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TPP11 close to being signed?

Written By: - Date published: 10:34 am, November 10th, 2017 - 127 comments
Categories: david parker, Environment, International, jacinda ardern, trade - Tags: ,

Reporting from different sources suggests that TPP11 is close to be signed.

From Radio New Zealand:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has arrived at the APEC summit saying talks to conclude the Trans Pacific Partnership are “down to the wire”.

Discord has emerged between Japan and Canada over progress on the TPP trade deal as Japan said countries “agree in principle” on a way forward, but Canada said there was no such agreement.

Trade ministers of the 11 countries involved, including New Zealand’s David Parker, have been meeting on the sidelines of Apec at Danang in Vietnam.

Negotiations are expected to continue to the bert last minute.

New Zealand wants to drop the provisions on foreign corporations suing governments using overseas tribunals, but Ms Ardern admitted it had been tough going convincing others.

“I don’t want to predict what way it will go. There are a number of issues still on the table. Not all of them are ours.

“We are pursuing our interests but other countries certainly have their issues they continue to pursue. We of course are continuing to focus on both trying to balance our exporters’ needs but also our country’s.”

Ms Ardern doubted a TPP deal could be be done if if there was no agreement today.

“It’s down to the wire of whether or not there will be [a TPP document signed],” she said.

Asked by reporters about the results of a meeting of TPP ministers, Japanese economy minister Toshimitsu Motegi said they “agree in principle”, and had finalised “a list of suspensions” – clauses that would be suspended to avoid renegotiating the whole agreement.

But division emerged with Canada, whose trade minister later said there was no such agreement.

Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said on Twitter: “Despite reports, there is no agreement in principle on TPP.”

The detail will be vital. The ability to continue to make decisions, particularly environmental decisions, that are in the national interest has to be preserved. And the dreaded ISDS clauses need to go. New Zealand’s legal system is more than capable of handling any local legal disputes.

127 comments on “TPP11 close to being signed? ”

  1. indiana 1


    I guess Jacinda won’t be getting a Christmas card from Prof Jane Kelsey.

  2. McGrath 2

    This is turning out to be a good deal. The US (and their dodgy practices) are out, and so are houses now they’re classed as “strategic”. Well done Labour! They know the value of trade when push comes to shove.

    • 3stepstotheright 2.1

      The US were out before Labour were elected. Good try though.

      The bigger question though is how Jacinda will spin her government signing TPP11 without achieving anything on the ISDS clause after everything she is quoted as saying previously?

  3. Enough is Enough 3

    Do not sign Jacinda.

    Do not get bullied into this by National or the right wing media.

    Do not sign Jacinda.

    Labour has rightly provided strong opposition to this treaty over the past 2 years and set 5 bottom lines.

    Do not follow the path of previous government and break your promises.

    Do not sign Jacinda

  4. Carolyn_Nth 4

    Who is this “bert”, and what influence does this mysterious creature have on the last minute negotiations? [question to RNZ]

    And for me it is, TPPA-11; No Way!

  5. Puckish Rogue 5

    Ok so when this goes through will there be protests and marching in the street over this?

  6. mauī 6

    This is all a bit like the village elders from various tribes going away in secret for a weekend, drinking too much and coming up with some bizarre agreement between them. Then coming back and telling all the villagers that there’s now new inter-tribal rules in place. Oh and tough luck.

    • weka 6.1

      Brilliant! And when they come back they’re all preened up so everything looks like it might be ok.

    • AB 6.2

      Though I’d imagine in ‘primitive’ cultures that actually have village elders there would be some well-established conventions on how these things are done that are broadly accepted by everyone.
      I suspect elites in western ‘democracies’ are much more likely to spring unconscionable surprises on their populations than are village elders…

  7. Puckish Rogue 7

    I don’t know how accurate this: https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2017/11/tpp11_looks_to_be_a_go.html

    “This is good news. Labour look set to do a u-turn on their previous opposition and support TPP. National has pledged to give them the numbers in the House to implement it even if Greens and NZ First oppose it.”

    But I’d suggest that yes National will support this so thats the two largest parties and just over 80% of the vote

    • The PM and Trade Minister can hardly be seen not to try. The messaging on this stuff has to be pretty subtle. That’s why the petition with 91,000 signatures had to come off the Labour Party website. That’s why the page “Our position on the TPPA” – http://www.labour.org.nz/our_position_on_the_tpp – has been updated in the last few days.

      What’s on the cards though now? The TPPA-10 as Canada fails to sign? Hardly. Also Labour’s trade policy is VERY strong on the problems with the TPPA – https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/nzlabour/pages/8555/attachments/original/1504500586/Trade_Manifesto.pdf?1504500586. Why sign up to provisions that the PM has labelled “a dog” when other new trade agreements say with the EU wouldn’t contain these provisions.

      The country has less of its GDP in exports than 10 years ago by a significant margin because of policies that don’t support a speculative and not a productive economy. There are plenty more opportunities for innovation & a high wage high skills economy if the deal is not signed.

      The right are talking up an agreement aiming to maximise the negative fallout for Labour if itdoesn’t go ahead. It’s scary brinksmanship for all who understand what is at stake but I’m picking it won’t be going ahead at least in anything like its current form.

      • veutoviper 7.1.1

        +10000%. Thanks for that excellent explanation, Jan.

        Oh that the process and implications of such international negotiations, agreements etc were as simple as some people would like.

        Poker. Bridge and tightrope walking together have nothing on such negotiations. ‘ Bull in a china shop’ tactics do not have any place in such situations.

        IMHO Parker, Peters and Ardern are a strong and synergistic team for navigating the murky waters of the Da Nang negotiations.

        • Jan Rivers

          🙂 Thanks. It’s a guess but some other picks have been right about the current government’s trajectory so why not have a go!

          • veutoviper

            I had a quick look at your Public Good website, Jan, and was impressed. Have bookmarked it for future reference and have put reading it in full as a top priority.

            I am impressed with the approach taken in your open letter to David Parker re the TPP and ISDS , as IMHO this is the type of approach that is much more likely to be taken notice of, than the adversarial approach of many others.


            Keep up the good work. And, as a fellow Wellingtonian, I actually recognise you from your Linked In photo.

            Have you seen the quick interview between Lisa Owen and David Parker this morning put up here on Thank you Canada at 10 by bwaghorn?


            Well worth a watch.

            • Jan Rivers

              Thanks again belatedly. That’s really kind. Like the TPPA interview – from David Parker – it’s not really dead until it’s dead!

              Let’s hope Labour commit now to the process that is in their manifesto.

      • greywarshark 7.1.2

        Jan Rivers
        Do you mean:

        ‘because of policies that support a speculative and not a productive economy. ‘

  8. veutoviper 8

    Over the years when the original TPPA was being negotiated, time and time again we were told every time there was an APEC meeting or similar, that this will be it – the TPPA will be agreed.

    What happened ? Negoitations would continue throughout the night etc – and then completion would be delayed.

    My money is on agreement again being delayed.

    Japan has been pushing hard this round to finalise the TPP-11 agreement . Although they were late coming into the original TPP negotiations, they now prefer to go into TPP multilateral arrangements than into bilateral trade agreements with the US in particular. These US- Japan bilateral negotiations have been running simultaneously alongside the TPP talks. There is a lot of playing one side off against the other going on in this regard.

    Malaysia and others (eg Vietnam) have also had concerns re the TPP provisions for some months and want changes. Canada and Mexico are also currently in renegotiation of the NAFTA with the US – and are having to weigh up the pros and cons of both the changes sought by the US to NAFTA and the TPP-11 proposed provisions. So again, a very complex situation.

    We should get a better idea in another few hours.

    Note – Vietnam is 6 hours behind NZ time. It is currently 11.57am here, so it is 5.57am in Da Nang. Jacinda is apparently having breakfast with Malcolm Turnbull in a hour or two.

  9. savenz 9

    Hopefully no agreement. TPPA a dog.

  10. Bill 10

    The TPP was signed back in Feb 2016 and ratified by NZ in May 2017.

    These talks are largely about finding ways to “bring it into force”, given that the US has withdrawn. (The original TPP would only have come into force if the US & Japan had both signed)

    Apparently, there’s a need to agree on which provisions will be suspended (not withdrawn) – with the idea being they will come into effect again if the US signs up at some future date.

    • savenz 10.1

      Good points.

    • veutoviper 10.2

      As you say, a major part of the current negotiations is about what provisions of the original TPPA to ‘suspend’ as a result of the US withdrawal to allow then to be reinstated if the US comes back in later.

      Reporting in NZ has focused on NZ wants etc in the negotiations, but I have been following reports from Asia press sources etc for some time as I find these reports more revealing of the overall situation. NZ is not alone in wanting/proposing actual changes to some provisions. Malaysia and others have had second thoughts on some of the non-trade provisions and have been seeking changes or withdrawal of these.

    • Jan Rivers 10.3

      According to Andrew Geddis any agreement will have to go back to Parliament at least in NZ. Is that what you meant – that this step would not be necessary? His argument looks pretty convincing. https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/why-the-tpp11-will-have-to-go-back-before-parliament and Labour Policy is to have a more realistic National Interest Analysis.

      The last one was (If ISDS are a dog) a double down dog – impossible to read, poorly structured, missing important information. It did not even make clear, for example, that bottled water was excluded from the more general provisions allowing the government to continue to legislate in favour of public goods like water management, EQC, ACC and fire brigades. From my understanding this would mean that it is not only housing legislation but other issues – possibly many – that would need hurried legislation in order to be passed b4 the treaty comes into force.

      It also used an analysis of the benefits that assessed every removal of legislative protection as an economic gain. A minute’s thought shows that is daft.

      Seeing a credible analysis going through the select committee would be something! Essentially we are signing this. There are no benefits! There are many downsides. A masochist might want to go there.

  11. Sparky 11

    My prediction is the whole thing will fall into place pretty much “as is” and NZ will become the Mexico of the South West Pacific.

    Margarita anyone?

  12. We should be doing something like this before we sign up to any more FTAs:

    What were its main findings?

    The findings of the Commission that audited Ecuador’s investment regime were conclusive. The BITs have not brought benefits to the country, they only brought risks and costs.
    In particular, the Commission found that the Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITS) signed by Ecuador failed to deliver promised foreign direct investment. Also, Ecuador’s BITs contradict and undermine the development objectives laid out in the country’s constitution and its National Plan for Living Well (Buen Vivir). It was also established that the companies that sued the government at international investment tribunals left behind enormous social and environmental liabilities/debt.

    What were the main recommendations of CAITISA?

    The Commission gave detailed recommendations that covered 11 pages. But, the key one was the termination of all bilateral investment treaties.

    We need to know if there’s been a net benefit of the ones we already have or if it’s a net loss. If they’ve increased our economic development or not and if they’ve benefited us socially as well.

    • savenz 12.1

      +1 Draco

    • srylands 12.2

      You are showing selfishness. This is not just about benefits to New Zealand.

      • McFlock 12.2.1

        This is not just about benefits to New Zealand.

        Agreed, it’s primarily about benefits to corporate shareholders.

        • srylands

          What does that mean!? Every New Zealander with a substantial Kiwisaver portfolio is effectively a corporate shareholder? Or do you rejoice when your portfolio tanks?

          • McFlock

            What amount do you regard as “substantial” for life savings?

          • KJT

            The vast majority of New Zealanders are net debtors. Thanks to 33 years of relentless removal of wealth from our communities.

            In what way does having lower wages, and a bigger mortgage, help most of us.

      • Well, if these things are as good as you believe then a wide ranging inquiry will show that won’t it?

        If they’re not as good as you believe and are causing us damage then we obviously need to get out of them.

        Either way, the only way to know is to have that wide ranging inquiry.

    • Ad 12.3

      Agree, even though we are different to Ecuador.

      MFAT should publish all its rationales and strategic assessments whatever TPP’s status after this weekend.

  13. cleangreen 13

    2pm RNZ news
    report said;


    “TPP 11 was close to signing last night but this morning at todays meeting one country was not agreed to sign (and it is not known which)

    Talks will resume again tomorrow.”


    • McFlock 13.1

      Stuff are saying it was neither NZ or Canada who were opposed. Quoted Parker as saying we got some of what we wanted, but not everything – and they know NZ won’t do ISDS in the future (no word on the current TPP, though…)

      • weka 13.1.1

        What’s the relevance to the TPPA of NZ not doing ISDS in the future if it’s in the TPPA?

        • McFlock

          Probably not much. But then we don’t know what they asked for and got, or whether they had a public interest defense included if ISDS is still in the deal.

          • R

            My prediction: ISDS is still included and Labour have folded on excluding it.

            • McFlock

              Can’t fold on something you never promised to do.

              • Richard Christie

                Nonsese, you can certainly fold by signing up to clauses you have publicly expressed serious concern over.

                • McFlock

                  Without alteration to those clauses, I agree.

                  But that doesn’t mean Labour is opposed to all ISDS – look at David Parker opposing the TPP ISDS format while holding up the China FTA ISDS as an example of good ISDS.

                  Here’s what I suspect: left to it’s own devices, Labour would go for a tweaking of the ISDS to exclude laws in the public interest, maybe even leaving defining that up to the ISDS process. However, needing NZ1 and the Greens for support, they’ll push harder. Splitting the coalition and going with national on the first test would be an extremely foolhardy move. But at the moment Labour are probably hoping that the Japan/Canada thing scuppers the deal entirely.

                  lolshit – just checked the news before posting: Canada makes the decision for them.

                  Ardern owes Trudeau a pint ount of general principle.

                  • Yep forget the first day stuff – THIS is where the shit gets smelly. These guys have dodged a bullet if the deal won’t go. I hope it is foolhardy inexperience and they learn because they only have a few chances to not fuck it up. Too close this one – not good labour.

                    • McFlock

                      I don’t suppose they’ll release the draft text anytime soon. Pity – I’d really like to know, one way or t’other.

  14. Ad 14

    Without the US, or China, (or Europe) inside this, a successful TPP is a coalition of economies either tired, lost, or weak trying to aggregate one nest of differently-sized rodents into one large dog. Hard to see it barking.

    Kinda like the non-aligned state movement during the Cold War. That was rarely useful.

    China will be ready to pick up the pieces and call Abe if this dog can’t hunt.

    This coulda-shoulda been a GATT substitute. Tiny weak countries like us only survive with rule-based trade systems.

    But multilateralism is breaking right across the world. Ominous for us if this breaks down and fractures again. Winners will be existing trade blocs.

    • Gristle 14.1

      Tiny weak countries only survive if they don’t create too many problems for bigger states. Rules only exist for small players. Large players will rewrite the rules, and or take the ball and go home, and or beat the snot out of you.

      Last year NZ’s GDP was about 1% of USA’s.

      The Mouse that Roared was a work of fiction.

      • Ad 14.1.1

        Check the optics:

        Friday: Trump and Xi do dinner and broker massive deals.

        Saturday: all TPP also-rans can’t get their shit together to sign trade deal and compete against either Trump or Xi.

        Got to admit Trump knows his timing.

  15. CHCOff 15

    The best result for NZ would be all the other nations sign it and we do not.

    As have opinoned b4, that would give the NZ quality of life an artificial significant boost in the medium to long term comparatively to the nations involved, which in one way or another would result in giving NZ goods and services an advantage of quality due to a ‘relatively’ less bottom ended societal construct that the other nations are having the burden of.

    The political reality of NZ’s economic management may not be strong enough for that outcome in it’s current structural form, and the realistic option is damage limitation in having the elements of investor state and secret tribunals over riding capacity for sovereign decision making will removed.

    • srylands 15.1

      That is never going to happen. I am immensely impressed with the new Government on this issue.

  16. Philj 16

    The mega Corporations right to sue Governments is fundamentally undemocratic. This is the logical end game of the so called ‘free market’, which is a delusional fiction. This is a sell out of the government’s own sovereignty. Jacinda, “Let’s NOT do this!”

    • srylands 16.1

      Why? Governments do stupid things all the time that damage the interests of shareholders. Jacinda will do this and I am immensely relieved.

      • Governments do stupid things all the time that damage the interests of shareholders.

        The government regulating for the benefit of the citizens is one of the risks of doing business.

        • srylands

          Well fortunately your view of the role of government is about to be consigned to the rubbish bin.

          • KJT

            Srylands. Nothing to add except unsubstantiated opinion, as usual.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Corporations are not there to govern. We’ve tried that before – it was called mercantilism and it was a complete failure. Pretty much the same as today’s capitalism for that matter.

            We have a democracy because having a few people with power over others is a failure.

          • KJT

            Yes. Why not just let corporations make the law?

            Wait a minute……………………….

      • Incognito 16.1.2

        Shareholders vs. stakeholders AKA the few vs. the many. Enough said.

    • Enough is Enough 16.2

      Phil Corporations always have the right to sue Governments. That right is not the issue here.

      ISDS is the issue

      • One Anonymous Bloke 16.2.1

        improved but not completely resolved…

        We’ve made it clear that for the future we’re not on for ISDS clauses.

        …got some of what we want, not all of what we want.

        Foreign Minister Peters.

    • srylands 16.3

      What about medium sized corporations? Are you suggesting that companies should not sue governments or just big ones? Governments around the world do stupid things. If these stupid things damage shareholder value I am all for the suing.

      You would side with the Vietnamese government over Fonterra?

      I hope that the successful signing of the TPP is a turning point for the government. The fact that it is a Labour government that signs the deal makes it clear to the protesters of the last 5 years that their opposition is misguided. There is no alternative to trade and capital liberalisation.

      • AB 16.3.1

        “If these stupid things damage shareholder value I am all for the suing”
        The role of sovereign governments is to maximise the well-being of its entire citizenry, not protect the unearned income streams of foreigners.

        • CHCOff

          The more a sovereign Government empowers nationhood and community, Without being either, the better the civilisation.

      • KJT 16.3.2

        Called “Democracy” Srylands.

        I know that is a strange concept.

        That the citizens in our country are allowed to control how much corporations are allowed to steal from, and damage, the community.

      • The fact that it is a Labour government that signs the deal makes it clear to the protesters of the last 5 years that their opposition is misguided.

        Wrong. It tells them not to trust Labour and to never vote for them again. 2020 we would have a Green government and the ability to remove ourselves from this abortion.

  17. cleangreen 17

    Agreed CHCOff,

    We are not a country that desperately needs this type of shotgun trade.

    “We can do better than this” (said Jacinda) and me now.

    NZ = Not clutching at straws.

  18. veutoviper 18

    As I am going offline for a few hours, for anyone that is interested, here is a link to a useful Google search I am currently using to keep up to date with what is being reported on the TPP-11 negotiations outside NZ – particularly in the Asian media. Gives a broader perspective than just reading the NZ media.


    To translate the search parameters I have set:

    Main search – TPP-11

    Google tools – Any country; Past hour; Sorted by date

    A few funnies come up (eg Pokemon) but this search brings up media reports from media such as the Fiscal Times, the Malaysian Times, Japanese news sites etc – ie other countries participating in the TPP negotiations.

    Even just a quick read down the headlines will give you a feel for the differences in reporting/desired outcome …

    Some of the funnies actually give links to other articles on TPP – eg the current top listing is an Australian ABC link re Canada and marijuana but the side listing gives you this article saying Austalia and Peru are reporting TPP is signed and sealed. Tui ad


  19. cleangreen 19

    My Guess is that the country that has not signed up is Japan.

    Why do I believe it is Japan?

    Japan was quoted on media lunch time as saying the agreement had not been signed.

    Japan was the principal country now railing against reductions in the wording text of the origional ISDS clauses.

    I believe the other countries have carved out a ‘watered down worded paragraph of the origional context’ and when Japan later reviewed that wording it did a u-turn, and said they had not agreed to those word changes when they saw they may loose control of disputing countries over their investments..

    So we will wait and see if I am correct here now.

    Japan has always been at the forefront of hatching strong wording ISDS context and they have explained that it is because of their substantial investments in most countries.

    In NZ japan has several large wood mills and forestry assets.

    So they may be a problem for labour wood policy; – where labour is about to place several regional wood mills as finishing wood products in regions, and Japan companies may not want to supply logs to these wooden mills for making finished products so the issue is very complex for sure.

  20. Carolyn_Nth 20

    So RNZ are reporting, the reps for the 11 countries thought they had agreement late last night, but then discovered one country’s reps didn’t agree to the text. Parker said it was not NZ or Canada that declined to agree.

    So that means Team Parker-Ardern have agreed to the TPPA-11 text pretty quickly, without a lot of negotiation.

    That is very concerning.


    Mr Parker said Labour had got “some of what we wanted” and the issue had been “improved but not completely resolved”.

    “We’ve made it clear that for the future we’re not on for [investor-state dispute settlement] clauses.”

    I am more than pissed. I have protested and demonstrated against this dog of a deal many times over recent years.

    • R 20.1

      I am more than pissed. I have protested and demonstrated against this dog of a deal many times over recent years.

      Agreed. To me, folding on ISDS will be Labour’s second ‘great betrayal’ (1984-89) being the first.

      I’ve been an ex Labour voter for some time now since sticking out the Clark years in forlorn misplaced hope they might reverse their neolibtard direction.

      This TPP betrayal will take me to another level, that of active anti-Labour advocacy.

      Destruction of faith within their political base and roots sets the ground for future demagogy.

      What a way to start the term.

      • Carolyn_Nth 20.1.1

        I’m just hearing Parker on RNZ saying that the ISDS has been improved but still remains.

        The language being expressed in my flat is not pretty.

      • srylands 20.1.2

        Well you have been extremely naive. Activism and protests are fine in Opposition. But these guys now have the responsibility of government. To their credit they look like they are delivering.

        If the Minister of Finance can now do the same fiscally, this may actually be a good Government. Early days, but I am very relieved today.

  21. cleangreen 21

    Slylands said;

    “To their credit they look like they are delivering.”

    “Delivering us to global corporations to plunder & ruin our environenment” – you need to say accurately.

    Well you have been extremely naive, as we are definately not!!!!!

    • BM 21.1

      You’re pretty naive if you thought Labour wasn’t going to sign.

      Seriously, Labour kicked off the whole thing.

      • KJT 21.1.1

        To their permanent discredit.

        Unfortunately Parliamentary groupthink is a thing.

      • Would agree with you there. Anyone who thought otherwise was fooling themselves.

        Labour are as much a capitalist party as National and they follow the same ideology. Unfortunately, their members haven’t worked that out yet despite thirty years of them doing exactly that.

      • cleangreen 21.1.3

        HaHa BM you lost ha ha ha ha.

        This day I am so proud to be a Canadian again.

        You are a disgrace pushing a shackling TPPA plan to undermine our democracy.

        Oh Canada we love you.

  22. Carolyn_Nth 22


    RNZ twitter, and Stuff headline – more soon.

    TPP talks collapse after Canada no show!


    Audrey Young says it was Vietnam that held things up last night. Now Canada.


    • Well, I suppose we can be thankful of that and the proof that Labour were going to sell us out.

      TPP deal in serious doubt after Canada pulls out of final negotiations at APEC

      New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says her government was at the table and was happy with the changes it had secured.

      The government should not be signing this considering the opposition to it by the populace.

      Seems labour doesn’t know the meaning of democracy either.

      • Richard Christie 22.1.1

        Well, I suppose we can be thankful of that and the proof that Labour were going to sell us out…Seems labour doesn’t know the meaning of democracy either.

        Quote for all time.

    • Incognito 22.2

      Time for the Lumberjack Song? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZa26_esLBE

    • weka 22.3

      Alison Crawford‏Verified account @alisoncrawford5
      54m54 minutes ago

      Update on mysterious TPP-11 meeting that never happened. Cdn officials say “There are outstanding issues for more than one country” including Cda, which is “working to protect automotive, agriculture, culture, and intellectual property”

    • cleangreen 22.4

      I now am proud to keep my Canadian citizenship as Canada saved my birthplace of NZ.

      I love you Canada.

      Haapy days again..

      Come home Jacinda and we will rebuild our beautiful NZ again and shake off the shackles of corporate bondage,

      Lets do this. ilovejacinda my princess.

  23. Chris 23

    Finally an actual breaking news story on Stuff “Talks to revive the TPP collapse”.

    Maybe the Canadians reflected on their anthem.

    From far and wide,
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    God keep our land glorious and free!
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

  24. Penny Bright 24


    “Talks to revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact have effectively collapsed after Canada pulled out.

    The talks have be postponed indefinitely.”


    Penny Bright

    • cleangreen 24.1

      Oh Penny I am so proud I became a Canadian Citizen in 1976 after living there as a kiwi, and now my second country saved my first country.

      I now have found a true love of Canada again . Yippee shit I am going to open a bottle of bubbly.

      I feel sorry for James, BM, srylands, and 3stepstotheright as they are all loosers.

    • Richard Christie 24.2

      Yes but with no thanks to the NZ Labour Party.

      How is it other nations can stand up to group think and bullying but effectively, NZ folds every time.

      And in the embarrassing small number of occasions we do show some spine (ANZUS nuclear free etc) we then have the hide to puff our chests out and carry on about how brave, principled and independent we are. We are a pack of wallies.

  25. Robert Guyton 26

    Roller Coaster. James, BM, Pucky et al will be heaving!

  26. Incognito 27

    I think NZ dodged a bullet and so did Labour. Hopefully, no TPP-10 silliness …

  27. Pat 28

    how many chickens are there?

  28. Penny Bright 29


    TPP talks collapse at final hurdle

    “Talks to sign off on the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal have sensationally collapsed in the final stages, after Canada was a no-show at a meeting of leaders to finalise an agreement.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the talks have been postponed indefinitely, with no clear idea of why it is Canada chose to withdraw so late in the piece.”


    ‘It ain’t over till it’s over ….’

    Penny Bright

  29. AB 30

    So if the Canadians pull out it scuttles it. Or at least for a while until some true believers from the inner sanctum of the Free Church of St Tiny Brain Tim the Beatific Grocer, say “what about TPP-10?” And on it goes.
    But if NZ is the only one to pull out, the others just shrug and sign anyway? Isn’t it this that terrifies Parker? The optics of being ‘anti-trade’, the torrent of abuse from the domestic business media for being ‘anti-trade’? The scaremongering, the lies, the attention from the spy agencies intent on investigating the Coalition Government’s ‘economic sabotage’?
    And that’s why this horrible thing is so hard to kill off.

    • But if NZ is the only one to pull out, the others just shrug and sign anyway? Isn’t it this that terrifies Parker?

      Possibly. The fear of being so small that everyone else will ignore you.

      I think what the important lesson is comes from Ecuador when they pulled out of their BITs. They were told by the true believers that if they did pull out all sorts of bad things would happen which simply didn’t.

      We’re small enough that if we pulled out everyone else would simply shrug and carry on and we’d get to keep our sovereignty rather than being ruled over by unaccountable corporations while still having all the trade that we could handle.

      We don’t need ‘Free-Trade Agreements’ and never have done. All we need to do is set some standards that other countries need to meet or exceed before we will trade with them.

      Simply implement the Willing buyer, Willing seller basis of free-trade.

      • greywarshark 30.1.1

        Some thoughts on trade without TPP. How are we going in the ‘rock-star economy’. Being someone who hasn’t had the official educational training to understand all about economics and trade, I tend to look at it from the viewpoint of what effect the method we are using has.

        It seems to me that we have opened up our doors wide to imports, so killing off the numerous little businesses that employed us, our children, our neighbour’s children and brought us together in a sustainable unit. Circular and supportive trade with one another enabled our communities to flourish with options for trying new procedures, new products, branching out using new technology etc. We are still able to do the tech business, but our basic bread and butter jobs have vanished. I’m sure that TPP will make this worse, giving advantages to those who already have them, otherwise why would it be pushed as it is?

        This opening of our borders with few protective tariffs left appears to me because we found that there was the possibility of selling milk powder to a rising world market also other primary products and that has replaced any other thought in the heads of leaders. So we have gone head over heels for this, and have lost control over our land and water in doing it, being influenced by our own and overseas business people who will milk us of all our resources, needed for ourselves. (We see this with our timber getting exported when we need it desperately for ourselves. But there is a better price for it overseas. Tuff titty NZs.)

        And finally the real problem. If we are going to be exporting great amounts of stuff, the countries buying will not like an imbalance of trade growing if we don’t import their goods. So the more we export, the more we have to spend on other countries’ goods.
        For instance Indonesia – 2013. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/world/8704513/NZ-Indonesia-trade-imbalance-an-issue
        And China: New Zealand’s trade relationship with China has nearly tripled over the past decade, with two-way trade rising from $8.2 billion in the year ended June 2007 to $23 billion in the June 2016 year.

        Many of our people are not paid enough to afford these goods that have replaced NZ made, and they have to borrow to live, that’s apart from the borrowing for a mortgage if they can get one.
        New Zealanders spent more than $36 billion on their credit cards in 2016.
        And because so many of us are slack at paying off our balances at the end of each month, it led to a whopping interest bill.
        Jose George from financial services research agency Canstar says about 63 per cent of credit card spending ends up incurring interest, with an average interest rate of 19.24 per cent.


        2015 New Zealand scores second on global wealth per capita, and first when adjusted for inequality.
        This was interesting as we got a good report from Credit Suisse that had to be revised because they worked it from the wrong exchange rate. The data we are relying on, and probably gleefully announced by Gnashional was wrong.
        In whom can we trust? As the joke goes in the USA – In God we trust, all else pay cash.

        This report uses official RBNZ data for 2014. More than half of that ‘wealth’ is in housing and land. (This from RBNZ that is supposed to be fighting inflation, but mustn’t touch housing inflation which is through the roof.)

        The site had this at the bottom in 2015 and seem to be ‘interested’ in getting good info on the financials and the economy. If they are still going with the same policies, it may be good reading to gain insight rather than listen to the bank economists giving the official spiel on RadioNZ or other media.

        We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?
        We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment or click on the “Register” link below a comment.
        Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don’t welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current Comment policy is here.

        A summary by Wikipedia.
        The economy of New Zealand is the 53rd-largest national economy in the world measured by nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and 68th-largest in the world measured by purchasing power parity (PPP). It is one of the most globalised economies and depends greatly on international trade, mainly with Australia, the European Union, the United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Canada. The Closer Economic Relations agreement with Australia means that New Zealand’s economy is closely aligned with the Australian economy.

        New Zealand’s diverse market economy has a sizable service sector, accounting for 63% of all GDP activity in 2013.[17] Large scale manufacturing industries include aluminium production, food processing, metal fabrication, wood and paper products. Mining, manufacturing, electricity, gas, water, and waste services accounted for 16.5% of GDP in 2013.[17] The primary sector continues to dominate New Zealand’s exports, despite accounting for 6.5% of GDP in 2013.[17]

        (Note most of our GDP is in the service sector, and primary sector exports dominate but actually only earn 6.5% of GDP. So the country is being rorted by the farmers who are taking stuff they want, and telling us that they are the bulwarks of our economy. BS more like it.)

        Other figures from Wikpedia table on right.
        GDP US$186.4 billion (2017, PPP)[2] (conversion says NZ$268.72 billion)
        Gross external debt
        NZ$232.8 billion (100.7% of GDP) (FY 2014)[12]

        Exports NZ$61.722 billion (FY 2013)
        Imports NZ$59.076 billion (FY 2013)[9]

        Main export partners
        Australia 21.0%
        China 15.0%
        United States 9.2%
        Japan 7.0% (2012 est.)[10]

        Main import partners
        China 17.0%
        Australia 12.3%
        United States 11.7%
        Japan 6.7%
        Germany 4.8%
        South Korea 4.5%
        Malaysia 4.3% (2016 est.)[11]

        (Population below poverty line
        No official statistics)

        I see we import from Germany 4.8% on these figures but no export is large enough to show up for our exports, neither UK or the European Union seems to have entered our sights. And we are terribly reliant on Australia for both export and imports. We need to do some more trading with others and route the funds through our own banks I think. What level of exports to South Korea I wonder. And Indonesia doesn’t appear anywhere despite talks in 2013.

        It seems that our exports are only a small percentage of our GDP. Is the
        government making the whole country suffer in order to get them, although the service sector amounts to 63% of GDP?
        (Trade in services measures transactions where no physical product is traded (eg spending by international tourists, or providing advice to an overseas client).

        Consider the variety of services (Much connected to tourism):
        Exports of personal travel services are estimated using a combination of International Visitors Survey data, and visitor arrival figures.
        Exports of education travel services are estimated using student numbers by country data from the Ministry of Education’s Export Education Levy.
        Imports of travel services are estimated using a combination of data from the 2004 Survey of Returned Travellers, and short-term resident departure figures.
        Exports of transportation services are estimated by adding together data from passenger, freight, and other transportation services.

        How can we improve NZ position if we don’t have TPP? What about actively seeking new markets – Brazil, India for instance.
        What about upping our research and development which is low by world standards?
        (I note that the Dominion Post in a table of September 2017 did not include the Greens when looking at the Parties view on R&D. Didn’t they have one or is this just more ignorant reporting on important issues. I note they include ACT!
        It wants company tax reduced from 28 to 25% so they can apply the extra of R&D. Likely I don’t think.)

        • cleangreen

          Yes greywarshark, you have hit the nail on the head 100%

          “It seems to me that we have opened up our doors wide to imports, so killing off the numerous little businesses that employed us, our children, our neighbour’s children and brought us together in a sustainable unit.”

          Your blog was very well reseached, and this government has definately killed off many manufacturing jobs here now by imports and alowing corporations to engage in buying our companies, then asset stipping them and selling off what they can and then disposing of their carrcasses.

          The country is littered with such examples, beginning with the large whiteware manufacturing icons like Fisher & Pykel.

          Next was all our Carpet Manufacturers & Mills are gone now, and the spinning mill equipment has now been shipped overseas to cheap carpet manufacturers in both China and India.

          So many smaller companies like DUX plumbing whiteware manufacturing and electrical companies like PDL, NECCO, have disappeared now leaving us with just poor quality Chinese stuff left to buy now.

          Winston has a plan to take any company now operating here who has recieved government subidies to operate and wants to close down will be taken back by Government and turned into workers CO-OP companies again as we had after the second world war.

          We need to restore our local industries again as he are becomming very reliant on overseas industries and this does not bode well for our futures.

          • greywarshark

            Interesting cleangreen. Some definite steps have to be taken, with an eye
            on our future as Winston has proposed. He mightn’t get it through as the drag on ideas from the deadweight NZs who can’t see beyond the end of their own bank balances is great.

        • Draco T Bastard

          This opening of our borders with few protective tariffs left appears to me because we found that there was the possibility of selling milk powder to a rising world market also other primary products and that has replaced any other thought in the heads of leaders.

          That was it exactly.

          It’s part of the myth of the Free-Market advocated from the time of Adam Smith that countries would specialise. In line with that NZ became a farm that pretty much sold its produce to Britain. Up to the middle of the 20th century around half our work force worked on or around farms. It’s what led to the myth that farming was the backbone of our economy because, at one point, it actually was.

          It no longer is now using up only ~7% of the workforce.

          It also throws the myth of countries specialising onto the rubbish heap as well. Even when farming was at it’s peak in workforce the country still didn’t specialise. No country can because it needs a complete economy else it simply doesn’t work. An excellent natural example is Yellowstone with the reintroduction of wolves and how that brought the other animal’s population in line and the environment so much healthier.

          The economy is very much an environment and removing parts of it in an effort to specialise results in an under-performing economy.

          The politicians haven’t worked that one out yet and still seem to hark back to the simpler halcyon days of yore which isn’t what they believe it to be anyway.

          If we are going to be exporting great amounts of stuff, the countries buying will not like an imbalance of trade growing if we don’t import their goods. So the more we export, the more we have to spend on other countries’ goods.

          Yep and that’s actually why we have a floating exchange rate.

          As we import more from China than we export to China the NZ$ should drop against the Chinese Renminbi. This is foiled through a couple of mechanisms. The first is China directly controls its exchange rate and keeps it artificially low and the second is the ‘Reserve Currency’ of the US. Each currency is measured against the US$ instead of each other and our currency is kept high against that of the US$ because of our high interest rates artificially increasing demand.

          If exchange rates were properly floating then we wouldn’t be importing from China now and probably for a few years more because of our massive importations over the last few years would have dropped our currency to well below that of China’s.

          IMO, that alone is enough to sink the FTA with China as they’re manipulating their currency against free-trade and are impoverishing us in the process.

          It seems that our exports are only a small percentage of our GDP. Is the government making the whole country suffer in order to get them, although the service sector amounts to 63% of GDP?

          That comes back to that delusion of countries specialising. So, if we are export country that’s specialising in producing primary produce and we want to grow the economy so that everyone has a job and to feed the entire country only takes about ~2% of the population then we need to increase the number of people who can buy the food that we produce. That’s what the free-trade agreements and the TPPA are for in theory but the state of our water ways and the fact that, despite all the land in farming now, it still only takes up ~7% of our workforce you can see how well that’s working.

          And that’s not even taking into account every other single country can provide all the food that it needs and wants to export the surplus.

          We’d be better off dropping farming down to enough to feed us and leave it at that. All the people freed up by this rationalisation could then be put to better use in other fields. Many would need to go back to uni though to get the education necessary (IMO, that’s another reason why politicians love farming – it’s cheap as the people doing it don’t need tertiary degrees and doctorates or higher).

          How can we improve NZ position if we don’t have TPP? What about actively seeking new markets – Brazil, India for instance.

          The correct course, and it will naturally happen under actual free-market conditions, would be to minimise trade between countries. The TPPA and other FTAs are trying to maximise it against all logic.

          • greywarshark

            That’s a really full answer to my comment Thanks.

            It is really necessary to sort through the trade and TPP situation getting back to basics. We are all confused by often heard assertions about how good everything is, and yet what we see is low standard society around us, and a refuge in blaming the strugglers. What shit. Society is the same as it always was and there weren’t people in such dire straits then. All these lies and subterfuge are doing our heads in.

            We’d be better off dropping farming down to enough to feed us and leave it at that. All the people freed up by this rationalisation could then be put to better use in other fields.

            Suggest the fields DTB. I think you like the technology prospect. Can we create some uniquely useful things that we don’t immediately hock off or give a big chunk of shares to some overseas or vulture company.

            Can we still have trade with wind-assisted electricity assisted boats and ships I wonder? Has the weather pattern changed so violently that it is going to be a chancy thing that a ship will get through an ocean to the other side?

            • Draco T Bastard

              Suggest the fields DTB.

              Health would be a good one. Another few thousand people in that field as nurses, doctors and, yes, technologists would make a huge difference.

              Schooling and education. We seem to be a little light on teachers and researchers in the field.

              There’s probably a few more that would benefit from having another few thousand people in it.

              This is the real budget that we need the government to work with. The actual resources that we have available and what the best for them is.

              Can we still have trade with wind-assisted electricity assisted boats and ships I wonder?

              Yes, we can. After all, that’s how trade started. It’ll just be a fraction of what we have now because it’s slower and doesn’t shift as much.

              Has the weather pattern changed so violently that it is going to be a chancy thing that a ship will get through an ocean to the other side?

              A ship on the water is always at risk. We’ve minimised it to a large degree but nature is larger than we are.

  30. Grey Area 31

    Good points. So as I expected we were about to be sold out by Labour and saved (so far) by the Canadians, for whatever reasons. But we’re not out of the woods yet, this zombie deal stumbles on.

  31. cleangreen 32

    I do love Jacinda and have not lost my respect for her yet;

    Jacinda has sided with Winston; as he is undoubtedly the most knowledgeable of all leaders at the forum so far.

    So I believe Jacinda is learning fast from Winston how to negotiate the ‘minefield’ of countries who obviously are already ‘carving out their niche’ of what they want in any trade deal as much as ‘my Canada’ did clearly which was to protest it’s own interests firstly.

    Is that not what we expect from our now Government?

    I certainly hope so.

    Anyway I for one will give my support to Jacinda for her good intentions for our collective health & wellbeing and especially her ‘pledge’ to run a Government of “openness, fairness, kindness and transparency”.

    On that note Jacinda will you please now honour your Government pledge and allow us the full account of then wording changes within the ISDS you said you was satisfied made changes to the ISDS please as the whole NZ population is still awaiting your release of the whole document now known as the TPP 11?

    Please come home with Winston and begin the next pledge made to restore all regions rail infrastructure and manufacturing please?

    The HB/Gisborne communities are still patiently awaiting your assistance to re-open our rail line again that the first labour government built in 1942 to Gisborne that the last National Government tried to destroy that Phil Twyford blew the whistle on in 2013 (on the labour party news on scoop)
    Jacinda; so we can begin to get all those dirty polluting trucks off our truck gridlocked now very dangerous decaying roads and get our regions running our massive export potential rolling efficiently along our rail line with (rail’s low climate change CO2 emissions) again please.

    Please read our efforts on behalf our community’s in this letter we sent to the former Government on 3rd march 2013, clearly showing then our severe impacts now being levelled upon us all but the Government then never cared to meet us or assist to get our rail repaired then.
    (No replies ever were recieved following the letter we sent then)
    Letter 3/3/2013.
    In coordination with Local Governance, and other interested parties.
    Save the Gisborne rail campaign. 3rd March 2013.
    List of Ministers below.

    For personal review and response from all Ministers involved in the subjects discussed within this letter, which involves, Tourism, Health, Transport, Economy, & Environment. we request your personal reply to this letter.

    TO; P.M. John Key. Minister of Tourism,
    Hon’ Gerry Brownlee, Minister of Transport.
    Hon’ Steven Joyce. Minister of Economic Development.
    Hon’ Tony Ryall, Minister of health.
    Hon’ Nick Smith, Minister of Environment.

    Last week we sent you the first listed death attributed road only truck freight policy.

    This week we focus on the toxic poisonous air you are now exposing urban residents to all along the truck corridor between Gisborne & Napier.
    We have previously worked on this issue of air pollution to residents living alongside truck routes in urban zones in Napier, with the PCE, Ministry of Health, Environment, and with local councils.

    Our very task at our community (NGO is to protect the environment, & health of all who live within it.

    We advocate to Government when we see issues of concern, & public health, and we expect to receive a response from the Minister of Health on residents health now being affected by heavy truck air pollution all along the urban corridors from Gisborne/Napier and all towns along the east coast, who will face the extra volumes of trucks we are now identifying are rolling down the corridor from rail closure.

    The volume of road freight is now increasing by another 56 single trips 112 (both way) already since the rail was closed from Gisborne by the storm partly from March 25th 2012, and from Wairoa south 4th December 2012.

    This is now expected to grow by a further 86 trucks a day one way (172 both ways) in two years as the wall of wood begins to come on stream around Wairoa & Napier, and no shipping facilities are close by those areas, only a Government abandoned railway line???

    Gisborne Port cannot solve this air pollution issue. Consider;

    • Many of the trucks are picking up freight from locations outside of the Gisborne area and delivering to other locations.
    • To ship through Gisborne port the trucks would be forced to travel back through Gisborne urban community exposing them to toxic truck pollution.
    • Delivery of the Gisborne port freight to either Napier or Tauranga, will require multiple handling and truck delivery through those cities further exposing urban residents in either Napier or Tauranga also.

    Dr Nick Smith has shown strong concern about air pollution in his own Nelson electorate, about this issue, as demonstrated early this decade when heavy truck traffic was causing the same air pollution/public health threat to Nelson residents.

    A former National Government closed the rail service to nelson during the 1960s’ and relying only on heavy truck freight to the Nelson Port, & were learning of high levels of air pollution in Nelson, & further truck traffic was considered unacceptable.
    Because Government has clearly signalled no intention to reopen the Gisborne/Napier rail service for any reason whatsoever, our organisation is currently involved with others to produce a consortium with proposal to lease the Gisborne Napier line to restore rail freight operations, & tourism trains, and request your support.

    This hard decision was required partly to mitigate against the increasing truck pollution, residents are now facing, causing a public health issue, in Gisborne, Wairoa, & Napier, to name just three locations we have identified. PCE identified these measured were required when PCE completed a year long Napier study on this subject in 2005, in which our organisation was partly involved.
    Please review the following PCE site & recommendations to use rail to mitigate these health issues.

    Your written response from all Ministers involved in these issue of Health, Environment, Transport, Economy,& Tourism is requested.

    Phil Twyford’s whistle blowing media release 0n 14/2/2013 subject of Gisborne rail being damaged by the past National Government


    Thursday, 14 February 2013, 1:35 pm
    Press Release: New Zealand Labour Party
    Phil Twyford
    Transport Spokesperson
    14 February 2013
    Kiwi Rail admits lack of maintenance led to wash-out
    Kiwi Rail has admitted that its failure to maintain old and damaged culverts was behind the wash out that closed the Gisborne-Napier line, while cuts to its maintenance budget are putting the network at further risk, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
    “Across the country Kiwi Rail missed its target of replacing 71 old culverts last year, and only replaced 49. This is cause for alarm.
    “The Gisborne-Napier wash-out shows what happens when essential maintenance work is not carried out.
    “Kiwi Rail cut and deferred $200 million of network maintenance last year. At the very time it needs to be upgrading its network and improving efficiency, the Government’s unrealistic ‘Turn Around Plan’ is putting enormous stress on the organisation and forcing it to cut maintenance.
    “Kiwi Rail has told Parliament’s transport committee it has 12,197 rail line culverts around the country and has done a risk assessment identifying 53 high priority culverts but ‘…in spite of every effort to mitigate risk, some incidents of wash out may still occur…’
    “National’s plan for rail is not workable. Kiwi Rail has missed its financial targets for two of the last three years. It is being forced to make cuts that are a false economy.
    “At a time when the Government is wasting billions of dollars on its ‘motorways of madness’, it makes no sense to cripple the national rail line.”

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