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Oram on the TPP

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, October 12th, 2015 - 143 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Globalisation, trade - Tags: , , ,

Rod Oram’s Sunday Star-Times column, as made available on Facebook, is a level-headed evaluation of the TPP:

Scant evidence so far TPP is a trade agreement for the 21st century

This column is not a ‘no’ to TPP. It is a request to our government to be much more convincing about why we should sign the trade agreement. Of the five main reasons it has given so far two are weak, two debatable and one unproven.

First, tariffs. The government talks of sweeping reductions. They are indeed broad but they are so shallow they are almost meaningless. … Worse, small fluctuations in commodity prices and exchange rates will wipe out those miniscule gains. Moreover, tariff reductions will more likely benefit distributors, retailers and consumers overseas than producers here.

Second, wider economic benefits. The government says these will amount to $2.7 billion a year by 2030. Again, that’s exceedingly modest. Our current exports of goods and services to TPP countries are $28 b a year. They could double by 2030, assuming modest rates of growth and inflation. The uplift from TPP would roughly equal six months’ extra growth in exports over 15 years.

Third, writing the rules for 21st century trade. The whole nature of business, economics and trade is changing ever faster. This is often disruptive as we see with co-operative models such as open source software or collaborative ones such as Uber and Airbnb. … Thus, the TPP in summary form reads like a charter to protect incumbents rather than to promote disruptors. Don’t be fooled by the tiny ground the US drug, entertainment and tobacco industries conceded. Those exceptions could prove the rule.

Fourth, Asia-Pacific integration. TPP is supposed to be the platform for all this region’s economies. But China is missing, by design. As President Obama said when announcing the deal “we can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy. We should write those rules.” … China is our largest trading partner. If it falls out with the US over TPP, let’s hope it doesn’t force us to choose which camp we’re in.

Fifth, the cost to New Zealand. The government assures us it is minuscule. We will give up only $20 million a year of import tariffs; Pharmac will be unaffected; and changes to IP on drugs and other products and to copyright will have minimal adverse impact. But we don’t yet know the detail on crucial issues such as the Investor-State Dispute Settlement procedures. Nor do we know what our government has managed to get in to Chapter 29, in which each country lists its exceptions to the treaty. …

See the full article for plenty more!


Also well worth reading this from Danyl at Dimpost:

Second thoughts on the TPPA

I still can’t get over the estimations of how little this deal is worth to us. From MFAT:

  • estimated GDP gains for New Zealand of US$2 billion in the year 2025 (a 0.9% increase in GDP);
  • estimated export gains for New Zealand of US$4.1 billion in the year 2025 (a 6.8% increase in exports);
  • and further income gains (up to US$2.1 billion) are estimated from a lift in the terms of trade and greater consumer access to goods and services.

Just to put that in perspective our GDP grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of this year. So the TPP will deliver the equivalent of a couple of months of growth in ten years time. Now, our diplomatic corps has been working on this for about ten years, and they cost us well over a quarter of a billion dollars a year. Have we spent more putting this trade partnership together than we’ll actually earn from it?

Then there are the costs from the deal itself. We don’t know whether investor state dispute mechanisms are going to be a disaster or a big nothing. We do know about the intellectual property provisions … Just about every economist alive thinks the US model is awful: anti-competitive and anti-innovation and terrible for consumers. So in this very significant way the TPP is a move away from free markets.

The whole things feels more-and-more like a bait-and-switch, just as its critics warned throughout the process. …

Once again see the original for more.

143 comments on “Oram on the TPP”

  1. Nck 1

    Thank Goodness….. more sane voices…..shout from the rooftops…!!….. I don’t know why Labour/Greens aren’t at least coming out with a basic analysis like these writers…?

  2. Rae 2

    I think our sovereignty is worth much, more than the few shekels the government seems to have traded it away for. It is worth even more than any amount of shekels, it may well be the most valuable thing we have, in the long run.
    Tim Groser has traded away our right to vote for a government that might change the rules over foreigners purchasing land and houses, among other things, which, while I am opposed, generally, to allowing foreigners carte blanche with our real estate, accept that as long as we have the sort of government we have, it will continue. The majority of people are at the very least, concerned about this, to remove their right to elect a government that will change it, is totally anti-democratic.
    All I can see with the TPP is that protectionism is being removed from governments and transferred to corporations. It’s big v little, which explains why their is widespread objection to it, even in the States, and big has been handed all the ammo.
    Lastly, and the thing that should send shivers down everyone’s spine, was Obama saying,
    “When more than 95 percent of our potential customers live outside our borders, we can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “We should write those rules, opening new markets to American products while setting high standards for protecting workers and preserving our environment.”
    That is bloody scary, and I have always had some regard for Obama, but he seems to be almost as much a corporate glove puppet as any other US president of late.
    I would rather we scrap this, I prefer the idea of bi-lateral agreements, they can be tailored to be absolutely fit for purpose, not this abomination.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Thus, the TPP in summary form reads like a charter to protect incumbents rather than to promote disruptors.

    This is what the TPPA is about – protecting the rich and the corporations. It’s got nothing to do with making life better for anybody else.

    • savenz 3.1

      @Draco – in fact it is actually making it worse for most people. Watch standards drop for most people while the rise of the super rich under TPP.

      It is already happening with the rise in inequality now.

    • Sacha 3.2

      Protecting the laziest corporations from more nimble competitors, at that. Locking in current advantage, when we need widespread innovation to solve massive problems like climate change and poverty.

    • AmaKiwi 3.3

      All dying empires are the same, but die because you can’t shovel sand against the tide.

      Defend your sandcastles Key and your rich mates.

    • kenny 3.4

      Most businesses HATE competition, but those who can get them love government contracts. This is crony-capitalism at its best.

      Just ask SERCO.

  4. savenz 4

    From Wikileaks

    Under the terms of the text, countries in the TPP can force each other to suspend legal proceedings if the trial would cause embarrassing information — information “detrimental to a party’s economic interests, international relations, or national defense or national security” — would come to light. That would be the Wikileaks/Snowden clause.

    Oh and just took over our justice system.

    Cos embarrassment to government spies or economic interests is more important than justice and transparency.

    TPP just enabling a dictatorship then.

  5. Wayne 5

    A reasonably predictable article from Rod Oram. He is consistently critical of just about every economic platform of the current government.

    Given that Standardnistas have been opposed to TPP pretty much from the get go, anything that anyone says in opposition to TPP is going to be grist to the mill.

    I note Labour seems to moving toward being formally against TPP. It is an easy position to take given that Labour knows its support is not necessary for the TPP enabling legislation to pass. And one that Labour presumably considers has less political risk than being in support, particularly in respect of its activist base. I presume that this is why there are so many anti -TPP items on The Standard – activists trying to ensure that Labour will formally oppose TPP

    But the real question is; would Labour withdraw from TPP? There will be withdrawal provisions in the agreement. Before the 2017 election Labour will have to be tested on this point.

    In any event, the action now is really in the US. All the other 11 countries have constitutional arrangements which allow the govt of the day to determine whether to be in or out. Depending on the election results in Canada, they may be in or out, but that will because the govt of the day decides.

    In the US the Congress will decide. As with the other 11 nations the govt of the day – the Obama administration – wants to be in, but ratification is effectively done by Congress not the executive.

    Presumably most Republicans, but not all will support. Some (but how many) Democrats will support. Hillary coming out against presumably makes it harder for Democrats to support. There are plenty of US based political analysts around who will have a proper sense of this. But if it is in a fine balance, such calculations are often hard to make.

    Would a loss in the US kill TPP, or does it lead to a re-negotiation? Most US politicians tend to support free trade agreements (but not Bernie Sanders), so for many, such as Hillary Clinton, it might just mean that particular points would be re-negotiated.

    • les 5.1

      you dont like Oram as a messenger Wayne,but what about his message…can you respond to the points he makes?

    • dv 5.2

      A reasonably predictable article from Rod Oram. He is consistently critical of just about every economic platform of the current government.

      So where is Oram right and where is he wrong Wayne?

      • Wayne 5.2.1

        My post was not about the merits of TPP. There is nothing I could say that would change the minds of anyone on this site. If you want my specific view, go to Pundit.

        My post was about why there was such a continuing campaign about TPP on The Standard. After all the position of the govt is clear enough and will not be swayed by Rod Oram or any of the other naysayers. The typical Standard campaign also does not reach middle NZ voters (given how consistent the polls have been), so it is not about them.

        I was speculating that this is all about Labour’s position, given the Green position is already known, and has been since TPP was first mooted. The Greens always vote against trade and investment agreements, whether entered into by National or Labour.

        But the Labour position on TPP is not so fixed, at least not yet. And presumably Standardnista’s would also want to see Labour commit to withdraw from TPP.

        • Anne 5.2.1.1

          You see everything in terms of political one up-man-ship don’t you Wayne. To be fair you’re no different from most of your ilk. You talk about a continuing campaign about TPP on The Standard. Does it not occur to you that many people here hold strong and genuine views on the pros and cons of the TPP? They are not “campaigning” as such but simply expressing their thoughts. And it’s a good thing TS provides a platform for them.

          …the position of the govt is clear enough and will not be swayed by Rod Oram or any of the other naysayers.

          Do I detect a hint of sneering and disrespect? I think so. They are highly regarded experts in their field of knowledge – intellectuals dare I say it – so they must be ignored and ridiculed at every opportunity.

          Your supreme arrogance – and that of this government – knows no limit!

          • Wayne 5.2.1.1.1

            Anne,

            I know that many people hold strong and genuine views against TPP, and in many cases from an ideological perspective. And I agree that blogs enable that expression, as I obviously know.

            However, I also think that people also want an outcome of their views, such as a change of position by a political party, especially when people know that a particular party’s position is up for contest. The only party that is having such a debate is Labour. All other parties positions on TPP are known, and will not change.

            • Stuart Munro 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Naturally – Gnats are born stupid and have learned nothing since. They didn’t run up $101billion in debt by paying attention to legitimate criticism – who do we think we are, citizens of a democracy? No, the Gnats mean to rule us and oppress us until we overthrow them, with neither assent nor competence to give them even the flimsiest tissue of legitimacy.

              • Lanthanide

                “They didn’t run up $101billion in debt by paying attention to legitimate criticism”

                Of course not. To paraphrase John Key, you can always find a scientist that will agree with whatever you’re proposing. So why bother paying any attention to criticism?

            • tracey 5.2.1.1.1.2

              But once detail is known you may be surprised who has to change position or lose credibility. From either side.

            • Anne 5.2.1.1.1.3

              There you go again…

              The only party that is having such a debate is Labour. All other parties positions on TPP are known, and will not change.

              Labour dear chap is NOT having a debate. They had it long ago and came to a unanimously agreed position. They are the leading party in the alternative government and it is their responsibility to wait (read carefully) wait to see the precise wording of the agreement which I understand will be in 3 to 4 weeks time.

              The other opposition parties have the luxury of positioning themselves in advance but Labour – as you very well know – does not have that luxury. It does you and your political team no credit that you see fit to play irresponsible political games over an issue that is going to impact profoundly on every man, woman and child in this country.

              • tracey

                It’s the meme that Hooton has been peddling and took mainstream on the weekend. Mapp retired from Parliament, but not from politics or the National Party. Still a Talking Head for them, and the inside tip on the latest PR meme to push

                • Anne

                  It’s the meme that Hooton has been peddling…

                  Yes I know and he wouldn’t back down this morning on RNZ even though his off-sider is a former Labour president and knows a bloody sight more about what goes on in Laboor than he does. Williams told him unequivocally he was talking “absolute nonsense”.

                  Hooton is now claiming the insiders were Labour MPs. If it’s true, you know what I suspect? They played him for a sucker and a giggle.

                  • tracey

                    He is peddling 2 memes

                    1. Labour is divided on TPP; and
                    2. There is a withdrawal clause which goes on ad infinitum and so Labour can withdraw from TPP anytime in the future

                    I think he started with a 6 month withdrawal meme but has now settle don anytime withdrawal meme.

                    Fascinating he hasn’t chosen to focus on what a great deal for the benefit of all NZers it is.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1.4

              …and in many cases from an ideological perspective.

              That would describe you and the rest of the RWNJs in parliament and MFAT and govt departments in general.

              • tracey

                Well, Wayne says he has never seen the agreement, and has never opposed a single FTA, so I guess that rules him in as ideologically driven and therefore unable to be credible on this issue.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Certainly his piece on Pundit is less than edifying – he repeats the positive elements as released by MFAT without any attempt to quantify any downside.

                  I feel his declaration of academic credentials:

                  My LLB (Hons) dissertation was on NAFTA, the precursor to CER. My LLM thesis was on the legal issues of containerization and intermodal transport. My PhD was on state responsibility.

                  Tends to call into question the issuing authority, if he cannot make a better showing of balanced analysis.

                  Unhappily for Wayne too, it is not the clever and receptive Gnats he implicitly claims to personify who are controlling policy at present – the party reeks of rancid whale oil, they have built no houses, created no jobs, enlightened no lives, and blown $101 billion on this total non-performance. But such are their aristocratic pretensions that they believe they should be thanked and respected for this godawful catalogue of failures.

                  They can hold their breath until they turn blue.

                  • tracey

                    To this TPP debate he brought ideological mantras and ad hominems against Kelsey. She, through the Court case evidenced her arguments for publication/release of documents, and you only have to have listened to her (Fabian debate against Mr Mapp) to know she was talking from research and knowledge, she used examples and so forth, he didn’t.

        • Halfcrown 5.2.1.2

          “A reasonably predictable article from Rod Oram. He is consistently critical of just about every economic platform of the current government.”

          And a predictable reponse from someone from the right. The right does not like opposing points of view.
          What I have read about it so far, it is not a trade deal when something like ONLY six clauses are to do with trade out of a total of something like 30.

        • Sacha 5.2.1.3

          Here is Wayne’s article about TPP: http://pundit.co.nz/content/the-tpp-theres-a-lot-to-like

          Do read the comments as well.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.4

          There is nothing I could say that would change the minds of anyone on this site.

          A while ago, I was reluctantly “pro” TPP for reasons roughly similar to Helen Clark’s. I’ve been swayed by Lprent and others, while you were too busy discounting my opinion as “from the left” and therefore unworthy. Own goal, Wayne.

          Lift your game.

    • savenz 5.3

      “A reasonably predictable article from Rod Oram. He is consistently critical of just about every economic platform of the current government”.

      Yes, shows what a good business analyst he is. The government’s current economic strategy of borrowing heavily and selling off the assets while possible funding a cycleway to promote growth and Sky City convention centres as their only economic answers. Cutting funding to scientists and research and under funding in real terms health and education while campaigning for Serco and Charter schools all under performing and known international failures. Bullying and not taking advise from their own ministries. Looking at business opportunities for mental health as ‘social bonds”. Selling state houses to Australia cheap. Polluting our rivers and water ways more and then getting rid of the analysis so they can deny it. Not putting in public transport, foisting a supercity on Auckland that has increased rates, decreased efficiency, meddling in local politics and refusing a petrol tax for Auckland’s to fund public transport, and allowing companies to get so greedy they feel ok to steal Auckland’s harbour as well as the countries seas for oil exploration and forests for any economic exploration or gain. Now selling our sovereignty for magic beans.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      All the other 11 countries have constitutional arrangements which allow the govt of the day to determine whether to be in or out.

      Time to change that so that these types of deals can only be signed after a referendum on them. Time to become a bit more democratic.

      • Manuka AOR 5.4.1

        “Time to change that so that these types of deals can only be signed after a referendum on them. “
        Exactly.

      • AmaKiwi 5.4.2

        +1 Absolutely.

        TPPA will become part of our constitution. We and the next generation should decide whether to join or not.

    • ianmac 5.5

      Poor old Wayne. Not a word to show us how Rod has erred. You are an empty barrel Wayne. Dis-missed!

    • The Chairman 5.6

      Wayne, you asked: “but the real question is; would Labour withdraw from TPP?”

      As Labour are talking about facing the consequences of legislating against the ordinances of the TPP, it indicates they don’t plan to totally withdraw from the deal.

      As you say, opposing the deal means little as Labour’s support isn’t necessary for the deal to pass.

    • tracey 5.7

      And those like you who have NEVER opposed a FTA, should also be dismissed as too partisan to be credible. Using your own “logic”.

    • John Shears 5.8

      From Wayne
      “But the real question is; would Labour withdraw from TPP? There will be withdrawal provisions in the agreement. Before the 2017 election Labour will have to be tested on this point.”

      Can you answer Wayne? I can’t because it is virtually all secret at this stage.

      • dukeofurl 5.8.1

        The withdrawal is a nonsense, in practical terms the downside to ‘leaving’ are so great, the perceptions would be all wrong. Its a reverse to signing up, which has little benefits but getting out has big consequences.

        Is that what the they are reduced to saying is a ‘benefit’, we can leave when we like.

        The TPA is a HOTEL CALIFORNIA deal, no real way to get out in spite of wording ( unknown) that ‘might’ say its possible

        WE would end up being treated like Venezuela

        • AmaKiwi 5.8.1.1

          dukofurl

          “WE would end up being treated like Venezuela”

          Pure b.s.

          Only if we nationalize all foreign owned assets (oil fields, farms, factories, forests, banks, tourist enterprises, etc.)

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.9

      Wayne Mapp, your abusive remarks about anyone who refuses to follow your party’s line bring the Law Commission into disrepute. Is that what you were appointed to do?

      • tracey 5.9.1

        He’s just proving why the appointment of any former Politician to a taxpayer funded institution, let alone one so crucial to society as Law Reform, should be banned. He is entitled to be so partisan, but his rigid and clinging ideoloigcal stances – which is how he describes those who oppose TPP – make it highly unlikely that he can ever view a matter impartially.

        • Wayne 5.9.1.1

          Tracey

          It is true that I am pro-TPP. But I would like to think that I do not personally criticize anyone, apart from noting that they have never supported a FTA.

          Of course there is a broader question as to whether I should post on political blogs at all, except perhaps for my items on Pundit.

          Maybe it is best that I do not.

          As for Law Commission reports, you can judge my role by the reports that I have been leading, one of which will come out later this month.

          • Wayne 5.9.1.1.1

            To add to my comment.

            I have previously said that my future contributions would be confined to TPP.

            The reason being that free trade is a particular professional interest of mine. I taught the subject at University. My LLB (Hons) dissertation was on NAFTA, the precursor to CER. My LLM thesis was on the legal issues of containerization and intermodal transport. My PhD was on state responsibility.

            It is certainly true that I have fully accepted the paradigm of free trade as extolled through GATT, WTO, CER, NAFTA, EU, ASEAN, etc. And I see TPP as following in their footsteps. I am hardly alone in that. So do the governments of 12 Asia Pacific nations.

            But I can see that TPP has become very contentious in New Zealand. And no more so than on this Blog.

            So given that I am no longer formally politically active, and now have another role, I can see the argument that I should not participate in direct political debate, not on politically active blogs.

            To a very large extent I have been reliant on people accepting that I can contribute. But once a number of people raise the issue (as opposed to one or two) then contributing to a blog such as this becomes problematic.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.9.1.1.1.1

              Just lift your bloody game and address the issues: at least when I call people trash I give them clues as to why.

              • tracey

                Plus 1

                Calling Kelsey “hard left” wasn’t meant as a personal attack apparently. Seeking to undermine her position by suggesting cos she had never supported a FTA her work on TPP was lacking credibility…

                self awareness Wayne. Yes, maybe you should just post at the Pundit where you feel safe and less like you need to justify the ideologically driven mantras you write, knowing full well the what you are trying to do.

                I sincerely doubt your ability to be balanced in your work. I have no doubt you think you can. But some of your views are so deeply held and as I said have resulted n playing the woman not the ball, that as an observer of that behaviour I don’t believe you can be balanced in such an important role as Law Commissioner.

                I have said I don’t believe any former politician should hold such a role, from any party.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.9.1.1.2

            I do not personally criticize anyone

            Every single paragraph in your comment at 5 starts with a statement that “so-and-so is…”

            Nothing about the merits of Oram’s arguments whatsoever, nor anyone else’s

            Ad hominem arguments all, to the effect that none of the individuals or groups mentioned can be considered to have credible objections. Insults, or abuse, as I said.

            When people approach the law commission, it’s clear that they’d better not be
            “Standardistas”, or some other non-Party-line-toeing group, eh, since you’ll discount everything they say on that basis, Commissar.

            It’s called a conflict of interest, Wayne. You know better, and if you don’t, you’re unfit for office.

            • Wayne 5.9.1.1.2.1

              I can assure you that both as a local MP and as a Minister I saw many people with a wide range of viewpoints, and I believe I was known as someone who would properly consider their perspective. I am even more aware of that obligation as a Law Commissioner.

              On free trade and investment agreements, it is true that I have had a consistent view, which is well known.

              However, given that this issue has become so political, it is clear that I should desist from commenting further on The Standard, and probably on all other issues on The Standard.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I didn’t realise I touched a nerve that sensitive! How about you eschew ad hominem arguments instead?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                On reflection, how about you just tell me to go screw myself? So what if I’m uncomfortable with your bias? Judges give longer sentences the hungrier they are: I suspect this is a far bigger problem for the judiciary than your inept rhetoric 😉

              • Tracey

                run Wayne run

  6. Pat 6

    I would expect if the US can”t/won’t ratify the whole deal will be shelved…for without the US there is no deal. ….we can hope.

  7. infused 7

    I think it’s 50/50 it will pass in the US. If it doesn’t pass, it will be shelved. I doubt the other countries would make a further agreement.

    • Pat 7.1

      I fear 50/50 may be overstating it…remember it was only a few months ago the “lobbyists” persuaded the house to pass fast track and they will have known the potential for agreement and having agreed the corporates bottom lines must have been achieved….we can hope however there is enough ambivalence with the final agreement that may temper the willingness to increase financial support

      • tracey 7.1.1

        The about-turn on the fast track came about because Democrats and Republicans accepted big donations for their personal re-election. Still time for that to happen again.

        • Pat 7.1.1.1

          “we can hope however there is enough ambivalence with the final agreement that may temper the willingness to increase financial support”

    • tracey 7.2

      that’s a change, just before Maui you were adamant it would not get through at all.

  8. Penny Bright 8

    So – this was the reason behind the recent spate of ad hominem attacks on Professor Jane Kelsey?

    Where are the FACTUAL INACCURACIES in anything Professor Jane Kelsey has said in this article?

    Wayne Mapp?
    Matthew Hooton?
    Anybody?
    _________________________________________________

    National government betrays NZers in TPPA deal

    Tuesday, 6 October 2015, 12:16 pm

    Press Release: Jane Kelsey
    National government betrays NZers in TPPA deal

    ‘This deal is a travesty of democracy’, said Professor Jane Kelsey about the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) in Atlanta, USA.

    ‘The government has ignored, insulted and lied to its citizens.’

    ‘Minister Groser has misled New Zealanders. He always knew he was on a hiding to nothing on dairy.

    I have predicted many times that he would not do as he said and walk away from a lousy deal, but would make claim that there were some intangible future gains from being in the club.

    That’s exactly what’s happened’.

    ‘Professor Kelsey urged New Zealanders to ask a simple question: “who gave the Prime Minister and Trade Minister the right to sacrifice our rights to affordable medicine, to regulate foreign investment, to decide our own copyright laws, to set up new SOEs, and whatever else they have agreed to in this secret deal and present it to us as a fait accompli?’’.’

    She points out the last major sticking point was monopoly rights for Big Pharma over life saving medicines, showing the TPPA is anything but a ‘free trade’ deal.

    ‘The compromise language on biologic medicines agreed between the US and Australia is apparently so vague the US can and will insist that its intepretation prevails.

    Giving Big Pharma another three years monopoly over the data, on top of other changes to patents and more leverage over decisions, will undermine the “fundamentals” of Pharmac and blow out the medicines bill.’

    ‘While Australia was fighting US demands on medicines, our government seemed to be lost in action and obsessed with selling more dairy,’ remarked Professor Kelsey.

    ‘Not only is a “dairy for medicines” deal unconscionable – it is a total sellout. That’s even before we factor in the handcuffs on future governments in investment, SOEs, financial services, government procurement, and so much more.’

    ‘I suspect any new dairy access is largely smoke and mirrors, with quotas on carefully selected products and subject to safeguards should increased New Zealand imports impact on America’s domestic agriculture. The problem is we can’t see the details to assess that’.

    Under the US Fast Track law, President Obama needs to give 90 days notice to Congress before he can sign, and release the text 30 days into that period.

    ‘The government is bound to spin the benefits like crazy, knowing that we won’t get to see the real deal for another month. The Minister needs to release the full details immediately.’

    Meanwhile, members of the US Congress and the corporate lobbyists who are ‘cleared advisers’ will get to see the deal. Professor Kelsey predicts ‘they will be all over it, and seeking to remove what they still don’t like and add their demands. That will be the first of many opportunities to rewrite the deal as the US moves into an election year.

    The immediate responses from the US show it will be a dog fight in Congress with almost all the Democrat members opposing the deal and Republicans abandoning Obama in droves.’

    ‘This is far from over yet. There are three months before the TPPA can be signed.

    The government’s “trust us” promises were a sham and New Zealanders have been sold down the river.

    It is time for Opposition parties and ordinary New Zealaanders to force the government to step away, and make it clear to National that failing to do so will carry the ultimate electoral penalty.

  9. vto 9

    1% gain

    in 15 years

    is

    in the reality of business

    worthless

    .

    in fact it is a restricting negative and no business would take on such a burden

  10. ianmac 10

    The bits that I had previously read left me bewildered. Thanks to Rod and Danyl, I can now make sense of the central issues. To me, their items above are very very important. Each item could be contested by those who support TPP and it will be interesting if they do or can, without just denigrating the messengers.
    Daylight is refreshing.

  11. Et Tu Brute 11

    The TPP demands all member nations allow freedom of association, collective bargaining and at a minimum have robust yet basic labour laws with clear paths for complaints in regards to breaches of the above. It also demands that prospective laws go out for consultation to the general public and that governments can’t rule by edict. I’m not sure if China would agree to those terms. We should celebrate instead that the likes of Vietnam did.

    • dukeofurl 11.1

      Where does it say that ?

      • Et Tu Brute 11.1.1

        Chapter 19 deals with the issue of labour. The chapter requires member states to uphold “freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining; elimination of forced labour; abolition of child labour and a prohibition on the worst forms of child labour; and elimination of discrimination in employment. They also agree to have laws governing minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health.”

        The chapter also requires processes for labour grievances (such as our personal grievance system).

        Chapter 25 deals with regulatory coherence and Chapter 7 deals with technical barriers to trade. So countries can legislate in the public interests (such as ban sugary drinks) without getting sued, however they have to follow a number of steps – such as public consultation, lead in times and provide full and adequate information to those potentially affected.

        • dukeofurl 11.1.1.1

          The mfat wording is a lot weaker than what you suggest

          “Recognition that labour standards should not be used for protectionist trade purposes”- doesnt sound all that tough to me

          Good luck all for all the normal standards being available in a one party state like Vietnam.

          One other point you have overlooked , is that who benefits from lax labour standards implemented in the first place.

          Why that would be major western brands who have a race to the bottom as they play different countries off each other

          • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1.1.1

            I wonder if ETB is referring to the chapter summary released by the US negotiators…

    • tracey 11.2

      Is that based on a previously leaked clause or something you have gained contrary to confidentiality?

      • Et Tu Brute 11.2.1

        Tracey you can look up Chapters 7, 19 and 25 in any analysis out there and you will find what I just said.

        • tracey 11.2.1.1

          Right, so you are referring to the previously leaking information.

          • Et Tu Brute 11.2.1.1.1

            No I am referring to government papers and other fact sheets. Yes you could go all conspiratorial and say that when multiple TPP governments say the TPP has clauses on x, y and z they are all lying. They might miss something out, but when they say there are clauses requiring freedom of association etc… then I think there are clauses requiring freedom of association.

            New Zealand’s overview of Chapter 19 for example is here: http://www.tpp.mfat.govt.nz/assets/docs/TPP_factsheet_Labour-and-Environment.pdf

            • tracey 11.2.1.1.1.1

              The Fact Sheets are PR summaries. It is hard to tell what is accurate. For example Groser has put $$ on all the purported benefits, but not the costs. See the IP Fact Sheet for example.

              “Exceptions and limitations have also
              been included. However, the changes required by the
              chapter will still entail some costs for New Zealand.
              These need to be considered against the benefits of the
              agreement as a whole.

              He knows, but won’t say.

              Reading copyright, he knows the figures but chooses the average, rather than the figures for the near future which will be the highest

              “The net cost of extending New Zealand’s copyright
              term from 50 to 70 years will be small to begin with and
              increase gradually over 20 years, reaching a relatively
              constant level after that. Over the very long term,
              including the initial 20-year period, the average annual
              cost is estimated to be around $55 million. “

              • Et Tu Brute

                Yes, but then $$ amounts are rarely the most accurate projections. Are you disputing though that the TPP has these provisions? And if we take your position to the extreme then it would lead to the conclusion that nothing can be known about the agreement and we should remain agnostic until the day the full text is released. What is your position?

                [saw you edited your piece]

                Again, numbers get fudged all the time but positive statements of policy are harder to fudge. ie. freedom of association, minimum wage and work conditions etc… yes some can be defined away but we’re not talking about numbers here.

                [lprent: There is something like an 8 minute edit time on comments. Most regular commentators use it frequently.

                For my 2c worth. I’d point out that general statements of intent are usually meaningless and useless bits of propaganda. After all we have John Key who can describe the massive job making potential of cycleways 6 years ago, and curiously reticent on it now.

                Getting details beyond those that someone like John Key will impart is slightly more precise. The actual legislation / regulation changes are slightly better again.

                But ultimately the application within, or lack of application of, law and regulation is the only way to judge the effective intent of anything. Of course by that time it is so late in the day, that pointing to it and saying cycleways don’t increase employment is somewhat late.

                Most of us tend to not be “agnostic”, but are “skeptical” about the slithery promises of proven liars like John Key. For some reason you appear to so easily satisfied that you appear to qualify for the epitaph of “stupid sucker”. ]

            • tracey 11.2.1.1.1.2

              Interestingly that chapter you refer to is all about “reaffirm”ing existing obligations. The need to reaffirm perhaps suggests that parties, or some countries, are currently not following them?

              “Each Party will reaffirm their obligations as members
              of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The
              Parties also agree to adopt and maintain in their
              laws and practice the internationally recognised
              labour rights stated in the 1998 ILO Declaration
              on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work1
              ,
              including prohibitions on child labour. ”

              That Declaration is all about (see footnote 1 of TPP Fact Sheet)
              “freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced or compulsory labour, the abolition of child labour and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.”

              “http://www.ilo.org/declaration/lang–en/index.htm

              And yet in our own country since 1998 there has been an eroding of some of those laws, so ther eis obviously a very broad brush to be drawn across these laws.

              • Et Tu Brute

                For New Zealand yes because we are so far ahead of many of the other countries in the deal. Maybe we are reading someone else’s mail?

                • tracey

                  We are already doing what others are now agreeing to do, is that what you mean?

                  • Et Tu Brute

                    Yes. Remember my original comment was not to say the TPP is a good deal or not, it was to explain why the likes of China wouldn’t be a part of it.

                    • tracey

                      I was addressing your comment that what appears in the TPP Fact Sheet you refer to is something “We should celebrate”

                      Notwithstanding it refers to ILO Declaration which we signed in 1997 and yet have been eroding those very things since then. So the celebration is both premature and based on a misunderstanding of both the situation in the labour market in NZ for the last 40 years and the footnote that you are pinning your statements on.

                    • tracey

                      cat got your fingers?

                • tracey

                  NZ has been eroding the freedom of association and rights to collective bargaining for about 40 years, so your suggestion that the TPP strengthens the lot of worker sis rubbish if you are basing it on the section footnote which refers to the ILO.

        • lprent 11.2.1.2

          You mean some largely meaningless bullshit is worth reading? Where is the detail? And the changes to regulation and legislation. Those are worth reading.

  12. Kevin 12

    So in reality, this is not actually a deal about trade, as the meagre proposed benefits are dubious at best. It is a deal about the rules of trade and who really stands to benefit and my guess is it is not Joe Public. This is simply a mechanism to lock-in corporate dominance of OUR economy and reduce the effects of government oversight and it’s ability to legislate in the best interests of the citizens of New Zealand.

    • tc 12.1

      Which is pretty much what nact have been doing since they took office by selling down our asset base, transferring public wealth to private, hobbling SOE’s/R&D/H&S and setting the scene for more sercos via social bonds etc.

      Tax cuts cost the crown over $1b p.a. which goes on the public debt but benefit the top end as one example.

  13. ianmac 13

    Should the Government of the day cancel Serco’s contract then under TPP Serco could sue NZ for millions, not only for the loss of the business but multi millions lost from future earnings. Guess which company will be here for ever?

    And what about those overseas companies who have or will invest in NZ businesses? They go bust, or get burnt down, or taken over by civil unrest, and under TPP NZ will be sued for millions plus the loss of future earnings, and there would be nothing the Government could do about it. No appeal. No rule of NZ Law. Nothing but huge cost to the taxpayer.

    Quebec cancelled the US contract for fracking as it was not in the interests of the people or the land. There were sued for billions by the frackers, who won.

    • tracey 13.1

      It might only require a threat to sue to get clauses removed from a BIll or whatever. This is why OIA and the prompt backing up of it by Ombudsmen is crucial.

      Note Prof Kelsey has been waiting since July for the Ombudsmen to chase up the refusal by Groser to release cost/benefit projections for the TPP

      • ianmac 13.1.1

        Yes Tracey. Andrew Geddis last week pointed out the probability that Governments fear claims against them so will avoid risks. Eg Not taking action to require plain packaging of cigarettes. The chilling effect for some thing that might otherwise be for the good of people.
        See Pundit http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/of-tpps-isdss-and-the-constitution

        • tracey 13.1.1.1

          Thanks for the link. It’s one of the cleverer outcomes because it’s hard to measure. The Bill’s that never get off the ground cos of threats (so other reasons are invented for not bringing it in or pushing it down the line) . Not the Sabin Bill has conveniently disappeared.

        • tracey 13.1.1.2

          Did you read this link posted in the comments of that thread? It suggest a US CHamber of Congress link to Tobacco companies being able to sue under investor Reations clauses

          http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/01/business/international/us-chamber-works-globally-to-fight-antismoking-measures.html?_r=0

          A global treaty, negotiated through the World Health Organization, mandates anti-smoking measures and also seeks to curb the influence of the tobacco industry in policy making. The treaty, which took effect in 2005, has been ratified by 179 countries; holdouts include Cuba, Haiti and the United States.

    • nadis 13.2

      One problem Canada has – and potentially the US – is that states or provinces are making law which may result in a case under the ISDS – but it is the federal government on the hook, not the provinces.

      The Quebec fracking case didn’t cost Canada billions. Lone Pine Resources (ironically a Canadian company in terms of head office, staff, location, area of operation but conveniently incorporated in Delaware) had existing property and exploration rights cancelled by the Qebec govt without compensation. If ISDS didn’t exist they could have takeen Qebec to regualr court in Canada. And they sued for $250 million (not billions), have subsequently gone bankrupt althought rhe case is still in play.

      Between 1995 and 2005 there were 12 cases against Canada under Nafta ISDS provisions, since 2005, 23 cases. So far Canada has lost or settled 6 cases for a total of $170 million, again, not billions.

      Every case that I’m aware is allegedly because existing rights that a company had or believed they had were removed without compensation – same kind of argument as the seabed and foreshore act in NZ. You might argue with the legitimacy of a particular complaint, but they all have the same underlying rationale.

      Theres nothing controversial about the intent of the ISDS – its simply supposed to provide objective protection for companies who invest abroad. The potential problem though – and I don’t know how TPPA addresses it, is the make up of the arbitration panel and the inability of a losing party to appeal. And there has been a case in Canada where the arbitration panel decision conflicts with other treaties which creates a bit of a conundrum. All of a sudden the highest court in the land is the Nafta arbitration panel not the the Canadian supreme court. If the US ever loses a case that results in a conflict with Federal last they’ll just make new law to override the arbitration decision.

  14. tc 14

    Crikey sums it up:
    “Both the TPP and data retention are the product of unaccountable, state-within-state bureaucracies that seek to operate behind closed doors with minimal parliamentary accountability and a fierce resentment of independent scrutiny, with the aim of handing greater power to themselves and their key stakeholders. They see democracy as at best an inconvenience and, more realistically, a threat: both identify the democratisation of communication via the internet as a danger to be fought with the most draconian laws possible.”

    • tracey 14.1

      What amazes me is how some Right supporting folks seem to totally misunderstand the Legal system, how lawyers operate and how Businesses use the legal system to their own ends.

    • tracey 14.2

      What amazes me is how some Right supporting folks seem to totally misunderstand the Legal system, how lawyers operate and how Businesses use the legal system to their own ends.

    • ianmac 14.3

      The detail of TPP may have been written by Corporation Lawyers rather than Tim or his minions. The right to sue has been in legislation for decades but seldom enforced until the 90s. It is in the recent Korean Treaty. TPP is not a product of democratically elected people and nor will its effect be run by our MPs and not by our Court System.
      Scary to say the least!

      • tracey 14.3.1

        I get that Timmy didn’t write it. Can you imagine how much money everyone’s lawyers made from negotiations over 10 years, and even still as we type?

        The thing sis that the parties we have entered FTA’s with to date have no history of wanting to use lawyers to bludgeon countries into submission BUT some of the countries we now are subject to within TPP DO have that history of corporates in their countries using the legal system and the closed shop of the Investor Tribunal to bludgeon their interests over the sovereignty of nations.

  15. tc 15

    Frank Zappa also comes to mind:
    “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

  16. philp 16

    TPP final negotiation agreed by National = BAD, agreed by Labour (had they been govt) = GOOD.
    Time to get your heads out of the sand and support a trade agreement that will be very beneficial to NZ both short term and long term.
    Your shortsightedness is sad and quite frankly frightening and what Little says is worse.

    [lprent: To me it appears that you have your head firmly stuffed up your self-referential arsehole.

    Most of the people (including me) questioning the TPPA would be just as skeptical about any agreement that a Labour government came back with. This isn’t like the Korean FTA signed by National a few years ago, which received little of the skepticism that is one is receiving here.

    Perhaps you’d care to figure out what the differences are rather than being a thickheaded troll. But if you want to be meaningless troll running idiotic lines, which is what you look like, then go and do it elsewhere. We tend to prefer intelligent commenters who can debate rather than dumb fuckwits like you.

    I’d suggest reading what people say rather than plagiarizing someone else’s lines (your comment looks like foolish propaganda designed fro Mike Hosking). Start with our reading our policies on standards of behaviour on this site. ]

    • tracey 16.1

      tree good. fire bad

      Questioning a process that has been deliberately kept secret from the public is not having your head in the sand. Actually the opposite is probably true.

      Don’t be frightened little sparrow Uncle Timmy is skillfully releasing stuff in a selected manner to keep you in your comfort zone.

      When the text is made available and those with the skills can analyse it we will know if your blind faith was justified.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      TPP final negotiation agreed by National = BAD, agreed by Labour (had they been govt) = GOOD.

      Nope. Even if Labour had signed it it would have been bad.

      Time to get your heads out of the sand and support a trade agreement that will be very beneficial to NZ both short term and long term.

      It’s not a trade agreement but an anti-trade agreement and protection for the big multi-national corporations from democracy.

      • philp 16.2.1

        Crap!

        • One Anonymous Bloke 16.2.1.1

          Restraint of trade, such as extending post-mortem copyright to 70 years, for example. Dictating how Pharmac will act in the global market. Dictating how ISPs will act in a global market, while profiting from file-sharing by third parties.

          Yeah, I know, none of that exists on Planet Philp.

    • philp 16.3

      Nice one Lynne your abuse knows no bounds and is typical of you and the left. haha.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.3.1

        Dirty Politics was about the National Party.

        • philp 16.3.1.1

          The Left are Masters of Dirty Politics! Just think of all the nastiness that JK has had to put up with over the years.

          • marty mars 16.3.1.1.1

            “Just think of all the nastiness that JK has had to put up with over the years.”

            lol sob lol – poor wee jk no one remembers his name no more sob

          • Draco T Bastard 16.3.1.1.2

            Nope, that would be National and John Key

            Still an honest man?

            All the nastiness comes from National and their RWNJ supporters – just have to look at what you’ve written here to prove that.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 16.3.1.1.3

            Dirty Politics is a very specific subset of “nastiness” that involves employing the tools of the state against ones political opponents. And academics who threaten your donors’ bottom line. And journalists who ask hard questions.

            You can pretend that members of the public calling John Key names is the same as the GCSB playing partisan politics if you like: it’s your credibility.

  17. DLANZ Disabled Liberation Aotearoa NZ 17

    Great item thanks…its the secrecy and the regulations that worries me
    Disability doctrines of inclusion requires empowerment be based on ‘informed decisions’ and feel that It is the view of Disabled Liberation Aotearoa NZ DLANZ​ that the issue of Sovereignty requires trust in a government that shows integrity. Based on the performance of this Government, there is very little to give if secrecy surrounds the details AND Treaty of Waitangi interests appear to be threatened. DLANZ would encourage those Opposition Parties to notify the other TPP Member States of their intentions so ‘no surprises there

    Regards
    Doug Hay
    Cordinator DLANZ ‘

  18. Smilin 18

    Well if Kim dotcom and Warner Bros are a measure of thinking on intellectual property rights in the TPPA . I say we better be real careful
    who we have on our behalf
    Shades of the Rainbow Warrior

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    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago