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National’s vision for New Zealand’s future

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, January 12th, 2016 - 94 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, class war, climate change, economy, Economy, energy, Environment, exports, Globalisation, national/act government, Steven Joyce, sustainability, trade, us politics - Tags:


Steven Joyce has an opinion piece in the Herald this morning which reads a bit like a job application.  Maybe he is still interested in the job of being leader when Key departs.

The article neatly summarises National’s proposal to create a better New Zealand which is to grow incomes and living standards.  We need more, more overseas holidays, more flat screens and better and bigger cars.

And how do we achieve this nirvana?  Through more trade.

He claims that the TPP “will provide unparalleled access for New Zealand companies and farmers to the consumers of eleven countries across the Asia Pacific region, amounting to around 40 per cent of the world’s economy.”

He mentions the Korean FTA which recently came into forced contains its own investor state resolution procedure.

He also says this:

And then there is the WTO Government Procurement Agreement. It sounds mundane, but it will have a far-reaching positive impact on New Zealand’s tech companies. Under the GPA, New Zealand companies must be given a level playing field with locals to bid for $1.7 trillion of Government contracts in 43 countries around the world.

It opens up huge opportunities for New Zealand’s clever niche tech exporters. The likes of Fisher and Paykel, Orion Health, and the Gallagher Group are already taking advantage of it.

The one thing about the agreement that Joyce does not mention is that overseas interests will have a similar ability to compete for local contracts.

And he makes no mention of the potential harm that free trade can cause.

An unfortunate example appeared this week. Following the cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline project by US President Barak Obama the company involved, TransCanada, has sued the US Government for US$15 billion damages.  This sum includes not only lost investment but also anticipated future profits even though the plunging oil price very probably made the project financially unviable.  And although the US has had a good success rate with these disputes anything is possible.

From the New York Times:

Trade experts were reluctant to speculate on TransCanada’s case, which will be heard through an arbitration process outside the American judicial system.

“The rules themselves are so vague by design that practically every case is a crap shoot,” said Robert Stumberg, an international law professor at Georgetown University.

350.org hopes that the event will cause states to rethink the signing of the TPP agreement.  From ClimateProgress:

TransCanada has just done the best possible job of making clear why TPP is such a terrible idea,” Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and a leader of the environmental movement, told ThinkProgress via email. “Their position seems to be that NAFTA is a planetary suicide pact that forces us to pour carbon into the atmosphere. Americans rallied in unprecedented numbers to beat Keystone, and now TransCanada wants to overturn all that energy behind closed doors?”

Joyce’s prognosis for a bright future involves nothing but increasing trade and has no understanding of the fragility of our environment, the finite levels of our resources or the incredible power these agreements give private corporate interests over national governments.  And the ultimate goal, increased financial prosperity, only appears to happen to the wealthiest of us, and ignores other invaluable attributes such as family and friendship and free time.

94 comments on “National’s vision for New Zealand’s future ”

  1. Tc 1

    More bs and spin from nationals herald by mr fixit whose track record is appalling, should this owned media bother to check it out.

    Novopay, mboei, ufb 1.0 ( adams fixing that up now) etc etc

  2. Detrie 2

    Perhaps if those like Joyce, Key and co, could be held personally liable should the worst occur and we are in the same position. This is the thing with politicians, they are free and easy with taxpayers money and rights. No care, no responsibility is the name of the game. If it breaks later, then it’s another persons worry. A bit like corporate decision-making.

    Still in the US case, the $15b is nothing compared to the trillions being wasted (or stolen) by military contractors. But 15b would cripple smaller countries like NZ.

    • Tiro 2.1

      Worth a change in Government proceedings and outcomes – having a law to put your money where you mouth is!

  3. The Fairy Godmother 3

    Watched an excellent film on the films for action website last night about localisation. Globalization is bad for people bad for diversity and bad for the environment. Localisation can heal spme of the damage done by globalization. An inspiring film. Will give link tonight.

  4. ropata 4

    What additional damage will TPP do upon national economies, since it's written to further corporate interests? https://t.co/wVobe9LlW6— NewZealandEconomics (@economicsNZ) January 11, 2016

  5. slumbergod 5

    It must be great living in the little perfect bubble that National supporters live in — no poverty, no illness, no unemployment, and never-ending economic growth! For the rest of us who live outside the bubble, New Zealand is rapidly becoming a poor slum.

  6. DH 6

    What I find most concerning about these actions is they’re effectively cementing in place policies which future governments cannot reverse or change. We might be able to vote out the perpetrators but their legacy will endure for uncountable further electoral terms. It’s a gross betrayal of the whole principle of democracy

    Rogernomics occurred because it could. The future holds no such promise.

    • greywarshark 6.1

      That makes the point exactly.

    • Wayne 6.2


      Any trade agreement (or any other type of treaty such as climate change treaties or arms control treaties) entered into by any government has the effect of binding future governments. Think CER, WTO, FTA with China, etc.

      The only governments that don’t make such commitments through trade agreements are Cuba, North Korea etc.

      TPP for instance has Vietnam as one of the signatories. They recognise the value of being tied into an economic and trade bloc covering 40% of the world GDP.

      Assuming TPP comes into force (either Japan or the US has to ratify), there is no chance that a Labour led govt would pull out.

      I note the real action against TPP is now essentially moved to the US where the opponents will be lobbying Congress not to ratify. I am sure lots of trips by Jane Kelsey to the US as part of that.

      My prediction is that such lobbying will fail, and that Congress will ratify. In my view most Republicans and some Democrats will vote for it.

      • acrophobic 6.2.1

        Thanks Wayne. The left seem happy to bind NZ to UN conventions and climate change protocols but not enter trade deals that will create economic benefits. It’s weird, it really is.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The FTAs that we’ve entered into haven’t actually created any benefits for most NZers. For many of them the FTAs have them worse off as the increasing poverty that we have in NZ shows.

          And after all that we don’t actually need any agreements. We simply need to state our principles and that if another country doesn’t measure up to them then we won’t trade with them. If all countries did this then we’d get a race to the top rather than the race to the bottom that we’ve got now.

          • Paul

            Wayne knows that.
            And he does not care.

          • acrophobic

            Draco NZ needs to trade. We simply cannot afford to be shut out of trade deals such as these, or our economy will flounder. The Chine FTA has created huge benefits for NZ, but you and the left generally refuse to accept the evidence because it doesn’t fit with your anti-trade and anti-us narrative.

            • lprent

              Comparing the China FTA with TPPA is like comparing comparing the sweetness of eating a orange with eating a chive. They have nothing in common.

              The China FTA opened up a whole untapped market, and then progressively opened it further for the following decade. It did not require us to restrain anything beyond what we already did.

              The TPPA provides virtually no trade advantages compared to what we already have in terms of trade access. In 15 years, it may equate to something like 2% of our trade according to the government’s inflated and undocumented figures (ie – they are likely to be bullshit). From soon after we ratify it, it will massively restrain several of our fastest growing industries by causing the government to constrain by legislation and regulation the existing freedom of trade in intellectual property.

              You’d have to be a complete business moron to make your comment. Are you really that much of an unthinking dimwit? With the exception of a few farmers in a decade who might make some advantge out of it, noone in NZ exporting businesses will make money for it.

              I’d point out that I’ve been involved exports from my whole working life, almost exclusively in tech exports for the last 2 decades, have a MBA, and have supported every free trade deal we have ever gotten into from CER to the Korean FTA. But in my view, the TPPA is a restraint of trade agreement that NZ should not be involved with.

              So if you want to actually argue, then be a good dimwit and actually provide some points that refute rather than bandying other people’s slogans around like a parrot.

              • acrophobic

                “The TPPA provides virtually no trade advantages compared to what we already have in terms of trade access.”

                Nonsense. “Economic modelling commissioned by the Government estimates that once fully in effect, TPP would add at least $2.7 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP by 2030.” https://www.tpp.mfat.govt.nz/#benefits.


                “Tariffs will be eliminated on 93 per cent of New Zealand’s trade with its new FTA partners, once TPP is fully phased in. This will ultimately represent $259 million of tariff savings a year – around twice the savings initially forecast for the China FTA.

                As a result of TPP:

                • Tariffs on beef exports to TPP countries will be eliminated, with the exception of Japan where tariffs reduce from 38.5 per cent to 9 per cent.

                • New Zealand dairy exporters will have preferential access to new quotas into the United States, Japan, Canada and Mexico, in addition to tariff elimination on a number of products.

                • Tariffs on all other New Zealand exports to TPP countries – including fruit and vegetables, sheep meat, forestry products, seafood, wine and industrial products – will be eliminated.”


                “From soon after we ratify it, it will massively restrain several of our fastest growing industries by causing the government to constrain by legislation and regulation the existing freedom of trade in intellectual property.”

                Do you have any hard evidence to support this contention?

                “So if you want to actually argue, then be a good dimwit and actually provide some points that refute rather than bandying other people’s slogans around like a parrot.”

                The reason you are intervening here is precisely because I have been successful in highlighting the deficiencies of the opposition case. That you have to spout such hysterical bs is an indication that you’re losing the battle with the public over this.

                • Paul

                  acrophobic………….a shill for multinational corporations.
                  I feel sorry for you.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    acrophobic believes that ordinary people still believe the economic forecasting PR shite routinely put out by the elite oligarch class.

                    He’s just slow.

                • Wheras modelling by that well known left-wing institution the World Bank predicts only a 3% gain for New Zealand by 2030, (likely to be eaten as bonuses and pay rises for manager classes and dividends for investor classes) which is vanishingly small for a supposed FTA with the US. The reality is that this is not a trade agreement. It’s a pro-corporation policy agreement in drag, and it will likely be a net cost to the taxpayer if it actually limits our policy options as designed. (That said, it doesn’t limit them directly, it simply opens us to lawsuits if we reduce corporate profits through legislation without a convincing defense)

                  • acrophobic

                    If you seriously can;t be bothered reading the full MFat cite, then you might (??) take the time to read some of the research papers here http://asiapacifictrade.org/.

                    • ? I have read that cite, (both the one you provide in your post and the MFAT cite) and it seems a pretty incredible analysis of the benefits that relies on unrealistic assumptions, and doesn’t talk about gains specifically in New Zealand. (Which is important, as we actually have generally good trade relationships in Asia already, so our gains are likely to be less dramatic than say, US gains) I am pointing out that MFAT is hardly an objective source on trade deals as they are highly invested in them being agreed as negotiated.

                      I am much more inclined to trust independent analyses not from agenda-laden think tanks in the case of FTA agreements, as they tend to be far more accurate. (some traditionally neoliberal institutions like the World Bank have got a lot more realistic in their analyses lately, for instance) Government analyses of FTAs tend to grossly overstate their benefit, and understate the potential risks. The WTO analysis is very realistic.

                      For a roughly 3% boost to GDP, the incredible concessions given away by the TPPA, from Pharmac to the unprecedented power of the ISDS provisions, (and between democratic nations! The whole point of an ISDS is supposed to be to give confidence to free trade agreements with unstable regimes that don’t follow democratic norms) and basically the wholesale export of US copyright policies, are simply not worth it. Retaining our own copyright policies (or even loosening their restrictiveness on innovation) could potentially be of an equal gain in the future compared to compliance with the TPPA as currently understood by experts, as an increasingly large share of our economy comes from innovation in the IT and creative arenas.

                    • acrophobic

                      Matthew you keep repeating this nonsense about the ‘incredible concessions’, yet there is still no evidence been presented to justify that opinion. Also, you clearly haven’t read the full WTO assessment, from which I quoted, which demonstrates very clearly the widespread benefits to all signatories.

                  • Sacha

                    “Retaining our own copyright policies (or even loosening their restrictiveness on innovation) could potentially be of an equal gain in the future compared to compliance with the TPPA as currently understood by experts, as an increasingly large share of our economy comes from innovation in the IT and creative arenas.”

                    That’s the worst of it: TPP locks in assumptions that the economy will be like it has been rather than what it will inevitably transform into. The regressive IP changes will prove to be extremely good at funnelling money into the pockets of big corporate rights-holders – exactly as they intended when they dictated those parts of the agreement.

                • DH

                  ““The TPPA provides virtually no trade advantages compared to what we already have in terms of trade access.”

                  Nonsense. “Economic modelling commissioned by the Government estimates that once fully in effect, TPP would add at least $2.7 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP by 2030.” https://www.tpp.mfat.govt.nz/#benefits.”

                  It’s slightly frustrating that some people fall for this kind of propaganda.

                  Our current GDP is $240 billion. Even without any alleged gains from TPP it would be pushing $300 billion by 2030. $2.7 billion isn’t even a 1% increase in GDP and people think that’s something to be happy about?

                  By any reasonable definition >1% really is virtually no trade advantage, and for that we lose a whole heap of sovereignty.

                  • McFlock

                    not just that – a ~1% prediction for fifteen years’ time is probably less reliable than a weather forecast for a day fifteen years from now.

                  • acrophobic

                    It’s slightly frustrating that people don’t even bother to look at how the 2.7bn was calculated.

                  • acrophobic

                    “…for that we lose a whole heap of sovereignty.”

                    There goes that hysteria again. Where’s the evidence?

                    • DH

                      “Where’s the evidence?”

                      You’re just being foolish now. No-one disputes we’re giving up sovereignty with the TPP. Wayne above freely admits that. Surrendering the right to enact our own copyright law is a loss of sovereignty and the TPP is rife with such concessions.

                      The only argument offered to support the TPP is whether the potential gains outweigh the losses.

                      This country has used its sovereign powers innumerous times to improve the lives of its citizens. No-one knows what the future holds and the probability that powers given away by past & present governments may be desperately needed at an indeterminate time ahead is very high. Don’t see the tea-leaf readers factoring that variable into their spreadsheets do we.

                    • acrophobic

                      “No-one disputes we’re giving up sovereignty with the TPP. ”

                      Huh? Oh so that’s your argument. You’re right because no-one disputes it? Plenty of people dispute it. (http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/72257932/TPP-no-threat-to-New-Zealands-sovereignty). Plenty of people dispute the extent of interference with national sovereignty, and argue that the benefits outweigh any risk.

                      So I ask again, where is the evidence that NZ’s soveriegnty is endangered by the TPP?

                    • DH

                      “So I ask again, where is the evidence that NZ’s soveriegnty is endangered by the TPP?”

                      You’re not asking again. You asked for evidence that we’d be giving up a whole heap of our sovereignty and I pointed out that no-one was disputing we’d be giving up significant levels of sovereignty.

                      Now you’re asking a different question, but trying to pretend it’s the same question. and since you’re now being deceitful and evasive I’m just going to leave you squirming.

                    • acrophobic

                      “You’re not asking again.”
                      Yep, I am.

                      “You asked for evidence that we’d be giving up a whole heap of our sovereignty and I pointed out that no-one was disputing we’d be giving up significant levels of sovereignty.”
                      And I responded that you were wrong. Did you read the cite?

                      “New Zealand’s sovereignty is not endangered by the Trans Pacific Partnership. That’s the conclusion of research into investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in the TPP and other free trade agreements.”

                      “Now you’re asking a different question, but trying to pretend it’s the same question.”
                      No, same question. You and many others are making a lot of claims about NZ giving away our sovereignty. Provide some evidence. I have asked for this several times, and non-one has even tried.

                    • acrophobic

                      “Does TPP undermine New Zealand’s sovereignty?
                      No. TPP is an international treaty that New Zealand has freely entered into and could withdraw from in the future. New Zealand signs many treaties, conventions and agreements where, among other things, it makes undertakings to other countries, agrees to change domestic laws and agrees to be bound by international rules. Over the past 10 years, for example, Parliamentary select committees have formally examined 109 international treaties signed by New Zealand. The Government intends to sign TPP because – like other treaties – it is in New Zealand’s best interests.”


                      But “no-one was disputing we’d be giving up significant levels of sovereignty” eh DH.

                    • DH

                      how old are you?

                      You display the reading comprehension of a child. Either start acting like an adult or expect to be treated as another boring troll.

                      acrophobic …
                      12 January 2016 at 9:49 pm

                      “…for that we lose a whole heap of sovereignty.”

                      There goes that hysteria again. Where’s the evidence?

                      acrophobic …
                      13 January 2016 at 11:09 am

                      “So I ask again, where is the evidence that NZ’s soveriegnty is endangered by the TPP?”

                      two entirely different questions.

                    • acrophobic

                      There’s no difference DH. And there is no evidence. You’re trying to deflect from your stupid statement that no-one disputes that there will be a loss of sovereignty. I have clearly sown that to be false.

                      You’ve had two months to come up with evidence for these claims about sovereignty, and you’ve failed.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Why can’t this lazy dishonest lackwit do their own homework rather than expecting everyone else to?

                      Here’s an example of both sides saying sovereignty will be affected to some greater or lesser degree. Only a lazy lying lackwit would maintain the feeble pretence to the contrary.

                    • acrophobic

                      Oh OAB, why are you making this so easy for me? From your own cite:

                      “Chapman Tripp partner Daniel Kalderimis, who peer-reviewed the analysis, doesn’t believe the changes are as chilling as its detractors make out. The core of the chapter, set out by the minimum standard of treatment of foreign investors, has tightened the safeguards around the government’s right to regulate. “The wording there is more restrictive, and thereby more protecting of state’s regulatory interest than in some of our previous chapters.” University of Sydney law professor Luke Nottage agreed, adding that the burden of proof lay with the investors. New Zealand has little to fear from litigious investors if the American experience of ISDS was anything to go by, Professor Nottage said. “We have to remember the US has never lost an investor claim. It’s successfully defended many under their FTAs …. which suggests that New Zealand and Australia and other developed countries at least should be able to avoid trouble.”

                      Ae you so lazy you didn’t even read your own link????

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You really are challenged by English language comprehension: what part of “lesser degree” are you completely incapable of understanding?

                      What did you think I meant by “lesser degree”, if not those examples?

                      Frankly, as international trade and investment lawyers, I’m not surprised Chapman Tripp are for the deal. At least they’re honest enough to admit it may result in litigation.

                      McFlock’s right, you are very reminiscent of S Rylands the policy bludger.

                    • acrophobic

                      You didn’t even read the link did you? This isn;t about a ‘lesser degree’.

                      “New Zealand has little to fear from litigious investors…”

                      LITTLE TO FEAR.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I read the link, you moron, and that’s when I noticed that both sides say that it will affect sovereignty to a greater or lesser degree.

                      “Little” is not “nothing”.

                    • acrophobic

                      “Little” is simply a way of saying ‘nothing’ in this case. Or perhaps it means that Andrew Little has something to fear lol.

                • I hear your point arc, I hear lprents both make sence. What I fear is the f year lockout. Almost a we did something you really won’t like and we’re going to hide it until we are well away from NZ, out of politics and there will be no comeback on us.

                  I fear for the small business man when major corps can further undermine their bottom line.

                  I fear because the information I am receiving from this government in particular, which has just been propaganda releases so one sided and up talking that you can plainly see it’s aim. How can I trust Joyce’s comment on it , have you read it? I understand you come from that political perspective, but as a simple man, a simple voter I need plain facts, goods AND bad, not a one sided upbeat post by Joyce that when read you see it for what it is.. Look at us look what we did aren’t we great.

                  Fact is, in any agreement their are compromises, to say it’s an all out win for NZ is a lie, nothing ever is, AND if he just wrote it factually with a little less hyperbole I may have ben willing to go along with it. But too late the propaganda has been working so hard and so blatantly my radars gone berserk.

                  It’s this Dirty politics thing and using nthe herald as your propaganda outlet. When it stops and we start hearing the truths once more maybe the opposing forces to National will stop worrying.

                  I just don’t think you see it from the other side of the spectrum and I understand it must be hard, but try a little empathy, empathy is the ability to see what hard your actions cause others, and helps to imagine things from others points of view, something I find National supports lacking these days.

                  • acrophobic

                    Hi Richard. Thanks for your considered post. I’m of the view that politics is a dirty game, and that all sides play just as dirty. I don’t buy the left wing angst over the Dirty Politics saga; to me it is simply jealousy that after the political brilliance of the Clark/Simpson years, National have the measure of the left. The left in NZ is a obsessed with Key as the anti-christ as the right were with painting Clark in the same colours. It really is hilarious.

                    As for our final comment, it is simply untrue to paint National as without affinity for the result of their policies. Labour did many things I agreed with, they also did many things I believe damaged our country. At the end of the day, however, I see in John Key the same empathy for NZ and N’ers I saw in Helen Clark.

                    • Simply put arc, when Labour are in power a mountain is made of a signature on a painting, a mountain is made over speeding to a rugby game, when National are in power an MP can assist her husbands business using taxpayer money, an MP can avoid airport security, assets can be sold, and the labour leader still gets blasted to an election loss.

                      I agree when your sides winning it’s hard to admit you have done a lot of cheating, and easier when your losing to call the other team cheats. But I see what I see and I am not left or right i’m happy to blast both if I think they are wrong.

                      I want what’s best for us the people of NZ, who live on this planet. Not what I was promised and failed to be delivered. The day glorious Key said there would be no GST rise and reneged is the day i’ll never trust him and wanted him gone. Don’t blame me blame Key, that has more effect on people than faking a signature on a painting or asking some police to turn their siren on to get her to a sports game.

                      He came into power on a truck loads of promises he’s delivered on none. He just happens to be National. If Helen had done it i’d be here blasting her.

                      Yet when I look back Cullen and Clark left us in top shape, good books, what has National done, blown it.

                      facts are facts, ideological support is no excuse for turning a blind eye to incompetent leadership.

                      lastly the surplus? a promise that has disappeared. How can you support such incompetence in your heart of hearts mate. Seriously.

          • lprent

            The FTAs that we’ve entered into haven’t actually created any benefits for most NZers.

            Actually I disagree with that. The problem is that you seem to look at it only from the import side, not from the export side. In the 1960s almost all of our income came from one source, which effectively disappeared in the decades 1970-1990, to the point that they are now one of the least of our trading partners.

            The diversity of our current exports both in agriculture and everything else has in a large part come from championing international, multilateral and bilateral free trade. We don’t do industry for import substitution anymore. But we do a hell of a lot of it for exporting, and that provides a lot of good paying employment directly or indirectly.

            Sure we have poverty. Much of that is from having to not be Britian’s farm and dumping ground for manufactured goods. But most of it is from having to put up with the incompetents in National who really have no idea how to foster industries. Right now the growth in high paying tech exports derives from a series of initiatives done in the early 00’s, all of which National cancelled in 2009 (basically so they could dump money into their traditional buddy business constituencies).

            National’s approach is to cause increased inequalities that drive up poverty at the bottom end. They truly are the stupid party.

            But free trade doesn’t cause poverty directly, you have to have lazy munters like National in government to do that.

            • Colonial Viper

              NZ Labour did a tiny fraction of what it could to help diversify NZ into high value exports.

              That they did that little bit better than National is a yawn.

              Especially when blue collar brown/working class workers still ended up losing out, while well educated white collar professional types accrued most of the resulting benefit.

              South Korea was a war torn agrarian/farming/fishing economy in the 1960s. Look at where they are now. That’s the way to ‘diversify into high value exports.’

              • Both countries did it on the back of extremely low wages. end of.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Hmmmm. That’s a rather simplistic answer. Are you really expecting anyone to believe that Japan’s and South Korea’s recovery from the war can be explained by “extremely low wages”?

                  You ignore the very high levels of investment and government intervention, for starters.

                  Why don’t you read about the history of companies like Samsung, Sony, Toyota and Honda before more throwaway comments.

                  • I did not see Japan in your original post, still don’t.

                    Simplistic posts sometimes cuts through the waffle to the bare crux of it. Doesn’t mean I’m simple or is that what you wish to insinuate? Attacking the person sort of counter argument. Much?

                    I believe it for South Korea, the Japanese made it through hand outs from the US. AFAIK

                    I’d wager the US propped up South Korea as that nation bordered and still does communist china, more cold war recovery and meddling than korea working their way out.

                    low wages served the nations whose crap we buy at the loss of manufacturing to them end of, trains from china? At the expense of the Dunedin carriage builders? Cheap labour the reason their tenders were lower.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The problem is that you seem to look at it only from the import side, not from the export side.

              Actually, I try to look at it from all sides with the inevitable result that long distance trade will minimise. All countries will need to be self-sufficient with trade being for things that they just can’t get their own country.

              First is the necessary level playing field. We don’t have this against many countries even, or especially, ones that we have an FTA with. This means that they can undercut us because their costs aren’t fully in line with ours. We need to ensure that costs here and there are the same so that we can determine that trade is actually beneficial.

              Then there’s the ability to compete. China probably has as many engineers as we have population and they’re pumping out ~500,000 more every year. There’s nothing that we can do that they can’t do for themselves. And they’re building up their farming capability as well – they’ll probably be looking to export milk to us in a few years.

              But free trade doesn’t cause poverty directly, you have to have lazy munters like National in government to do that.

              Our entire system causes poverty. Free trade, as it is, exacerbates it by shifting a lot of development/manufacture offshore to cheaper countries. Without the necessary development going on here (education, re-education, research, development and manufacture) that means that jobs are decreasing with large numbers of people are ending up on the scrap heap rather than in the workforce. We really should either have people in the workforce, in R&D or in training (either being a tutor themselves or being taught).

              National does make it worse as they always look at more farming as development and for the rich to get richer without actually having to do anything. They’re the true bludgers government.

            • Pat

              which is all true but only works when you have a stable trading global economy to trade with

          • Expat

            Draco +1

            I suppose you could quote the stubbornly high unemployment rate as a clear example.
            The NZ dollar to high and so is the CPI.

        • Macro

          Firstly this is not a FTA, it is an arrangement between the corporates to screw countries and let them have carte blance control of all resources.
          Secondly an independent analysis of the TPPA by the World Bank no less assesses that the resultant growth to NZ’s economy will be in the order of 3% by 1930 2030 that is a rate of growth of precisely 0.2% per annum. Big Deal! Australia will fare even less well. The US the most poorly. Why Obama wants to sign this thing heaven only knows!
          Oh yes! I do know why Obama and the US corporates want this deal so badly. Notice that China was not included in this nor in the now defunct European deal. Why? – because this is also seen as a mechanism to screw the Chinese economic machine and bring it to heal heel.

          [lprent: Ouch. Fixed a couple of typos. ]

          • Draco T Bastard


          • acrophobic

            “Firstly this is not a FTA, it is an arrangement between the corporates to screw countries and let them have carte blance control of all resources.”

            More unsubstantiated hysteria.

            “Secondly an independent analysis of the TPPA by the World Bank…” says that NZ will be the 4th largest beneficiary in terms of GDP, and will also enjoy the 4th highest rate of export growth (page 10). What is also interesting is the predicted negative impact on GDP and exports for many of the non-member nations.

            And finally:

            “Against the background of slowing trade growth, rising non-tariff impediments to trade, and insufficient progress in global negotiations, the TPP represents an important milestone. The TPP stands out among FTAs for its size, diversity and

            Wonderful reference, Macro. Thanks.

            • Macro

              I can see where you handle comes from!
              Obviously scared of actual progress and the dizzy heights of real achievement. I see your very happy with 0.2% growth – (yes the 4th largest growth out of 12!) but really! 0.2%! WOW. Don’t fall off now.
              You are also happy that NZs manufacturing base has declined in the last 7 years (admittedly with a slight increase in the last 3 years) as our dollars strength has declined, but don’t want it getting too much do we – that would be scary stuff.
              Note the last word in your selective cherry-picked quote – overlooking the plain fact that this TPP is a load of crock – “rulemaking”.
              Now what does that mean? and who made them? and what does that mean for each Nation?
              The plain answer is that it they were made by corporates, and for the benefit of corporates (with the connivance of politicians who are firmly in the pocket of corporates – who pay for their election) over and above the benefits of Nations; and that Sir/Madam is not good. No matter that the World Bank thinks we need more of them – the World Bank has overseen the growth of Slavery, Starvation and Poverty in the worlds poorest nations. I quote the World Bank figures to a right wing nut, because such people think the sun shines from their posterior, just to highlight the fact that what this TPPA offers is not the cornucopia that the Govt says it is.

              • acrophobic

                Macro your comments are becoming more and more hysterical to the point where the moderators are having to amend your typo’s. The sort of comments you are making about manufacturing and the growth expected from the TPP are the sort of irrational ramblings I would expect from someone who misrepresents just about everything they read.

                The TPP is not a cornucopia. Neither is a threat to NZ. It is a trade deal, one of many NZ has and will sign, that opens up market access for NZ’s exporters. The deal will be signed, and the sky will not fall in.

                • Macro

                  So speaks the sound voice of reason./sarc
                  Pleased to see you now admit that the TPPA is not what Groser and co have been saying it is.
                  We have survived very well without these deals in the past. I refer you to “Unequal Freedoms” by Dr John McMurtry on the Canadian experience of NAFTA to get just a glimpse of what lies before us with TPPA.
                  By the way – dyslexia runs in my family – I am a counting person – not a spelling person. Thanks for pointing it out.

                  • acrophobic

                    “We have survived very well without these deals in the past.”

                    Macro we have ben involved in trade deals for decades. CER was signed in 1983. NZ has hd a bi-lateral trade agreement with the EU since 1999. We have 10 existing FTA’s, with another 10 in negotiation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_free_trade_agreements).

                    The truth is we CAN’T survive without ‘these sort of deals’.

                    PS. On the spelling. I apologise unreservedly. My comment was totally unnecessary, and on reflection I have allowed a number of my comments to get personal which I will cease. My son is dyslexic, and struggles greatly with it, so my comment was inexcusable.

      • DH 6.2.2

        Wayne. I don’t know whether to feel flattered you saw my comment had enough merit that you thought it warranted you butting in with your usual flannel, or insulted that you think we’re all stupid enough to swallow that bullshit

        Perhaps you can explain why a foreign investor can sue this country when a local investor can not? While you’re at it please explain why a private investor is given a thirty year contract to run a prison when neither you, me nor anyone knows if we’ll even need prisons half that far into the future. Why is a casino operator given a 40 year monopoly on operating a casino in Auckland, in direct breach of a Commerce Act which forbids monopolistic and anti-competitive practices?

        I could go on but there’s no point is there Wayne, you’re only doing what Labour did after all… right?

        • Wayne


          “Swallow that bullshit”

          In so far as I was stating facts, where is the error in what I said. I was simply pointing out that treaties entered into by governments bind future governments unless they formally withdraw from them.

          My PhD thesis on the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal was on this issue. The new Iranian Islamic government of 1979 breached the Treaty of Friendship that Iran had with the US when they broke contracts with US companies and expropriated their property without compensation. This was the finding of the International Court of Justice (as I recall a 15 to 1 decision with the Iranian judge dissenting).

          Governments can of course withdraw from treaties using the withdrawal provisions, but they cannot unilaterally abrogate them.

          So Labour could, if they were the government, withdraw from the TPP under the provisions of the TPP. But they cannot simply unilaterally ignore the obligations of the TPP without exposing New Zealand to the risk of legal action by the other state parties, and under the investor provisions of TPP also by private investors.

          This is a pretty fundamental principle of international law (or that matter contract law generally). Otherwise no agreements would have any legally binding effect. They would just be statements of good intentions.

          Large scale capital investments (casinos, prisons, oil licences, etc) have long payback periods. That is why the contracts have long terms.

          • Draco T Bastard

            The new Iranian Islamic government of 1979 breached the Treaty of Friendship that Iran had with the US when they broke contracts with US companies and expropriated their property without compensation.

            Considering that the US overthrew the democratic government and then installed and supported a bloody dictator over Iran then I’d say that any agreement that Iran signed between 1953 and 1979 was illegitimate and thus null and void.

            Governments can of course withdraw from treaties using the withdrawal provisions, but they cannot unilaterally abrogate them.

            Unless they’re the US which has been breaking international rules and agreements that it’s agreed to with impunity since at least the end of WWII. Their unilateral dropping of the Gold Standard was just one example.

            Large scale capital investments (casinos, prisons, oil licences, etc) have long payback periods.

            And most of them shouldn’t be done by private corporations but by the government of the nation. Resource extraction and prisons would be a good examples.

          • DH

            Wayne. I think it’s bullshit because you’re blatantly attempting to divert the conversation towards benign drivel about agreements which are not the subject in question.

            I said it was about cementing polices in place. Privatising state assets is a policy. Giving state contracts to favoured parties is a policy. They’re just using these so-called trade agreements to superglue their acts so no-one can reverse them.

            Sure a future government can withdraw from the TPP. But the diplomatic repercussions from it would be so severe the country would be bankrupted. You know that, as you also must know that makes the TPP effectively irreversible.

            “Large scale capital investments (casinos, prisons, oil licences, etc) have long payback periods. That is why the contracts have long terms.”

            You can’t be serious. Bullshit casinos and prisons have long payback periods, they start earning from the day they open. Have you never been in business?

          • Once was Tim

            @ Wayne:
            I fear your ego will be your downfall.
            Surely you have enough people prepared to acknowledge your creds and smartness by now.
            I’ll even bow down and kiss your feet if that would help, but I’m sure that’d be a little bit embarrassing and a wee bit ugly – better keep upskilling a Bennett or a Bridges or two of each. DO IT NOW while the media is onside!!!

            I could be persuaded your opponents are a spent force (i.e. Labour) if anyone cared to trace back my predictions from when I began engaging in social media. But then your survival – if you’re at all concerned about continued success – needs to deal with both the ever increasing minority of an underclass, and the muddle class vulnerable to the crash of the current bubbles (unless you’re a complete ideologically driven dolt, I’m sure you have to agree – the signs ‘atm’ ain’t that pretty)
            As they say …. the harder they rise, the harder they fall ( but I’ll have checked out of here by way of getting death – so it’s not as tho it matters to me other than concern for the future generations)

      • Paul 6.2.3

        Was the smart comment about Jane Kelsey having trips to the US really necessary?
        Can your argument stand alone without ad hominems?

        • Wayne


          Jane did go to Korea to oppose the Korea FTA. I would be surprised if she does not go to the US, and work with colleagues to persuade Congress that they should not approve TPP.

          As you well know there is a large group of academics, economists (including Joseph Stiglitz), researchers, political activists and Trade Union groups who are working together to lobby Congress on the issue. Jane is well connected to them and is well regarded by them. She is properly regarded as the most prominent opponent in New Zealand opposed to TPP, so her support will be sought.

          So really just an observation.

          • Paul

            Jane is well connected to them and is well regarded by them.
            Pity you don’t have the same regard for her and the arguments she makes.

      • Once was Tim 6.2.4

        “Any trade agreement (or any other type of treaty such as climate change treaties or arms control treaties) entered into by any government has the effect of binding future governments. Think CER, WTO, FTA with China, etc.”

        @ Wayne. That is certainly the case under what has passed in that ‘world order’ that’s been dominated by the ideologies you strenuously adhere to.
        Unfortunately, the natives – who are becoming an ever increasing majority start to get restless.
        At the easy end, gated communities serve as some protection -.
        At the hard end, extremists from both sides of that now (irrelevant) left-right spectrum are beginning to realise they’ve been royally ripped.

        I suspect you might not be around when the shit eventually hits the fan, but I sure as shit hope you at least have some concern for your offspring – and when they reach your age, things are not going to be very pretty.

        It really is time you put your ability for critical thought (you, and the likes of other Natzis such as the bitter old queen from the eastern suburbs) to good use, and not rest on the laurels of ideologically driven comfort.
        Trouble is – I don’t think you have the balls – and nor does CF at one ‘end’, or the over-ambitious neo-riche PB’s and other horror stories at the other

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.5

        TPP for instance has Vietnam as one of the signatories. They recognise the value of being tied into an economic and trade bloc covering 40% of the world GDP.

        Pffft. How about some context Wayne.

        Vietnam is looking to become the next China, taking manufacturing and manufacturing jobs away from western countries and from China itself. Vietnamese workers will accept far lower wages and working conditions than Kiwi ones.

        A dream come through for your Fortune 500 mates.

        Japanese and American corporations will be leading this charge and will use Vietnam as their next sweatshop, now that costs in China are too high for their liking.

        The Vietnamese elite will also profit handsomely by setting up the factories and the contract manufacturers which will be used by the foreign corporations.

      • Scott M 6.2.6

        Yes Wayne, but you deftly avoided DHs main point:

        – Why should “trade” agreements dictate the policy settings and power of democratically elected governments to set the laws they wish?

        Sacrifice all principles on the altar of free trade?

    • Tc 6.3

      Thats why they had to win the election and lied their asses off along with the reliable CT spin and an owned media diffusing, smearing cunliffe, not asking any tough questions etc.

      Natz aim is to entrench the top .1% regardless of the collateral damage and ensure whoever wants to recall it finds the stable door welded shut.

  7. Macro 7

    Joyce is spinning hard now to sell this corrupt and stupid corporate arrangement, because the reality is, that NZ at best will gain around 0.2 per annum growth as independently assessed by the World Bank. And that slight increase will be wiped out from ISDS action, loss of sovereignty, and increased pollution, as the meager returns are all channeled into the coffers of the few, and the banks in the form of farm loan repayments.
    Why Labour wants to have anything to do with this rubbish I have no idea. Little should be saying loud and clear “TPPA – NO WAY”.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Why Labour wants to have anything to do with this rubbish I have no idea.

      Because they still believe that the ‘free-market’ will bring nirvana despite all the evidence to the contrary. They’re as bad as National in that respect.

  8. Ad 8

    Labour, GReens and NZFirst would agree with Joyce diagnosing improvements to New Zealand’s future economic development requiring major emphasis on Research & Development, and much greater emphasis on science and engineering graduates.

    But he’s had a term and a half to do that.

    Instead, universities are starved of cash and declining in world rankings, their policies for encouraging R&D in the private sector haven’t worked, Crown Research Organisations are shrinking and leaking top scientists overseas, and the net result is that New Zealand is one of the last places in the world local researchers consider in their careers.

    He also holds out government-wide procurement as a way to … I’m not sure. It sure won’t bring back the Dunedin train foundry, or encourage Kiwibank to take on the Government accounts, or encourage local capacity to take even a slice of the IRD rebuild. Or basically help us.

    I do like Joyce’s ability to support specific industry sectors with whopping public subsidies and cheques. Pity the sectors he’s supported are crap private television, gambling, and obscure bridges in rural Northland.

    • Sacha 8.1

      The skills that Joyce extols are the right ones for *last* century.

      We need heaps of people with communication, design and similar creative skills, not just engineers and lab technicians. His is a vision for the glorious 1950s.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        We need heaps of people with communication, design and similar creative skills

        No we don’t, at least not commercial ones. Do we really want more corporate spinmeisters (communications experts) and advertising execs (corporate design and creative types).

        • Sacha

          To build high-value sustainable enterprises for coming decades we need the right sort of skills. Cooperation is becoming more common in government, community and business settings, as problems and opportunities demand a broader range of perspectives and resources to address them. So, by ‘communication’ I mean being good at listening and explaining to other people and organisations, not at crafting lies.

          Getting design thinking into all industries is a great way of lifting value. Think furniture rather than logs, personalised services rather than cookie-cutter. It’s an approach to problem-solving. I’m not talking about slick packaging or fancy graphics.

          You don’t learn those things by studying science or maths. Joyce is a dinosaur surrounded by dinosaurs.

    • Expat 8.2

      Hey Ad

      I’m kinda hoping that some of those bridges you speak of have doubled in size, that’s what they promised, three weeks prior to the by election, Nats did a big spend on all the main roads up there, a bribe of course, but it added about an hour to every ones journey, hardly productive.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      10% boost to NZ exports by 2030?

      That’s a cumulative 0.7% increase in exports per year due to the TPPA, even if they were right. A tiny rounding error.

  9. millsy 10

    So Wayne,

    Are you OK with the New Zealand government being sued because they want to pass measures to bring power prices down, or increase protections to workers?

    Do you support slavery?

    You are aware that had a TPPA equivalent existed in 1863, Lincoln would have been sued for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation?

  10. millsy 11

    Indeed, seeing as freeing the slaves was confiscation of property without compensation, it would have been grounds for invoking the ISDS clause in TPPA.

  11. savenz 12

    “Robert Reich: The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a disaster in the making
    The former secretary of labor on the impending trade deal — and why it will only further empower Wall Street”


  12. Blue Sky 14


    A NZ company I know well was acquired last year by a multinational. No question that work and money going offshore. 35% gross margin target for shareholders and managerial pocket money. Purchase price sucked out of the NZ economy in 3 years.

  13. Tautuhi 15

    JK is a protege of Wall St, did you expect anything else from this National Government, yes a “Brighter Future”?

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