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Open mike 06/02/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 6th, 2016 - 246 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

246 comments on “Open mike 06/02/2016 ”

  1. Gristle 1

    Here is my prediction.
    Talleys (and many other two-bit shits) will shortly be establishing Australian entities to own their NZ assets. This is so that they will then fall under the TPP ISDS system. This is gaming the system. And this for many corporates appears to be what it’s all about.
    • If you raise minimum wages this will affect our future profits
    • If you increase the opportunity for effective collective agreements this will affect our future profits
    • If you change environmental laws ….
    • If you change the fish quotas …..
    • If you change ACC contributions….
    • If….
    • If..
    The list will be extremely long, and it will not take many challenges for governments to back away from making any policy, regulatory or legislative changes because the risks of ISDS challenges. I’m not sure whether this is an intended consequence or unintended consequence of the TPP.

    • Gangnam Style 1.1

      Well jeez that woke me up! What a scam if that’s the case.

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 1.1.1

        now read this, Gangnam Style


        and then this

        Third party funding is a fast growing industry and will undoubtedly play a large role in investment arbitration in the future. Investors will need or want to outsource the financial risks involved with investment arbitration.

        Dr. Eric De Brabandere & Julia Lepeltak, Leiden University5


        • Colonial Viper

          Perhaps Andrew Little and the Labour Party has a secret plan to get us out of this corporatised morass.

          • Gosman

            Nope. They will stick with it apparently. You must be so happy /sarc

            • Colonial Viper

              Hmmmm I missed the /sarc tags on my comment

              I think Little and Robertson have no objective except to look like they oppose the TPPA when in fact the globalists Shearer et al hold sway

              Some were claiming last week that Little’s ‘strong stance’ against the TPPA was evidence that he was in control of a united caucus.

              Except that strong stance doesn’t even exist outside of spin.

              • Strawman, as usual.

                • weka

                  trp, while you are about, do you know if there is any discussion about how Labour might deal with the issues the TPPA brings post-signing and once in government? If Little is saying that they will go back to the signatories and deal with it there, has he said how that might happen?

                  • Hi, weka, great question!

                    My understanding is that the TPP has no entrenched mechanism for re-negotiation or review. Though, if there is, I’d be happy to hear about it. I suspect future governments will have to use the diplomatic route to re-start negotiations. I’ll have a dig and see what I can find out where Labour are heading with this aspect. Might be a post in it.

                    • weka

                      That would be great trp!

                      Bill has put up this argument, which on the face of it looks like a fairly significant impediment to renegotiation. Neither of us have found any expert opinion on that though (I don’t think either of us have looked).

                      it’s a lock down given that in seeking an amendment, any party can exercise a veto and any party seeking an amendments has, unlike in initial negotiations, no position to horse trade from.

                      Here’s the entire wording of Article 30.2 Amendments

                      The Parties may agree, in writing, to amend this Agreement. When so agreed by all Parties and approved in accordance with the applicable legal procedures of each Party, an amendment shall enter into force 60 days after the date on which all Parties have notified the Depositary in writing of the approval of the amendment in accordance with their respective applicable legal procedures, or on such other date as the Parties may agree


                      edit – NZ is the Depositary

                      Message from Andrew Little about TPPA

                  • BM

                    The 12 countries’ legislatures will have no ability to re-negotiate the deal’s terms, however, and will be limited to yes-or-no votes on signing it into law.


                    Yes, I would be interested to see how Andrew Little is going to do this and still stay part of the TPP.

                    • weka

                      thanks for that. My quick reading of it is that that refers to pre-ratification.

                      Deal goes to parliaments

                      US President Barack Obama released a statement saying Americans would have months to read the Trans-Pacific Partnership before he signs it into law.

                      In the United States, the deal will next go to the Congress for consideration, and in New Zealand and other countries, it will go before the Parliament.

                      The 12 countries’ legislatures will have no ability to re-negotiate the deal’s terms, however, and will be limited to yes-or-no votes on signing it into law.

                      It’s a messy bit of reporting too, because in NZ at least, it won’t go before parliament.

                    • BM

                      I just don’t see how you can renegotiate.

                      If Little thinks he can renegotiate a better deal, then what’s stopping the other 12 countries from trying their luck as well.

                      The whole thing would go back to square one again, which is why it has to be a yes or no situation.

                      You’re either in or you’re out.

                    • weka

                      Perhaps. So why is it that no-one is asking the question of how this might happen?

              • AmaKiwi

                Colonial Viper +1

                The Greens and NZ First did their homework and immediately recognized TPPA was another corporate take-over move. Labour gives every impression they are just starting to wake up.

        • Dialey

          Can’t help wondering if there is conflict of interest among certain NT MPs ((John Key) springs to mind – any declaration of investment in those Third party funding investors. Who is really going to benefit from nation states having to go into arbitration (ISDS)?

    • dv 1.2

      AND the lawyers have 6000 pages to play with.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        It can’t be that bad, Labour has said that its better for NZ to stay in the TPPA than to leave it.

    • savenz 1.3

      +1 Gristle

    • Jones 1.4

      It’s intended. Just look at how the National Government reacted to the Philip Morris case against the Australian Government. Too scared to do anything… just in case.

      • Ben 1.4.1

        No, not too scared, but prudently letting the Australian taxpayers take the risk and foot the legal bill. If they were unsuccessful, then the precedent would be set and we would have to think hard about having a go ourselves.

  2. Brian 2

    I understand Andrew Little will support the TPPA if Labour get into power .
    Can someone explain to me exactly what the official position is please?
    Do we oppose and protest or do we support and settle down ?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      The answer is that National must be opposed by all those who believe in NZ’s democractic sovereignty and freedom from corporate control. And so must Labour.

      Labour. The perfect example of a peoples party which has become a party of the ruling establishment.

      Andrew Little – insincere and incredible.

      But apparently some here say that he is the best Labour speech maker in decades. Great.

      • alwyn 2.1.1

        “some here say that he is the best Labour speech maker in decades”
        I think that is an accurate opinion. He is the best since David Lange.
        That is mainly because all the other leaders ranged from terrible to dreadful.

      • Hami Shearlie 2.1.2

        Do we actually know who wrote the speech delivered by Little about the new tertiary education policy?

        • Colonial Viper

          Not sure who wrote the speech, but I reckon it’s Grant Robertson behind the policy as a Version 2 of the interest free student loans scheme he developed in 2005.

      • greywarshark 2.1.3

        Labour has been captured in the new sense that dictionaries on the web haven’t quite conned yet.

        Other words describing Labour’s situation – inveigled, undermined, disenfranchised,
        capitulated, self-seeking and decrepit.

        Google for meaning of enfeebled!
        make weak or feeble.
        “trade unions are in an enfeebled state”

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.4

        The perfect example of a peoples party which has become a party of the ruling establishment.

        Actually, Labour has always been a capitalist party but it’s worked to save capitalism from itself. We’re now learning that this can’t actually be done.

    • BM 2.2

      The strategy is to run down the TPP even though we agree with it , hopefully this will fool and confuse enough people to get us over the line and into power.

      Once in, we’ll spin some bullshit about how our hands are tied and it’s all Nationals fault.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        It’s not only transparent, it’s fucking gutless.

        • te reo putake

          Makes one wonder why you support it, CV. Must be hard being a paying poodle of those notorious supporters of the 1% but lets not call it hypocrisy, coz that’d be true, but mean.

          • Colonial Viper

            I’ve provided time and energy to the anti-TPP campaign and will continue to do so.

            • te reo putake

              And yet you remain loyally pro TPP and the interests of the 1%. Funny old world, eh?

              • greywarshark

                You’re a funny old man.

                • Once was TiM

                  and the perfect example of why I can’t be bothered with TS …. yea nah.
                  TRP’s last comment (re the EMbittered CV – possibly with good reason) was disingenuous, cowardly, conceited, holier-than-thou, in-bubble, and in short – complete and utter kaka. All the best of British TRP! (and all those that fawn all over you). Christ!!! and we wonder what’s wrong with Labour ffs! There ya have it in a nutshell – that ‘broad church’ we’re supposed to worship within – just as long as we worship our betters

                  • greywarshark

                    Don’t give up OWT – it’s just human nature. It’s how we are, ornery as the USA call it.

                    • Once was TiM

                      I suppose you’re correct @ grey.
                      There are plenty worse BUT (I mean – the “voice of Reason ffs!) – how arrogant is THAT?!!!!
                      Then there’s another that’s so fucking up itself it runs as tho’ it was some sort of elementary cure for a disease. _I wonder whether Lanthanide could possibly cure the for ZIKA virus – it’s certainly so fucking arrogant and holier than thou it’d believe in marketing itself as a cure-all for all the ills of the world.

                      You’re correct however – neither (of those specimens) come close to what we need to battle.

                      It’s just that Labour really do need to have a fucking good look at themsleves (perhaps even spend less time bagging C.V. for bad experiences) and really look at their own inadequacies.
                      Like my father-in-law before me (after a lifetime of supporting Labour), they’ll NOT get my vote till after they’ve acknowledged, apologised, and proven themselves. I don’t see it tho’ in the near future.
                      Christ – I’m even considering a vote for Winston.

        • BM

          Little will be destroyed by Key in election year.
          The man has absolutely no credibility at all.

          Grant Robertson, you’re next up.

          • weka

            BM will have flowers growing out of his arse in election year, from all the horsehit he’s been shoving up there. He has no credibility at all.

            Not sure who your replacement will be.

          • Stuart Munro

            Key may not make it to election year – he’s looking old and tired and making mistakes. Time was he’d’ve relished an opportunity like Waitangi, but he can no longer cut the mustard.

          • McGrath

            Grant Robertson is too “Wellington Bureaucratic”. Labour will go with Stuart Nash should Andrew Little step aside.

      • Jones 2.2.2

        That reads more like a National Party strategy.

        • greywarshark

          You could both be right – Jones/McGrath instead of Crosby/Textor – has a certain ring or is it toll?

  3. Tautoko Mangō Mata 3

    The National Party Herald are in full rent-a-propaganda mode on the TPPA.
    Audrey Young in her article titled “Protest fears put cork in TPP ministers celebration lunch at winery” blatantly pushes the pro-TPP argument quoting Todd McClay, Villa Maria founder Sir George Fistonich, executive director of Export New Zealand, Catherine Beard.
    She totally misses the point that the people of NZ are STAKEHOLDERS in the TPPA.
    We, the public, Maori and Pakeha, will be paying the costs of this agreement with our health, our environment, our jobs, our education and it is OUR sovereignty that is being traded without our having been consulted.
    We , the public, were excluded from taking part in this agreement until the stage where we cannot make any changes to it.
    Those groups opposed to the TPPA have been ignored or dismissed as scaremongers?
    Where is the Health Cost Benefit Analysis called for by the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists?

    • savenz 3.1

      “Protest fears put cork in TPP ministers celebration lunch at winery”

      How Marie Antoinette

    • Kevin 3.2

      If a CEO presented an investment opportunity (and that is what the TPPA is being touted as) to a group of shareholders that promised an ROI of 1% after 10 years, the shareholders, after laughing him out of the boardroom, would be asking for his resignation. 1% is margin of error stuff. The problem I have with he TPPA is it is being pushed as some big trade opportunity when in reality, to me anyway, trade is just being used to make it palatable to Joe Public. The real intent is around the rules of trade and how it concentrates more power into the hands of corporates and limits what a sovereign government can do to protect the interests of the people it is meant to serve.

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 3.2.1

        +100, Kevin. Excellent analogy.

        If a CEO presented an investment opportunity (and that is what the TPPA is being touted as) to a group of shareholders that promised an ROI of 1% after 10 years, the shareholders, after laughing him out of the boardroom, would be asking for his resignation. 1% is margin of error stuff.

      • pat 3.2.2

        that is exactly what it is…a few crumbs from the trade table to cement in the corporates power…as if they need more, they already lead the elected govs by the nose

        • Jones

          The TPPA mitigates a lot more risk for the corporates by socializing it through legislation rather than them having to lobby governments on a case by case basis.

          • pat

            understand the corporates desire for even greater control….was expressing disbelief we aquiesce

          • pat

            you are right of course….”we’ have allowed them to become too powerful, but it has been insidious

            • Jones

              I was agreeing with you and adding to your statement. From a corporate perspective this is a rational extension of their strategies when dealing with externalising risk.

              It requires an ever vigilant public to counter it. But the machine is very well funded and very powerful. It can offer lots of goodies to stifle criticism… somebody once said to me: “money might not be able to buy love but it can buy a pretty comfortable misery”. It seems to me that many are content in that regard.

              Perfect from a corporate perspective… licence to gouge.

          • savenz

            +1 Jones – yes the irony is that once TPPA is signed, corporations probably won’t waste money buying political figures, they can just litigate politicians decisions through their own kangaroo ISDS tribunals. Ha ha.

            • Jones

              Not content with being recognised in law as individuals, they want to be on a par with nations – to be treated as another sovereign state.

      • Olwyn 3.2.3

        Like the cliched mafia “offer you can’t refuse” with the promise of becoming a “made man” for the politicians who show the greatest enthusiasm in facilitating it.

      • McFlock 3.2.4

        well put

    • Ben 3.3

      “We, the public, Maori and Pakeha, will be paying the costs of this agreement with our health, our environment, our jobs, our education”.

      Can you please give examples of how we will paying the costs in each of the sectors you quote.

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 3.3.1

        “We, the public, Maori and Pakeha, will be paying the costs of this agreement with our health, our environment, our jobs, our education”.

        Our Health

        The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) is repeating its call for an independent Health Impact Assessment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPPA).
        “As strong advocates for the profession and for our patients, we supported the call last year by a number of other health sector organisations for an independent assessment of the impact of the TPPA on health,” says NZMA Chair Dr Stephen Child.
        “We need a clear understanding of the possible effects of the TPPA on current and future policy settings and directions.
        “We must also ensure our ability to achieve legitimate public policy objectives—such as the protection of public health, safety and the environment—is protected. To do this we must have an independent assessment focused on these aspects.
        “Much of the discussion around the TPPA has been on its economic value for the country. While we accept there might be financial benefits for the country, the NZMA believes wider issues need to be considered, including affordable access to medicines, and public health policies especially around tobacco and alcohol control.
        “Last week’s release of the National Interest Analysis does not fully allay our concerns. Analysis focusing on the effects on health—including issues such as climate change—is still needed.”

        Our environment
        “The environment will suffer under the final text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), according to the Sustainability Council.” http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/294592/tpp's-environmental-chapter-slammed
        Read the peer-reviewed expert analysis on the Environment.

        The TPPA’s enforcement provisions are very similar to those first developed for the US/Peru FTA, and it is continued violations of Peru’s obligations under that agreement have become the case study in how enforcement of such environmental protections has failed. • When challenged on the need for ISDS provisions, ministers promoting the TPPA repeatedly stated that there would be no restraint on a government’s ability to regulate in the public interest. What the TPPA has delivered are provisions that completely fail to protect governments from being sued when taking such action. • The risk that a government could be successfully sued means the ISDS provisions would have a ‘chilling effect’ on a government’s willingness to undertake progressive environmental reform. This favours retaining low standards when these need to rise markedly. • There is a gross asymmetry in the rights and means accorded organisations that would seek to protect the commons for the public good, and rights and means accorded foreign investors to protect private wealth.

        Our education

        Imagine an education system where multi-national corporations could set up a school alongside your local public school, and then demand equal access to the taxpayer purse to fund that school.
        It’s a likely scenario because global businesses are on the hunt for new ways of getting their fingers into nations’ multi-billion dollar public education purses. And here in New Zealand, the TPPA could provide that opportunity.
        Even Singapore, which our education minister has hailed as one of the high performing education systems that we should look towards, has taken the precaution of carving education out of the TPPA deal.


        • Ben

          Thank you for taking the time to compile a detailed response TMM (somewhat refreshing for opinions to be backed with analysis I might add). I shall read and digest your links.

          • Tautoko Mangō Mata

            You are welcome, Ben. You will find the link below useful as it contains peer-reviewed expert analysis on several chapters of the TPP. Thank you for being openminded and prepared to consider the information so that you can make up your own mind on the issue. My beef is against people who are wilfully ignorant: who deliberately refuse to read any information and suspend their own ability to think rationally, blindly following others without questioning.
            You are obviously not one of those, thank goodness.


      • greywarshark 3.3.2

        There Ben, a very full and clear answer to your question about how we will be paying the costs. Read and internalise.

        • Ben

          You remind me of primary school. Chant after me: “I told you so, I told you so….”.

          • greywarshark

            How long ago were you in primary school Ben? Presumably you are old enough to have had secondary ed and taught how to run a critical analysis of what you are reading.

  4. Gosman 4

    Hard luck Labour supporters. It seems as though you are being let down by your party leaders once more. Looks like we are in the TPPA for the long haul.


    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      heh. Andrew Little is quite insincere and quite incredible.

    • indiana 4.2

      I thinks it’s hard luck for a left coalition in total. If voters are against the TPPA, how can they vote to elect a left wing government that is committed to pulling out of the agreement?

    • chris73 4.3

      Well now I’m confused, how can Labour condemn the TPP, censure David Shearer about being pro-TPP and yet now announces Labour won’t pull out of it?

      Have I missed something?

      • ianmac 4.3.1

        Yes. As usual. None so blind…. chris.
        The TPPA is in. Signed and sealed. Will be ratified by Cabinet and not by Parliament as will be done in Canada, and the Senate in USA. Finished.
        Andrew can not cancel it. But they/we can fight against the aspects which are bad for NZ, when new legislation is brought to the House for Parliament to vote on.

        • chris73

          I believe this is what the phrase “you can’t polish a turd” refers to

          • Colonial Viper

            The only way Labour Loyalists can stomach the cognitive dissonance is by buying into Labour’s line that the TPPA isn’t that bad, that the costs of being out of the TPPA are too high, so let’s just accept it.

            Just more evidence for Kiwi voters that we don’t have a real Opposition.

            • Macro

              We do have a real opposition – it’s just that Labour is not part of it.
              Wise up. There are other Parties in Parliament.
              It has been the case for some time that Labour thinks because it is the big brother it must control everything – that is going to change – as more and more voters wake up to the fact that if they really want an alternative voice they won’t find it in Labour.

              • weka

                Trouble is, CV believes that people should vote for the parties that match them culturally or that they believe in. In the absence of that, all parties are useless to him.

              • The Chairman

                Can you direct me to a NZ political party that has publicly come out and stated they would pull NZ out of the TPPA?

                • Macro

                  Until now Opposition parties have been urging the govt to pull out of the negotiations – only now is the time for them to publicly state that they will pull out, if given the opportunity. I expect that they will in due course. Unfortunately Labour have been ambivalent re the TPPA from the get go.

                  • Macro

                    The latest statement from the Greens I feel is pretty clear. They will continue to oppose the TPPA. I think that that is as much as a Party can say on the matter. The TPPA has not yet been ratified and we await the outcome in the States, The problem with withdrawal is still fraught – it could end up costing billions – no matter which way you look at it. It’s a shit of a situation that National have signed us up to and they intend digging us even deeper in the hole.

                    • weka

                      Thanks for that link Macro.

                      I think there is a fair amount of political naivity in this thread (or disingenuousness on CV’s part because he should know better). Russell Norman said a few elections ago that one of the major problems with free trade agreements was that they bound NZ into contracts that incoming governments had no knowledge of. He was talking about ones done completely in secret, but this applies to the TPPA too because of the clusterfuck process and the complexity of the agreement. So for instance, if Labour campaigned on policy X and then came into government and discovered that there was a confidential clause in an agreement made by a previous govt that prohibited them from doing policy x, then their hands were tied. Plus they look like they’ve just gone back on their promise.

                      This is why I’m basically against all free trade that isn’t done via full democracy. Because the basic premise is that it’s ok for a govt elected for one term to bind NZ into contracts for eternity, and that’s not a free state.

                      And for people surprised that pulling out is not an easy thing to do, this is what a huge part of the protest has been about. It’s an inherently flawed idea and process and many people knew that from the start.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The problem with withdrawal is still fraught – it could end up costing billions – no matter which way you look at it.

                      Can you explain how?

                    • Macro

                      If a Party in opposition prior to an election indicates that it will withdraw from the TPPA then overseas corporates will be waiting for any sign – should that Party gain the Treasury benches – for filing suits against withdrawal and the loss of profits for all manner of reasons. It will be a can of worms. Parties opposed to the TPPA are also parties who want more action on environment, protection of NZ land, etc (provisions for which have been removed from the TPPA) so the field will be open for ISDS mayhem. It takes 6 months for a country to withdraw. Even with an electoral mandate, it would take an incoming Govt at least a year before final withdrawal and plenty of time for companies to lodge claims, however spurious. These courts are set up in the favour of corporates and manned by corporate lawyers. They are a farce and formed with the sole aim of handing the ability of a country to manage and govern itself in its own perceived interests into the hands of multinationals – nothing more nor less.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      If a Party in opposition prior to an election indicates that it will withdraw from the TPPA then overseas corporates will be waiting for any sign – should that Party gain the Treasury benches – for filing suits against withdrawal and the loss of profits for all manner of reasons.

                      Would the short term loss caused by that be bigger than the continuing loss that is going to come from remaining in the TPPA?

                      The problem with withdrawal is still fraught – it could end up costing billions – no matter which way you look at it.

                      That would depend upon the process of withdrawal. Do the ISDS claims get to continue after we’ve withdrawn? If I was the government I’d make sure that any and all claims against the nation under TPPA would be closed at the same time that withdrawal took place. This should be standard operating procedure so as to prevent the spurious claims that you’re concerned about.

                    • The Chairman

                      As there is an exit clause, one would assume there wouldn’t be grounds for such filings (suits against withdrawal).

                  • The Chairman

                    And until they do, voters that oppose the TPP (and expect us to withdraw if renegotiations are unsuccessful) have no political representation.

                    Now isn’t that a concern for our democratic system? Will we see more being disenfranchised, thus fail to vote?

                    • weka

                      Nevertheless, if you want the best resistance to the TPPA and any other agreement like it, then voting for the GP is the thing to do. They’ve consistently said they opposed it (unlike Labour who are still pretty centrist and pro-free trade), and have been working for years on opposing these kind of agreements that undermine NZ.

                      btw, personal feelings of being represented aren’t necessary to use one’s vote, or even to feel politically empowered for useful.

                    • The Chairman

                      @ weka

                      “btw, personal feelings of being represented aren’t necessary to use one’s vote, or even to feel politically empowered for useful.”

                      Speak for yourself. I vote on policy, thus policy must reflect my views if a party wants to attain it.

                      When it comes to such a major political issue as this trade deal (and considering a poll on the matter showed the majority of voters were opposed) one would expect there to be political representation.

                      The Greens haven’t committed to withdrawing if renegotiations are unsuccessful, thus alternatives fail to advance.

                      Moreover, at this stage the Greens require Labour, hence Labour will largely be calling the shots. And there goes your resistance to the TPP.

      • Alan W 4.3.2

        Doh!!, must be very difficult being a Labour supporter at the moment……….

        • b waghorn

          Na I’m cool with Little’s handling of it, given that a the tpp is unlikely to make a blind bit of difference to my life and that Little is running a party with independent thinkers in it not like the whipped gutless tools in national.

    • Stuart Munro 4.4

      It’s really not a problem – we can build another prison for them. Bounty Island is a splendid place for reflection and penance.

      • Wayne 4.4.1


        A marvelous approach to democracy. Let the government of the day jail all its democratically elected opponents. Even Venezuela finds this a bit hard to do.

        • Stuart Munro

          If this government were not riddled with corruption it would have nothing to fear. But corruption is fatal to democracies – and the consequences of failing democracies are well documented.

          The bracing subantarctic climate would do wonders for Key’s integrity, and Gerry Brownlee might well prove attractive to sea elephants.

        • Stuart Munro

          Though you misread my comment – it referred in fact directed to persons within Labour, who like yourself support treason against NZ in the form of the TPP.

    • DH 4.5

      I don’t see that as letting supporters down. It might be theoretically possible to pull out of the TPPA but practically the cost of doing so would be unaffordable.

      You can’t sign up deals and then walk away from them without penalty. Actions have consequences, an arbitrary withdrawal would destroy much of the existing business & diplomatic relationships we have with member countries.

      • pat 4.5.1

        as any lawyer would advise…it is better not to sign a bad deal than try to extract yourself from one

        • ianmac

          The Government has already signed. So now we can only fight/expose the detail/ramifications.

          • pat

            or trust that the US don’t ratify….the greedy corps lobbyists may yet shoot themselves in the foot in that regard…which reminds me …why the complete lack of concern expressed via the MSM around the issue of side letters?…

            • ianmac

              Yes. I heard that American on radio talking about US seeking side letters to “clarify” that the time was really 8 years not just 5 years as we have been told. Yet we have been told by Key that there will be no changes. Signed. Sealed. Untouchable. Huh!

              Andrew Geddis” The confusion is over the length of time that “biologics” (i.e. medicines that are made using certain types of cells to produce the right kind of protein) will be given protection through a “market exclusivity period” in which “biosimilars” (which are akin to generic medicines) are prohibited. There’s an explainer on why this matters here.

              It seems like NZ thinks we’ve agreed to a 5 year protection period, but the US wants at least 8, and no-one is quite sure exactly what the TPPA text says.”

              • pat

                and apparently theres nothing to stop them reseeking the original 12…on a country by country basis as I understand it

        • DH

          “it is better not to sign a bad deal than try to extract yourself from one”

          Bang on pat. I’d think everyone here has signed contracts before, surely everyone must understand about the consequences of breaking a contract.

          I am a bit mystified why Labour aren’t straight out stating we can’t afford to pull out once we’re in, it’s in their favour to do so.

          • pat

            I would expect it is the hope that the situation will never reach the point where that decision has to be made….a vain hope in my opinion

            • Colonial Viper

              This is why the Neoliberals always win, why Labour is so ineffective at changing the course of the things, and why the status quo continues to drift towards the right.

              National and the corporates now know how to handle Labour.

              You simply make deals which are too tough and costly to undo, and a gutless Labour will go along with it: to them staying in the TPP is the pragmatic, unavoidable decision.

            • DH

              I fear it’s a vain hope too pat but one of the prepared scripts from the pro-TPP trolls (including the NZ Herald) is that we can always leave if it turns out to be no good.

              The argument not to sign would be strengthened considerably if the likes of Labour admitted that we really can’t leave once we’ve signed; that it’s a one-way ticket. Politically that should help Labour by demonstrating to voters how undemocratic and authoritarian National is.

              • Bill

                Six months notice. That’s all it takes on paper to get out of the TPP. Then it’s simply a case of standing firm and refusing to play ball on all the ISDS claims that would rain from the sky during those six months.

                And the other threats of how there will be huge divestment and so on – face them all down.

                Something to note. An argument for the TPP and specifically the dispute procedures, is that direct foreign investment plummets without them. A number of studies, including one by the World Bank, have found that claim to be entirely false.

                Side note. Syriza, in spite of the express backing of the Greek voters, capitulated when it tried to play that game with Europe’s ‘big boys’. There is now rioting in Greece again.

                • DH

                  “Six months notice. That’s all it takes on paper to get out of the TPP. Then it’s simply a case of standing firm and refusing to play ball on all the ISDS claims that would rain from the sky during those six months. ”

                  There’s more to it than that Bill. We currently trade with, and have good diplomatic relationships with, all the member countries. If we renege on the deal those countries will freeze us out. They’ll be pissed off with us and will show it. The US have shown time & again how vindictive they are, they alone would make life hard for us.

                  We won’t face an overt embargo. We’d just see a whole lot of subtle changes, obstacles put in our way, which would gradually reduce to a trickle the trade & investment we do with those countries.

                  Once we’re in the most hopeful outcome I can see is a breakaway by a group of nations; enough to weaken the remaining TPP bloc and enough to avoid the penalties that would befall a single nation quitting.

                  • Bill

                    Yeah, short term. But, long term – as shown by various studies including by the World Bank – being in or out of these deals makes absolutely no difference to levels of trade/investment.

                    • DH

                      Again you are ignoring the consequences of reneging on a deal Bill. Are you being deliberately obtuse or have you failed to understand that bit?

                      You paint a picture of two scenarios when there are clearly three here

                      1/ Not signing
                      2/ Signing
                      3/ Signing and then pulling out

                      Your argument applies only to 1/. I’ve been talking about 3/ which is what everyone else is talking about too.

                    • Bill

                      No DH. I’m talking about pulling out if and when it’s ratified by Japan and the US.

          • The Chairman

            So your argument is remaining in a bad deal is better than utilizing the exit clause?

            What would be the consequences of utilizing the exit clause? And how would that compare to remaining in the deal?

            And surely there will be consequences for flouting certain aspects of the deal.

            • McFlock

              Despite what the tories and self-loathing labourites say, Little was pretty clear in Gosman’s link.

              Labour is a party that supports free trade. This is not a surprise to anyone except the poor few who spend the first few minutes of every morning believing it’s 1972 again.

              There are some bits in the TPPA that meet Labour’s free trade objectives.

              There are other bits that fail to meet Labour’s expectations about sovreignty.

              Therefore, Labour’s starting point is to try to keep those things it agrees with and renegotiate those things it finds unacceptable.

              People demanding that NZ pull out of the deal see it as a wreck that should be written off. Labour see it as a do-er upper. How a LabGrn govt sees it? That has yet to be negotiated.

              • weka


                From July last year,

                Labour leader Andrew Little says his party supports free trade but will not back the TPP unless their bottom lines are met.

                Labour has set out five “non-negotiable” conditions for a Pacific-wide trade deal, including protection for Pharmac and the right to restrict house sales.

                Leader Andrew Little said his party supported free trade but would not back the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) unless the five “non-negotiable bottom lines” were met.

                Labour believes the conditions reflect protections in the 2008 free trade agreement it negotiated with China.

                It has previously withheld support for the TPP pending the release of the final draft of the 12-nation deal.

                But Thursday’s announcement is the first time it has put specific conditions on its support.

                Bear in mind that ‘backs’ there is before any of us have seen the draft, including Labour, and that Little is talking about whether they will support National signing the agreement or not.

              • pat

                except that it is patently obvious that the US would not be in this deal without the ISDS provisions (see TTIP negotiations) and the ability to vet our legislation……as a small (the size of a moderate US city) we are in a weak bargaining position…this applies to any side letter issue, unlike say Japan who are able to bargain from a position of strength.

                We have managed to export in the face of tariffs, quotas and subsidies to date and their is no need to bend over for this when the subsidies, quotas and tariffs (particularly in the Us) still remain and are merely “adjusted”…we would be far better off moving our exports up the value chain as advocated by many analysts…we will never be able to compete on volume …consider what we have done to this country by increasing the dairy herd from 130,000 to 1.3 million in canty, 5 million nationwide…the US has 90 million beasts and they are only the fifth largest country by herd numbers worldwide.

                • McFlock

                  Nevertheless, Labour’s starting position is that the TPP will be a done deal before the next election, so the preferred option is to try to improve it before considering something like withdrawal.

                  If we don’t like some of the sovreignty issues, other nations (e.g. Canada) will have similar concerns. We can’t control, but we might be able to lead.

                  • pat

                    there will be no improving it….all efforts will be needed to ensure it is not made any worse….its a dog, a red zoned condemned property, not a doer upper

                    • McFlock

                      That might well be your perspective.
                      It does not seem to be the perspective of the Labour Party.
                      But how do you feel about free trade agreements in principle? I suspect that therein might lie some of the difference in perspective.

                    • pat

                      you suspect wrong….but then TPPA isn’t a free trade agreement

                    • McFlock

                      Fair call.
                      But some parts of it do deal with free trade. Some parts donot.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      It’s way past time to quit using the old ‘you must be against free trade’ line.
                      Fundamentally the TPP will inhibit the kind of companies NZ needs in order to export higher quality products and will, as Oram points out, lock us more tightly into raw commodity producer status.
                      That isn’t free trade, it’s restrictive trade.

                    • McFlock

                      Some commenters here are against free trade.

                      Little made it clear that Labour is not, and that they see free trade elements in the TPP. Assuming the second part is correct, then anyone 100% opposed to the TPP is also against the free trade elements.

                      I’m against the TPP because of the ISDS and intellectual property issues. But just as there’s bad stuff in it, there’s probably some good stuff in any 6000 page multilateral agreement.

                      But thanks for taking a reasonable suspicion and depicting it as a categorical claim. That always ensures some shit-hot conversationing.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Weren’t you replying to Pat, not ”some commenters”?
                      I know the Labour bashing thing recently here has got out of hand (personally I got over my disappointment with Labour’s TPP stance about 18 months ago), but Pat is actually informed about the unequal power relationship and specific risks that aren’t at all answered by an asinine there’s-good-stuff-and-bad-stuff-like-any-deal response.

                    • McFlock

                      I was, but I don’t have exhaustive records of every commenter’s opinions on a range of topics. My suspicion was based on pat’s categorical opposition to the entire thing (contrasting with Little’s more nuanced approach), and the fact that such an attitude is not exactly unheard of around here.

                      Pat advised me otherwise, and I took them at their word.

                      You might think that wanting to keep the bits Labour agrees with while trying to renegotiate the bits it doesn’t is “asinine”, but that seems to be Labour’s position.

                      Is there anything in particular you want from me, or should I just regard this little exchange as yet another meaningless piece of static?

                    • pat

                      I will confess that initially I had thought that with the ISDS provisions removed it may have been a workable document, but the more I look into it the worse it becomes and that includes the trade aspects…. I expect if and when it is implemented our balance of payments will deteriorate significantly.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Pat, the only hope is a democratic win in the States. In my view rather than asking if we can pull out, the focus should be getting the public to understand it’s not a done deal yet.

                      McFlock: I think you missed the bit where Little moved to outright opposition to TPP. While Little acknowledges that once a done deal NZ (effectively) can’t pull out, that was significant.
                      So you’re defending a position even Labour has abandoned.
                      I don’t want anything from you, but as a suggestion maybe try actually following some news before commenting on this?

                    • McFlock

                      I was aware of that. This subthread is about TC’s suggestion of withdrawal from the done deal vs trying to improve it first. So your “suggestion”, while snarky, adds no new information to the discussion and is not really relevant to anything I’ve written here. Just like your initial mischaracterization of my position.

                      So this is just another example of a completely pointless ergovmcf tit-for-tat, I would suggest that you actually think before jumping on your high horse, but past experience suggests that this would be futile. And as continuation would likely fill up pat’s reply tab, I say ‘good day’.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Oh, it must have escaped your notice – I directly addressed Pat too in my last reply, it’s not all about you.
                      Your concern for Pat’s reply tab is touching but unnecessary.
                      My other replies on this thread involve actual arguments about the TPP, and I daresay Pat’s not too bothered that I’ve used his reply tab a few times to make those comments.
                      I thought you were saying Labour’s current TPP position was that it was partly good and partly bad, I pointed out Labour had moved to outright opposition.
                      You’ve said you’re aware of Labour’s current position – OK, accepted.
                      Not keen on any future interaction with you, either.

    • weka 4.6

      Yeah, nah. Labour have never said they would consider pulling out. Some of you having been paying attention.

    • Stuart Munro 4.7

      There’s a fair chance the US will reject it – and who knows – those obtuse losers, the Gnats may change their minds as they see what little credibility they ever had vanishing down the plughole with foreign land sales, mounting debt and graphic incompetence.

  5. savenz 5

    It’s an odd translation but interesting points about varying radiation levels on food in countries trade.

    Under TPPA consumers are going to have less and less knowledge of their food origin. It is the opposite of the 21st century farming where consumers want to know the origin of their food from farm gate to table …

    “Dumping Radioactive Food from Japan on the World-Why the TPP is a Pending Disaster”


    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Maybe someone should inform Andrew Little about this upcoming public health and agricultural disaster?

      He seems to think that NZ should stay in the TPPA.

      Or perhaps this is one of the provisions of the TPPA that Labour is going to “flout”?

      Labour’s positioning is insincere and incredible.

      But great speeches.

      • weka 5.1.1

        “He seems to think that NZ should stay in the TPPA.”

        [citation needed]

        Which based on previous experience I’m guessing you won’t provide. You’re now getting pretty close to lying about Little territory.

        • Magisterium


          In which Andrew Little confirms that NZ will remain in the TPPA even if Labour is elected to government

          • weka

            My reading is that it’s not so much that Little thinks they should stay in as it’s going to be too hard to leave. If Labour’s current position on sovereignty is to be believed, then that exists once we are in the agreement too and thus if leaving were easy then it would be easy. CV appears to take the view that Labour are lying, I take the view that Labour are caught between a rock and a hard place.

            I’ll just add that most people criticising Labour for saying they won’t leave haven’t yet looked at what leaving would actually entail. Until that conversation is had it’s hard to put Labour’s decision into context.

    • Ch-ch Chiquita 5.2

      So don’t buy food you don’t know the origin of. Local NZ companies will be wise to continue labeling their products as NZ made. I currently do that and buy only food that is NZ grown/made even if it costs more.
      People need to understand we have power but we need to start believing in it and use it.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.2

        And what happens when food labelling under the TPP is changed so it is much less clear where the origins of various ingredients are from?

        The corporates are on to us like a fucking rash.

        • weka

          buy from the people that grow and make it.

          • savenz

            Not sure I want to start making my own pasta and rice and so forth. Not as easy as it sounds. It sort of like going back to 18th century . While I think you should buy as much locally grown as you can and limit food miles – some foods are not practical to buy locally and shouldn’t you be allowed to know where it came from and how safe it is? Under previous trade agreements country of origin labelling have been successfully challenged as a ‘trade barrier’.

            • weka

              of course, but the subthread was about how to stay empowered if corporate culture tries to take that from us.

              There are people in NZ already making pasta. Wheat can easily be grown here.

              Rice is trickier. It probably can be grown for larger distribution but to eat local we should be eating local and seasonal, which means that for many in NZ rice won’t be a staple. Plenty of other good choices though.

        • Ch-ch Chiquita

          Buy fresh food from the local vege shop or market and use the internet to learn where other food is coming from. They might be able to limit the information on the label but evey company wants to put its logo on the product, so google it and find out.
          There is currently an app to scan barcodes and find out if the product contain certified palm oil, I have a feeling if food labeling will be limited there will be more apps like that. It is kind of foolish from corporations to think they can completely block information. Not in this time and age.

  6. Tautoko Mangō Mata 7

    More adverse comment against the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) rort.

    TTIP investor court illegal, say German judges

    BRUSSELS, 4. FEB, 18:17
    German judges dealt a blow to EU-US free trade agreement talks after declaring a proposed arbitration court illegal.
    The European Commission last September proposed setting up an investment tribunal court that would allow firms to challenge government decisions as part of its larger Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

    Critics says the new court, which is intended to replace a much loathed investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system, will pressure governments into clawing back consumer protection rights and environmental standards in favour of corporate interest.
    Earlier this week, the German Association of Magistrates, a Berlin-based judicial umbrella organisation, said it “sees neither a legal basis nor a need for such a court”.

    It says existing national courts are good enough and that efforts by the Commission to create a new court undermines jurisdictions across the Union.

    “The German Magistrates Association sees no need for the establishment of a special court for investors,” it states.

    It says the new investor court would alter national court systems “and deprive courts of member states of their power.”

    The German magistrates also cast doubt on the independence of the judges in the new system as well as their appointment procedures.


    • ianmac 7.1

      And they are right to object. Wonder if NZ Law will point out the same dangers? Perhaps not if they all support the Government.

    • Macro 7.2

      I refer to these ISDS courts as kangaroo courts – I find it absolutely mind boggling that anyone with even the most minutest understanding of their responsibility to ensure fair justice for the citizens of their country (yes I’m looking at you Tim, and you John, and you Todd) could agree to such a procedure – so open to abuse and bias, so flimsy in its appointments, which circumvents the International courts and the jurisdiction of the WTO, and with no right of appeal, and only for the benefit of Multi-nationals with Pockets way deeper than the GDPs of 75% of the countries involved.

    • Whatever Next? 7.3

      well in Keyspeak, it’s a “no brainer” isn’t it? ISDS “arrangements” makes it anything but a “Free” trade agreement, and until the very notion of them is thrown out, how can we even think about anything else?
      Thanks for the post, something to direct the believers to, when they accuse those that want to discuss further of being “rent a mob” or smelly hippies!

  7. Tautoko Mangō Mata 8

    Is it possible to get the ISDS ruled to be illegal by the United Nations?

    “TTIP investor court illegal, say German judges”

  8. Markmywords 9

    This TPPA reminds me of Y2K, once it is all passed the world wont stop spinning. our lives will go on as normal, All those who opposed it will have moved on to the next anti progress agenda.
    Has anyone stopped to think how TPPA will benefit the poorer countries with trade to these other 11 countries.
    I come from the point of why would 12 countries sell there country man and their own families down the drain.

    I feel we will look back in 10 years time and say what was all the worry about.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      All those who opposed it will have moved on to the next anti progress agenda.

      The TPPA is only progress if you think going back to feudalism is progress.

      Has anyone stopped to think how TPPA will benefit the poorer countries with trade to these other 11 countries.

      It won’t benefit them at all. In fact, it will probably make them worse off as most of Africa is now worse off after they got ‘free-trade’ forced upon them by the rich nations. The rich nations did well out of it though because they bought up large amounts of the poor countries and shifted all the resources to them.

      History shows quite clearly that poor countries do very badly out of these types of deals.

      It’s also a point that all the developed countries developed under under heavy protection.

  9. greywarshark 10

    Chris Trotters Bowalley Road piece post-march is very thoughtful and sincere.
    It also has an awe inspiring helicopter photo of Queen Street packed with heads as far as the eye can see.

    Further he says, and I thought you all would be interested so have copied it for you (and have bolded a portion that expresses very well the situation):

    John Key and his Government thus risk entering election year as a collection of figurative “Quislings”, guilty of conspiring against the national interest on behalf of entities without countries, morals or scruples. If this perception can be driven deep into the electorate’s mind, then National’s chances of re-election will be nil. More importantly, the victorious coalition of Labour, the Greens and NZ First will be swept into office with a broad mandate to take on a corporate plutocracy that has ruled without challenge for far too long.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Too bad that Labour says that we have to stay in the TPP now, because.

      Reluctant corporate collaborators are still corporate collaborators.

      • weka 10.1.1

        Too bad that CV is now making shit up about Labour and spraying it all over the place.

        • Colonial Viper

          Happy for Labour to show me wrong and actually stand up against the TPP, not just mouth the words.

          • weka

            Happy for CV to show us all that he’s right and produce something that affects good change in the world, not just mouthing the words.

            • Colonial Viper

              I don’t get millions of dollars of tax payer funding in order to pretend at being the Opposition.

              • weka

                No, but the way you are acting is on par with the worst of Labour MPs, so I have no doubt that if you were in their position you would be pulling the same kind of bullshit they are.

        • Karen

          + 1 Weka
          He’s been doing that for a while now….

        • The lost sheep

          Weka, don’t know if you have followed the link in 4. above.

          Andrew is very clear in stating that Labour will not pull out of the TPPA.
          He clearly states the reason for that is that there is much in the agreement that will be good for NZ.
          He is clear that there are certain provisions they would renegotiate, but reiterates that they will not pull out.
          He says 3 times “The train has left the station”.

          • weka

            Yes, I listened to that yesterday.

            Labour have never said they would pull out. To suggest that Labour is now all of a sudden saying it won’t pull out is a nonsense, because they’ve never intended to pull out. That was clear last year, pulling out was never part of their agenda.

            “He clearly states the reason for that is that there is much in the agreement that will be good for NZ.”

            Can you please quote that bit, or at least post the time stamp?

            • Colonial Viper

              To suggest that Labour is now all of a sudden saying it won’t pull out is a nonsense, because they’ve never intended to pull out.

              I agree with you, Labour never ever had any intention of pulling out of the TPP.

              But I do think that its worth repeating ad nauseaum now that Little has confirmed it clearly.

            • The lost sheep

              Please post something that demonstrates that Labour have ever said anything that hints that they might pull out. Because this isn’t news, it’s always been their position.

              That’s a bit disingenuous Weka. Not stating whether you will or will not do something is very different to confirming that you will or will not do something.
              Up until yesterday I don’t believe Labour had made any definite statement that they would remain in the TPPA.
              Maybe I’m wrong and someone can link to such a statement?

              Can you please quote that bit, or at least post the time stamp?

              Apologies, I should have quoted him directly the first time rather than paraphrasing from memory…
              “(pieces of TPPA legislation) that support genuine free trade we will support, because we are a free trade Party.”
              “…There are aspects that will help some exporters, we’ve never shied away from that.”
              ” if you are desperate to have only one answer to this, that it’s either completely wrong, or it’s completely right, then a 6,000 page agreement isn’t going to be like that. And a free trade agreement that has some aspects of free trade, and others that are not, it doesn’t break down that simply.”

              “The train has left the station” x3.
              I think the phrase is generally used to indicate that it is pointless to remain on the platform shouting at the rails.

          • weka

            yes, I have. Please post something that demonstrates that Labour have ever said anything that hints that they might pull out. Because this isn’t news, it’s always been their position.

            • Colonial Viper

              Nah that’s disingenuous apologising.

              A version of “that’s not news, everybody has always known that Labour opposition to the TPP was merely window dressing”

              • weka

                lolz. Some of the centrists here might genuinely be puzzled, and some of the righties might be just taking the opportunity to spin, but you of all people know damn well that Labour were never considering pulling out, which makes you the King of the Disingenuous Ones. Still, whatever opportunity there is to poison the well, eh CV?

              • Stuart Munro

                This is Phil Quin.

                Phil Quin is much like the object thrown at Stephen Joyce, but limper.

                Don’t be like Phil Quin.

            • The Chairman

              Their five bottom lines for a start. Especially as they weren’t all met.

              This announcement last week.

              And basically all the noise they’ve been making opposing it suggested so.

              • weka

                I’ll see if u can dig a link up later but I was asking about this on ts last year and the sense I had was that it was a given that Labour wouldn’t pull out. Honestly, I am surprised at all the surprise this week.

                Labour last year said they would oppose the tppa if their bottom lines weren’t met. Then once the draft was out and they had time to really look at it they came out and said they oppose NZ signing and there is little they could do.

                Btw, anyone who thought that last year that if Labour’s five bottom lines weren’t met that meant once in power Labour would pull out needs to put up their rationale. Because when I raised it it wasn’t even a consideration.

                • The Chairman

                  A bottom line not being met is generally accepted one won’t be part of any deal. It’s where one generally draws the line. Thus, what else were voters to think?

                  Labour have been playing on this, trying to appease both sides.

                  The thing is, it’s resulted in putting a number on the left and right off.

                  Not pulling out won’t win them much support from the left. And talk of flouting certain aspects of the deal is turning the right off.

                  Their handling of this has been pathetic and will come back to bite them IMO.

                  Stating there is little they can do is complete rubbish. There is an exit clause.

                  Moreover, they could be talking to vested interests now in preparation of pulling out.

                  • weka

                    Labour’s bottom lines were about whether to support National signing the TPPA or not. They weren’t about what Labour would do once in govt.

                    If you’re surprised that Labour don’t want to pull out, why were you not asking these questions last year when the issue first came up, including what the implications were of pulling out?

                    “Moreover, they could be talking to vested interests now in preparation of pulling out.”

                    Little has said that they are already talking to the signatories in preparation for changing the agreement.

                    • The Chairman

                      National didn’t require Labours support. There was no vote on the signing of the TPP.

                      But thanks for highlighting how Labour were playing it.

                      Personally. I had a feeling Labour were attempting to pull the wool. And questioned it in discussions here.

                      Little also indicated it was to late to pull out if it passed in the US, suggesting we can’t really pull out even tho there is an exit clause. Therefore, wouldn’t that suggest our sovereignty is already being constrained?

                    • weka

                      Do you want Labour to pull out if that’s an option?

                  • weka

                    Do you want Labour to pull out of the TPPA if it’s ratified and once they are in govt?

                    • The Chairman

                      It would probably be the wiser option , unless of course Labour can make significant changes.

                      Moreover, now that they have given their hand away, they no longer have the possibility of them pulling out as a leveraging.

                    • weka

                      What do you think the implications would be of pulling out?

                    • The Chairman

                      As pulling out will relieve us of the obligations of the deal, they won’t have us over such a barrel. Thus, although they may hit us hard for withdrawing, it won’t be as bad as the long term consequences of remaining in the deal.

                • Karen

                  The Greens have always said they oppose the TPPA but as far as I am aware have never said they will pull NZ out if it is ratified. Last year in an interview with Jessica Williams (when she was with Radio Live) James Shaw said that it would be easier to renegotiate than withdraw. Since then he has has said they need to study the detail in the full document before detailing future actions other than opposing the ratification.

                  Labour put up the 5 conditions for support, then said that 4 out of the 5 seem to have been met but there was still the issue of sovereignty. Over the summer Andrew Little examined the full document and was able to persuade the rest of his caucus to oppose the signing of the agreement. This was not easy because of MPs like Goff and Shearer and the influence they had over some caucus members, but Labour has now said they would oppose it in its present form.

                  Both parties oppose the TPPA, neither have promised to withdraw from it when they are in government, and both have talked about renegotiation.

                  • weka

                    Did you hear the interview with Williams Karen? I’ve only seen her tweet referring to it and she didn’t respond to my asking for clarification.

                    It’d be good to have a reference for what Shaw has said more recently too.

                    Both parties oppose the TPPA, neither have promised to withdraw from it when they are in government, and both have talked about renegotiation.


                    • The lost sheep

                      Labour’s situation is this.
                      They have always supported the TPPA and have never intended pulling out of it.
                      Ms Clark’s intervention was a clear signal of that.

                      But their absolute priority is to be the Government, and they know they cannot be the Government unless they retain the support of 3 disparate groupings: A mid to far left that is sliding ever harder left, core center left Labour voters, and about 6% of centrist voters that don’t currently vote Labour.

                      The conundrum above explains why they presented as being ‘opposed’ to the TPPA, while simultaneously leaving open the question of whether their opposition extended as far as actually pulling out of it.
                      They were trying to leave room for all 3 of the vital groupings to believe that Labour might be on their side of the argument.

                      As the issue evolved, Labour has been very closely attempting to gauge where the overall public sentiment was going on the TPPA (to which side of the fence do you jump?).
                      The mid to far left clearly resolved this was a bottom line / every man to the barricades / show the maximum opposition we can muster issue.
                      Labour waited to see if that level of resolution moved through and was expressed strongly among the other 2 more centrist groupings. The turnout on Thursday of only 1000 hard core protestors and 13k peaceful marchers did not indicate this had occurred.

                      So the day after the TPPA signing, knowing ‘the train had left the station’ and it was time to move on, Labour decided which side of the fence it was best for them to come down on.
                      So they clarified that they would not withdraw from the TPPA.
                      That’s the reality folks. You are stuck with the TPPA.

                    • weka

                      “They have always supported the TPPA and have never intended pulling out of it.”

                      That’s an outright lie. Not going to bother reading the rest of your comment if that’s what you are doing.

                    • Karen

                      No, sorry I didn’t Weka, but I trust Jessica Williams. She wouldn’t have said that if it wasn’t true, and Shaw has never denied it.

                      The Green Party have been consistently opposed to the TPPA right through this process but I haven’t found anything that says what they will do if the get into government if it has already been ratified
                      (and I have looked!!) I think James Shaw is a very careful person and he is unlikely to make any commitments to withdraw until he knows exactly what the repercussions will be for NZ . Very sensible I think, in spite of what some here believe.

                      Meanwhile the Greens (and now Labour) will oppose the ratification. Unfortunately parliament doesn’t get to decide this – they only get to vote on any law changes that are required.

                    • The Chairman

                      I think you may owe lost sheep an apology.

                      Little admitted the other day pulling out of the TPP was not something he’s contemplated. Although, he has openly stated he opposes the TPP.


                      [lprent: It pays not to request or demand apologies here. I have a tendency to view that kind of behaviour as flame starting. Since I (and the policy) tend to view such flame starters as attempting self-martyrdom. ]

                    • The lost sheep

                      “That’s an outright lie. Not going to bother reading the rest of your comment if that’s what you are doing.”

                      It is not a lie Weka.
                      Show me any proof that Labour have ever opposed the TPPA in principle?

                      If they opposed it, why would they confirm they would not pull out of it?

                      I think you’re just a bit sour, and don’t want to face up to the reality.
                      Best way to do that is throw all the toys out of the cot and refuse to play the game eh.

                    • weka

                      @TC and the lost sheep,

                      Lost sheep said “They have always supported the TPPA and have never intended pulling out of it.”

                      “They have always supported the TPPA” is an outright lie.

                      Labour’s actual positions going back to at least 2012 and up until 2 days ago,

                      Labour cannot support the TPPA as it stands

                      Labour will vote against any TPPA enabling legislation that cuts across New Zealand’s right to pass laws in its own interests.


                      Feb 4 2016 2:37 PM

                      We’re opposed to the TPPA in its current form because compromises to New Zealand’s sovereignty are not justified by the meagre economic gains. A number of Labour people are involved in today’s protests, including MPs who’ve spoken at rallies around the country.


                      “THAT in light of the Labour Party’s strong commitment to both the benefits of international trade and New Zealand’s national sovereignty, and recognising the far-reaching implications for domestic policy of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, in which trade is only a small part, Labour will support signing such an agreement which: …

                      (g) Had been negotiated with full public consultation including regular public releases of drafts of the text of the agreement, and ratification being conditional on a full social, environmental and economic impact assessment including public submissions.”

                      Sept 2013


                      Full remit here http://thestandard.org.nz/cunliffe-declares-war-national-tppa/

                      Labour believes the conditions reflect protections in the 2008 free trade agreement it negotiated with China.

                      It has previously withheld support for the TPP pending the release of the final draft of the 12-nation deal.


                      Leader Andrew Little said his party supported free trade but would not back the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) unless the five “non-negotiable bottom lines” were met.


                    • weka

                      “If they opposed it, why would they confirm they would not pull out of it?”

                      Because there would be significant consequences, including ones that aren’t apparent yet.

                    • weka


                      No, sorry I didn’t Weka, but I trust Jessica Williams. She wouldn’t have said that if it wasn’t true, and Shaw has never denied it.

                      Here’s the tweet exchange. Williams says she asked Shaw “if, practically, an exit from the TPP by a future L/G govt was possible”,

                      “then @jamespeshaw said it’d be better to fix the problems than dump it.”

                      In there is she also implying something from Shaw’s silence between question and answer (it’s unclear what).

                      That’s all we have to go on. I agree with your general assement here,

                      The Green Party have been consistently opposed to the TPPA right through this process but I haven’t found anything that says what they will do if the get into government if it has already been ratified
                      (and I have looked!!) I think James Shaw is a very careful person and he is unlikely to make any commitments to withdraw until he knows exactly what the repercussions will be for NZ . Very sensible I think, in spite of what some here believe.

                      Meanwhile the Greens (and now Labour) will oppose the ratification. Unfortunately parliament doesn’t get to decide this – they only get to vote on any law changes that are required.

                    • The Chairman


                      You affirmed my later point but did not address my initial (and main) point.

                      Little admitted the other day pulling out of the TPP was not something he’s contemplated.

                    • weka

                      Why do you think I owe lost sheep an apology? He lied, I’ve just supplied multiple links over 3+ years demonstrating that his comment was a lie.

                      “Little admitted the other day pulling out of the TPP was not something he’s contemplated. Although, he has openly stated he opposes the TPP. ”

                      Yes, I agree with that (except he stated that Labour opposed the TPPA), what’s your point?

                    • BM

                      Little certainly has played his supporters for fools,

                      His credibility must be nonexistent.

                    • weka

                      Blah blah Labour blah blah blach fools blah blah whatever…

                      Are you sure you’re not a bot BM?

        • Magisterium

          Andrew Little went on the record yesterday saying that Labour will not pull out of the TPPA if elected to Government.


          • weka

            Do you want Labour to pull out of the TPPA if it’s ratified and once they are in govt?

            read the rest of the thread. I knew last year that Labour weren’t considering pulling out. This is not news.

            • Gristle

              So what happens when the renegotiation doesn’t achieve your aims? Either you stay in the agreement or you pull out. Which is going to be?

              If you start from the position that you are going to stay then the renogiation is going to be a two way street, and have a low probability of success.

              The whole TPP process is a mess. What we got was some weak analysis of the benefits and little on the downside of it. There was no BATNA analysis offered. Helen Clark et al got as far as saying it’s better to be in the tent pissing out, but no further. Countries such as Switzerland have avoided too many treaties and done quite well. Whereas North Korea has also avoided treaties but has not done so well.

              NZ blew a raspberry to the USA about nuclear weapons back in the 1980’s and the sky did not fall. Mind you we still have chicken little.

              • weka

                Someone really needs to ask Little those questions.

                I’m curious, what do you think Labour should do?

                • Gristle

                  The LP established its 5 points bottom line – a good clear easy to understand position. (And I am not going to go into why the points miss my major concerns.)

                  The LP has conducted its review of the TPP and decided that these bottom lines have not been achieved – a good clear easy to understand position.

                  It’s likely that it may be a few years before Labour get to be in the position of renegotiating or cancelling the agreement. This time should be productively spent in:
                  1. Establishing how to fix the NZ constitutional process where the Executive of one government can substantially modify the sovereignty of NZ without full cross party support or general explicit support of a super-majority of the people; and,
                  2. Put the partners on notice that withdrawal is an option on the table; and,
                  3. Undertaking a serious review of the TPP agreement to find out what it actually says and means. (I am surprised when people say that they have read the document and understood it as IMO we will soon have lawyers and academics studying it for years and still having disagreements. Its 6,000 pages are highly unlikely not to contain mistakes, internal contradictions, impossibilities and ambiguities); and,
                  4. Recasting what the 5 bottom line items are (maybe adding to them); whilst,
                  5. Cataloguing the successes and failures of TPP as it progresses; then,
                  6. Measure this catalogue against the yardstick; and if it does not measure up then,
                  7. Take action by seeking a renegotiation with a 6 month automatic withdrawal attached.

                  And meanwhile there is a tsunami of shit heading the world’s way in terms of economic and environmental issues. It’s only a matter of when this starts to be felt. So when NZ reaches TPP nirvana in 2030 (getting a 0.7% cumulative lift in economic activity) then my guess we should also be hearing the waves of the tsunami or already in its grips. Good timing.

                • The Chairman

                  “Someone really needs to ask Little those questions.”

                  Looks to the media.

            • The Chairman

              “Why do you think I owe lost sheep an apology?”

              As I highlighted above, Little admitted the other day pulling out of the TPP was not something he’s contemplated, thus lost sheep was correct.

              • weka

                But I don’t disagree with that bit and that’s not what I called a lie. I’ve also stated multiple times today that I’ve known since last year that Labour weren’t considering pulling out.

                Lost sheep said “They have always supported the TPPA”. That’s a lie. I’ve explained how here,

                Open mike 06/02/2016

                • The Chairman

                  “and that’s not what I called a lie”

                  Yet, you quoted it (see above) when doing so (called a lie).

                  • weka

                    Because I wanted the lie to be in context. You could have asked for clarity. I’ve explained myself extensively so there’s no confusion now.

                    • The Chairman

                      By doing so, you misled others.

                      There is no confusion now because I called you on it.

                    • weka

                      Yeah, nah. Lost sheep wanting to run a line and chose to start with a lie and I called them on it. If you want to make out this is about who is technically correct about a sequence of events, have at it. I don’t give a shit. You could have asked, I would have told you, and in the end you did and I did, so what’s the problem? Weird to be using energy on this when it’s Ls that told the actual lie.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Weka, Labour fully support the principal of a TPPA agreement.
                      They do not support some of the clauses in the current agreement, but, they have confirmed they will not withdraw from the TPPA.

                      You have only linked to information that indicates Labours objections to some clauses, and linked to nothing that indicates they are against the TPPA principle itself.
                      Can you please link to any point at which Labour has said they do not support the TPPA in principal, as opposed to just some specific clauses?

                      Can you explain to me how confirming they will remain in the TPPA, despite their objections to some clauses indicates that Labour does not support the agreement as a whole?

                      If you can do both of those I will accept I was mistaken.

                    • The Chairman

                      Initially, I was merely correcting the false implication you made (by the use of the full quote). You replied, thus dragged the conversation on.

                    • weka

                      @lost sheep,

                      Can you please link to any point at which Labour has said they do not support the TPPA in principal, as opposed to just some specific clauses?

                      You didn’t say in principle, you just said they had always supported the TPPA, and I’ve demonstrated that they haven’t. Yes we can have a semantic argument about that but I think the real difference is that I accept that Labour are pro-free trade but I also know that they were dealing with a secret agreement and an internal civil war and so their approach looks odd to people who don’t take that into account. They’ve gone through various processes and changes in their position precisely because the agreement has been secret and been changing. It makes sense as a pro-free trade party that they would take a pro-TPPA stance so long as certain conditions were met, but it’s pretty clear that back in 2012 there were serious concerns about those conditions.

                      Labour have been playing the middle game, isn’t that what you want? Remind me, do you think Labour should leave the TPPA if it’s already ratified by next time they are in government?

                      Can you explain to me how confirming they will remain in the TPPA, despite their objections to some clauses indicates that Labour does not support the agreement as a whole?

                      Pretty simple, and this has been commented on a fair bit. It’s too difficult to leave once in. I don’t hear Labour saying oh the deal is great except for these five things. I hear Labour saying there are serious problems with this deal and there are serious problems with getting out of it. Of course that message comes out in a strangled way because of the neoliberal/left wing split in the party. So while I feel that Labour have been pretty consistent within their own kaupapa over the past few years I can understand that others feel differently.

                      btw, the difficulty of leaving once in is an issue for the GP too IMO. I don’t know what NZF are thinking. Anyone?

                    • weka

                      @TC, ah, I forgot you like to have the last word. Have at it mate.

    • Magisterium 10.2

      This is the Chris Trotter who today proclaimed

      Labour is the sun around which the Left orbits. It’s where the hardest progressive work goes on.


      That old dinosaur should be put out of his misery before he starts soiling himself in public.

  10. weka 11

    This is a good example of why science and commerce are not to be trusted until they are brought under the control of a third part of society that puts ethics and nature first. In the absence of the precautionary principle, we are currently gambling playing Russian Roulette with some pretty basic fundamentals of life.

    Zika is one of the emerging new illnesses associated with human-manipulated environments. It causes birth defects when contracted during pregnancy. 11 cases in NZ so far.

    Oxitec’s GM mosquitoes

    An excellent article by Claire Bernish published last week on AntiMedia draws attention to an interesting aspect of the matter which has escaped mainstream media attention: the correlation between the incidence of Zika and the area of release of genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitos engineered for male insterility (see maps, above right).

    The purpose of the release was to see if it controlled population of the mosquitos, which are the vector of Dengue fever, a potentially lethal disease. The same species also transmits the Zika virus.


    • One Two 11.1

      Brazil is one of the biggest GMO experiments on planet, earth and has had toxic chemicals sprayed over its environment and populations for a generation

      The mosquitoes are an extension of the experiment being waged against human rights

      Zika has been known of for generations, with few to none ill effects

      • joe90 11.1.1

        Nope, zika found it’s way out of Africa in the sixties and thanks to aedes aegypti has spread through the Americas.

        • One Two

          Which part of my comment are you disagreeing with, specifically ?

          • joe90

            Zika has been known of for generations, with few to none ill effects

            In Africa, where a majority have an immunity developed over many generations.

            Not so in the Americas where in little more than a generation aedes aegypti has spread the virus through a large youthful population with an exceptionally high birth rate and no immunity.

            • weka

              Did you read the article joe? I’d be interested in your thoughts on it.

              • joe90

                The author suggests a mutated virus in Brazil is causing previously unheard of effects…and then I scrolled down….

                Author’s note 2: I’m grateful to David Murphy for carrying out this work, and to James Babcock for drawing it to my attention. It appears that the hypothesis set out above is probably incorrect, and this must be a matter of considerable relief to all concerned.

            • One Two

              The sentence regarding Zika, was independent of the sentences concerning genetic experimentation in Brazil

              The impacts of genetic experimentation over extended periods of time in Brazil, are largely missing from the mainstream discussion

              ‘The virus’ is the primary fascination, once again. At the exclusion of logic and rationale, from what I can tell

  11. Whispering Kate 12

    Change of topic folks – Bomber on TDB has just announced he is going to go into competition with Seven Sharp on TV1 and the other show on TV3 with Heather duPlessis Allan at 7pm. It will be live on his site at 7.01 – but its early yet and he is going to announce more later about it.

    So we will have an alternative current affairs programme we can go to after John Campbell on Channel 50 each night. What mana from heaven I told Bomber. Can’t wait.

    • Ben 12.1

      He should stick to providing advice and policy to politicians. Oh, wait… maybe not. 30 minutes of bitter, anti-everything, frothing and ranting is something that I (and 99.99% of the population) will be giving a wide birth.

      • Whispering Kate 12.1.1

        Ben what a sour puss you are. Don’t you think it would be nice for a change to get some balance into our daily news. Who wants to be fed with constant drivel about sports stars, film stars, your precious leader who can do no wrong, even saints you know do wrong – what’s your beef – so one-eyed you cannot see there are always two sides to anything at all. Your precious government does lots of things which are wrong but if MSM media has anything to do with it nobody in the population gets the opportunity to be informed. What do you want? a dictatorship in this country. Do we have to go back into history and meet in halls or listen to speakers on soap boxes like they do in Hyde Park (or do you even know about Hyde Park) to hear some truth of the matter. Get a grip Ben – all Bomber is trying to do is get some balance and less of the daily tripe we have shoved in our faces each night. You call Bomber a raving leftie – what on earth is your Government if not a raving Right Wing mish mash. What a loser you are and not too intelligent upstairs if you cannot see my argument.

        • Ben

          You lost me when you used the word “balance” in relation to Martyn Bradbury.

          The MSM in this country is in a sad state, but you can rest assured that the socialist dribblings of MB won’t make it any better.

          p.s it is not “my” Government, it is our Government – that’s right, yours too.

          • Whispering Kate

            Unfortunately, as I didn’t vote for it and I sleep at night because I didn’t.

      • North 12.1.2

        You couldn’t do half Bomber’s shit Ben so shut your stoopid mouth. None of you Tory trolls could !

  12. Observer (Tokoroa) 13

    Hi Colonial Viper
    + a Billion

    Thankyou for informing us that the flawed TPPA is the fault of the Labour Party.

    Your insight into these things is extraordinary. But then, you have the advantage of having the brain of a full time Buffoon. Utter Nonsense dribbles constantly from your twisted mouth like a crazed dog.

    • Muttonbird 13.1


    • greywarshark 13.2

      Dear Observer (Tokoroa)
      I’m afraid you went to sleep on the job, and failed to observe fully as required. This is to advise you that your contract to observe and inform us fully and truthfully has been terminated, though you may like to continue your style of colourfully abusive diatribe, which is very amusing.

    • Reddelusion 13.3

      Cv speaks a lot of sense re the hypocracy of labour, that’s where it ends though

  13. greywarshark 14

    What did Labour say about the TPPA? All the fragments of comment, when put together like a jigsaw, do they make a coherent whole? Or is it one of those odd results that we need an Aristotle to explain.
    Quote by Aristotle: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

    But is this argument about Labour and TPPA a Reductio ad absurdum?
    Wikipedia may provide the answer but I’m not going to read it because I want to listen to Monty Python because it is more fun than the argument that is going nowhere, and isn’t going to solve anything anyway.

    What if the whole is actually lesser than the sum of its parts as it seems to be?
    Time to take a break as we sink into The Philosophers’ Song with Monty Python done Oz style.

  14. North 15


    The Gauche One fretting about the image of cock meeting cock at Waitangi…..gone all around the world etc etc, appalling, blah, pearls, clutched ! Guess he’s not looking forward to the call from some dictator mate calling him a pussy cos’ no summary execution.

    No Mr Preen Minster. It was you, the cock that started hauling NZ around the world, makin’ us look like cocks too (cos you’re our Preen Minster)…….it’s that that started it, years ago.

    As I’ve always reminded myself…..what the fuck is (self-perceived) venerable Old Auckland Money thinking about this Gauche Nouveau ?

  15. Observer (Tokoroa) 16

    @ greywarshark

    I did not intend to abuse the viper. Merely wanted to draw attention to his stupidity.

    Colonial Viper forever echos his hero John Key. They both shout constantly the mantra “It’s Labour’s Fault”

    It’s Labour’s Fault
    It’s Labour’s Fault
    It’s Labour’s Fault

    He is one of John Key’s rented trolls. Part of the Key rented troll assylum. Viper exceeds Hosking. Hooton, Garner, Slater, Farrar, English and Fanny Herald.

    Mere screaming teeny weeny toddlers the lot of them.

    • Reddelusion 16.1

      cv simply highlights labour and little angry Andy hypocracy and false pretext, this may make you uncomfortable but some times the truth hurts

  16. whateva next? 17

    Oh dear , Mr.Key feels awkward about images of the sex toy/Joyce going around the world. He forgets to feel awkward about signing the treaty under NZers noses, the day before Waitangi day, without even discussing it with us.

    • Hami Shearlie 17.1

      Not feeling remotely awkward about molesting a young waitress numerous times or publicly advocating peeing in the shower – EWW – Hypocrisy is Mr Key’s game of choice it seems! So embarrassed that a sex toy found it’s way to Stevie’s “moosh”, yet not embarrassed that his repeated molestation of a young waitress went global! An attitude a certain older man who was a French high official would no doubt relate to.

    • Reddelusion 17.2

      What kind of discussion do you suggest, the election was the discussion

      • whateva next? 17.2.1

        A discussion about how National are prepared to do what Europe is refusing, i.e to trade sovereignty for a few bucks, would you accept a 1% pay rise in 15 years and agree to any decisions you make about your future be subject to secret off shore tribunals, with no right of appeal?
        Lets face it if National were honest about their corporate welfare policies, they would not have been voted in anyway, so your point is irrelevant.

  17. Draco T Bastard 18

    On Assange, Following the Rules or Flouting Them?

    What is news are the deplorable rhetorical parries from the UK and Swedish governments, who both stated not just disagreement, but that the Working Group opinion would have absolutely no effect on their actions. This is not what one expects from democratic governments who usually support the UN mechanisms and international law.

    Actually, this is exactly what I would expect from them. The powerful think that rules are there simply to punish those that they don’t like. They certainly don’t think that the rules apply to them.

  18. North 19

    God……Trev’ of The Herald’s a wanker is she not ?

    Surprised she didn’t fix it so she was down at the Nines witnessing and excitedly reporting Mr Gauche publicly gagging on successive American hotdogs. Rather than the dull old business of up North experiencing an actual ‘Waitangi Day’. Waitangi Day the way people actually do it up here in the whiningly announced absence of an effete wannabee Yank. Who’s sniffing out Shaun Johnson down Aux right now.

    Shaun Johnson’ll be the next unfortunate target…..you watch. The ‘can’t-himself-do’ criminal banker just loves sucking on the sap of NZ heroes. Guess you can demand anything you want when you’ve got that Preen Minster/John Key conjunction.

    Bit wickedly vampirish though……what ?

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  • Budget highlights underlying strength of economy in face of global headwinds
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  • Health Minister to attend World Health Assembly in Geneva
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  • New efforts to counter illegal timber trade
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  • Next steps for specialist mental health and addiction services
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