Post TPPA signing

Written By: - Date published: 6:14 am, March 12th, 2018 - 34 comments
Categories: capitalism, climate change, Economy, trade - Tags: , , , ,

 

It’s Our Future spokesperson Oliver Hailes was interviewed by Wallace Chapman on Sunday (RNZ) yesterday. It’s only five and half minutes, but Hailes is succinct and clear in pointing to the problems.

It’s not a shiney new deal, it’s basically the same deal that David Parker and Labour were protesting about a few years ago. It’s not about trade, it’s about setting the agenda for the global economy.

The rules are wrong for NZ. Business can’t trust democracy to protect its profits. Governments are under pressure to deal with social issues and climate change and meaningful action on these will negatively affect foreign investors and multinationals.

They’ve kind of highjacked the popular discourse of free trade and expanded the scope of these treaties to include legal obligations that make it very difficult for future governments to regulate in the public interest.

Wallace Chapman suggests that the TPPA will create lots of jobs. Hailes cites Tufts University that there will be a net decrease in jobs from the TPPA. MFAT says there will be only a slight net increase.

This discrepancy means there needs to be independent analysis of cost benefits before ratification. This is an opportunity for Labour and NZ to be different from National and not rush to complete the deal without bringing everyone in.

Haile cites MFAT’s own figures to show that the benefit to the economy as a whole is trifling over time. Chapman uses the example of reduced tariffs putting meat exporters back in the game, and again, jobs! But Hailes points out that the meat industry will be increasingly automated (e.g. in abattoirs), so the promise of jobs isn’t reliable.

Hailes also co-authored this article published in the New Zealand Medical Journal last week,

In this viewpoint article, however, we focus on the CPTPP in the context of the global climate crisis and its potential downstream impacts on health. While the treaty pays lip service to broader social and environmental concerns, we will highlight how the CPTPP is geared fundamentally towards the interests of transnational corporations and foreign investors at the expense of concerns about human and environmental health.

There’s a good summation of the direct and indirect impacts on health from climate change (some already happening), along with pointing to the health benefits of an approach of mitigating climate change. However,

Only six of the 30 chapters to the TPPA, now the CPTPP, deal with trade in goods such as meat, milk and motorcars. The rest of the 6,000 pages cover a vast range of matters such as Electronic Commerce, Government Procurement, Labour and Environment. Yet nowhere in the final text is the term “climate change” mentioned.18

(my emphasis).

Article 20.15 appears to address the climate crisis obliquely…

But it is important to realise from a legal standpoint that these soft acknowledgements and the vagaries of the environmental “Cooperation Frameworks” (Article 20.12) contrast starkly to the enforceable rules designed to protect the profitability of foreign investments.

Investor protections under the CPTPP effectively introduce a backdoor mechanism to constrain New Zealand’s law-making process by enabling investors to sue governments if they adopt regulations that, for example, erode the expected value of their assets through environmental regulations such as the phasing out of fossil fuel extraction. These protections are not available to New Zealand citizens and businesses, yet they extend to “every asset that [a foreign] investor owns or controls, directly or indirectly, that has the characteristics of an investment, including such characteristics as the commitment of capital or other resources, the expectation of gain or profit, or the assumption of risk” (Article 9.1). This expansive definition goes well beyond real estate and physical assets to cover almost everything that can be wrapped in the cloak of property rights, including this non-exhaustive list of examples: regulatory permits; intellectual property rights; financial instruments such as stocks and derivatives; “turnkey, construction, management, production, concession, revenue-sharing and other similar contracts”; and “licences, authorisations, permits and similar rights conferred pursuant to the [country’s] law”.

The effect of the Investment Chapter, in particular, is not so much to reform current policy but to prevent future progressive or precautionary reforms through obligations that make it more difficult for governments to regulate in response to public health and environmental risks.

Concluding remarks

Since 1984, successive governments in New Zealand and other countries in the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have actively pursued a broadly neoliberal policy agenda characterised by transforming public property and social services into tradable assets and creating a regulatory landscape that prioritises interests of foreign investors.30 As we have noted, international economic treaties such as the CPTPP have been a key mechanism through which this agenda has been consolidated and expanded. However, in light of climatic impacts alone, it is now clear that this model of economic development is unsustainable, dangerous to population health and in urgent need of fundamental reform.

The Labour-led Government has launched into its first term with bold plans to align New Zealand’s economy with priorities dictated by the urgency of the climate crisis. This will include introducing a Zero Carbon Bill to set statutory targets for transitioning to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050; health professionals will have the opportunity to contribute to the nationwide consultation beginning in May. Ironically, the Government’s ambition in this regard would be seriously undercut by signing a treaty that underwrites the economic status quo and creates strong legal headwinds for essential regulatory action. A systematic and independent assessment of the CPTPP’s anticipated impacts on climate disruption, and on mitigation strategies, should therefore be undertaken and released for public discussion before the treaty is ratified. The assessment should also include an analysis of the projected impacts on population health and equity. Such an assessment is particularly critical as climate change poses such clear risks to the health of New Zealanders, and the constraints on climate action conferred by the CPTPP (as presently formulated) would prevent important steps to protect our health and create a fairer society.

Authors:

  • Oliver Hailes, Solicitor and Legal Scholar, Wellington
  • Rhys Jones, Senior Lecturer, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, University of Auckland, Auckland
  • David Menkes, Academic Psychiatrist, Waikato Clinical Campus, University of Auckland, Auckland
  • Joshua Freeman, Consultant Clinical Microbiologist, Canterbury District Health Board
  • Erik Monasterio, Clinical Director Canterbury Regional Forensic Service and Senior Clinical Lecturer, Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch.

34 comments on “Post TPPA signing”

  1. Loop 1

    Could not have said it better myself. Government needs to listen and act in the interests of it’s citizens! The economic and social engineering of the past 3 decades is an abysmal failure for the majority.

  2. Ed 2

    Both main political parties in New Zealand are neoliberal.
    This treaty is another nail in the coffin of citizens rights.
    The banks and corporations already own us.
    Now they can take us to court if we try to end that.

    • soddenleaf 2.1

      Thirty years ago middle east oil gushed cheaply out onto the world. We did not ask what the consequences were, in fact a extremist ideology encapsulating see, hear, speak no govt. The idea was accepted by most as the regulatory mix held back the economy from utilizing the gushing cheap, high density fuel. Several mistaken assumptions were mythologized, that the right were now experts, that they delivered the economic growth, that the market would limit externaitites. The right, who are funded by those big corps want to capture free trade agreements for their own rent seeking activities, and most business were happy to oblige thinking what’s good for the goose… …however something changed, not only are the assumption bad for businesses, the environment, but it makes the right look stupid for continuing them.

      But wait, the left come to their defense. Arguing freer trade is bad, or checks a balances are anti human rights. We all should want fewer rent seekers, and means to curtail them. I oppose the tpp as it’s checks were hidden ends in private courts, i eelcome harmonization as it aids dealing with ecological crisises. And most people do also, so please stop and think about consequences of international agreements that target hidden costs and what it would be like without them.

      True the right has done little to pass on the benefits of the freer trade, sure owning several homes, getting lavish pay and benefits stops as our mps leave parliament. you might say at the door of parliament.

  3. Johnr 3

    Good post Weka,
    It confirms what I believe that this agreement is another step towards a one world government.

    This one world government will be covert and owned and controlled by the 0.01%.

    They will not form any governing body as we know it, but rather let our current governing bodies exist as they do now. But, they will control those governing bodies.

    There is ample evidence that this is so through powerful lobby groups as well as legal agreements such as the CPTPP

  4. chris73 4

    I’ll admit I’ve been critical of Labour but this is a good thing they’ve done for the country so well done to them

    • Molly 4.1

      Is your reading comprehension lacking? Or did you not find anything inaccurate in the post, so you resort to tired baiting?

      • chris73 4.1.1

        When Labour do something I disagree with I post it, when they do something I agree with I post it

        We’re an island nation which has to trade and its a trade deal which opens up markets for us, its a good deai

        • dukeofurl 4.1.1.1

          The trouble with saying that, is people who disagree seem to think we can become like Albania or Cuba.
          Its just a fact of life that ‘rules and regulations’ about trade pop up all the time, see the recent turn-around of phosphate from Western Shahara

        • Molly 4.1.1.2

          “We’re an island nation which has to trade and its a trade deal which opens up markets for us, its a good deai”
          It’s not expected to deliver in terms of jobs, or provide a significant increase in GDP. So what makes it a “good deal”?

        • lprent 4.1.1.3

          The amount of ‘trade’ in this dsft agreement for NZ is so small that it resembles Cameron Slater’s moral and ethical depth. So small that it vert nearly isn’t measurable.

          Basically it is a crap deal for trade because the only benefits are for a few rural industries with decreasing employment and margins plus the bankers who suck among them.

          It causes increased hidden costs for every local export industry with good margins and increasing employment. Curiously MFAT hasn’t analyzed that

          • Ad 4.1.1.3.1

            Tariffs will be eliminated on all NZ exports to CPTPP countries – with the exception of beef to Japan, and dairy to Japan, Canada, and Mexico.

            Compare: early estimates of tariff savings at the signing of the NZ-China FTA were estimated at $115m. Our trade with China has now quadrupled.

            Not saying I like all of TPPA. It’s just not all bad.

            • lprent 4.1.1.3.1.1

              Are you deliberately being a dimwit with false equivalences? Or are toy simply being a MFAT (lying by omission)?

              Outside of rural industries – are there any tariffs worth mentioning in any of the countries ? I don’t know of any at all.. Even places like Japan have limited tariffs – they specialize in the types of restrictions that this agreement won’t cover. Ask the flower exporters.

              Are there any on these countries where we cannot access resources (including their manufacturing) in those countries ? Again, I don’t know of any.

              Trying to compare it to China is just stupid. China had major import tariffs and restrictions across the board. It still does.

              But outside of the rural sector this country also gained a great deal by being able to access the manufacturing inside China. I can’t see any of that happening from ANY other nation in this abortion of a trade agreement.

              I can’t see anything good in this agreement apart from for the 0.05% of the population who are shareholders in a few rural industries. Which are effectively an industries that are slowly dying due to incompetence and a lack of innovation over many decades.

              I can however see how it is going to negatively impact on everyone else. Something that neither you nor MFAT are apparently willing to deal with.

              Of course I have only had 40 years of actually exporting – so what would I know eh?

              • Stunned Mullet

                This site is useful for determining the various tariffs to those markets one exports to.

                https://tariff-finder.fta.govt.nz/

              • Ad

                You are clearly not in a ‘rural’ industry, or one needing their ingredients.

                Nor are you from a developing country, for whom agricultural tariffs are the core driver of global trade inequality.

                No doubt this agreement should have done so much more. You won’t hear me praising extrajudicial conflict resolution.

                But I think you are confusing a trade argument for a productivity argument: you want fewer bulky high-mass commodities and more digital ones.

                Few would disagree with that general direction, but this agreement was never going to be a substitute for a national high end manufacturing strategy.

          • weka 4.1.1.3.2

            “Basically it is a crap deal for trade because the only benefits are for a few rural industries with decreasing employment and margins plus the bankers who suck among them.”

            Which begs the question of why Labour were so keen. They had a way out, why didn’t they take it?

            • lprent 4.1.1.3.2.1

              Labour are interested in getting another term or two.

              They simply can’t do that without the provincial areas and NZ First. National made it perfectly clear that they’d use this particular issue that benefits their larger donors to attack both NZF and Labour if they did anything to disrupt it.

              Plus of course the idiots employed in MFAT like going to conferences on it more than they like actually doing some legwork on trade. They have been incredibly slack for the last decade. It has been noticeable that the increase in the tech sector has been going on despite them rather than with them.

        • Incognito 4.1.1.4

          We’re an island nation which has to trade and its a trade deal which opens up markets for us, its a good deai [sic]

          I’m with Molly @ 4.1 that either your reading comprehension is lacking, you’re baiting, you didn’t read the OP at all, or all of the above:

          It’s not about trade, it’s about setting the agenda for the global economy.

          It’s not an FTA but something that goes much deeper & further.

  5. CHCOff 5

    When New Zealand is no longer weak it can be unsigned later.

    Lets fire up the engines of independent communities via traditional NZ equalitarian sports club culture boys and girls!

  6. Drowsy M. Kram 6

    Thanks for this excellent post, Weka. Transnational corporates are the grasping global governance ‘arms’ of the 0.001%.

    Isn’t it extraordinary that David Parker and other pro-CPTPPA authorities feel it necessary to reassure the public that future NZ governments will be able to regulate/legislate in the public interest.

    That such reassurances are considered necessary says it all. Whereas I thought that regulating/legislating in the public interest is the priority function of any sovereign government, and any NZ government that knowingly undermines our sovereignty is a treasonous government.

    Regardless, expect reassurances, of the ‘sustaining sovereignty’ type, to continue until they become untenable.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.1

      And of course, what is and isn’t in the Public Interest, is now open for costly debate by lawyers of wealthy corporations in ISDS….

  7. dukeofurl 7

    This is what Labour did say before the election ( by Little) about the previousTPA.

    “It is important that trade agreements are carefully negotiated, and that provisions in these agreements do not undercut the regulatory sovereignty of New Zealand.
    Labour opposes the sale of our farms, homes, state-owned enterprises, and monopoly
    infrastructure to overseas buyers. Investment protocols in trade agreements should not prevent a future government controlling such sales.
    The current National government traded away these rights in NZ’s Free Trade Agreement with South Korea and in the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership.

    Ceding this was wrong in principle. It was also unnecessary, given that other
    countries including Australia retained their rights to do so. Labour will renegotiate these provisions.
    https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/nzlabour/pages/8555/attachments/original/1504500586/Trade_Manifesto.pdf?1504500586

    ‘Labour will renegotiate these provisions’, and they did

    I understand Greens pre election policy was similar:
    We support open and rules-based trade, but have concerns over agreements that extend into intrusive rules on government regulation, and the inclusion of Investor State Dispute Settlement. We would work with like-minded governments towards agreements that embody fair and sustainable trade, and which ensure that governments’ right to regulate in the public interest is fully protected….

    I dont see an newer posting on Greens Blog about TPPA, but presumably they say CPTPP ‘doesnt go far enough’ but not sure exactly the details and whether they ‘future weaknesses’ rather than existing issues

    • weka 7.1

      Can’t make sense of the grammar in your last paragraph, but the Greens have made their stance on the latest version of the TPPA clear, and that has been covered on TS. Try reading their trade policy as well, and it will be clear why the TPPA is still considered a dog.

      “‘Labour will renegotiate these provisions’, and they did”

      Yes, but not in any adequate way, and either they mislead the voters, or the voters were daft for believing Labour, depending on how you see it. Labour initially said they wouldn’t sign unless they could protect NZ sovereignty etc, and then their messaging (post leadership change) became they would sign and they would do their best. Those are very different messages.

      • dukeofurl 7.1.1

        “‘Labour will renegotiate these provisions’, and they did”
        Yes, but not in any adequate way

        Thats not what Shaw said

        ““We recognise Trade Minister David Parker has made significant progress on some controversial provisions in the TPP, including investor-state dispute settlement, and we support those changes. However, we still don’t believe there are sufficient safeguards for people and the environment that would enable us to support the deal,” Mr Shaw said”

        No change to Green position on TPP

        I can see the Greens are not totally happy, after all ‘not-far-enough-ism’ is a legitimate political strategy.[Which labour used on TPA]
        But I beg to differ on it ‘not in any adequate way’ (Your words) when the party leader was much more positive.

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          still no idea what you are on about. Obviously I’m not Shaw, and I disagree with his framing.

    • Carolyn_Nth 7.2

      Labour signed side letters with 5 mainly minor countries, out of 11 against ISDS.

      This will not stop corporations relocating to other countries in the 11 to launch ISDS suits against NZ legislation.

      Those side letters are like saying we’ve now got an ocean going boat with 5 leaks instead of 10 – or like saying a condom with holes is better than no condom.

  8. savenz 8

    Agree 100%

    Also the ecommerce laws are designed to circumvent privacy of Kiwi’s data and also conveniently means that records of Kiwis such as medical records or criminal records can be kept offshore.

    What got the EU residents up in arms (as well as the ISDS) was the ability for their ‘social’ services to be outsourced.

    Trade agreements around the world have already killed worker jobs or lowered the wages to below liveable levels (see our high skilled transport industry that pays $16 – $20 p/h in AUCKLAND) , now the managerial jobs are cleared to go offshore for health, police, defence, councils, education etc.

    Our Labour and NZ First government just signed that one away for future jobs in this country.

    If you don’t like it, don’t forget government are not allowed to give preference to their own countries under these trade agreements.

    All this so according to David Parker, things like beef exports MAY be increased because of our export declines in Japan. Maybe that’s also because Silver Fern is under new Chinese management and Japan does not like it, there’s a million reason’s it could be, a rise in bowel cancer, vegetarianism, not just Australian tariffs and no reason to assume anything is gonna change by signing a ridiculous agreement that they know is going to take jobs away from this country and lower wages even more – it’s already going to cost a absolute fortune in compliance alone that starts from day 1!

    I think CleanGreen described his local council as ‘demented’ because they refused to fund public services like rail because ‘they could not afford it’ while spending millions on new/upgraded council premises.

    Demented is the word that describes these government idiots who are so impractical and without any inkling of creative brain matter to be able to envision a future with the clauses and risks of their own deals they spend millions on organising to sign and cheerlead against their own countries interests. When asked what will happen if, do they put their hands to their heads and chant ‘it’ll be ok, eat beef’ while rocking backwards and forwards?

    If you are one of the 75% who do not think this deal should have been signed then make sure you vote Green so that you send Labour and NZ First and National a message 2020!

  9. Philg 9

    I’ve always suspected Labour, and Jacinda were neolibs. This is another Con(intentional) firmation. She was not voted into leadership by the membership.

  10. savenz 10

    As time goes on, guess what exports change… NZ government is actually trying to keep the low wage economy and unsustainable business practises going by subsidising it with ludicrous agreements or immigration scams to prop up failing corporations and fake/flakey educational qualifications, while wrecking the reputations of the good corporations and educators.

    Time to look out of the box … I’m not a fan of drugs but hey, life changes.. it’s called diversification! NZ is very rich in natural resources and there is plenty of interest in anything to help pain relief for example…. (At last they found something Kiwi worker’s after decades of neoliberalism can excel at:)

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/102044376/medical-marijuana-a-billiondollar-industry-says-budding-exporter-whose-has-staff-with-a-past?cid=facebook.post.102044376

  11. Korero Pono 11

    There is no proof that the CPTPP will benefit New Zealand and without independent analysis no one can make such claims. Evidence suggests (based on the TUFT paper) that job losses are inevitable, along with the resulting increase in inequality. Jane Kelsey’s analysis paints a very grim picture indeed. Never mind that Labour failed miserably in fulfilling the three P’s component of te Tiriti when it comes to this absurd monstrosity of a ‘deal’.

    None of Labour’s five bottom lines were met when they signed this ‘dog’ of a deal, yet their spin merchants have been out in force trying to claim otherwise. Labour have proven once and for all that there is little difference between them and the Nats. I am disgusted at how blatantly they have spun this illusion and equally disgusted how the die-hard Labour fans continue to defend the party’s lies and broken promises.

    They foisted Rogernomics and all of its subsequent tragedies onto us and now they give us CPTT. Way to go Labour. Can’t wait for next election…I imagine that there will be a huge switch in allegiances farther away from the right leaning toss pots we currently have to contend with.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Business can’t trust democracy to protect its profits.

    It’s not a government’s job to protect a businesses profits.

    Governments are under pressure to deal with social issues and climate change and meaningful action on these will negatively affect foreign investors and multinationals.

    That’s the multi-national’s problem – not ours. Ours is ensuring that we have a sustainable and equitable society which actually means getting rid of businesses that prevent that from occuring.

  13. timeforacupoftea 13

    I always thought Parker was in the wrong party.
    Perhaps this time it will be proven.

  14. SPC 14

    The only sensible response is

    1. to ask Labour to oppose the USA joining TPP 11 or develop TPP 11 whereby others can only join on its existing terms and any agreement with changes to those terms is a separate arrangement only including those members that agree. This to make us immune to the nefarious agendas of American corporates.

    2. Labour oppose ISDS in RCEP

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    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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