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The Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill

Written By: - Date published: 8:16 am, July 22nd, 2015 - 49 comments
Categories: act, democracy under attack, greens, International, labour, maori party, national, national/act government, nz first, peter dunne, same old national, trade - Tags:

Fletcher Tabuteau from New Zealand First should be praised for drafting a private member’s bill in an attempt to stop New Zealand entering into any treaty that includes provision for investor-state dispute settlement.

Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party support the introduction of the bill.  All that is required is one more vote to send the bill to select committee and that vote could be Peter Dunne’s.

You can email him at peter.dunne@parliament.govt.nz to ask him to support the introduction of the Bill.  The video suggests writing to ACT’s David Seymour but I suspect that no good will come of that.

49 comments on “The Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill ”

  1. Tautoko Mangō Mata 1

    Is dune correct or should it be dunne?

    [Ta. Fixed – MS]

  2. Charles 2

    I realise it’s a very simple “Bill” ‘n all, but it could do with some polishing. “Fighting…[anything that be baaad]” just doesn’t sound like a good name for an Act, but good for immediately summing up why supporters support it.

    Investor-State Disputes Bill/Act?
    International Settlement Act?
    Dispute Security Act?

    “This bill aims to protect the public interest by prohibiting New Zealand from entering international agreements that include provision for investor-state dispute settlement.”

    They need to lose the “public interest” bit. Doesn’t add anything now, and allows future lawyers/governments room to decide what the public interest is, or not, and undermine, repeal or ignore it.

    I’m sure it could eventually all go horribly wrong, and can think of one scenario where such a law would be a disadvantage (there’s something not quite right with legislating against good faith between parties, even corporate parties). The way things are going, is it possible a future NZ government-only-in-name, would have to team up with a foreign corporate to access a way out of the mess our “democratically elected” fools created? But that’s so far off into an imagined future that it probably doesn’t matter right now. As far as combatting the stupid of TPPA signatorys it’s the only thing we have so far.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      The bill is very simple and obviously there would be a mountain of technical reasons and concerns which is why getting it to select committee is important. Advice can then be received and changes made.

      For one thing I would like to see it have some strength. As an ordinary bill if enacted it can be impliedly repealed by any future act of Parliament.

      • Jackp 2.1.1

        I can’t see Peter Dunne voting for it although I did send him an email of my concerns about the TPPA. His office never returned a reply. Peter Dunne is bought by Key or threatened. I figure the TPPA is the reason why Key was put in the position he is in. The friendly press, no 4th estate, no investigative reporting or be hassled like what happened to Nicky Hagger. Dunne will be under a lot of pressure if he is thinking of voting for it. The reality is he won’t and the media will just pass over the whole thing. Deal done, Key won again not because he is a good prime minister, quite the opposite, but because the media protect him. Here we have a prime minister that is protecting the United States rights over ours. It’s glaring obvious but it will not get through to the voters because the media won’t do its job and INVESTIGATE!

      • Chooky 2.1.2

        +100 ms

    • I don’t think you can read.

      The bill doesn’t enshrine “public interest” for a future government to regulate.
      It states that public interest is the driver behind the bill.

      It does however try to shackle or rather limit the executive in its ability to sign international agreements.
      And while I agree with the content, this part makes me uneasy.

      edit. Hmm, but then again a future govt could simply remove the bill, so it doesnt really limit a govt. Except that overturning a bill of this nature would involve a political fight.

      So, on second thoughts, Yup, looks good to me.

  3. Skinny 3

    The cross party support of this Bill is clearly demonstrating a cohesive opposition. With Ma Fox outshining hapless Flavell in the Tory-Maori Party I fully expect her to take over the leadership within a year. Once this happens the relationship with Labour will flourish, provided the Maori party stay independent of the poison chalice Mana, who’s idiot leader I heard saying it was perfectly fine to eat endangered birds, the guy is just a dead beat who doesn’t warrant taking serious.

    • ” the guy is just a dead beat who doesn’t warrant taking serious.”

      stop being so hard on yourself I’m sure you have some good points lol.

      I do agree that Marama Fox is a good MP.

      As for customary eating – I suppose you’d ban Titi too.

      Typical – colonises come and fuck over the land, sea, rivers and forests – the birds don’t have a chance. Māori have lived with these birds for generations – caring for them, harvesting when appropriate, protecting, sustaining. The colonisers ruin the environment for the birds, they become at risk and all of a sudden any customary harvest for very specific and known reasons is considered b a d bad. naughty indigenous people please do what colonisers do instead of living the righteous life you always have.

      • DoublePlusGood 3.1.1

        Ah yes. Never have Maori caused depletion the numbers and the habitat of a species such that a population collapsed into extinction… exemplary was their environmental management…

        • marty mars

          that’s not what i said but good to know what you think – illuminating a darkness inside eh

          • DoublePlusGood

            Not at all. You appear to have missed my point – Maori have not necessary cared for bird populations for centuries, caring for, harvesting, protecting and sustaining populations. Some species became extinct through slash-and-burn agriculture mixed with over-hunting. Other populations were severely depleted – and some of those the Europeans later extirpated. There is a tendency to mythologise Maori history into a narrative of harmony with the environment, when that in reality was only partially the case. To claim then that sustainable management has occurred for centuries and this justifies continued take of a protected species then has consistency issues with history. Now, certain populations of kereru may be stable and healthy enough that a controlled take for traditional purposes may be ecologically sound, and perhaps an exemption to the protection of kereru could be sought in those instances. But, where the population of kereru is not stable and healthy, this population should be restored to such a state before controlled take of kereru should be permitted.

            • marty mars

              “Now, certain populations of kereru may be stable and healthy enough that a controlled take for traditional purposes may be ecologically sound, and perhaps an exemption to the protection of kereru could be sought in those instances. ”

              I agree. I was talking about kereru and i am aware of the tendency to greenMāori the past – I don’t think I was doing that and I appreciate your comment.

              • Gosman

                The following comment of yours

                “Typical – colonises come and fuck over the land, sea, rivers and forests – the birds don’t have a chance. Māori have lived with these birds for generations – caring for them, harvesting when appropriate, protecting, sustaining. The colonisers ruin the environment for the birds, they become at risk and all of a sudden any customary harvest for very specific and known reasons is considered b a d bad. naughty indigenous people please do what colonisers do instead of living the righteous life you always have.”

                is pretty much a textbook example of a ‘greenMāori the past’.

    • leftie 3.2


      How about the Maori Party stay independent of the poisonous National government? because a vote for the Maori party is a vote for National.

  4. Brigid 4

    Where has he said that?
    He is one of a group who have lodged a claim concerning the Crown’s actions and omissions in its negotiations over the TPPA. So that’s fairly useful.

    • Skinny 4.1

      The silly prick said it on RNZ this morning. The cry baby is grandstanding and would be better handing over the movement leadership to Annette Sykes a woman with true Mana. It is not like he will beat Kelvin Davis again.

  5. Skinny 5

    One law for all Marty. We enjoy the company of a pair of Kereru who come and join us in our garden. They sit close by in a low hanging tree singing and talking amongst themselves, very amusing seeing them crash about the foliage. Every now and then they look good to eat, but a thought is as far as it goes. I choose not to justify some sort of customary traditional rights, and these beautiful birds live to sing forever more.

  6. Sable 6

    Good luck getting anywhere with Dung…..

    • Macro 6.1

      Yeah! You’ll find him in the dunny when it comes time to vote. 🙁 Useless prick.

  7. rod 7

    I think it will be a Dunne deal.

  8. Smilin 8

    The only predators NZ fauna and flora had before Euros-pee-in the pool/country was dem Maoris and Moriori and the Maori dealt to them
    Someone remarked recently that Maori never had bows and arrows
    Didnt need im a bloody long spear was all they needed
    Then them Pakeha come along and accelerated the carnage with animals slash and burn and billions of dollars worth of timber to the States Aussie and Angleland
    Instead of protecting our fishery because they couldnt see the resource that they had was going to be worth more than every cow sheep and any other exploitive money making enterprise you could pollute this country with ie AK housing, trucks , roads instead of lookin after the work of some world class railroad genius
    Allan Gibbshit the beginning of the end, Roger Dougfloss and his amazing flying buck ,Railroading the workers Muldoon, Rolla Bowler penny a pitch Bolger Gina Shipley Reinhardt, and SHONKEY lock up HONKEY
    Who’s next in the Rogues gallery ?While we watch our nation’s wheels fall off

  9. Gosman 9

    Does this mean these parties don’t agree with the China New Zealand FTA because it includes an investor – State Dispute process?


    • dukeofurl 9.1

      Thats more to NZs benefit as the rule of law in China can seem arbitrary away from the large cities.
      Chinese companies would use our legal system as specified

      -the state party may require the investor concerned to go through any applicable domestic administrative review procedures specified by the laws and regulations of the state party-

    • The Green Party was pretty explicit in it’s opposition to Investor State Disputes in: Sept. 2004* and again in 2008*.

      *links are to the Greens site. it’ll be on the govt site somewhere, but these copies were easier to find.

  10. Tautoko Mangō Mata 10

    Here are a few facts gleaned from a fact sheet on Investor-State Dispute Settlements published by the European Commission.

    In the OECD survey (rom 2006-2011, it is shown that:
     48 % of the cases were brought by medium and large enterprises, varying in
    size from several hundred employees to tens of thousands of employees.
    o only 8% of these were extremely large Multinationals – i.e. those
    appearing in UNCTAD’s list of top 100 multinational enterprises;
     22% of the claimants in the sample were either individuals or very small
    corporations with limited foreign operations (one or two foreign projects);
     In 30 % of the cases, there was little or no public information on the type of
    Most ISDS cases concern administrative acts by the executive branches of
    governments affecting foreign investors, such as the cancellation of licences or
    permits, land zoning or breaches of contract.
    According to UNCTAD
    , out of an overall number of concluded cases of 356 by the end
    of 2014:
     37% (132 cases) had been decided in favour of the State, with all claims
    dismissed either on jurisdictional grounds or on the merits;
     28% (101 cases) had been settled;
     25% (87 cases) were found in favour of the investor, with monetary
    compensation awarded;
     8% (29 cases) had been discontinued for reasons other than settlement or
    for unknown reasons;
    A complete overview is difficult because information on the amounts claimed and
    awarded is not always disclosed, even in cases that are public.
    Research by the OECD indicates that the average legal and arbitration costs for a
    claimant are around $8 million.
     The largest cost component is the expense incurred by each party (investor and
    state) for their own legal counsel and experts (about 82 % of the cost of an
    ISDS case).
     Arbitrator fees average about 16% of costs.
     Institutional costs payable to organisations that administer the arbitration
    and provide secretariat are low, generally amounting to about 2% of the costs. ”

    Peter Dunne: this is your chance to be Hero or Zero.

    A Hero would save NZ from this corporate takeover and theft of sovereignty. A Hero would recognise that any promise to lower agricultural tariffs in 15 to 20 years time would not compensate for our country to be able to make its own health and environment laws, free from the chilling effect of threats of multimillion dollar lawsuits.
    A Hero would recognise that sometimes it is better for our country to favour local service providers. A cheaper contract doesn’t always make economic sense, because the country will have to pay more benefits to NZ workers who will be put out of work.
    A Hero would recognise that the whole process of the TPPA has been shonky

    • Phil 10.1

      Most ISDS cases concern administrative acts by the executive branches of
      governments affecting foreign investors, such as the cancellation of licences or
      permits, land zoning or breaches of contract.

      So… most cases are about matters of contract, the exact kind of disputes that an independent body is best suited to arbitrate on. Sounds good so far.

      37% (132 cases) had been decided in favour of the State, with all claims
      dismissed either on jurisdictional grounds or on the merits;
       28% (101 cases) had been settled;
       25% (87 cases) were found in favour of the investor, with monetary
      compensation awarded;
       8% (29 cases) had been discontinued for reasons other than settlement or
      for unknown reasons;

      The plurality of cases find in favour of the State… so there is little evidence of corporate takeover of sovereign policy. Great!

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 10.1.1

        Phil: “The plurality of cases find in favour of the State… so there is little evidence of corporate takeover of sovereign policy. Great!”

        Phil isn’t short for Phillip Morris is it?

        “Regulatory chill’ as a risk brought about by ISDS, has already been exhibited in this very country in anticipation of a future ISDS claim, should TPPA be signed with an ISDS provision. Plain packaging has been put on hold in NZ for what reason…..?

        Headline NZH

        “Pressure to bring in tobacco plain-packaging”

        Beehive urged to hurry final vote by MPs following success of measure in Australia. The Government is being lobbied to bring the tobacco plain-packaging bill back to Parliament for a final vote, now the policy has been found to work “almost like a vaccine against tobacco” in Australia.

        The health select committee last year supported the bill but the Government has delayed bringing it back to the House pending the outcome of the challenges against the Australian law by the tobacco industry.”

        and from Australia

        “Tobacco plain packaging—investor-state arbitration
        On 1 December 2011, the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 (the Act) received Royal Assent and became law in Australia.

        The Act forms part of a comprehensive range of tobacco control measures to reduce the rate of smoking in Australia and is an investment in the long term health of Australians. Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease in Australia.

        Tobacco plain packaging is a legitimate public health measure which is based on a broad range of peer reviewed studies and reports, and supported by leading Australian and international public health experts. Further information regarding the implementation of tobacco plain packaging is available on the Department of Health website.

        Philip Morris Asia is challenging the tobacco plain packaging legislation under the 1993 Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of Hong Kong for the Promotion and Protection of Investments (Hong Kong Agreement). This is the first investor-state dispute that has been brought against Australia.”

        ISDS is a can of worms, Phil. If you research the topic more, you will have your eyes opened.

  11. Tautoko Mangō Mata 11

    Peter Dunne: this is your chance to be Hero or Zero.

    A Hero would save NZ from this corporate takeover and theft of sovereignty. A Hero would recognise that any promise to lower agricultural tariffs in 15 to 20 years time would not compensate for our country to be able to make its own health and environment laws, free from the chilling effect of threats of multimillion dollar lawsuits.
    A Hero would recognise that sometimes it is better for our country to favour local service providers. A cheaper contract doesn’t always make economic sense, because the country will have to pay more benefits to NZ workers who will be put out of work.

    This could be your defining moment, Peter Dunne. Adulation or Vilification?
    Your choice!

    • Les 11.1

      The only choice Dunne makes is ,what colour bow tie to wear.

    • Wayne 11.2

      Well, vilification by you if he does not support the bill, but vilification from the govt which he is a member of if he does.

      Not hard to make the logical choice, particularly given that you would not have voted for him in a hundred years if you lived in his electorate.

      All this mock outrage by the Left is a bit ridiculous. You castigate the man because he does not support your position, even though you all ardently campaigned against him. So he owes you absolutely nothing.

      • Naturesong 11.2.1

        Thats the National party thinking in a nutshell.

        When you win, you govern specifically to advantage your supporters and to disadvantage every other New Zealander*.

        The “fuck you New Zealanders that didn’t vote for me” is strong in this one.

        * or at best wilful disregard.

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 11.2.2

        I’m not concerned that he owes me nothing personally, Wayne, but Peter Dunne should act in the best interests of THIS country and its people who pay him his salary to represent them. It seems that the National Government are acting more in the interests of large corporations and in the political interests of the US which have no interest in the health and the environment of this country, just the profits that they can make and the regulations that they can inflict on us. Has the Government done a cost benefit analysis or NIA to see whether the increased medical charges caused by increasing the patent times is balanced by tariff removals on agriculture? Will any savings in services be enough to pay benefits to those NZers who may lose their jobs? How will NZ cope if there is a conflict between the environmental conservation and a litigious mining company?
        If the TPPA is so wonderful for us, then why is it not being flashed around to convince us?

        The medical profession in NZ? Why are they opposed to TPPA?
        The Librarians-, theTechies….the environmentalists… why are they opposed?

        This is not mock outrage, Wayne. Tell me honestly just who is actually going to benefit from the TPPA. Just how will NZ be better off?

        • Wayne

          Nature Song,

          My objection is more that you know Peter Dunne supports National. And as you know he will support TPP (and has previously said so). So it is hardly fair to blame him for supporting the things he said he would support.

          In fact these are the very reasons Labour tried so hard to displace him, but in that quest Labour failed.

          So stop blaming Peter Dunne for doing the things he was elected to do. Your option is to defeat him at the next election.

        • Wayne

          Tautoko Mango Mata

          I support TPP because freerer trade in goods and services benefits New Zealand. You already know that is my view.

          The Left (and quite possibly Labour) is opposed to that view point.

          Free markets is a key reason why I am a National Party member.

          • Macro

            I oppose free trade – because such trade is always at the expense of New Zealand jobs and New Zealand – and there is ample evidence to support my claim.
            New Zealand used to manufacture its own clothes, electrical appliances, wine bottles, yachts, railway engines, car tyres, ….and the list goes on. We used to process our own lumber and export butter and cheese, but now it is almost soley milk powder. The only shops in my town that are making any money are almost all owned by new immigrants selling cheap articles that are used once and head straight for the dump!
            We used to have 3% unemployment in this country, and people were gainfully employed and workers could earn enough to support their families. Today if a young person is lucky enough to find a job there is no guarantee that they will have sufficient employment hours or renumeration to keep themselves let alone a family! Our wages and conditions have been driven down by those off shore with whom our exporters and manufacturers are competing.
            We have one of the most open borders in the world and our economy is slowly but surely sinking to that of the least common denominator and there is nothing NZ can do about it until we stop this senseless rush to be the first to have “free” trade deals with all and sundry.

  12. Fletcher Tabuteau’s Bill will be introduced at 2130 tonight.

    If you cannot get along to hear it from the Public Gallery (assume it will be open), try getting to a T.V. where you can watch the Parliamentary Channel.

  13. Penny Bright 13

    What’s your view Wayne, on John Key being a shareholder in the Bank of America?

    (See pg 29 of the 2015 Register of MPs Financial Interests.)

    Is he working for US or the U$?

    Follow the dollar……..?

    How is this not a CORRUPT ‘conflict of interest’?

    Penny Bright

  14. Penny Bright 14

    Can Fonterra see the text of the TPPA Wayne?

    Yes or no?

    If no – how can they be sure that Minister of Trade Tim Groser, is negotiating the best deal for dairy?

    Isn’t Minister of Trade Tim Groser ‘conflicted’ in his apparently wanting the ‘baubles of office’ (the job of NZ Ambassador to the USA)?

    Wouldn’t it be a big feather in Tim Groser’s cap to have NZ sign up to the TPPA – irrespective of how good this deal is for NZ as a nation, the majority of New Zealanders and NZ businesses?

    How can New Zealanders trust Minister of Trade Tim Groser, when the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is currently (of her own volition) investigating the use of the NZ spy agency (the GCSB) to spy on Tim Groser’s rivals for the WTO leadership position?

    How could Tim Groser NOT have known about the GCSB spying on his WTO rivals?

    What would have been the point of this spying – if Tim Groser wasn’t told the results?


    And who was the Minister in charge of the GCSB at that time?

    Oh – that’s right.

    Prime Minister John Key (shareholder in the Bank of America)…

    How can we trust these ‘Ministers’, and the assurances they give about how good the GCSB will be for New Zealand?

    How do we know how good the TPPA will be for NZ exporters, the public and our NZ nation State – IF WE CAN’T SEE THE TPPA TEXT???

    Penny Bright

  15. Penny Bright 15

    I spoke to Fletcher Tabuteau earlier this evening and he confirmed his Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill should be getting its first reading at 8.30pm (ish).
    This was forwarded by ‘It’s Our Future’ – FYI
    Emergency! Calling all tweeters!

    It’s looking like the Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill will be getting its first reading tonight!

    We need you to tweet @PeterDunneMP to ask him to support the bill to its second reading so NZers can have a serious debate about investor-state dispute settlement provisions, their effects on our laws and our democracy.

    Be respectful ………….

    If you don’t have twitter, then email Peter Dunne p.dunne@ministers.govt.nz

    Want to know more about investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions? Check out these excellent videos:




    Penny Bright

  16. Tautoko Mangō Mata 16

    National showed total arrogance over this important issue of ISDS by leaving a few back benchers in the house to speak against Fletcher Tabuteau’s Bill. While all speakers in support of the Bill had well crafted and reasoned arguments, the shambling, ill prepared efforts of National’s Mark Mitchell and David Bennett in particular, both of whom implied that FTAs were not able to exist without ISDS, were of an appalling standard considering that we are paying their salaries.
    National with the help of Peter Dunne and David Seymour probably think that this is the end of the matter, but in fact, the spectre of ISDS is probably the major point of objection against the TPPA. By allowing a reasoned debate, National would have had a chance to dispel much of the disquiet against this aspect of the TPPA. Instead they have thumbed their noses, by shutting down discussion.

    Sorry but “Trust us, we know best” does not cut it any more.
    The track record of National’s deals- Serco, charter schools, Saudi farms, Sky City, Swamp Kauri, ,,, all show evidence of poor judgement.

  17. Save NZ 17

    Great to see NZ First, Labour, Maori and Greens collaborating!!!

    TPP is not a free trade agreement it is a corporate welfare agreement and will benefit the biggest most greedy and most underhand overseas corporates.

    Look at what is happening to Fonterra under current free trade agreements, hundreds of job losses and milk prices going south. Free trade agreements could work, but clearly the details are very important and I’m not sure NZ is really competent in this area. China seems to be able to create their own dairy supply chain – direct to China – not helping the local industry.

    If any party stand for jobs in this country I do not know why they would support the ideology of unfettered free marketeers who place corporate profit of offshore companies over local jobs.

    I don’t mind overseas investment and foreign companies but only if it creating value, well paid jobs and investment in this country. If it is about taking our raw assets as cheaply as possible and exporting them to be made cheaper else where and then importing them back here so we are paying more for our own raw products in our own country – clearly not going to work out for Kiwis in the long run. Likewise if importing cheap labour to work in this country is the norm, it is just lowering local wages and reducing local jobs.

    Someone told me that we mostly eat Australian beef in this country, all our premium meat is exported offshore. Might explain the exobitant cost of food in this country.

    Under varies TPP scenarios the next ‘offshoring’ opportunity, is to services, health, prisons, courts, social welfare etc. Charter schools and Serco, Social bonds that is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Pleased to see at least some action and collaboration on this issue by the opposition. It is a pity we have to rely on Peter Dunne’s conscience – because it is missing – and David Seymour – now we have further MP welfare waste of taxpayers dollars – what can you say?

  18. Brigid 18

    @PeterDunne will no longer receive tweets from me. Damn.

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