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“Marching in the streets”

Written By: - Date published: 5:15 pm, November 8th, 2014 - 129 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, activism, climate change, democracy under attack, exports, Japan, jobs, us politics, workers' rights - Tags:

The anti-TPPA demonstrations happened around the country today.

RNZ tweeted this pic of the rally before the march, in Wellington.

RNZ pic rally antiTPPA Aotea Square Nov 2014

There was a pretty good turnout at the Auckland demonstration that I attended in the sunshine.  Loads of home made placards made it colourful and interesting.

Moana Maniapoto sang accompanied by guitarist (not Don McGlashan)


And with Don McGlashan and the guitarist (Roger Fowler, I think).


These guys did a great version of ‘Marching in the Streets” – using the ‘Dancing in the Streets” tune, but changing the lyrics to suit today’s demo.  It was very infectious and dancey.


There was a performance using the TPPA imperialist trap.


They enticed a big Kiwi in full costume into the trap with calls of economic growth. Then sprung the trap.  Some other big Kiwis came and save their mate, defeating the US imperialists.

The march headed off down Queen Street.

Start of march_3

The march ended up in Customs Street, outside the US Embassy.

Crowd outside US Embassy

Jane Kelsey gave a sharp and rousing speech.  She says it is urgent that we don’t let up from putting the pressure on the government to stop agreeing to this deal.  She said Government Minister Tim Groser has put so much effort into the deal, he will accept whatever the US and Japan agree to, in their last ditch effort to push it through.


She talked of a Bill being put up to say that no trade deal should be allowed to override NZ’s democratic and sovereign legislation. (Edit: i didn’t get that exactly correct – see below*)

Stuff’s report on the demos across the country:

Thousands took to the streets today to protest against the the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), which organisers say is a secret deal that will threaten New Zealand’s sovereignty.

The marches took place in centres across the country in opposition to the free trade agreement proposed between 12 Asian and Pacific countries, including New Zealand and the United States.

Protesters fear if the deal is done it will be harder for the government to look after the environment, promote health and protect workers and consumers.

Actually, there looked to be thousands in Auckland alone.

RNZ reports:

In Auckland, more than 1000 people marched from Aotea Square down Queen Street to the United States Consulate, bringing traffic to a standstill along the way.

They have a photo of the raly in Aotea Square before the march down Queen Street.

Anti TPP rally before demo Aotea Square RNZ

The RNZ report also says:

In Wellington, more than 1000 protesters marched from Cuba Street to Civic Square and about 1000 people also marched in Christchurch.

While a rally in Dunedin against the TPPA trade agreement has drawn 400 people.

The protesters marched from Otago University to the Octagon, to hear speeches and poems.

The crowd was addressed by several MPs including Labour’s Clare Curran and the Greens co-leader Metiria Turei.

Good on you all the people who participated.


greywarshark reports on the Nelson.  His report begins:

We had a good march in Nelson starting at 1pm at the isite at the bottom of Trafalgar St, We had a drummer setting timing for the chant and someone with a handheld speaker calling the easy words – N-O No TPPA – Away. style. Then a left turn into Hardy St and through to the Queens Gardens. About 200-300 people many with placards and signs done at home, with clear large writing and showing the benefit of having time and materials put into them.

See more of the report at the link.

I agree with mickysavage, that there was a lot of passion at the Auckland demo, a lot of young people participated, and there were at least 2,000 people there.

* TV3 News report:

The protestors are worried the deal will enable big companies to overturn laws made by governments wanting to protect their citizens.


But one of the protest leaders, University of Auckland professor Jane Kelsey, says Washington wants that clause to be non-negotiable.

“The US Congress has the final say. The US Congress will not accept a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement that does not have the right of foreign investors to sue.”

Next week leaders of the anti-TPPA movement will begin lobbying MPs to introduce legislation into Parliament that says no future government shall enter into an agreement that includes the right for foreign investors to sue them in offshore tribunals.

The TPPA is not a  free trade deal – it is anti-free trade.


While most mainstream news outlets have given front page coverage to the demonstrations, the New Zealand Herald have somewhat buried it.  They have two un-narrated videos of a couple of the protests.

Auckland one features Jane Kelsey clearly explaining what is wrong with the TPPA: it’s secrecy; the way it benefits big international corporations and undermines NZ sovereignty and democracy; that there’s nothing in it for New Zealanders and the cost is to high.  She says that there is a great feeling among the protesters.  Then various protesters why that are demonstrating.

The second is from the Tauranga protest [h/t Manuka AOR]. The NZ Herald also has a related article from the Bay of Plenty Times:

Melanie Caldwell, a Tauranga resident and one of the organisers of the protest, said she thought the support had grown since the election.

“I think the sense of urgency is because John Key got back in so it’s a real threat now… It’s a real fear now.”

She wanted people to share their messages and join the protests.

“I think the more people are thinking ‘this is real, this is actually happening’, and share that on social media, the concern will grow exponentially.”

Protesters were calling for the Government to reveal the details of the agreement, she said.

“Question the content. We want it to be transparent, we want it to work for all New Zealanders not just the one per cent.”


129 comments on ““Marching in the streets” ”

  1. Karen 1

    I was at the Auckland one and I’d say there were at least 2 thousand people.

    • Tracey 1.1

      whatever number they said was at the last one, i thoughttherewere more today

      • Paul 1.1.1

        Look at how Fairfax media frames a story.
        Pravda would be proud.

        • Paul

          .with no mention of the rallies in the Herald.
          These 10 stories beat the rally in Auckland as news, according to John Roughan.
          Does any more evidence of the media’s bias be needed to be presented.

          Why didn’t he name Rewa?
          Rich-list money feud
          Moa killed off by settlers
          ‘Cannibal’ killer found chewing face
          ‘Cops after me, criminals after me’
          NZ ‘third most prosperous country’
          Gumboot dash to court
          No illegal drugs in Robin Williams’ body
          Catcalling – it’s complicated
          Scammers promise financial bonus

          • greywarshark

            Yes I see what you mean now. Did they not find something about Pisstories to mention, it must have some story to be milked even at this late stage? They could even discuss why they don’t put this turnout by concerned citizens at the top of their list. That’s a story they can report on themselves!

          • tricle up

            Paul i know what you mean i have watched similar topics over the last week quite frankly i don’t need to know some of the content .Skim read my friend.

        • greywarshark

          @ Paul
          I can’t see what you are on about. The news report seems factual. I didn’t watch the video so perhaps that is where the bias lies and lies?

    • Ditto to Karen. My own estimate is roughly 2,000 – possibly more. Definitely not “one thosand” as reported by Radio NZ.

  2. greywarshark 2

    We had a good march in Nelson starting at 1pm at the isite at the bottom of Trafalgar St, We had a drummer setting timing for the chant and someone with a handheld speaker calling the easy words – N-O No TPPA – Away. style. Then a left turn into Hardy St and through to the Queens Gardens. About 200-300 people many with placards and signs done at home, with clear large writing and showing the benefit of having time and materials put into them.

    There is a lawn space in the Gardens which was just right for us to sit and hear speeches, and songs in Maori from Jacquie and Ariana and a man playing what I think was a bone flute. We have Richard Nunns here and a number of people have learned skills from him using the Maori instruments. Which are also carved here by someone Flintoft.

    We heard more about TPPA and its perils for us, and to keep in the faces of politicians. I agree that Tim Groser is the sort that is determined. He sounds like someone who obeys instructions and will die in the attempt to fulfil his duty to his masters.

    Someone told me that in Canada they have had two attempts to start electric car companies aborted by difficult circumstances, and my understanding was that TPPA was a major part of their demise. Saw an electric battery assisted bike, which cost about $2000. The battery charges while you ride, and the power is handy to draw on to help you go up hills. It needs topping up about once a month.

    There was a collection taken up for Greg who has been travelling NZ and calling on all the Councils to explain the bad effects of TPPA on them, and has talked to every councillor apparently.

    There was also an opportunity taken to get a group supporting a Menz Shed and also a Time Tank community sharing of tools and equipment and work hours.

    • karol 2.1

      Thanks for the report – added the beginning of your report, and a link to the whole of it, to the post. Not the sort of detailed report the MSM would provide.

  3. mickysavage 3

    I was on the Auckland march. It was really good. A lot of passion and a lot of concern. The organisers did really well with only social media advertising.

    Good Green presence, Labour not so good …

    Mana and United were there in strength. Good to see a number of young people.

    I would estimate at least a couple of thousand were on the march.

    • karol 3.1

      Agreed,on most of that. I hadn’t particularly noticed about the relative representation of political parties. Added to the post, a summary of, and a link to, your comments.

    • greywarshark 3.2

      I should mention at Nelson the Nurses Union and I think the Service and Food Workers Union banners were showing. Steffan Browning from the Greens spoke.
      Labour’s Maryann Street has now stepped down, and I didn’t notice Labour showing.

    • Heather 3.3

      I agree with Micky, sad to see no Labour MP’s I see that Clare Curren spoke in Dunedin.
      It was a great protest, people from all different ethnic groups, different ages, wonderful to see how many young people and families.
      Greens were well represented and Julianne spoke well, Greenpeace’s Bunny McDiamond spoke with great feeling, as did a fantastic young maori women who I had not heard speak before, she was outstanding – does anyone know who she was?
      Jane Kelsey spoke with fire and her chilling speech is still ringing in my ears, tell everyone you know about this, be ready, we will need to do this again.

    • Tracey 3.4

      i saw mana, internet party flags. green party tshirts.

  4. Dont worry. Be happy 4

    Clare Curran heckled in Octagon, Dunedin. Good crowd. At least 800. Lotsmof support from watching crowd. One antsy woman tried to drive through marchers. An official rumped up to her bonnet and studiously ignored her outrage. Magic

    • adam 4.1

      The Dunedin Protest was a bloody disgrace, when tried to inform the public what was going on the march was off. It was a almost done at a jog. What was the point, was it a prep rally, to make all the white liberals in Dunedin feel good that they were doing something?

      Workers rights were ignored – it seemed to me that the tpp debate is being deliberately muddled by the labour party and their supporters.

      When a labour MP calls people stupid, and does not talk about the impact on working people via this deal – Yeah I’ll heckle her – she is a bloody disgrace to labour movement and the labour party. She is a shining example of why we need the ability to recall MP’s.

      If you were there today and feel you achieved something via this event, then I feel nothing but pity for you. It was a shining example of everything wrong with the protest movement in this country. Not informative for the general populaces, backslapping fanfare of exclusivity, and an utter disregard for voices of working people – but hey – why bother challenging the corporatocracy when you can feel smug.

      • Tracey 4.1.1

        aucklands mc was secretary of the UNITE. workers rights spoken of here.

        ms takitimu was v passionate, not emotional, and urged everyine toget in the ears of friends, family and workmates. we cant rely on computers to do the work.

      • Clare Curran 4.1.2

        Thanks for your comment Adam (maybe a full name best). I joined the Dunedin protest in the Octagon so I didn’t see the march. The protest was bigger than I expected. Lots of young people and unions represented. I was asked to speak about the intellectual property provisions in the TPP as Labour’s IT spokesperson and as one of the few MPs who speaks out consistently about the chilling effect of the TPP. Which is what I did in the few minutes allocated to me. If I’m a bloody disgrace to the labour movement and the Labour Party how come I am consistently asked to speak at these rallies? As the only member of parliament who has been raising concerns about the TPP since 2009 following the furore around ACTA (Anti counterfeiting Trade Agreement) it would be good for you to get your facts right.

        I raised the fact that there are other so-called trade agreements being negotiated alongside the TPPA. TISA (Trade in Services Agreement) and the TTIF (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) which cover Europe and the US, both of which have provisions which mirror some of those in the TPPA, particularly around the clocking of domestic controls on data storage and access. They consider privacy of information to be a barrier to trade. It is widely expected that copyright will go from life and 50 years to life plus 70 years. That will lock up published materials for longer, costing libraries, universities, researchers, media schools and many others who rely on access.

        Enforcement of alleged breaches of file sharing and Internet Service Providers are likely to contain disconnection from the internet which NZ would be required to include and enact in law.

        But most worrying are the provisions in the E Commerce Chapter around the privacy of data containing provisions that limit countries like NZ to restrict data transfer to cloud-based services. While we might not like domestic controls on the use of data (particularly public data contained by govt) the fact that we may not be allowed to introduce any controls because of a “trade” deal is unacceptable. This means we have no way to ensure consumer protection or protect our own intellectual capital. It leaves us vulnerable to another country’s privacy and security rules, control systems and the integrity (or not) of offshore IT providers.

        Ultimately what we are seeing through this agreement and the likely tradeoffs that NZ will make is the inevitability of NZ being locked into a 201th century model of monopoly property rights that stifle innovation and economic diversification.

        I don’t agree with this. That’s why I spoke yesterday. I’d like to see NZ innovators free to innovate, and our software developers able to do so without the threat of big players claiming patent rights. I’d like our libraries, schools and academics to be able to access information without prohibitive copyright fees and I do not support disconnection from the internet for copyright infringement or for anything else. I do not support copyright infringement, but it has to be fair and there should be exceptions and limitations on copyright for fair use.

        The TPPA has been described as a corporate bill of rights. I think that’s apt and no matter which part of it you are talking about there are a set of common values underlying the pushback. I hope you take my comment in good faith and am happy to answer questions

        • Wayne

          Interesting answer here Clare.

          My question to you is what is Labours position on TPP?

          And my comment in respect of that question, is that I have been under the impression that Labour is sort of adopting “a wait and see” attitude before they decide whether they can support TPP. Presumably that support will depend on the balance of the deal that is struck. By that I mean that there might be things that Labour is not happy about (or for that matter the govt), but they might be worth accepting if the positives outweigh the negatives.

          Labour seems that they understand the reasons why the govt cannot disclose more that the other negotiating states, but within that constraint, consider the govt could be more open that it has been to date. Is that correct?

          I do appreciate that the vast majority of commenters on this site will be adopting the Green party approach of opposing TPPA no matter what. After all the Greens (and its precursors) and most people on this site have opposed every single trade agreement of the last 30 years. But that is also the reason why the Tim Groser and the govt ignores them. There is no point having a dialogue with people who will never change their minds, except for courtesy of doing so.

          It is worth noting the govt only ever listens to protest movements if they look like they are going to spread beyond the usual suspects. The schedule 4 protests were in that category, but deep sea mining and TPPA have not spread out. I would be certain that there would have hardly been a single soul on yesterdays protests who had voted National in the last election.

          I suspect the public concerns about ISIS have influenced the govt quite a lot – a wider group of people have been worried that the govt might make too big a commitment, but most of these would appreciate the govt has to be seen to do something.

          • blue leopard


            “It is worth noting the govt only ever listens to protest movements if they look like they are going to spread beyond the usual suspects. The schedule 4 protests were in that category, but deep sea mining and TPPA have not spread out. I would be certain that there would have hardly been a single soul on yesterdays protests who had voted National in the last election. “

            It sounds like you are almost saying that only those who vote National will be listened to when protesting.

            Here is what is really worth noting:

            Far from destabilising democracy, protest has been instrumental in forcing the introduction of most of the freedoms that now exist in liberal democracies. Direct action, mostly nonviolent, played a major role in the ending of slavery, extension of the franchise, curtailing ruthless aspects of the exploitation of labour and extending rights to women and minorities. Many of the so-called normal channels for working through the system, which are often recommended as prior to or preferable to direct action, have themselves been established through direct action. Many of the constitutions which embody the rights and restrictions which have come to be identified with the status quo were established not in calm contemplation but in the aftermath of social revolution or turmoil (Carter, 1973) …” http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/94psa.html

            • Wayne

              Blue leopard,

              I am not really saying that the Nats only listen if Nats protest, but rather that the protest has to be broader than the predictable protestors, i.e. it has to reach Middle NZ.

              Not such an easy group to define and in any event who vote across the spectrum. But realistically middle New Zealand does not include Robyn Malcolm, Jane Kelsey or Moana Maniapoto.

              Most of the issues you raised clearly reached past the usual advocates, in fact many became society wide events. But while the opponents of liberalizing international trade claim the heritage of the various great causes, in my view it is simply not in that category.

              For instance the Greens have opposed every single free trade agreement and at various times organized and participated in protests against them. It does not make them right, and claiming the legacy of great causes does not change that fact.

              In my view it is quite conceited to make such a claim, for it argues “we are participating in direct action, just as others did so for great causes, therefore we must be right on this issue as well.”

              • blue leopard


                I was not claiming the logic you posit re ‘we must be right on this issue as well’.

                All I am doing is pointing out, how erroneous it is to undermine the role of protest in our system.

          • Clare Curran

            Thanks Wayne
            Labour’s position is that we not contemplate signing the TPPA unless there has been a full public debate on the implications with the full text made public. We have also said that the benefits of signing (ie access to markets for dairy and beef etc) would have to far outweigh the costs. IT is becoming quite clear, despite the secrecy that the access to markets for countries like NZ is not what it’s cracked up to be and in fact is being subsumed by the bilateral negotiations between the US and Japan within the TPPA dynamic. I also believe the bilateral discussions between Australia and Japan are complicating things too.
            We can only go on what we have gleaned from the leaked texts and from the enormously valuable work done by those such as Jane Kelsey, turning up to all the discussions, working her way in from the fringe, being deeply across the issues at all levels. I talk to Jane semi regularly and I listen to and talk to NZ’s tech industry and those who passionately advocate for internet freedom and for the importance of technology for our economic development and our kids’ futures.

            As for protest movements, well I’ve been turning up to protests since I was 18. I’m a huge believer in the power of collective voices and demonstrating that in large numbers. Yesterday I called on everyone at the rally to call, email and visit MPs across the political spectrum and express their concerns individually or together.

            In January 2012 people power (aided by the internet) worked to stop the SOPA and PIPA laws get pushed through the Congress harming to online freedom of speech, websites, and Internet communities.SOPA and PIPA.
            Let’s do it here when the time is right

            • factchecker4all

              Hopeless hack should be purged from the party.

            • Tracey

              thanks for speaking out and sticking with this issue clare. it mustbe frustrating at times to see the apparent disinterest of some of your colleagues in this issue.

              most of the people marching to be nuclear free and for homosexual law reform in the beginning werent national voters. ..

              wayne sits rather smugly behind a very specialised spin machine making sure kiwis dont know the real issues and implications of this negotiation.

              keep speaking to power. if you win only one isue, let it be this one.

          • Tracey

            i appreciate that you, wayne, will be accepting the tppa not mater what, afterall you havent objected to a single trade agreement in your political life (note. tpp is not a trade agreement ) and think people should enter this contract without seeing the terms and conditions..There is no point having a dialogue with people who will never change their minds, except for courtesy of doing so.

            i hope i achieved the same level of smug patronising tone as you.

            can you give me and other readers an assurance that the nz govt or local bodies will never be sued by other govts or corporations for making laws as our sovereign right? If you can give me this assurance what is it based on and can you point to the draft provisions which support your assurance.

            • Wayne


              Indeed I have agreed to all FTA’s that have been negotiated. NZ govts, whether Labour or National, do not negotiate crazy deals.

              And yes at a fundamental level I believe the global free trade liberalization, which has been a central feature of the 70 years since WW2, and has provided immense gains for all those nations who take advantage of it. It was the key driver of the EU, WTO, NAFTA, CER etc, etc. But the left (at least as characterized by the Greens) have opposed the lot.

              Not sure why you think I am part of a “very specialized spin machine”, or sit behind it. Like you I simply type in posts as the fancy takes me. As you will have noted I now only comment on specific issues on The Standard. Pretty much only TPP and defense and security policy. Occasionally a specific fact correction.

              • Tracey

                and selective reading wayne. you didnt answer my question to you about the tpp. i suspect like hooton national is in your dna and to that extent you will only post in agreement with their ideology. to that extent, and the circles you move make youpart of the greater spin machine of the right. to equate yourself with me is interesting but fallacious.

                you can take the man out of politics but not the politics out of the man.

                did you get a chance to answer my questions on the law commissions report on sexual crime victims?

              • framu

                wayne – is the TPPA a trade deal or something else?

                and before you rush off into yet another snearing side step where you dismiss valid criticism and concern as being the work of ill informed hysterics – i will remind you that only a very tiny % of the chapters are about trade

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          Thanks for your comment Adam (maybe a full name best)

          Why would a full name be best?

  5. greywarshark 5

    No one should forget the Christchurch woman run over when at a picket line. Tempers run hot and accidents can happen. This is what happened to her.

    8 May 2004
    Christine Clarke was part of a picket on a public street near the port entrance by the local branch of the Waterfront Workers Union. They were protesting at port management plans to use non-union labour….
    He [Derek Powell] was charged the day after the accident, convicted of manslaughter 18 months later but ultimately found not guilty.

    Powell accepts his Landcruiser ran over Clarke’s leg, though he says he doesn’t recall any bump. “I was being attacked at the time, my head was being pulled out of the [driver’s] window….
    Powell received a broken rib, cuts and abrasions and was taken away in an ambulance. Film from port security cameras indicates 12 people were involved. Only three admitted being there and they wouldn’t identify any others….

    “I thought I was going to get a beating. I was being abused by the crowd. One guy said ‘you are an arsehole’. I said ‘hey, I’m not an arsehole’ and he said ‘no, you’re a ******* arsehole’.”
    When he moved forward “slowly”, he was “attacked”, he says, through the open window by three men. Because of his research, he can identify them. One went for the keys in the ignition, another poked a placard through the window, a third pushed and pulled at his shoulder.
    He says he felt defenceless. “When you are attacked like that, you can’t step back, can’t duck, you can’t get out of the way. I took that beating until I was sure the road in front was clear.”…

    A watersider told a friend soon after the incident he believed Clarke tripped over his placard. He later told a policeman he may have been partly to blame.
    The police were less than vigorous following this up. No note was taken of his comment to the policeman and the friend was not interviewed….

    He [Powell] did find the driver of a Bedford truck – traced by a private detective hired by Powell’s defence team – which was the vehicle closest to the incident. The driver’s evidence supported Powell.
    The Bedford driver said he saw activity at Powell’s window consistent with an assault about the same time Clarke moved to the front left of Powell’s Landcruiser and bent down to pick something up.
    At first, Clarke was thought to have no worse than a broken leg, but it was later realised she’d suffered a head injury caused by her head hitting the ground. She died two days later. There is no reliable evidence on the cause of her fall.

    Those 4 1/2 years have changed his view of the world. He’d thought the facts would come out as a matter of course and he would be cleared of any criminality.
    He’d been naive. A friend with whom he stayed while his assault injuries healed was the first to sum up his predicament.
    “He said: ‘You are up against the most militant union in the country. The police allowed them to have that picket and you’re up against the media, too. And you’re alone in your truck. Good luck.”
    …whether Powell was, as he claimed, being assaulted through the driver’s window at the time he drove off, police decided that the stocky boat dealer alone caused the death of Christine Clarke on December 29, 1999, in the port town of Lyttelton….

    A week ago the Police Complaints Authority released its review of the police inquiry into 20 complaints Powell made of their handling of the case. In effect, the authority found the union picket and the police were implicit in the tragedy, picketers by blocking the road and the police by allowing an illegal picket to go ahead.

    • mickysavage 5.1

      I remember that well and I cannot believe the guy was acquitted …

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        @ Mickey Savage
        (Funny that you can comment on it. It is still in moderation on my screen. Though the piece I have added separately is up okay.
        Perhaps it is because the original piece had the words a…holes in it.)

        I thought i knew about it. But reading the report of the 2004 review, I note that two people saw her bend over to pick up something, perhaps a placard,or she had actually tripped, and so she would not have been in the view of the driver in a highish vehicle that would be used for towing boats.

        Maybe I jumped to an opinion not knowing all the facts. The policeman in charge had actually been criticised for not carefully marshalling his facts before. As he did not follow up and check on certain evidence given may be that was the case and the charge was wrong. Maybe it should have been misadventure? He did it but he did not realise it, and had no intention of causing harm.

        [Joys of being a moderator you see everything! But I remember seeing the video of the incident and I still cannot believe the result – MS]

  6. greywarshark 6

    More to finish off my earlier piece which I cannot add in:

    …whether Powell was, as he claimed, being assaulted through the driver’s window at the time he drove off, police decided that the stocky boat dealer alone caused the death of Christine Clarke on December 29, 1999, in the port town of Lyttelton….

    He [Derek Powell] was charged the day after the accident, convicted of manslaughter 18 months later but ultimately found not guilty.

  7. fisiani 7

    The marchers have marched. The slogans chanted. The negotiations continue. Grocer has a golden rule “Primum non nocere” Firstly do no harm. Despite the scaremongering and crying Wolf he is no dummy. He is a brilliant trade negotiator and will only agree to a deal if it is in the best interest of New Zealand. Is anyone here seriously saying that he is lying? How dare you.

  8. Dont worry. Be happy 8

    Sorry Adam didnt get point across very well!

    Should have written….Clare Curran got well deserved heckling at the Dunedin march, along the lines of…”Piss off, Curran.”

    Mostly people did what they seem to do naturally around Labour MPs….pretty much ignored her and did their own thing.

    And yes, it is a genuine tragedy, that Labour is an irrelevant, neo liberal, train wreck of a Party looking for a place to lie down and die, but its a bit of a stretch to sheet that home to those of us marching today…

    And yes, it is always impossible to know what good protest marching actually achieves …it often does seem futile. So smug is not how I felt at the end…as is usual, ‘uncertain’ would be closer.

    Still, I like the feeling of being part of a crowd like that. People seem good hearted towards eachother and confident of their power….if even for a few city blocks. I will take that.

    • weka 8.1

      Who else spoke apart from Curran?

      (well done the hecklers).

      • Potato 8.1.1

        Main speakers in Dunedin were Metiria Turei, Clare Curran, Prof. Bob Lloyd (Director of Energy Studies in the Physics Department at Otago University) and Aaron Hawkins from Dunedin City Council.
        In fairness to Clare, I believe she was asked to speak on the impact of the TPPA on internet freedom, copyright and IT.
        For me these protests did achieve a level of success because I have been horrified as to how many people still had never heard of the TPPA. With the media exposure yesterday at least some of those people are now asking what it is.

  9. fisiani 9

    Nice to see people out exercising their bodies and their democratic right to be wrong. Fairly pointless and harmless. Lasting impact absolutely nil.

    • Chooky 9.1

      really ?…is this more bullshit like Hooton on denial of climate change?

    • minarch 9.2

      you just carry on reading the Financial Times Fizz,

      there’s nothing here for you anyway so move along quietly now..

  10. Skinny 10

    If your going to arrange gigs like this protest they need to be better organised. You want a larger turnout and get major media coverage. No unity in a disjointed rally.

  11. philj 11

    In Nelson rally, there was a speech given by Green MP Steffan Browning (sp?) and no Labour presence. Other speakers delivered the usual. A call for civil disobedience was made.

  12. Manuka AOR 12

    Great shot from the air gives more of an idea of number of people

  13. Chooky 13

    Quite good brief but prominent coverage on radionz i thought ….reasons for demonstrations around the country and mentioned the main centres in particular …although may have underestimated numbers eg said 1,000 in Christchurch …and covered Wellington and Auckland well…not so much about the other smaller centres though

    good interview with a protester in Wellington

  14. Tracey 14

    time to tell mps and local body councillors what you think of it. to use your twitter and facebook to get your friends aware. its now or never.

  15. Tracey 15

    is the maori party cool with tppa? i didnt noice a presence from them yesterday?

    marama davidson briefly mc in auckland (green party).

  16. Rosie 16

    Well done Comrades! Aotea square in Auckland looked chocka as did Civic Square in Wellington. I hope this weekends action has achieved something and broken through the haze of misinformation and non awareness surrounding the threat of the TPP. This is a good solid foundation to build upon – have we turned a corner? Has TPP come out of the shadows? Can we make Key and Groser squirm?

    Even TV3 gave the March a chance – will be interesting to see if they follow through with reporting on the International rallies of the last 24 hours.

    (I was at work but was there in spirit and was really glad it was such a stunning day for it)
    Big up’s to all organisers, marchers, speakers and musicians for making this happen.

  17. chris73 17

    Good to see people exercising their rights, makes me glad to live in NZ. Won’t change anything of course but as long as people feel that they’ve achieved something thats all that matters

    • Ad 17.1

      Democracy only exists because it is exercised.
      If it’s not exercised, it dies very very quickly.

      Then all you are left with to deal with is Management.

      • chris73 17.1.1

        Democracy only works for ancient greeks but its the best (of the worst) system we have

        • Ad

          I’m guessing you are aware of how many kinds of people got the vote in Socratic Athens. Barely rates a comparison. I took you more for a Stoic.

          • chris73

            More of a Benevolent dictatorship type

            • Frank Macskasy

              Until said “benevolent dictatorship” turns malevolent. Human nature is so utterly predictable the TAB would lose big bucks on betting against benevolence morphing into deadly malevolence…

              Unless, of course, I was President-For-Life. My idea of incarcerating political prisoners would be to put them into 5 star hotels with plenty of food, alcohol, cannabis, sex, gambling… they’d never want to escape or contact Amnesty International.

    • Rosie 17.2


      No it won’t change a thing eh Chris, protest never does. I mean why did people even bother in 1981 with the Springboks tour, nuclear free NZ, The Suffragette’s in the 19th century? Pointless really, didn’t make any difference at all.

      • chris73 17.2.1

        Worlds changed if you hadn’t noticed, deal with it or not

        But heres a little something for the oldies:


        • Rosie

          What’s your point and what am I meant to be dealing with?

          • chris73

            The point is the left are stuck in the past, what worked 30 + years ago won’t today especially as most of don’t know much about TPPA and care even less

            But keep having your little protests, bread and circuses and all that

            • Tracey

              really? i guess you missed the arab spring which got results by taking to the streets.

              • chris73

                Yep lets compare NZ to the Middle East because thats not drawing a long bow or anything

                • Tracey

                  so you can compare nz to other countries if arguing there is no poverty in nz, but when someone says protest is irrelevant we have to keep in nz?

                  i wish some of you would stick to your own rules…

                  keep posting, your falacious arguments can be entertaining.

                  ” as most of don’t know much about TPPA and care even less ”

                  unimportant but necessary for you to spend time on.

            • Rosie

              Er, I don’t think the young un’s that participated in yesterdays rallies are stuck in the past, how can they be when they protesting because they fear for the future that a TPP agreement will bring to their country?

              “little protests”, sounds rather sarcastic – you’ve changed your tune. You said “Good to see people exercising their rights, makes me glad to live in NZ.” or is it that you were merely tr***ing?

              Have we hit a nerve with our collective efforts to protest or is that you can’t hide your resentment of those you consider beneath you?

              • chris73

                “Good to see people exercising their rights, makes me glad to live in NZ”

                – Genuine that we live in a country where you can things like this

                “little protests”

                – Also genuine because the protest will be like last few protests the left have tried and won’t change a jot but it makes the left feel as if they’re doing some

                • Rosie

                  I don’t think there’s anything “little” about the thousands that turned up to yesterdays protests that kicked off the first of the international demo’s against the TPP.

                  Why do you think protesting is confined to the Left? Forgotten the protests of the Destiny Church to same sex marriage? Forgotten the National Front? Both come from a place of prejudice, not a Left value at all. What about the nation wide protests over our synthetic cannabis laws? Forgotten how effective they were? That wasn’t organised by the Left – it was a protest about a law that affected all families and communities regardless of political leanings or status, in a detrimental way.

                  I don’t get why you feel you have to chip in with unhelpful comments that put down the efforts of people who care about the security of their democratic governance. You may not care but others do. It’s in the nature of the of small minded comments that you’d find on stuff.co.nz – that’s a really bad look.

                  • Tracey

                    its ok rosie. he says its unimportant but has spent some time and energy posting about how unimportant it is and no one cares. same shit different day.

                    anti nuclear and homosexual reform marches attracted EXACTLY the same sneering from the right and the same taunts. chris likes to think things have changed heaps but people are essentially the same which is why protest, in all its forms is as important today as ever.

                    • greywarshark


                    • Rosie

                      “its ok rosie. he says its unimportant but has spent some time and energy posting about how unimportant it is and no one cares. same shit different day.”

                      Nothing more than a tr*** really then. If he wants to waste his time then that’s up to him I guess. I guess he lives on an Island, completely unaffected by and isolated from any event that happens in our society and how our laws are influenced, so doesn’t need to bother thinking about these things. Planet Key territory. Classic RW individualist ideology – they believe they are separate and aloof from the collective functioning of society, hence the denial of and distancing from the importance of protesting.

  18. johnm 18

    I was at the Wellington protest in Civic Square. The main speaker talked of people power with rousing responses. It fell flat flat flat 1000,000 voters didn’t vote in the last election: they’re National’s unconscious fifth column. People Power? rubbish that’s why this fascist key regime are in power. Basically kiwis are ignorant apathetic nobodies politics wise and that’s why.

    • Potato 18.1

      And had you grabbed the mic and said that yesterday, I imagine the response would have been different to the one received here when you can hide behind the anonymity of the internet.

      [lprent: *sigh*. Read the policy on “The Gosman (hypocrisy) ruling”. I will give you a hint. You just committed a self-martyrdom. But hey, I’ll put that down to attempt to live up the role in your handle. ]

      • Potato 18.1.1

        Sincere apologies. I let tiredness cloud my judgement and took offence to a comment in the previous post.
        What perhaps I should have said was, from spending time out talking to people about the TPPA, yes, most were uninformed, many were also very interested and not at all apathetic (I saw a few faces of people I had spoken to at our local rally) and I do not regard any of them as nobodies. If we stop believing in people power we might as well give up and let the corporates enslave us further.

    • greywarshark 18.2

      @ johnm
      I despair about Kiwis too. But we aren’t nobodies, we are anybody’s and everybodies.
      All round the world the same dynamic is happening. And we are trying to give our country away, along with our rights, our thoughts, our spark of enterprise to have a go – which will come up against some rock-hard obstacle from our ‘friendly’ trade partners or our own government which is willing to sell us down the river in a Treaty that we didn’t even send our local leaders to sign. What gets elected is just a bunch of jerks that manage to talk fast and comfortingly so we are lulled. That’s the polly lullaby.

      Maori local chiefs went along to their Treaty, had two different interpretations going at the same time – a quantum Treaty back in those days? But with all our eddication we are still not given, or the country demanding, the right to hear the pros and cons, see the actual wording in our own language, have proper discussions, have a referendum on TPPA. Ignore us, we’re anybody’s who can give us cheap clothes, cheap toys, coffee with little patterns on the froth, cheap wine and to hell with the future. That’s another country. Froth and bubbles is the name of the game now.

      What Kiwis have to do is each of us, rouse ourselves and make a stir and talk the facts and just be aware that if it isn’t us it isn’t anybody. I always thought that other people knew more and were better placed to do political things. I was wrong. And though there are many sheeple and we probably all know them in our own families, we just have to sigh, put on our lycras or whatever you wear to keep fit in the political gym, and keep pumping!

    • Chooky 18.3

      johnm…I think people are confused …the mainstream media no longer works in the interest of truth and clarity. I disagree that “kiwis are ignorant apathetic nobodies politics wise”

      Only this morning I heard Hooton on radionz ‘ninetonoon’ say that once the Labour Party leader is elected…. then the Labour Party can begin once again to undermine their elected Labour leader ( the nerve of this!… considering Hooton’s own undermining of Labour and Labour leaders on radionz)

      ….Kathryn Ryan’s comment was oh “you naughty boy”

      …however really it is not a joke!…

      …. when you consider the lengths that Hooton and other right wing PR spinners went to, to undermine David Cunliffe when he was Labour leader , at every opportunity!….and in Hooton’s case on taxpayer funded State broadcasting

      ….i do hope there will be documentation of this and it will be the subject of academic research…ie how the msm have worked to dupe the NZ public and not hold the right wing accountable

      • greywarshark 18.3.1

        @ Chooky
        Yes worth a study. I wouldn’t be surprised if one is in the offing right now. But it is intricate to trace all the ‘players’. Have bought Maire Leadbetter’s book on the lead up to the nuclear protest and declaration against. Thick and meaty (or beany if phil is reading – I’m vowing to do regular vegetarian meals, had some already, phillip ure.)

        • Chooky

          yes Maire Leadbetter is admirable …as was her Mother Elsie Locke …. a formidable fighter for social justice and anti-nuclear campaigner ( as well as being an award winning children’s writer, historian, environmentalist, anti apartheid campaigner, feminist, early advocate of Family Planning, fighter for Maori language and Maori rights…and spied upon for years apparently!…irony there)

          re vegetarian meals …. well i have been indulging my Pagan self and eating pork and bacon with a conscious and renewed relish …and enjoying the absence of the banned one

  19. philj 19

    Hey chris 72 ( didn’t quite rate 73)
    and Fizzy.Why don’t you frequent other blogs? Don’t they pay as well or do you prefer strirring gor the sake of it? Come on guys …. you are guys?

  20. Dont worry. Be happy 20

    Just wondering Wayne…Fis…Gosman…any usual right wing posters..what was/were the issue(s) that had you protesting in the street?

    • Wayne 20.1

      Don’t worry. Be happy

      The last protest I was in was about Herceptin (the lack of Pharmac funding), It would have been 2007/2008. I was there as an MP. It was a really big issue among women on the Shore.

      As a private citizen in 1981 I was in several protests against The Tour. A very good example of an issue that spread well out from the “usual suspects.”

      • vto 20.1.1

        Has your boss John Key recalled which side of the ’81 tour issue he was on yet?

        And do you think anyone in the entire country believes him when he says he cannot recall where he stood?

        he is a bit of a laughing stock isn’t he wayne..

      • karol 20.1.2

        When thousands of people demonstrate around the country, I wonder how you are able to confidently label them, “usual suspects”.

        And why you use the word “suspects” as though they are suspected of having committed some crime?

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata

          @Wayne “The last protest I was in was about Herceptin (the lack of Pharmac funding), It would have been 2007/2008. I was there as an MP. It was a really big issue among women on the Shore.”
          How then can you support the TPPA which threatens to increase Pharmac’s costs, as explained in the open letter written to John Key and signed by 5 New Zealand health organisations and 270+ individual health professionals? (excerpt below)

          “Other serious unintended consequences for health in New Zealand include the extension of patent monopoly rights on pharmaceuticals, diagnostic tests, and vaccines; all of which would result in significantly increased health costs for the NZ public.

          The inclusion in the TPPA of “transparency” provisions that undermine the current bargaining power of PHARMAC in its regular negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry would further exacerbate cost increases. Such cost increases will inevitably either erode the health gains available within DHBs’ health budgets, or require substantial increases in health spending to merely maintain the health gains from new pharmaceutical (and impending medical devices) spending; this patently will affect “the fundamentals of PHARMAC”, despite Ministerial assurances to the contrary.

          Similarly, New Zealand has no provision for a period of exclusive rights over clinical trial data, as some countries have and that has been a subject of TPPA negotiation. Any period of data exclusivity will delay the production of generic versions of new drugs, especially new cancer medicines that have greater efficacy and fewer side effects, and will increase PHARMAC’S costs.”

          • felix

            “How then can you support the TPPA “

            I note that Wayne was careful to avoid mentioning whether he was there in support of the herceptin protest or not…

            • Tautoko Mangō Mata

              True, I didn’t spot that.

            • Wayne

              Pretty obviously I was supporting my constituents – but I am sure you knew that.

              • felix

                You were a minister in John Key’s government.

                That is enough reason that no-one should ever take the most charitable interpretation from anything you say.

                Blame your old boss if you like but you know what they say about dogging with liars.

              • miravox

                “Pretty obviously I was supporting my constituents”

                Which constituents? The ones who protested and led to herceptin being funded as an election bribe? or the ones who may have had their access to high cost, highly effective medicine delayed to the political decision to fund herceptin?

          • Tracey

            plus 1

        • Wayne

          From “Casablanca”, but in this instance not about a crime.

          • karol

            But, you have ignored my question about how you know such a large number of protesters were all somehow, part of this group you have dismissively marginalised as “usual suspects”.

            How do you know there weren’t a significant number of first time protesters, just becoming aware of the possible negative impact of the TPP?

            • Tracey

              he often ignores parts of questions. i am still waiting for his assurance that taxpayers wont foot the bill for a legal suit from a foreign corporation, or that the threat of such action wont stop legislative changes in its tracks.

  21. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 21

    I know you all desperately want us to be poor so as to prove capitalism doesn’t work, but if you nongs had been successful in stopping the free trade deal with China, we’d have been much poorer.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 21.1

      Were there investor-state dispute settlement systems or increased patent pending times or changes to copyright times in the free trade agreement with China or was it a genuine Free Trade Agreement unlike the TPPA which is largely US Corporate Rules in the guise of a Free Trade Agreement.

      • Tracey 21.1.1

        the real point is the us is the most litigious country on the planet when it comes to investor provisions under free trade agreements. we are not in a trade agreement with the usa. why will they decide not to extend their litigating tentacles to our shores? cos groser key and mapp say they wont ( which assurances none are prepared to give)

    • blue leopard 21.2

      Q. When is a Free Trade Deal not a Free Trade Deal?

      A. When it is called a Free Trade Deal but it is actually a Corporate Take-Over

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 21.2.1

        Corporate Take-Over

        I am constantly amazed that you guys have enough hysteria to go around.

        • blue leopard

          Not half as amazed as I am to “you guys'” credulity 😕

        • Tracey

          i am never amazed by your paucity of knowledge. can you post the sections of the tppa which you rely upon for confidence that us corps wont do the following types of things to nz taxpayers?

          ” The Australian government, after massive debates in and out of parliament, decided that cigarettes should be sold in plain packets, marked only with shocking health warnings. The decision was validated by the Australian supreme court. But, using a trade agreement Australia struck with Hong Kong, the tobacco company Philip Morris has asked an offshore tribunal to award it a vast sum in compensation for the loss of what it calls its intellectual property.

          During its financial crisis, and in response to public anger over rocketing charges, Argentina imposed a freeze on people’s energy and water bills (does this sound familiar?). It was sued by the international utility companies whose vast bills had prompted the government to act. For this and other such crimes, it has been forced to pay out over a billion dollars in compensation. In El Salvador, local communities managed at great cost (three campaigners were murdered) to persuade the government to refuse permission for a vast gold mine which threatened to contaminate their water supplies. A victory for democracy? Not for long, perhaps. The Canadian company which sought to dig the mine is now suing El Salvador for $315m – for the loss of its anticipated future profits.

          In Canada, the courts revoked two patents owned by the American drugs firm Eli Lilly, on the grounds that the company had not produced enough evidence that they had the beneficial effects it claimed. Eli Lilly is now suing the Canadian government for $500m, and demanding that Canada’s patent laws are changed.

          These companies (along with hundreds of others) are using the investor-state dispute rules embedded in trade treaties signed by the countries they are suing. The rules are enforced by panels which have none of the safeguards we expect in our own courts. The hearings are held in secret. The judges are corporate lawyers, many of whom work for companies of the kind whose cases they hear. Citizens and communities affected by their decisions have no legal standing. There is no right of appeal on the merits of the case. Yet they can overthrow the sovereignty of parliaments and the rulings of supreme courts.

          You don’t believe it? Here’s what one of the judges on these tribunals says about his work. “When I wake up at night and think about arbitration, it never ceases to amaze me that sovereign states have agreed to investment arbitration at all … Three private individuals are entrusted with the power to review, without any restriction or appeal procedure, all actions of the government, all decisions of the courts, and all laws and regulations emanating from parliament.””

          the us is the MOST litigious country in terms of free trade deals

  22. Mick 22

    I’m still not sure how people are suggesting that international agreements (whether they are about trade or other things) should be negotiated in practice. Given that they typically take years to draft, with thousands of variations of words that range from the possible to the ridiculous, how can “the people” be included in that, in any sort of meaningful way, which is apparently what is being suggested by many of the commentators on this site. It seems to me that negotiating international agreements are a case study in why we have elected Governments, to do this on our behalf given that we can’t all be involved, for very practical reasons. And if your response is that the current Government is not doing it on “our” behalf, but on behalf of some vested interests, then redress on that issue is available every 3 years at the ballot box. Would a Labour Government be publicising every twist and turn of the wording? Of course not. And neither do union negotiators publish every twist and turn of the wording of protracted collective agreement negotiations, because doing so would be detrimental to achieving the best outcome for members.

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  • Speech to LGNZ Conference
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  • NZ-PNG Sign Statement of Partnership
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  • Christchurch Learning Community Hubs supporting ethnic families
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  • Prime Minister's Speech to NZIIA Annual Conference
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