere. If you can find a link, then I’ll trim it and add the link. ]

      [I let it through Anne because MH was addressing the post. I have found a link however and trimmed his comment and inserted the link – MS]

      • Lanthanide 2.8.1


        This is clearly copy-and-paste with no added value and breaks established precedent for moderating at The Standard.

        • Matthew Hooton

          Yes, fair point. I would prefer to attach a PDF or something but don’t know how. You can generate your own PDF at http://www.treaties.mfat.govt.nz

          [lprent: You can’t on this site unless you are an author. However you can request one of us to add it to the media archive. You can also link to PDFs held at other parts of the net. The simplest route is to do something like add it to a public readable folder on your dropbox or your company , and link to that. ]

      • Lanthanide 2.8.2

        @Lynn, Hooton already gave the link for where he got the list of treaties, from http://www.treaties.mfat.govt.nz

    • Draco T Bastard 2.9

      Agreement to Amend the Principal Agreement executed in 1910-11 governing the Exchange of Post Parcels between New Zealand and Tonga

      Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas

      Neither appear to affect our sovereignty at all. They don’t stop us making our own laws but it does require that they adhere to certain minimal standards. And there’s plenty like this in the list – IMO, most if not all of them.

      The TPPA, on the other hand, actively prevents our government from making laws on pain of being sued by corporations.

      • Bob 2.9.1

        Draco, I haven’t read the text of the TPPA since it was initially released, but I don’t remember seeing any articles that “actively prevents our government from making laws on pain of being sued by corporations”. Can you please flick me a link to this?

        • Macro

          The devil Bob is in the detail.
          National in 2013 gave an indication that they would introduce plain packaging on Cigarettes in line with Australia.
          Then Australia was sued under ISDS – that action has now finished with a win to Australia.
          no action by NZ to reintroduce the plain packaging legislation despite calls to do so – the Govt remains silent on the issue.
          Because despite the Australian success in defending their legislation there is no reason why the tobacco companies can’t sue another govt. – and they will.
          There are 1600 Corporations in USA known to be highly litigious – many with far deeper pockets than NZ.
          ISDS claims ruled on by corporate appointed lawyers have increased substantially in recent years – there is no appeal and the implications are that countries cannot take democratically decided initiatives that may in any way jeopardize the profits of corporations – whether or not those profits are gained in ways that are beneficial to the interests of the citizens of the country or not.

          • Bob

            That’s all lovely Marco, but how is this different to the ISDS already in place under the China FTA?
            Draco is saying that the TPPA “actively prevents our government from making laws on pain of being sued by corporations”, if he was just talking about ISDS provisions then surely the same protest should have occurred during the China FTA ‘secret’ deal.

            • Macro

              Perhaps I should have expanded a bit more.
              Here is one opinion:

              The TPP means that if any of the 12 participating nations have laws in place which act to prevent or interfere with a potential profit making activity of a corporation, that corporation can challenge those laws in court and either have those laws changed to suit their corporate requirements, or they can sue that nation for their loss of potential profit as a result of that nation’s laws

              and as discussed by Prof Andrew Geddis last year on pundit:

              A quarter of all the arbitrations commenced in 2013 involved challenges to regulatory action by the Czech Republic and Spain affecting the interests of the providers of renewable energy. Environmental laws in Canada were also the subject of ISDS processes. Lone Pine Resources Inc instituted a claim against Canada last year in response to a moratorium imposed by Quebec on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which led to revocation of the claimant’s gas exploration permits. Windstream Energy LLC instituted a claim against Canada on the basis of a moratorium imposed by Ontario on offshore wind farms. The Swedish company, Vattenfall, is suing Germany under the Energy Charter Treaty over Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear energy power plants.

              These don’t really sound like “extreme actions such as illegally confiscating or nationalising business assets”. And what is more, as the Chief Justice goes on to discuss, these ISDS provisions can kick in even if a nation’s courts already have found that the Government’s actions are consistent with domestic law. In other words, they operate as a guarantee for the interests of international investors that is above and beyond anything available to domestic citizens or companies.

              I guess you will have some other definition of “sovereignty” that doesn’t worry about such actions. But for most people – this is a big deal, and why they don’t want a bar of the TPPA>

              And yes I am aware that we have an ISDS under the China FTA – have I said anywhere that I agree with that FTA? We are rapidly becoming tenants in our own land as it is, from that unfortunate disaster without inviting any more in.

          • Natedog

            Macro – the tppa has a clause that excludes tobacco from being able to sue governments.

            • Macro

              That is true. But you may not be aware that the ISDS claim against Australia was made from Hong Kong – nothing to do with the TPPA. So NZ could be sued – under the China FTA anyway.
              That is the nature of ISDS agreements.
              I gave the cigarette case as an example of what was in store for us – and what we have signed up to in the past.

  3. Rae 3

    What a damned shame the ratification does not have to go to a parliamentary vote, as it looks like it would be voted down if it was. Instead the government will take the totalitarian stand and probably ratify at executive level. Dirty deeds done dirt cheap (unless you are one of the 90%)

    • savenz 3.1

      @ Rae – another lie from Key that there would be a vote in parliament.

    • Bob 3.2

      “What a damned shame the ratification does not have to go to a parliamentary vote, as it looks like it would be voted down if it was”
      Really? National’s 59 votes, plus Goff, plus Shearer means the Government wouldn’t even need ACT or Peter Dunne to ratify it.

      • Northsider 3.2.1

        My money is on Shearer showing off his
        1) parliamentary inexperience
        2) vanity: he actually thinks he is a mover and shaker
        3) true neo-con soul: his time in London with the big boys at Arundel House with the Institute for Strategic Studies was a defining experience for him.

  4. Tautoko Mangō Mata 4

    Goff and Shearer support TPP.

    MPs break ranks on TPP

    Two senior Labour MPs have broken ranks with the party line and declared their support for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), amid rumours that at least one, Phil Goff, could cross the floor of Parliament to vote with National if Labour opposes enabling legislation.

    The issue was hotly debated at the Labour caucus retreat in Wairarapa this week.

    Labour has joined the campaign to oppose the deal as the focus turns to the signing in Auckland next week.

    Mr Goff, a former leader and former Trade Minister and now an Auckland mayoral candidate, and David Shearer, also a former Labour leader, last night told the Herald they both still supported the TPP.

    Mr Goff said the deal should be signed.

    Former Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark also backed the TPP among 12 countries and it was begun under her leadership. Mr Goff was Trade Minister.

    Labour has decided to oppose the TPP on the grounds that it undermines New Zealand's sovereignty.

    Mr Goff did not blatantly criticise Labour's position. But he effectively dismissed that view and the suggestion that Labour would not be able to prevent foreign investors buying New Zealand residential property.

    "Every time you sign any international agreement you give away a degree of your sovereignty." He cited the China free trade deal negotiated when he was Trade Minister.

    "We gave up the sovereign right to impose tariffs against China when we signed up to the China free trade agreement. But it came with quid pro quos. China gave up its right to impose huge tariffs on us.

    "That's what an international agreement is; it's an agreement to follow a particular course of action and a limitation on your ability to take action against the other country.

    "You have the ultimate right of sovereignty that you can back out of an agreement – with all the cost that that incurs."

    The TPP obliges member Governments to treat investors from member countries as though they were domestic unless exceptions are written into the agreement. Labour wanted an exception written in for investors in residential housing but National did not seek it.

    Mr Goff is critical of National for choosing not to do that.

    "But there is more than one way to skin that particular cat," he said. "We retained the right to make it financially undesirable or unattractive to buy up residential property in New Zealand.

    "You can still impose, as Singapore and Hong Kong do, stamp duty on foreign investors."

    Mr Shearer told the Herald that his position on the TPP was unchanged and "certainly after reading the NIA [national interest analysis]" that was to support the deal.

    Mr Shearer would not comment on whether he would cross the floor.

    Mr Goff said he had no comment to make on crossing the floor


    • savenz 4.1

      +1 TMM

      Shocking. You have to wonder about the blindness of Goff and Shearer. All the experts agree it is a dog of a deal and not going to benefit anyone but corporations in lowering standards.

      The problem is that lawyers have got more brazen in these agreements and with nothing to lose (the governments can’t sue corporations but can only be defendants) then under ISDS they are going after everything they can and usually the threat is enough anyway to change government policy.

      In addition this agreement is worse than previous trade agreements and there is not even any benefits unless you think 6000 lost jobs is a benefit. (Trickle up for corporations perhaps).

      The good news it that is seems that Little has at least made a stand on behalf of Labour to say TPP NO WAY.

      • northshoredoc 4.1.1

        Of course governments can sue corporations.

        • Naturesong

          Arbitration through ISDS is one way.

          Corporations can sue govts using the ISDS, govts have no recourse other than domestic courts.

          • Colonial Viper

            Note that northshoredoc for his own reasons supports the TPPA even though it will, over time, wreck the efficacy of Pharmac.

            • northshoredoc

              How will it wreck the efficacy of PHARMAC ?

              This red herring has been raised numerous times but even the most strident anti TPPA opponents have now backed away from such fact free statements…..except for you apparently.

              • Macro

                You know as well as everyone else who has followed this that the extention to 20 years for new drug treatments by Big Pharma particularly Highly expensive biological drugs for cancer treatment will have a profound effect on Pharmacs ability to fund its current programme. And yet that is not enough for these companies and they want more. Groser was prepared to cave in for his vanity projects sake but fortunately Australia stood firm. Even so we know that the republicans are now opposing TPPA in many cases over this very issue because their backers – BIG PHARMA – want morehttps://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2015-10-07/free-trade-and-tpp

                • northshoredoc

                  Medicines in NZ already have a twenty year patent term, it remains unchanged under the TPPA.

                  A more thorough discussion is attached below



                  • Macro

                    Paywalled so Not a very useful link I’m afraid.
                    However even yours truly “Honest John” acknowledges that

                    Talks on the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership deal are in their final stages and Prime Minister John Key has already said the deal would likely see patent protection for some drugs extended beyond the current period – effectively about five years from introduction to the market – pushing up the cost.

                    The estimates put the extra cost at about $1B NZ. And where is that little extra amount coming from? The Govt can’t even fund its current programmes.
                    Are you saying that this is another little lie from him that should be added to the already extensive list of BLiP?

                    • northshoredoc

                      Sigh….. patent protection remains the same as it has always been at 20 years.

                      Data protection which is different to patent protection has been extended on biologics.

                      I’ve cut and pasted the relevant information from the NZ Dr article below

                      “The role of patents and data exclusivity needs to be understood when debating the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement says Pharmac chief executive Steffan Crausaz.

                      Mr Crausaz spoke recently with New Zealand Doctor about the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and, though careful with his words, did pinpoint one area of concern in the debate when opponents raise the possibility of increases in the costs for medication due to extension of drug patents.

                      “A patent is in essence a contract between state and inventor, ensuring exclusive rights to sell an invention like a drug for 20 years,” Mr Crausaz says.

                      Under intellectual property laws, the patent holder is granted exclusive rights to sell the invention. Even if a patent is given, however, drugs must be approved by regulatory bodies such as Medsafe.

                      This approval process may take years and, upon approval, the remaining exclusive rights to sell the drug may not recover the research and development costs.

                      Data exclusivity is protection offered to a drug’s clinical data that is submitted to Medsafe in New Zealand, or the FDA in the US. It is a means to give innovators an opportunity to prevent their data from being exploited by competitors.

                      While data exclusivity is in place, Mr Crausaz says, the data cannot be seen by generic suppliers…”

                    • BlueSky


                      The fishhook pointed out by Steffan Crausaz is probably one of many.

          • northshoredoc

            Corporations must obey the laws of the land in which they operate – health and safety, environmental, commerce, tax etc if they do not the government of that said jurisdiction can of course take action against them.

            • Bill

              ISDS constitute a wrecking ball to be swung at the laws of the land in which they operate – health and safety, environmental, commerce, tax etc.

            • Naturesong


              I’m glad we agree that the ISDS procedures are simply a run around for corporations to avoid having to obey domestic laws they dislike.

          • savenz

            And so it remains to be said, why don’t the corporations sue through domestic courts too? Why do they need to remove courts and go through a private ‘tribunal’ situation with a few hand picked corporate lawyers. The reason, they want it stacked in their favour so they can maintain their profits and not have to change their ways.

            ISDS should be removed from all trade agreements. France is refusing to sign any trade agreement with them and NZ should follow. Be a leader (like the Lange No Nukes days). Standing up for NO Nukes actually gave NZ some international credibility to be able to say NO to the US. Unlike these days where Key being a toady to the US is not doing our international reputation any good. At least Clark had some credibility for having a brain. Key is just a manufactured political golfer who would sign or speculate on anything if he thought he could personally get something out of it even if it is just a photo op with someone important.

      • James 4.1.2

        “All the experts agree it is a dog of a deal”

        Really??? All of them – or just the ones you agree with personally.

        Helen Clarke and Phill Goff both seem to think its OK – and they would have to be considered experts.

        • lprent

          Helen Clark simply said that it was a deal that it’d be hard to stay out of simply because it was across so many of our trading partners. That is rather self-evident.

          I don’t know of anywhere that she said it was an OK deal. If you want to make that assertion, you should link to it.

          In the meantime, I’d have to consider you to be lying as usual.

          • James

            OK – I will reword.

            Helen Clarke DID NOT say it was a dog of a deal or give any indication of this.

            Phill Goff has not said it was a dog of a deal or give any indication that he would support Littles (current) position on this.

            On the other hand the comment that ““All the experts agree it is a dog of a deal” – seems to be a misrepresentation.

            • lprent

              It is. However I tend to view hyperbolic statements about general groups of people as not being assertions of fact unless people get precise enough to look it up. I let commenters deal with those.

              That is quite differently than making an assertion of fact about individuals that you can’t sustain. I (and just about everyone else) would consider that to be deliberate lying and to be defamatory.

          • Expat

            I recall reading about Clarks statement a few months ago when they reported she said that “NZ should sign up to it” (TPPA) which was the part Key focused on, but most reporting Clarks comments didn’t include the remainder of the sentence, which was “as long as it’s a good deal for NZ”, classic Key BS, manipulating information to prop up his agenda and passed on by the MSM.

        • savenz

          How about you get some NZ experts to support it – Matthew Hooton (not sure anyone could consider him an expert), Groser – a guy so useless even the GCSB could not with their illegal spying get him into the world trade organisation, Key a currency speculator who enjoys firing people as per his name ‘the smiling assassin’. Josie Pagani MSM appointed ‘Labour insider’?

      • Nick Nack 4.1.3

        “All the experts agree it is a dog of a deal and not going to benefit anyone but corporations in lowering standards.”

        I am following the debate around the TPP very closely, and I can assure you that is not the case. There is some very good argument from both sides (I thank TS for their links), and there are indeed ‘experts’ (however you define that) on both sides who make compelling cases for and against. No-one gains by suggesting otherwise.

    • Matthew Hooton 4.2

      Golf’s comments re sovereignty and restricting property sales are 100% accurate. Andrew Little has been lying to the New Zealand people.

      • BM 4.2.1

        Agree, Andrew Little is full of it.

        I prefer the stamp duty approach, bung on a 30% stamp duty, if they are still willing to pay that then they’re welcome to buy here.

        The major issue has always been Auckland city council strangling land supply, once the new housing areas open up you’ll probably find foreigners purchasing houses won’t be a problem because supply will be able to keep up with demand.

        • marty mars

          righties upset – little must be digging in the right spot 🙂

        • framu

          land supply increases in no way means a rapid increase in supply or a better situation re: sale price

          people keep repeating the land supply argument while utterly ignoring the fact that there are developers and a string of other people inbetween land supply and house purchaser.

          you will only see an effect form increased land supply if you also force houses to be built immediately (not just the consent), reform the materials supply situation and force savings to be carried through to the sale price

          • BM


            Auckland council has been seriously dragging the chain and it wasn’t until Nick Smith got involved that things started to happened.

            Also there’s always going to be some catch up, especially after supply has been stifled for so long.

            • framu

              not seeing where it explains how increasing land supply means better house sale price

              and i mean in a way that takes into account the fact that all the people in the middle of the chain from land buyer to house buyer will be seeking as much profit as the market will accept.

              also – the productivity commission? really? – thats just a sop to don brash. Its about as trust worthy as the NZ initiative re: bias issues

              note: were straying off topic a bit BM – lets keep it short for the sake of others. 🙂

              • BM

                Supply and demand
                Currently demand outstrips supply.
                The answer is to increase supply

                What we’ve seen in that report is a five-fold increase in the price of land in Auckland that is at the core of the issue around young families being able to afford houses.”

                Smith said the Government was prepared to “stare down some of the nimbyism” within councils and parts of New Zealand that stopped new housing developments and drove up prices.

                I’ll leave it at that.

                • framu

                  yes – land prices went up –

                  but that still doesnt explain how a drop in land price equals a drop in house price

                  if the land price drops current economic theory says that a developer will do everything he can to retain savings as profit and will price the house to what the market will take – not what their costs are

                  the only way you get round that is a mass flooding on the supply side which is impossible unless you force it to happen

                  i will leave it at that

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Both of you are ignoring how “demand” can keep going “up” when Auckland house prices are far beyond the reach of 95% of wage and salary earners.

                    The answer is of course the massive supply of hot money and easy credit into a physical market (the house market) that is very limited in supply.

          • Muttonbird

            And the flaming infrastructure. There’s no point being anti-rail like this government is, then dumping 20,000 houses at the end of the NW motorway when the road can’t handle it.

            Why should Aucklanders have to bear the full cost of the infrastructure when it’s not Auckland’s immigration policy putting pressure on the place?

        • Draco T Bastard

          The major issue has always been Auckland city council strangling land supply

          Nope. The problem is that National like sprawl because it brings more profit with all the added costs that it brings. More costs in transport and so the fuel companies get more profit. More costs in road building thus boosting profits for road building companies, drainage companies and the list goes on.

          Also massively benefits the land bankers sitting on rural farmland on the outskirts of the city. Huge potential in untaxed capital gain there.

          The simple fact is that building up costs less and brings more benefits. National is against this option.

          once the new housing areas open up you’ll probably find foreigners purchasing houses won’t be a problem because supply will be able to keep up with demand.

          Nope. Will still be a problem as housing would still be out of reach of the majority of people. Ownership of housing should be restricted to those who actually live here.

          • BM

            That’s your belief which is probably the same sort of belief shared by the green division of Auckland city council.

            This is not the view shared by the vast majority of Aucklanders though, people don’t want to be stuck in shoe boxes they want their own little bit of land.

            Auckland council and council employees have to represent those views, that’s their job, they’re not there to push their own personal ideologies.

            If they can’t do that, they should fuck off and go work somewhere else.

            • Sacha

              “people don’t want to be stuck in shoe boxes they want their own little bit of land.”

              May be true for older people, certainly not for the young – hence huge demand for apartments and terraced options. Plenty of quarter acre houses already.

            • Draco T Bastard

              That’s your belief

              It’s not really a belief. Studies clearly show that sprawl costs more. It’s a matter of simple deduction to determine where that more is going to and then to realise that those that get that more are represented by National.

              This is not the view shared by the vast majority of Aucklanders though, people don’t want to be stuck in shoe boxes they want their own little bit of land.

              [citation needed] and most people are already stuck in little boxes. And I personally couldn’t care less about owning my own bit of land. I suspect that quite a few others would feel the same way – once they realise the benefits of not owning their own. Public parks could be wonderful things for the kids to play and meeting the neighbours.

              Just down the road from me are a few medium density housing areas where the houses are, quite literally, all identical. The places are well cared for and everyone living there seem quite happy.

              Also: http://transportblog.co.nz/tag/density/

            • Colonial Viper

              This is not the view shared by the vast majority of Aucklanders though, people don’t want to be stuck in shoe boxes they want their own little bit of land.

              That may be true by Auckland is just 0.3% of the country’s land area. Maybe its time for those who want their quarter acre section to look somewhere else in the other 99.7% of NZ?

            • Lloyd

              “Vast majority of Aucklanders” – my a**e!

              Put a couple of hundred shoe boxes for sale as dwellings at less than $100,000, Then after you have survived the stampede, you tell me the vast majority of HOME BUYERS don’t want a cheap house.

              At the rate we trade dwellings, most Aucklanders are home buyers sooner or later.

        • Molly

          Stamp duty is a useless tax to combat affordability and provision, easily avoided by the speculators.

          Stamp duty in the UK is paid by most of the residential, one property owning public. Speculators tend to put the ownership in a company, and then avoid stamp duty by selling the company.

        • Scott M

          What a simple view of the world you have. Who do you think gets to pay for all the infrastructure needed for that sprawl?

          I can tell you from direct experience it isn’t developers!

          The government blags on about supply and yet isnt willing to help FUND it.

        • lprent

          …once the new housing areas open up…

          That has long since happened. The problem is that the building aren’t going up on most of the out-of-town properties with consents primarily because they are mostly more than 25km out and no-one sensible* wants to buy them for the prices that they can be built for. After all to have a weekly mortgage of $1000 and $200 gas bill per week for an out of town macmansion tends to leave most working people starving.

          What is getting built as soon as the consents go through are apartments and terraced housing in the first five kilometres and around railways. Then you can use public transport

          Perhaps you shouldn’t judge Auckland by whatever small town you live in – Christchurch wasn’t it? And I suspect that listening to serial ommission liars like Nick Smith is bad for your sense of reality.

          Edit: I added in the word sensible because obviously there are always suckers who are willing to bet against interest rate changes.

        • savenz

          BM – plenty of land opened up around Kumeu – John Key’s electorate under the SHA zoning, lots of instant millionaires but no affordable housing being built or public transport for that matter.

          Just more speculation… from the housing companies that bought the land.

          Keep going with those lies about the council strangling supply – the council planners are incompetent and approving anything that pays their hefty fees yes, approving quality – no.

          Theres loads of land, people can’t afford to build on it with the corporate robbery of materials and infrastructure.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.2

        Your job, Matthew, is to tell lies for money.

        Exceltium works with both long-established businesses and newcomers to New Zealand to establish and maintain their corporate reputations while continually researching the shifting political nuances that have potential impacts for our clients…Our experience extends well beyond the New Zealand market, with our team having worked in-market on projects in Australia, Southern Europe, East Asia and South America.

        Conflict of interest too.

        Perhaps Little is spinning, perhaps he isn’t. You certainly aren’t the one to say so.

        • Paul

          Hooton is just a well paid and articulate shill.

          • Incognito

            There was nothing articulate in his morning dump @ 2. It was almost a like DoS on my screen. Winning an argument by shouting the loudest is not a good debating skill; in fact, you don’t even have to articulate words and could simply use Neanderthal-like sounds.

      • The Chairman 4.2.3

        Little wasn’t lying, Goff merely pointed out a way around the loss of sovereignty.

        • BM

          If you slapped a 100% stamp duty on foreigners purchasing houses, do you think demand may dry up?

          • The Chairman

            Again, that is merely a way around the loss of sovereignty regarding that one aspect of the deal.

            • Matthew Hooton

              You do understand that NZ is party to hundreds of treaties and all of them limit sovereignty in the way Little claims to be concerned about? (Although most, like the TPP, allow unconditional withdrawal so ultimate sovereignty remains with NZ) Spend about 2 minutes at http://www.treaties.mfat.govt.nz and you’ll understand this.

              • The Chairman

                Nice try Matthew, but you do understand that your comment merely reaffirms the point I was making. There is a loss of sovereignty, thus Little wasn’t lying.

              • Crashcart

                This still doesn’t mash with you calling him a liar. At least be consistent in your attack line.

                Is it just normal for us to give up sovereignty or is Little lying about it?

              • Colonial Viper

                Do you really think NZ could leave the TPP without the global financial markets being used to punish our entire nation?

            • BM

              What’s better, banning foreigners out right or imposing a stamp duty and taking that money and investing it in stuff like state housing?

              • vto

                Banning them outright.

                It isn’t an issue of money BM, it is an issue of strength and health of community. It applies all across the globe.

                Of course right wingers are so obsessed with money that they have blinded themselves to humanity. Hence the current route to destruction

                • BM

                  How does foreign ownership affect the strength and health of a community?

                  • vto

                    sheesh man come back once you have passed Human Communities 101

                  • AB

                    Foreign ownership of residential property allows demand to overwhelm supply. This makes houses more expensive so many members of our community cannot afford one. This lands them in rentals, garages, or cars – often overcrowded, of poor quality, and with no security or stability. This makes it harder for them and their children to reach their potential and contribute to the community as we would like them to.
                    Domestic ‘investors’ have the same effect which is why I don’t really care to distinguish between the two.

                    As someone on another thread memorably said – decent housing is a human right, becoming a petit rentier capitalist by owning ‘rentals’ isn’t.

                    • BM

                      So you’re anti anyone buying houses as rentals?

                    • Draco T Bastard


                      Couldn’t have said it better my self.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      BM, AB just amply applied to your question about how foreign ownership affects the health of local communities.

                      How about acknowledging that and giving us your thoughts on it.

                    • Paul

                      BM, how many rentals do you think people should be allowed to buy?
                      10 ….

                  • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal

                    I don’t think Labour is worried about landlords who provide safe, warm, dry and healthy long-term rentals who have a dividend yield business model.

                    It is the landlords with a short term speculative or capital gains business models that is destructive to the housing market and more concerning to the left. I would imagine that is why the likes of Phil Twyford would like to reform planning rules to allow more competition in building up and out to end this speculative housing capital gains business model that is endemic in New Zealand

                    I think foreign absentee landlords and property owners are part of this problem.

                    • BM

                      Wouldn’t stamp duty remove that element of the market?
                      25% stamp duty on a $750,000 purchase is around $187,000

                      That’s a fair whack of capital gain down the toilet.

                      Good for the government though that extra tax can go into stuff like states house, roads etc.

                      Als would you consider some one who lives in Auckland and buys a rental in Dunedin a variant of the foreign absentee landlord?

                  • the pigman

                    “How does foreign ownership affect the strength and health of a community?

                    Are you fucking kidding me? By having absent, foreign landlords with either untenanted houses (just collecting the capital gain – go have a look at Stonefields if you wanna see that) or houses where locals who could never afford to buy in the area are just squeezed into poverty to remain there..

                    How does this affect the health of the community?

                    Are you fucking kidding me?

                • Stuart Munro

                  If you were a screamingly incompetent finance minister losing $20 billion a year you’d care about the money too.

                  Bill cannot raise taxes – his corporate donations depend on his not doing so. So he does silly stuff like this and will till the peasantry rise in arms against him or the IMF step in to wind him up.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Stuart, English is a highly competent finance minister who has kept NZ well away from austerity politices.

                    Compare someone like Grant Robertson, Labour’s finance spokesperson, who could barely read a balance sheet before getting this job.

                    • Expat


                      “English is a highly competent finance minister”

                      You wouldn’t know a good finance minister if it jumped up and smacked you in the face, hell you have know idea what criteria is required to produce a budget surplus, your explanation was how English produced one last year, a BS surplus, slash and burn and increase the massive debt that will never be paid back by this govt.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Expat: sorry mate, but you’re still stuck in the mistaken paradigm where a “budget surplus” is a good thing for NZ businesses, communities and households.

                      It’s not.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Sorry CV, I don’t accept that description – nor can a country enacting draconian welfare reforms deny austerity.

                      I believe housing remains English’s biggest problem – for growth to move through into the real economy it must not get slurped up by rent or power price increases. (If growth doesn’t move through inflation destroys standard of living = last thirty years).

                      English has limited technical ability but is not and never has deployed it in the national interest because he is a menkurt slave to neo-liberal dogma not embraced by more than a tiny fraction of New Zealanders.

                      Grant Robertson is another kettle of fish altogether – but not presently or likely to be employed as an economic whiz kid – certainly not while Cunliffe or Parker remain.

                      Yes, at present some stimulus spending is certainly required – but that’s not what Bill is doing. Show me a budget he hasn’t cut other than Treasury. He is maintaining his untenable tax cuts though the heavens fall – though he knows perfectly well that tax cuts are an inferior and largely ineffectual stimulus.

                      All this borrowing comes at a cost – if government is unwilling to employ sovereign currency actions to cover any of it it eats into services and jobs.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “Grant Robertson is another kettle of fish altogether – but not presently or likely to be employed as an economic whiz kid – certainly not while Cunliffe or Parker remain.”

                      Yet he is Labour’s finance spokesperson and will be debating English next year.

                      English has limited technical ability but is not and never has deployed it in the national interest because he is a menkurt slave to neo-liberal dogma not embraced by more than a tiny fraction of New Zealanders.

                      English is not a neoliberal per se (and certainly not more than certain Labour types) but it is true that English serves the top 10%.

                      That’s his political mandate, though.

              • The Chairman

                If a stamp duty produced revenue it clearly wouldn’t have achieved the goal of ceasing demand.

                That said, one would have to calculate whether revenue produced would offset the resulting damage (i.e. higher housing costs, debt, larger bank returns going offshore, less disposable income negatively impacting on business demand, etc)

                • Colonial Viper

                  Correct. The point of many taxes, tarriffs and fines is to direct behaviour, not to raise revenue.

                  • Expat


                    A budget surplus is the result of good economic management, where very high employment rates occur due to good fiscal and social management, your view of a surplus of taking money out of the economy is false, during Clarks years the govt contributed 40c for every dollar spent in NZ at that time, any idea what proportion it is now?
                    Englishes budget surplus was derived by the methods you spout, but it was manufactured and unsustainable.
                    A surplus is the RESULT of good economic management, not the aim by means of financial trickery.

                    • Colonial Viper


                      A government budget surplus results directly from the government spending less into Kiwi households and businesses than it takes in from those same Kiwi households and businesses.

                      Hence the government ends up with a “surplus.”

                      For the government to run a surplus, it has to force individuals, households and businesses into deficit.

                      As for Cullen’s famed “surpluses” he got those by forcing the Kiwi private sector and even university students deeper and deeper into debt, to make his own books look good.

              • BlueSky

                Stamp duty would be challenged in the ISDS the first time some corporation attempts to buy something.

                Please leave your bank account details to defend the case.

                • Scott M

                  Yeah the problem with Nats approach is that a tax measure would need to be applied to both local and foreign investors.

                  That may or may not be seen as a problem

          • Anno1701

            “If you slapped a 100% stamp duty on foreigners purchasing houses, do you think demand may dry up?”

            probably not, there’s LOTS of multi millionaires/Billionaires looking to stash their cash here in NZ, 1,000,000 or 2,000,000 it doesn’t really matter to people that wealthy

            look at KDC, he spunked 24,000,000 just on a music video/vanity project

            you think paying double matter to him or his ilk, in fact they may even brag about it and how they can afford to pay

            some may even thin its a great idea, keeps out the riff-raff and all that …

      • Paul 4.2.4

        That’s strong words.

    • Paul 4.3

      Can I suggest a letter from the electorate of Mt Albert to Shearer saying they will not vote for him as he supports the TPP.
      Anyone any good at drafting these?

      Being voted out in 2017 will be a good consequence for betraying the people of NZ.

      • Gangnam Style 4.3.1

        Lawyers on the Waitangi ‘gravy train’ = bad, lawyers on the TPPA ‘gravy train’ = good. This is Hooton full guns blazing earning his money. Watch out his last resort is to reveal peoples addresses to very bad people. Get a real job Matthew, something constructive to the country, our country.

      • lprent 4.3.2

        I’m rather unhappy about having my local member of parliament supporting this deal.

        That is something that I will have to ponder on for a useful and effective response.

        • Paul

          When you have pondered, can you share your view on the best way to deal with this? I respect your opinion.

        • savenz

          I hope their is a decent Green candidate running in Mt Albert.

          • lprent

            A Green candidate is extremely unlikely to have any show of winning in Mt Albert within the next decade. I doubt if they will ever get enough support there to win a electorate vote if the electorate remains similar to what it is now and the Green’s policies remain similar to the present.

            You’ll note that I said ‘effective response’.

      • James 4.3.3

        “Can I suggest a letter from the electorate of Mt Albert”

        You have the ability to know what ALL Mt Albert think. of is your view so brilliant and important that you can write a letter on behalf of others expecting them to agree with you.

        Would you be happy if the TTPA supporters wrote a letter from the electorate of Mt Albert on your behalf?

        • Paul

          I did not express myself clearly.
          I meant a letter from those in the MT Albert electorate who oppose the TPP.
          The supporters of the TPP are welcome to write to their MPs as well.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.4

        Can I suggest a letter from the electorate of Mt Albert to Shearer saying they will not vote for him as he supports the TPP.

        I’m kinda hoping that the Labour people of Mt Albert will drop him as a candidate.

    • Don't worry. Be happy 4.4

      Any Labour MP who crosses the floor to vote for the TPPA take over of our democracy should stay there. Sack them, Mr Little and run by elections with candidates that reflect the longing within the Labour Party and the country for a return to an ethical egalitarian society. Stand for something worthy. We have waited too long.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.4.1

        Sack them, Mr Little and run by elections…

        Doesn’t work that way.

        If an MP is an electorate MP then all he can do is kick them out of the party. The MP would get to keep their seat. We saw this with Philip Field.

        If a list MP then if he’s removed from the Party then the next on the list comes in to replace him. As I say, list MPs are actually more accountable to the party system and the voters.

      • alwyn 4.4.2

        “Sack them, Mr Little and run by elections”

        Little may have the power to kick them out of the Labour caucus but he cannot kick them out of Parliament. Crossing the floor would hardly be in the category of an offence punishable by two or more years imprisonment, despite what some of the more rabid commentators here might think.

        If Goff and Shearer didn’t choose to resign there is not a damn thing Little can do.
        Remember Winston trying to get rid of Brendan Horan

    • DH 4.5

      “”You can still impose, as Singapore and Hong Kong do, stamp duty on foreign investors.”

      You only have to think about that briefly to see it’s bullshit.

      Imposing a duty on foreign investors only would be a clear breach of the TPP. You’d have to apply the duty equally to all investors.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.6

      The TPP obliges member Governments to treat investors from member countries as though they were domestic unless exceptions are written into the agreement.

      And that is most definitely something that we shouldn’t be doing. We need to ban offshore ownership and investment. Such rules have nothing to do with trade and everything to do with turning NZers in serfs for the corporations and oligarchs.

      We’re becoming worse off because of this freedom for offshore owners that shouldn’t exist. Most people realise this and that’s, IMO, one of the reasons why most people oppose it and other FTAs.

    • rhinocrates 4.7

      Is anyone surprised by those insubordinate, self-serving shitstains once again showing their right-wing leanings and once again giving people the impression that Labour is disunited on fundamental policy and therefore not fit to govern?

      When is the spineless Little going to discipline them?

      Auckland, think about who you might voting for in the mayoral election. Do you really want that Rogernome traitor?

    • Brendan 4.8

      Goff just lost my mayoral vote. Tool.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.9

      It’s this type of endorsement of Shearer and Goff that shows who’s side they’re on and it ain’t the side of NZers.

  5. BlueSky 5

    Well done Labour. Go hard. Here are a bunch of points about the flaws in the TPPA.

    The TPPA does not provide for environmental and social costs of business often addressed via tax. It is a 20th century business agreement that does not consider the 21st century problems that are the result of the 20th century.

    It probably considers environmental and social costs the domain of the government. However it is quite willing to address the loss of profit. The environmental and social cost that business should be paying but are not will result in a loss of profit hence the ISDS.

    This is completely understandable when you consider that it has been on one side negotiated by corporate lawyers whose corporate masters try to unload (externalise) costs onto society and minimise the cost paid for the use of environmental resources. This accumulates wealth into the pockets of capitalists (investors) who will not even be NZ’ers in the name of growth.

    On the other side you have vainglorious, venal politicians who supposedly is there to represent his nation. Nice job you got now Groser. Now the government has to ‘sell’ a poorly negotiated agreement for their corporate overlords. Talk about suckers.

    Secrecy is insisted upon by no doubt “commercial interests”. Duh. Of course it is. If it is open to public scrutiny the politicians then has more negotiating power and accountability. Just look at the wealth of opposition and analysis that is available now it is public.

    End result will be that we will sign a substandard agreement and be forever at the mercy of corporate lawyers who have in the process secured growth in their parasitic industry.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Well done Labour. Go hard.


      Have you be observing the same NZ Labour Party as I have?

      The one which has been “dancing on the head of a pin” with regards to supporting the TPP for the last 2- 3years?

      I mean get real, a number of senior Labour MPs are all for the TPP for goodness sake.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1

        Have you be observing the same NZ Labour Party as I have?

        A distorting lens at best.

  6. The Chairman 6

    About bloody time.

    Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for cracks in the so-called unity to reappear.

  7. cogito 7

    If the TPPA is so good for the future of NZ as Key keeps on saying, he should put it to an open vote in parliament. That would be the honest and democratic thing to do.
    But when did Key last show honesty or respect for democracy…

    • Puckish Rogue 7.1

      I guess when he said National would implement a partial sell down of the power companies before the election and got re-elected and then said we’d be signing up to the TPPA before the election and got re-elected

      • framu 7.1.1

        why do we then debate and vote on policy in the house?

        why do we have select comitties?

        why do we bother with all that time and cost if all you need to do for all your policy is win the election?

        for once could someone pushing the “global policy mandate via an election win” actually explain the massive hole in their logic?

      • cogito 7.1.2

        Doesn’t answer the question of why he doesn’t do the honourable thing in the interests of openness, democracy and accountability to the people of this country.

        The fact of the matter is this: Key does not care one jot about democracy, accountability or the people of NZ. Key is in it for himself, lying, manipulating and deceiving NZers at every turn.

      • Stuart Munro 7.1.3

        Yes but more than 90% of what Key says are lies – if the public can’t distinguish between the promises he intends to break (170 000 jobs, no gst rise) and those he means to keep their vote cannot be held to grant him a specific mandate.

    • AmaKiwi 7.2

      cogito – the democratic thing would be to have a binding referendum.

  8. Dialey 8

    Do Goff and Shearer really not understand that this is the first real opportunity to show that the opposition parties are strongly united on an issue that actually could resonate with the public

    • Paul 8.1

      Their neo-liberal blood is thicker than their Labour water.
      The fact Stephen Jacobi contacts RNZ in support of him says a lot about whose they are on.

    • Puckish Rogue 8.2

      They’re putting NZs interests first and for that I commend them, can’t be easy for them but it shows their integrity

    • Colonial Viper 8.3

      Do Goff and Shearer really not understand that this is the first real opportunity to show that the opposition parties are strongly united on an issue that actually could resonate with the public

      Again, I point out that Labour MPs like Goff Shearer Parker Clark and probably others are more pro TPP than they are against TPP.

      There is no “strongly united” front here from the Opposition except in an imaginary world.

      • weka 8.3.1

        The problem isn’t that they disagree. The problem is that they have no respect for their own party, members and people who vote for them. I’m not a great fan of unity, but ffs respect and some discipline would go a long way for Labour. Cross the floor or disagree with your party on issues of principle by all means, but economics?

    • Grantoc 8.4

      I’m sure they do.

      However they presumably believe that the getting this trade agreement in place is to the greater good of the NZ public than “showing that the opposition parties are strongly” united on this issue.

  9. just saying 9

    Could those of us in Labour electorates phone or email our MP’s office and express support/gratitude for Labour takng a stand? (if a somewhat lukearm one so far.) Even where the local MP (as mine is) is still getting their head around how bad the TPP is (maybe especially these ones.) Positive reinforcement can work wonders – just ask BF Skinner.
    Anyways, I’ll be doing so.

  10. funny – all the arserights – “Little tell us, Labour tell us” He and they tell them. “Oh know lies, not fairs, boo hoos” I LOVE it!!! Well done Labour and Little – now let’s stop this tppa shit in its tracks!!!

    • Puckish Rogue 10.1

      Just like the left said the partial sale of the power companies would cause the sky to fall in and it hasn’t the TPPA will be of net benefit to NZ

      Its going to happen. End. Of

      • weka 10.1.1

        Sqwuark!! Sqwuark!!

        Spot on marty. The lies are pretty tedious which I guess is part of the strategy.

      • Crashcart 10.1.2

        No one said selling assets would cause the sky to fall in, that is the rights typical false framing of the argument. What they said is that we would lose a bunch of dividends to private investors and not get any where near the money that the Government said we would.

        It would appear that both of those things have happened exactly as they predicted.

        Also what inside knowledge have you got of how republicans are going to vote. I would hate to try and guess which way they are going to go. However it is far from a sure thing that TPPA will be agreed to.

          • Crashcart

            Your joking right? He uses maths in the most ridiculous way.

            For instance saying that because The government got $485M in dividends in 2013 and received $440M in 2015 we only lost $45M because of the sales is crazy. It would be true to say we only received $45M less.

            However what we actually lost was the $422M in dividends that went to private investors in 2015.

            • weka

              PR is running what is now known as a Sick Parrot. It’s putting out an argument that appears superficially to make a point but is designed to take us off the actual topic and get tied up in a useless argument instead.

              You are quite correct that PR’s comment is false framing, but Sick Parrot’s don’t care whether it’s real or not because all they’re their for is the derailment.

            • Expat


              Spot on, and now they wonder why they have to borrow a few billion, or do they.

      • dv 10.1.3

        Current debt is now

        • AmaKiwi

          Everyone ignores it because it’s just numbers.

          When the next financial crisis hits they will wonder how on earth it possibly happened.

  11. Puckish Rogue 11

    I’m not bothered by this, Labour will keep the TPPA when they next get into power because, by then, the agreement will have been around long enough for people to see the benefits

      • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1

        Patience is a virtue

        • Paul

          Have you read any of this yet?

          TPP Legal

          • Puckish Rogue

            Helen Clark, Phil Goff and David Shearer all support the agreement, they all agree its good for NZ

            Get with the times people, stop blindly following your ideology and start putting NZ ahead of your tired, petty arguments for a change

            [lprent: I’m unaware that Helen Clark supported it. Provide a link to an explicit statement from her saying that she did. As far as I’m aware what she said (paraphrasing) was that it would be difficult to not be in it if our trading partners were. That is hardly support.

            BTW: David Shearer isn’t exactly someone I have that much respect for when it comes to trade or politics. Phil Goff, I do. However I simply think he is wrong on this one – and I still haven’t heard bugger all from him about why this particular treaty is worth supporting over many years and including personally asking him about it in conversation in 2012. ]

            • Lanthanide

              Helen Clark has been quoted out of context, although why she said what she did is beyond me, given how easy it would be to misquote.

              She very carefully said that NZ “should sign the TPPA if it is a good agreement”.

              She didn’t qualify whether she thinks it is good or not.

              • Colonial Viper

                Helen Clark has been quoted out of context, although why she said what she did is beyond me, given how easy it would be to misquote.

                because she is going for the job of UN Secretary General, and to get that job she needs the support of the United States (and Japan).

                They are coincidentally the two biggest beneficiaries of the TPPA.

            • Puckish Rogue


              “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.”

              How can you or anyone possibly suggest that the above is anything other than support for the TPPA?

              [lprent: I can. Perhaps you’d better point to what you heard in it. Because it wasn’t what you said.

              What she said was not support. It was a general description of why it was a bad idea to be excluded from trading blocs. But if the benefits aren’t there, then why would you be in it?

              Essentially I think that you are lying because she didn’t say that she supported this agreement. ]

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It suggests getting the best deal we can, not the best one bought Tory dimbulbs can.

              • Puckish Rogue

                You did see this right?

                “So of course New Zealand has to be in on the action with the TPP and go for the very best deal it can”

                So this statement where she explicitly references the TPP and says NZ has to be in on the action isn’t actually her supporting the TPP but just about trade in general


                • The lost sheep

                  Helen said it would be “unthinkable” not to be part of a regional trade pact, and that ‘we should try and get the best deal we can’.
                  Little is only saying Labour does not support the agreement in it’s current form.

                  The reality is that Labour is not going to pull out of the agreement, and no NZ Government is going to turn their back on the the ongoing process of freeing up International trade, for all the compromises that involves.

                  The value of being in the long term game outweighs the value of each individual stepping stone along the way.

                  It’s ‘unthinkable’ not to have skin in the game.

                  • Macro

                    Yeah well she is one reason I have not voted Labour in many a long year, her fixation with FTAs, and disregard for their effects on workers being the main one. (And she supposedly voted in as a Labour MP to protect the workers of NZ!) There are many more opinions other than that expressed by Helen.

                    • fisiani

                      What do Mike Moore, Helen Clark, Phil Goff and David Shearer have in common apart from being ex leaders of Labour?

                    • lprent []

                      They all have had government funded jobs ever since they hit 30?

                      One of the things that has always annoyed me about many politicians is that they lack real world experience in business, especially export business experience. And I include John Key in that as he has only been a business parasite.

                    • Paul

                      All are devout neo-liberals?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      One of the things that has always annoyed me about many politicians is that they lack real world experience in business, especially export business experience.

                      Sounds like whinging to me: what proportion of the population has “real world” experience in export business?

                      Oh, yes: that would be 100%: we all have experience of the various ways in which “business” can affect us.

                    • Macro

                      They all like FTAs:
                      They base this faith in FTAs on the supposed projections of an economic model that has been used for some time to justify FTAs. This particular model – the Computable General Equilibrium Model CGE makes several basic assumptions.
                      a. each country has full employment both at the start and throughout the period being modeled – This is obviously a source of error to begin with as practically no country has such high employment rates.
                      b. it assumes efficient market clearing mechanisms for both prices and wages, Take a breath and think just how that might apply in NZ right now, where wages have been almost static for some years apart from the upper echelon, and the price of accommodation – which affects every person has been going through the roof.
                      c.there is no shift in the relativity between those whose income is from profit earnings and those who are wage earners. Again this is clearly bollocks as any cursory investigation into rising inequality would show. The fact is that at present in NZ the top 1% in NZ are 238 times more wealthy per person than a person in the poorest 50%.
                      Starting with such bad assumptions the result of any economic modeling will be even more in cuckoo land than at the beginning.
                      Such is the nature of conventional economic theory.

                      They have not learnt from the evidence of History.
                      Perhaps the very first FTA is that recorded in the Bible where the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon made a trade deal. Both made a good deal out of the pact and Solomon was able to build a Temple.
                      However, if we read on… We find that it wasn’t all beer and skittles afterwards. Israel went into an economic depression almost immediately after the death of Solomon. The problem was – Money doesn’t “trickle down” it floods up to the top. And so it has been ever since.
                      Moore, Clark, Goff, Shearer, and all those others who so fervently believe that FTAs are the solution to all ills, have never really learnt this.

                    • Paul

                      FTAs are popular with corporations who prefer to pay…
                      the Korean minimum wage
                      and when that’s too expensive the Chinese minimum wage
                      and when that’s too expensive the Vietnamese minimum wage
                      and when that’s too expensive the Cambodian minimum wage and when that’s too expensive the Bangadeshi minimum wage

                      rather than pay workers in their own country a living wage.

                      People who support FTAs need to be questioned.
                      Have they received money and/or status in reward for their political stance?

                      Mike Moore
                      Director-General of the World Trade Organization
                      Ambassador to the United States

                      Helen Clark
                      Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme

              • Michael

                Well I would agree that NZ should at least be ‘in on the action’. Participate in the negotiations, aim to get a good deal with NZ, like how Labour had five bottom lines for supporting it.

                There is nothing wrong with at least negotiating the TPP. However if you don’t get a good deal, then you don’t take it. And NZ got a bad deal – ISDS with no exceptions, not much expanded access to markets, and significant loss of sovereignty. The economic benefits are tiny and not worthwhile.

                But should NZ have, from the beginning, said “no”? Well, obviously it’s different in each situation, but I think there’s nothing wrong with atleast being involved in the process.

        • Paul

          You need to do some reading before continuing to make ill-informed comments on the issue.
          Your cheer leading is becoming wearisome.

    • maui 11.2

      You don’t know what the benefits are and neither do the people.

      • Puckish Rogue 11.2.1

        Well since the left are flipping out because of a US university analysis which predicts bad things, heres a prediction that’s states its good for NZ:


        So really all that will happen is the people that don’t want the TPPA will just ignore it and point to the study they want and the right will do exactly the same and in the end it’ll get signed and in a couple of years time the rest of us will wonder what the big deal was (if they even think of it all)

        • vto

          Yeah PR, everyone will wonder what the big deal was……..

          Like everyone does with river quality today
          Like everyone does with poverty today
          Like everyone does with neoliveralism today
          Like everyone does with the idea that people go about life in a self-interested way
          Like everyone does with inequality today
          Like everyone does with heaps of shit PR….

          Your line is bullshit. Though it does appeal to your types, true, who can’t think properly about cause and effect over a timeframe longer than a reality tv series. Idiots they are, dangerous idiots.

        • Paul

          Kiwiblog is not a reliable source.

          • Puckish Rogue


            Theres a link to a pdf from the a couple of professors but of course you and the rest of the head in the sand types will just use its kiwiblog as an excuse to not read it as it disagrees with your world view


            • Paul

              Have you read these experts’ view on the TPP yet?


            • Crashcart

              You could have linked to the PDF directly rather than trying to up Kiwiblogs views. You are well aware of what sort of response you get for posting links to kiwiblog so should have taken that into consideration.

              It’s your own fault if what may be a very valid argument gets dismissed cause you are to lazy to link to the document and would rather link to kiwiblog.

              • Puckish Rogue

                double *sigh*

                I’m on a work computer so I don’t decide what I can and can’t open and in this case, probably due to security concerns, I can’t open .pdfs

                However for the lazy on here, heres the gest of it:

                Here’s what they found in terms of impact on real income for each country by 2030:

                1.Vietnam +8.1%
                2.Malaysia +7.6%
                3.Brunei +5.9%
                4.Singapore +3.9%
                5.Peru +2.6%
                6.Japan +2.5%
                7.NZ +2.2%
                8.Canada +1.3%
                9.Mexico +1.0%
                10.Chile +0.9%
                11.Australia +0.6%
                12.US +0.5%

                Not as good as some better then others so considering our size we’ve done pretty well out of it

                • Rosie

                  “I’m on a work computer so……………” Lols, better get back to work then!
                  Looks like you’ve spent half your morning on a blog instead of working. Cruisey job bro.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Well it helps when you’re efficient and experienced at your job however sometimes it does get quite busy

                    Around here the amount of work we get isn’t a constant, its more like peaks and valleys

                • Crashcart

                  It’s not lazy to not want to go to Kiwiblog. It is a choice that many here take and you are aware of.

                  As to your numbers. We have a average growth rate since 1987 of 0.61%. Your great deal is claiming to increase this by 0.15 per year on average.

                  Wow great deal there.


                • maui

                  According to Kelsey et al, NZs GDP increases by 47% by 2030, with the TPPA factored in it increases to 47.9%. Obviously predicting GDP numbers isn’t an exact science, and the TPPA figure is so small its negligible.

          • fisiani

            Care to explain how you can state such a ridiclous claim?

    • Gangnam Style 11.3

      “I’m not bothered by this”, yeah right.

      • Puckish Rogue 11.3.1

        I’d certainly be bothered if MPs in the party I support were looking like they’re about to cross the floor

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Authoritarian displays fear of dissent, manifests typical character flaws.

    • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 11.4

      THe TPPA isn’t ratified yet, it cannot be ratified without the US. In the US, Congress and all the Presidential candidates are against it. So by Nov 2017 the TPPA may still not be in place and Labour can simply join the other countries and not ratify it.

      This idea that Labour will have to withdraw from the treaty is a hypothetical question. The treaty doesn’t exist yet and despite John Keys rush there is no sign it will exist in the near future.

  12. vto 12

    Good on Little and Labour in coming out with a definitive and strong position.

    More please.

    More strength.

    More definition.

    More standing up to the bullies.

    This is what voters look for.

    Given that my vote will follow the policy banning foreign ownership, Labour may well suck it back.

  13. weka 13

    Nothing on the Labour website about this 🙁

    • Karen 13.1

      I suspect the website will be updated on this after Little has delivered his ‘State of the Nation’ speech on Sunday. Meanwhile these 2 pieces make his position clear


      Goff should resign now – if he crosses the floor his hope of the mayoralty will be severely compromised. Resigning is more honest. As for Shearer he will have to take the consequences if he sides with the Nats and goes against the majority caucus position. Little has obviously got the numbers now within caucus to express what I believe has always been his position on the TPPA.

      • Anne 13.1.1

        Little has obviously got the numbers now within caucus to express what I believe has always been his position on the TPPA.

        Yes Karen. I believe so too. That is why he had to prevaricate until the Caucus vote this week. He needed a demonstration of majority caucus support. It’s a good indication of his strong leadership qualities.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Its a good indication that he waited until he was sure? Its a sign of weakness he had to wait, a sign of strength would have been laying out what he believes and challenging anyone to defy him

          Waiting…yeah right

        • weka

          That would be very good news indeed if Little now has the majority support within Caucus.

          Thanks for the links Karen. I can’t get the TVNZ vid to play in either of my browsers, hence looking at the Labour website for confirmation. I really wish they’d get more organised with this stuff. If something is in the news today people should be able to go do the website for information about that thing on the days it is happening. Sunday is too late.

  14. ianmac 14

    From a post by Gordon Campbell:

    Signing does not equal ratifying. Only a majority vote in our Parliament can allow the agreement to take force.

    from Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland, Canada.
    How come Canadian Parliament get a majority Vote but not NZers?

    • weka 14.1

      Not sure but I think Trudeau came out this week against the TPPA and said it would need to be debated nationally.

  15. John Shearsat 15

    Have any of the commentators above actually read the Audrey Young article that I presume started the thread? Look for RUMOUR in the first par. for instance.


    Don’t just look at the top go right to the bottom and as my teacher used to say RMAID (Read, Mark,and inwardly digest. )

    On the same topic in spite of his feeble excuse that he doesn’t know how to create a PDF Hooters should be kicked well into touch for his arrogant post.

  16. framu 16

    havent read it all yet, but gordon campbell has some interesting points from a fresh angle

  17. Colonial Viper 17

    So, the Labour brains trust has finally reached the same conclusions that the rest of us did 2 or 3 years ago.

    Still, until I hear Shearer, Clark and Goff come out against the TPP, my feeling is that Labour is still heavily divided on this issue.

    • framu 17.1

      and more than happy to shout the disunity from the roof tops

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        I wonder what the electorate deserves on this issue

        A true show of disunity

        A false show of unity

        So hard to pick

        • weka

          Looks like something is coming to a head. That’s good.

        • Stuart Munro

          Might be a good thing – chance for Little to clean house.

          Now if only Nash would stick his head above the parapet…

          • Puckish Rogue

            On this we’re agreed, Labour should have cleaned house the last couple of elections but haven’t

          • weka

            Tricky though. Unless Goff and co do something extraordinary they’re remaing in the party. The best Little can do then is put them on the back bench, which would open him and Labour up to another whole round of criticism and attack from Nact and the MSM. Personally I think he should bite the bullet and do it, but I suspect he’s in a better position than us to know how it might work out 😉

          • rhinocrates

            Their heads are so inflated that they can’t help but rise above the parapet.

            However, Little, I’m afraid, is chicken.

        • rhinocrates

          Failing unity, discipline would be nice.

          However, a party leader who publicly shows that can’t discipline his own MPs is not a PM in waiting.

  18. Ovid 18

    There will be no “crossing the floor” moment. Ratification is done by the Executive (i.e. Cabinet). The treaty is sent to the House for examination in select committee and debate, but Parliament doesn’t get to vote on it.

    Any changes to the law will be piecemeal amendments – although there could conceivably be an omnibus bill. However, much of a treaty can be observed through regulatory action – things like tariff rates. The most obvious changes will be around intellectual property, which would require legislation to change copyright terms.

    • weka 18.1

      Aren’t they talking about the specific pieces of legislation that will need to change? Those are the crossing the floor moments.

    • Incognito 18.2

      Agreed, but would it not make for a great photo-op if Shearer would ‘cross’ the floor with his snapper and sit next to Groser chewing on dead rats? This ‘deal’ was made in the Gutter of Greed and needs to be sanitised before handling.

      • alwyn 18.2.1

        Why on earth would you expect Groser to be there?
        You have heard that Groser is no longer an MP haven’t you?
        In case the carrier pigeon didn’t get to you I can tell you he left Parliament last year.

        • Incognito

          Oh dear, I believe alwyn just has revoked my Artistic Learner License and from now on I have to strictly separate fact from fiction and the imaginative from the empirical so that some people here don’t get (too) confused (or upset). Where is the fun in that?

          • alwyn

            Why should you have all the fun when I’m not allowed to?
            I try this sort of thing and then I get abused by your mob for lying.
            I think my comments were at least as funny, and as obviously made up, as yours.
            If I’m not allowed to do it, neither are you.
            As my kids would have said when young.
            So There!

            • Incognito

              Alert: going off-topic.

              Dear alwyn,

              We live in a society with inequality and life is unfair for those who do not make the right choices.

              In our society it is first-come-first-served and in the greater (Ponzi) scheme of things this is how it must be; a natural inevitability.

              I am sure that your kids have now grown up and display more mature attitudes; a chip off the old block perhaps? If so, they would undoubtedly agree with me that sometimes I can have my cake and eat it and you have nothing. C’est la vie, mon ami.

              Tip: if you lie and make it sound like a joke you may get away with it; John Key does it often and gets away with it most of the time 😉

  19. Hami Shearlie 19

    From what we have heard from Lori Wallach, most of the US Congress is dead against voting for the TPPA – Is Tim Groser going to call all of them “children” too, and tell them all to be quiet? What do that vast number of people know that Goff and Shearer don’t? Shearer is a lightweight living on past laurels. And Goff is arrogant enough to think that he knows more than the US Congress and many other experts around the world. If he’s this arrogant and unwilling to support his party regarding the TPPA, it doesn’t bode well for the ratepayers of Auckland getting a Mayor who will listen to them above big business does it?

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Most US congressmen are just holding out for more corporate campaign donations before voting “YES” on the TPP.

      • Olwyn 19.1.1

        You could be right. However, it could also be that the population is fed up with corporate domination, and their backing is no longer the advantage it once was. The rise of both Sanders and Trump must surely be giving some of them pause.

      • AmaKiwi 19.1.2

        “Most US congressmen are just holding out for more corporate campaign donations before voting “YES” on the TPP.”

        The US has the best government money can buy.

    • red-blooded 19.2

      Hey, the US Congress makes plenty of ridiculous decisions, and backs away from plenty of sensible ones (just consider gun laws, or the watering down of true public health provision under Obamacare). I wouldn’t use them as a barometer for the strength of an argument.

      I’m glad Little has finally declared a clearly-defined stance, but it’s worrying that it’s clearly been such a struggle within the caucus and the media will eat up these signs of disunity. Goff and Shearer can argue their viewpoint within the party and have every right to do so, but running to the media can’t be condoned. It was this kind of behaviour on the part of others than brought both of them down and did so much damage to the party in the eyes of the public, and they should both see the party as bigger than this one issue. I don’t want another lame-duck leader, and this is the kind of behaviour that creates that paradigm.

  20. Observer (Tokoroa) 20

    Quote from Gordon Campbell
    January 26th, 2016

    “In most TPP member countries, the public remains justifiably sceptical-to-hostile about the deal’s alleged benefits.

    Much of that opposition is based on the contentious TPP provisions whereby corporations can charge the public for any damage done to their profits, while being insulated from any reciprocal charges for the damage that they may do to public health (or environmental or intellectual property) interests.”

    Given that so much of world business is owned by Corporations, I feel that Ratification of the proposed TPPA Agreement be stalled until the needs of the public are clearly and robustly put ahead of the protection of resource rich Corporates.

    This TPPA is a rabies infected dog – when it could have been and should have been a wonderful business vehicle for the people of member nations.

    There will be no dancing in the streets over this scrawny pusfilled treaty.

    • Olwyn 20.1

      This is the part of Campbell’s article that struck me: The Tufts study usefully explains some of the mechanisms whereby the TPP will contribute to income inequality, by further tilting the existing imbalance between those reliant on profit taking as a source of income, and those reliant on wages. With these kind of deals, the only free lunch is for the already well fed – and the ripple effects travel well beyond those who immediately stand to lose their jobs:

      A Labour Party that is willing to throw workers to the corporate wolves, and lock it in, is no longer worthy of the name, and I am glad Little has taken the stand he has.

      The Archdruid has written an interesting piece about the role played by a rift between wage and salary earners in Trump’s rise. While I don’t think his analysis exactly reflects NZ, I think a split can be made here between those the corporates view as useful to them, and those they do not. The Goffs and Shearers seem to want to shy away from representing anyone that the corporates do not view as useful.


    • CR 20.2

      +1 Observer

      “Given that so much of world business is owned by Corporations, I feel that Ratification of the proposed TPPA Agreement be stalled until the needs of the public are clearly and robustly put ahead of the protection of resource rich Corporates.”

      “The Corporation is today’s dominant institution, creating great wealth but also great harm.

      This 26 award-winning documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts and future of the modern business corporation and the increasing role it plays in society and our everyday lives.”


  21. Clean_power 21

    A schism is in the making: “rightists” Phil Goff and David Shearer on one side, Andrew Little and “radicals” on the other. Labour to split?

    • red-blooded 21.1

      Every party has factions. There’s nothing inherently wrong in that; after all, people participate in politics because they have values that they see as important and they want to help form policy. (Yes, I know there are other motivations too, but I think we have to agree that politicians want to influence policy because they have a set of values that they believe in.) There have been plenty of significant debates and disagreements in the past, but only one “split” (when Anderton left and created New Labour because of the extremism of the 80s), and let’s face it, by the time he left parliament he and Clarke were back to being close buddies and partners in government.

      I’m not worried about the split (let’s remember that Goff is leaving anyway), but I don’t like public disputes like this. It’s undermining and (given that there’s clearly been a caucus vote) antidemocratic.

  22. ianmac 22

    Audrey is going for a huge bonus. As an excuse to reprint her earlier story, she gives plenty of credence to Joyce criticism of the “split” in Labour. Sickening!

    • fisiani 22.1

      The split in Labour is between the realists and the dogmatists.
      Now that we know the text and realise that the sky will not fall all the doomsayers have been proved wrong. I suspect that Goff and Shearer are not the only realists in Labour.
      Why would we forgo the increased employment (note increased) and millions of dollars?
      Note that Andrew Little has never said that he would take NZ out of the TPPA. That would be economic madness. He is just throwing a few bones to placate the troops.

      • Dialey 22.1.1

        It’s Goff and Shearer who are the dogmatists, as are Key and his cronies, after all it was Groser who described the TPPA as having to swallow a dead rat – only dogmatists do that.

        • fisiani

          can you show me when Groser said that? Or are you just making it up again?

          • Puckish Rogue

            C’mon bro, you’ve been here long enough to know that only those on the right need to prove what they say

            • alwyn

              My, my Puckish Rogue.
              That sounds so very cynical. Absolutely correct of course but it still sounds cynical.

          • alwyn

            According to The Herald he said, about the last stages of negotiations.

            “”It’s got the smell of a situation we occasionally see which is that on the hardest core issues, there are some ugly compromises out there.
            “And when we say ugly, we mean ugly from each perspective – it doesn’t mean ‘I’ve got to swallow a dead rat and you’re swallowing foie gras.’ It means both of us are swallowing dead rats on three or four issues to get this deal across the line.”

            As Groser explains it, it is of course the exact opposite of dogmatism.

            Unfortunately the story was by Audrey Young and, as all the left wing commentators on this site believe, everything she says is a lie. How are they going to resolve their dilemma?
            “Everything she says is a lie except when I like it and she transmogrifies into an infallible oracle” does seem a little intellectually dishonest doesn’t it?

    • Karen 22.2

      Actually when you read the article only Shearer and Goff are splitting, in spite of Joyce’s claims otherwise. So more of a very small splinter and I for one will be very happy if both Shearer and Goff decide to leave in a huff.

  23. weka 23

    I know this comes as no surprise to many here, but I felt it should still be noted that Matthew Hooton and Phill Goff are running pretty much the same line on the TPPA today.

    • Matthew Hooton 23.1

      That’s because its a fact-based line, rather than the bullshit you are being fed by extreme-left-wing so-called “academics” who are now dictating Labour’s policy.

      • weka 23.1.1

        lolz, what’s an “academic”?

        On a more sober note, I doubt that you and Goff understand what is being meant by sovereignty in this instance. Either that or neither of you care and you’re just engaged in disingenuous spin. Hint, two countries agreeing to not apply taxes to each other’s products is not signing away sovereignty.

        btw, where you and Goff disagree is that at least Goff acknowledges there are costs to NZ withdrawing after the agreement is ratified.

      • rhinocrates 23.1.2

        Yeah, aren’t they a nuisance? Do you have their addresses? Maybe something can be done about them. Chop chop!

      • framu 23.1.3

        i thought that was the unions

        make up your minds

      • Anno1701 23.1.4

        “bullshit you are being fed by extreme-left-wing so-called “academics” who are now dictating Labour’s policy.”

        deep breaths before you stroke out or something…

      • Muttonbird 23.1.5

        Matthew, you are getting flustered.

        Will New Zealand under a Labour government be able to introduce stamp duty on foreign investment in domestic housing as Goff says?

        • Matthew Hooton

          Yes, that was specifically negotiated in. The stamp duty could be set at any rate – say, 1000%. So when a foreigner bought a $1 million house they would have to pay $10 million in taxes. This is as good as a ban. Andrew Little knows this. But he hasn’t told you has he?

          • Muttonbird

            It’s not a ban though, is it? That’s what Andrew Little told me.

            To use your own example, to be forced to set stamp duty at 1000% to effect a ban would look like and be the height of ridiculousness. True to this government’s form they make massy policy on the hoof and this I think contributes the our recent drop in the CPI survey.

            I support Andrew Little’s demand for the right of the government of New Zealand to protect it’s citizens with transparency and integrity.

      • Incognito 23.1.6

        May I ask which, if any, school of humour theories you mostly affiliate with?

      • Stuart Munro 23.1.7

        Nothing extreme about them Matthew – none of them have Key lined up for the gulags – not even re-education to become a useful member of society. The left could use a few extremists these days – the right seem to have an oversupply.

    • Karen 23.2

      Hooton, Goff and Hooton’s favourite for leadership of the Labour Party, David Shearer. Spot the difference.

  24. Dialey 24

    So Goff has been given dispensation because of his historic role in TPPA, you’d have thought a better man would have stood up and said “this is not what I fought for, we should have done much better for our country.”

    Andrew Little is not the pope to give dispensations, he now just looks weak.

    • cogito 24.1


      What a mess. Meanwhile Key is laughing his head off.

      • rhinocrates 24.1.1

        That’s Labour for you: always dashing in to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

      • rhinocrates 24.1.2

        Meanwhile Key is laughing his head off

        And he will in parliament and at every other opportunity, showing how disunited Labour is and how weak Little is. Any idiot could predict that, so what are Goff and Mumblefuck thinking?

        Answer: “Me me me me me me!”

      • AmaKiwi 24.1.3

        I doubt Key is laughing his head off. He would like TPPA to quietly disappear and be forgotten before the next election. It’s not happening.

        • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal

          And given what is happening in the US, TPPA ratification by the US is not going to save Key’s bacon quickly either.

    • Nick Nack 24.2

      I’m not sure what you expect Little to do. It is clear there are (at least) a few Labour MP’s who support the TPP. Little could either suppress that support, in order to claim some kind of faux unity (which would be an obvious farce), or he could let it express itself in a show of tolerating differing opinions. He chose the latter, which I see as politically smart.

    • Magisterium 24.3

      More like Goff has had a quiet word with Little and said “I know what’s in this deal because I helped do it, and it’s a good deal, and I will not be ordered to say that it’s not.”

      • Pat 24.3.1

        Goff has had no inside knowledge of this deal for years…the years when the detail was thrashed out, so his knowledge of that which is to be signed is the same as many others…possibly less so for we don’t know if he has read it

  25. Observer (Tokoroa) 25

    The only weak person in this debate is the Prime Minister. He and his slavish Cabinet have refused to put the controversial TPPA to a vote in Parliament.

    He is gutless. Obviously he has no faith in what he has negotiated.

    No wonder he is booed and laughed at.

  26. Muttonbird 26

    I don’t really understand Goff’s position on this.

    He says criticised the government for not insisting on an exception to overseas investors being treated differently to domestic residential housing investors then goes on to say there are other ways to discourage foreign investment in residential housing, namely stamp duties.

    How is imposing stamp duties on foreign investors not treating them differently?

    Quite frankly, Goff with the Chinese FTA should have insisted on an exception along the same lines because look at the crap Auckland is in because of cheap and dubiously earned capital flooding into the housing market from China.

  27. ianmac 27

    From Scoop, Phil 1:28 today:
    “Opposition Leader Andrew Little has given dispensation to MP Phil Goff to take his own position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement due to his historic involvement in negotiating its predecessor, the P4.

    “Phil has had a longstanding involvement and public commitment to this agreement which differs with the Labour Caucus’ decision that it cannot support the deal in its current form due to its compromise of New Zealand’s sovereignty.

    “When the Caucus met recently to finalise its position on the TPP I met with Phil and decided that his longstanding public position was such that he would be allowed to hold a differing view.

    “This was discussed by the Caucus as a whole and Phil has made his position known,” says Andrew Little.

    Phil Goff said he appreciated his leader’s dispensation in this case.

    “I respect Andrew’s and Labour’s views on the issue and their agreement to acknowledge that I came from a different perspective. My position is well known and there is no need for me to elaborate further on it,” Phil Goff says.”

    • Scott M 27.1

      OMG – policies change all the time. Are we to take it that in future ant past position an MP took will allow them to cross the floor against their party!?

      Little has been owned on this issue.

  28. Paul 28

    Police door knock ‘known activists’ ahead of TPP protests

    ‘Police are checking in on “known activists” around the country ahead of TPP protests later this week.
    Scout Barbour-Evans, a Dunedin transgender activist who goes by the gender-neutral pronoun “they”, said an officer knocked on their door about 10 this morning.
    The officer wanted to know what the plans were for anti-Trans-Pacific Partnership action in Dunedin, Scout said.
    Police said the visit was part of a national directive to visit activists in the lead up to Friday’s protests.
    There have been scattered reports of anti-TPP activists in Auckland being called or otherwise tracked down by the police for questioning about their protest plans.
    The police’s interest in anti-TPP activists comes as opposition to the deal ramps up ahead of the signing in Auckland on February 4.
    The Dunedin-based TPP action group – of which Scout is not a member – has planned a talk on the TPP tomorrow, and an “action event” is planned to take place in the Octagon from 12pm on Saturday.’


    • cogito 28.1

      At first I thought this was a spoof story, but then I realised it’s for real.

      What is happening to this country? We are being turned into a fascist police state by the son of a Jewish refugee whose mother was lucky to escape Nazi persecution and be given a new home in NZ. This is how he repays this country for the generosity shown to his mother, by adopting behaviours and strategies reminiscent of the very people his mother fled from.

      • Magisterium 28.1.2

        We are being turned into a fascist police state by the son of a Jewish refugee whose mother was lucky to escape Nazi persecution and be given a new home in NZ. This is how he repays this country for the generosity shown to his mother, by adopting behaviours and strategies reminiscent of the very people his mother fled from.

        Exactly. I hear that enemies of the state are already being evacuated in a continuous series of transports to a strange compound outside Huntly. The power station chimneys will be perfect cover for—

        —but I’ve said too much.

  29. Chooky 29

    At long last the NZ Labour Party is getting some leadership and Opposition grunt!

  30. Observer (Tokoroa) 30

    @ CR

    Thanks for forwarding the link to the following:

    http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/the_corporation/ (A winner of 26 Awards)

    The Corporations are the dominant institutions of our times. For good or evil? That is the Question.

  31. Ross 31

    Recent research has come to several conclusions, nearly all of them negative when it comes to the likely effects of the TPPA vis a vis New Zealand. Here are the key points:

    Modelling of the economic benefits of the TPPA for New Zealand, commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), predicts an increase in GDP of 0.9% by 2030 or $2.7 billion.

    These benefits are modest – extrapolating from current growth rates, GDP would increase by 47% by 2030 without the TPPA or 47.9% with the TPPA.

    Estimates of the gains from tariff reductions are less than a quarter of the projected benefits according to the modelling, and are exaggerated.

    Most of the projected benefits result from reducing Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) – these rely on inadequate information that neither identifies the NTBs that would be reduced by the TPPA nor distinguishes between protectionist measures and legitimate government regulation.

    According to recent modelling, the TPPA is projected to result in a reduction in employment and an increase in income inequality for New Zealand.

    The government has not included the costs that are likely to result from the TPPA in its analysis – these are likely to be significant, and may outweigh the economic benefits.

    A comprehensive and objective cost-benefit analysis should be undertaken before signing or ratifying the TPPA.

    Gains for agricultural producers are small compared to fluctuations in commodity prices and exchange rates.

    Restrictions on labelling through the TPPA’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures may restrict opportunities for New Zealand food exporters to build a high quality, differentiated market position.

    Significant tariff barriers remain in the dairy sectors of Japan, Canada and the US – these are likely to be ‘locked in’ under the TPPA and more difficult to remove in future.

    Regional trade agreements such as the TPPA will undermine negotiations on agriculture in the World Trade Organisation, which is only realistic forum to reduce the massive agricultural subsidies that distort agricultural markets.

    The TPPA will both help and hinder New Zealand’s ambitions to add value to our raw materials and commodities, and climb up value chains – more analysis is required.

    The benefits of the TPPA are likely to be asymmetric – the TPPA is favourable to the business model and practices of US multinationals and may exacerbate the disadvantages of New Zealand’s size and remoteness.

    The potential threat from cases under the TPPA’s Investor State Dispute Settlement is likely to create a chilling effect on New Zealand governments’ laws and policies.

    The delay in implementing plain packaging regulations for cigarettes in New Zealand is a current example of regulatory chill; regulation in sectors such as banking, energy, climate change, transport, environmental protection and mining may be subject to threat from potential ISDS cases.

    Potential compensation payments or settlements could far outweigh the limited economic benefits from the TPPA; even if cases are successfully defended, the legal costs are onerous.

    The TPPA’s coverage is far from comprehensive and its US-centric rules on intellectual property, services and dispute settlement mean that it is unlikely to be the model adopted by China or the EU.

    The TPPA would limit governments’ ability to innovate and address deeply entrenched inequalities in health, education and income, and exacerbate rapidly escalating problems such as environmental degradation and climate change. The TPPA falls short of being “a trade agreement for the 21st Century” as its proponents claim.


  32. Sacha 32

    At long last, some consequences for disloyalty in Labour’s caucus:

    Labour MP David Shearer is set to be censured for breaking the Labour line on the Trans-Pacific Partnership after speaking out in support of the trade agreement.

    Labour leader Andrew Little would not outline possible sanctions or comment on whether Mr Shearer could be stripped of his foreign affairs portfolio.

    “There is a range of options. I don’t want to go into any of them, but it is important he understands, and that every caucus member understands, that caucus collective responsibility is real and it’s got to stand for something.”

    Joyce may not be laughing for long after all.

    • Magisterium 32.1

      Mr Little believed Mr Shearer had the potential to be one of the best foreign affairs ministers New Zealand had ever had. “I certainly have that ambition for him and I’d like to see him in that role.”

      The treatment of Mr Shearer differs from that of Mr Goff, whose comments rubbished claims the TPP was an unacceptable infringement of New Zealand’s sovereignty — the very reason Labour is opposing it.

      However, Mr Little has confirmed Mr Goff had a dispensation which allowed him to break the party line. Asked if he had told Mr Goff to at least stop speaking publicly on the issue, Mr Little said he had discussed it with Mr Goff and “I’m confident we have a shared understanding about that”.

      He said most people recognised Mr Goff was the trade minister who initiated the negotiations and had a “deep-seated”view on it.


  33. peterlepaysan 33

    Once the USA decided it wanted to join a NZ inspired Pacific FTA that was the end of freetrade.

    The tppa is nothing but a front for geopolitical bullying and jostling for power between various asian and russian empirical dreams. Fiji is loving it.

    Prior to US intervention it may or may not have been a fta between mutually consenting whatevers. Given the Japanese and Canadian stances it was always going to be tough.

    US intervention wrecked any free trade considerations.

    It is all about US power against any other contenders.

    Our US prime minister no doubt considers this a “good thing”.

    NZ is being shafted by wall street and washington bull shit.

  34. Ian 34

    Groser is worth 100 parkers. Why do you guys place so much value on losers ?

  35. upnorth 35

    I cant but help think this is the start of the coup to remove Andrew Little – rule number one – take a clear line against your leader – that makes a clear platform
    rule number two – chip away at support – by all accounts it looks like 6 believe in TPPA
    Rule 3 – that distracts the leader while he tries to maintain order and policy is lost so to keep unity in tact
    Rule 4 – start leaking
    Rule 5 buy some snapper (lol)

    I cant but see this is a direct shot at Andrew Little – I think he response to sanction Shearer is going to fail because he has let Goff off…..its open slather for the opposition.

    Just so you know I am for TPPA but openness could be better however the text is nw there and reality is USA will struggle to pass.

    But unfortunately the damage is done Labour looks split

    • b waghorn 35.1

      Could also be the making of Little as a leader. Take a strong stance , shed some blood , move forward.

  36. Tom 36

    Why is it so hard for us to see discipline in the party. When will loyalty to those who put you in Parliament overcome loyalty to oneself?

  37. Lloyd 37

    Comparison of the value of the TPPA.

    There have been values put out as to the expected increase in trade New Zealand can expect from the TPPA.

    What I want to see is a comparison of this expected increase in trade with the expected value NZ will gain from the removal of the Iranian sanctions now the Iranians appear to have given up on making an atomic bomb. I suspect it will be considerably greater than the TPPA. I suspect peace has a better dividend than dirty deals for multi-nationals done in secret.

    I also want to see a comparison of the expected value of the TPPA with the cost of the shonky deals the gnats have done in the last few years (e.g. Sky City, Saudi sheep farm) as these deals appear to have lowered New Zealand’s reputation as an honest country, which has an immediate effect on doing international business. Getting rid of the gnats might do more for our balance of trade than the TPPA.

    I would also like to see an analysis of how the costs and benefits will fall in our economy. I suspect it will increase inequality.

    Donkey said he would like to remain PM whilst he “Can add value”. I would suggest his past behaviour shows that he can only lose value for most New Zealanders that aren’t in his smoke-filled meetings.

    • Ross 37.1


      I referred above to recent research findings which address your questions. Among the findings:

      The government has not included the costs that are likely to result from the TPPA in its analysis – these are likely to be significant, and may outweigh the economic benefits.

      A comprehensive and objective cost-benefit analysis should be undertaken before signing or ratifying the TPPA.

      So, the Government has no way of knowing if the TPPA is a good deal or not. What we do know is that there are a number of negatives, including fewer jobs and increasing income inequality. National is indifferent to both.

  38. What I am curious about is what happens with the TPPA if Trump becomes president? You know he doesn’t like it ither right.

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  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
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    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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