TPPA ‘National Interest Analysis’ – get both sides

Written By: - Date published: 1:27 pm, January 26th, 2016 - 86 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, colonialism, economy, Globalisation, trade, us politics - Tags: , , , , ,

The Government has released a TPPA ‘National Interest Analysis’ – you can find it (and the current text of the TPPA) here. It is predictable spin and has drawn a predicable response. This piece in Stuff gives an overview:

TPPA non-signing ‘risks marginalisation and decline’ for NZ economy

New Zealand risks “marginalisation and decline” if it does not sign up to the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, according to an analysis of the free trade deal.

However, a leading critic of the free trade deal has dismissed the document as “a totally predictable cheerleading exercise” which ignores the agreement’s negative ramifications.

The Nats have always and will always ignore the downsides, they don’t do long term planning in any form.

The release of a 277-page “national interest analysis”, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, comes as critics call for a delay to the deal’s signing until Kiwis have more information about how it will affect them.

And the Nats have always tried to keep the TPP details secret from we the “misinformed” “breathless children” i.e. the public.

The document says the deal would add about $2.7 billion to the country’s annual GDP by 2030, “once fully in effect”.

By MFAT estimate that is 0.9% of GDP, not worth it.

However, the analysis acknowledges the deal would cost New Zealand up to $79 million a year, primarily due to eliminated tariffs and extended copyright rules.

Critics’ fears about foreign investors and corporations intervening in New Zealand, through the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism which allows them to seek damages from countries who breach the TPPA, are also acknowledged. “While ISDS has been included in many of New Zealand’s existing trade and investment agreements, it has never been utilised. “However, the size of the TPP region and the potential number of new investors in New Zealand could increase the risk that New Zealand may face an ISDS claim (and the actual cost of responding to such a claim) in the future.”

ISDS risks are a major concern. And here’s a kicker:

The document says a number of laws will need to be changed for the TPPA to come into effect, including the Overseas Investment Act, the Copyright Act, and the Tariff Act.

It seems that “at least eight laws will have to be changed” – we the people should have had full details of this months ago, not a reluctant acknowledgment a week before signing.

So, by all means read the Nats’ spin on the TPPA, but along with it get the other side of the story:

• Jane Kelsey’s response: TPPA more a ‘National Government Interest Analysis’,

• independent coverage like Rod Oram’s: Dark clouds on the horizon (“The benefits for New Zealand from the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal will be meagre”),

• and most importantly the resources at TPP Legal:

Expert Paper #1: Treaty Making, Parliamentary Democracy, Regulatory Sovereignty & The Rule of Law
Expert Paper #2: Chapter 9 on Investment
Expert Paper #3: Māori Rights, Te Tiriti O Waitangi and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
Expert Paper #4: The Environment Under TPPA Governance
Expert Paper #5: The Economics of the TPPA

86 comments on “TPPA ‘National Interest Analysis’ – get both sides ”

  1. Tautoko Mangō Mata 1

    Sorry but can I repost Rod Oram’s interview on RNZ this morning?
    “Business commentator Rod Oram on the recently available New Zealand research papers on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and New Zealand’s role in the TPPA.”
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201786811/business-commentator-rod-oram

  2. Wayne 2

    I assume we find out tonight the definitive position that Labour will be taking on TPP.

    Presumably Grant Robertson is going to put to the test at tonight’s meeting as to where Labour stands.

    My pick:

    He will say Labour would have done a better job at negotiating, especially on land sales. That because of this, Labour will be voting against some (or all) of the TPP legislation. But he won’t commit to withdrawing from TPP. However, Labour will put the other TPP parties on notice that a Labour govt would pass legislation that further restricts foreign ownership of land. Actually such a move may not require legislation, but simply a directive under the overseas investment legislation.

    I guess much of this is already on the record, but because of tonight’s event it will be definitively set out.

    • weka 2.1

      Labour have at least 2 policies about overseas land ownership. One is for rural land, the other for housing. Are you saying both are possibly already covered by existing legislation and just need a directive?

    • vto 2.2

      wayne, $2,700million in 15 years time, less $79million x 15 years annual cost ($1,185million) equals $1,515million. That is the benefit to NZ in 2030.

      that is less than Bill English gave to the investors in South Canterbury Finance for their poorly investing.

      the comparison of these two matters is worth noting – poorly investing by Nat supporters in SCF, followed by poorly negotiating by Nat government.

      Your government is bloody useless wayne.

      Useless to the point of danger

      • Andrew 2.2.1

        “$2,700 million in 15 years time”

        $2,700 ‘per year’ in 15 years time. The benefits over the next 15 years will sum up to a lot more than $2,700 million.

        • Macro 2.2.1.1

          That is the total extra sum you fool!
          A sum that could be easy exceeded by changes in the exchange rate or drought or whatever. It is a drop in a very very big bucket!
          Oh! and by the way – it excludes the costs which are enormous!

          • Andrew 2.2.1.1.1

            “Economic modelling commissioned by the Government estimates that once fully in effect, TPP would add at least $2.7 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP by 2030.”

            link

            Fool

            • Macro 2.2.1.1.1.1

              yes and that analysis has been shown to be nonsense.

              Modelling of the economic benefits of the TPPA for New Zealand, commissioned by the
              Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), predicts an increase in GDP of 0.9% by 2030
              or $2.7 billion.

              These benefits are modest – extrapolating from current growth rates, GDP would increase by
              47% by 2030 without the TPPA or 47.9% with the TPPA.

              Estimates of the gains from tariff reductions are less than a quarter of the projected benefits
              according to the modelling, and are exaggerated.

              Most of the projected benefits result from reducing Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) – these rely on
              inadequate information that neither identifies the NTBs that would be reduced by the TPPA
              nor distinguishes between protectionist measures and legitimate government regulation.

              According to recent modelling, the TPPA is projected to result in a reduction in employment
              and an increase in income inequality for New Zealand.

              The government has not included the costs that are likely to result from the TPPA in its
              analysis – these are likely to be significant, and may outweigh the economic benefits.

              A comprehensive and objective cost-benefit analysis should be undertaken before signing or
              ratifying the TPPA.

              Gains for agricultural producers are small compared to fluctuations in commodity prices and
              exchange rates

              • Andrew

                i guess we will just have to wait and see then. I’ll meet you back here in 15 years time and we can see who was right …

                • Macro

                  I think it is far safer to employ the precautionary principle (and not ratify) rather than wait 15 years – and end up with loss of sovereignty. The theme of Marama Fox’s speech last night was simply this:

                  Welcome to our World

                  Maori have suffered loss of sovereignty for the past 175 years. Its about to be foisted on the rest of us with all the consequent deprivations attached

    • Macro 2.3

      Just back from a trip up to Auckland to the TPPA meeting.
      You got that one particularly wrong there Wayne. Robertson was particularly staunch in rejecting the TPPA as was every other speaker, including Marama Fox from the Maori Party. There is a large swell of disapproval at this agreement Wayne and there are many reasons to oppose it. It is not done and dusted by any means and if National think they have an easy road to ratification they have another think coming.
      Perhaps Labour are still misguided as are you in thinking that this deal could help economically – but I think even Grant was looking like he was being persuaded with the evidence that was on display tonight. To say that it will be good for business in NZ and workers is absolute tosh. Foreign corporates can sue our Govt for decisions they make – NZers can’t! Now how is that fair? And many, many, other situations that discriminate in favour of corporates over and above NZers, too numerous to mention here tonight. It is a bum deal and only vanity, and stupidity, by a lazy government sees it being progressed here.

      • vto 2.3.1

        Macro “Foreign corporates can sue our Govt for decisions they make – NZers can’t! Now how is that fair?”

        Exactly. That is one of the main reasons we are relocating our business offshore so we can come back in as foreigners and get the extra and substantial benefits the TPPA confers on foreigners over kiwis.

        Wayne Mapp has no answer to this and neither does Key.

        The whole thing is just off the planet.

      • Wayne 2.3.2

        Macro,

        I listened to what Grant Robertson had to say, and I reckon I was pretty close. It is pretty clear that Labour will vote against the enabling legislation, which is what I anticipated.

        Unlike the Greens he made no commitment to withdraw, but did say Labour would do its own thing on land sales, which is also what I predicted.

        He was, however more emphatic than I expected, that the whole concept of TPP was wrong because it restricted what a future govt could do. But it involved a fair bit of sophistry.

        He knows (after all he worked in MFAT that all trade and investment agreements do that. Under the China FTA, we can no longer impose tariffs or quotas against Chinese imports. Under CER, we have to treat Aussie companies as if they were NZ companies. Under WTO 1994 we had to increase copyright and patent periods. We cannot reduce their term.

        I was surprised at the specific example he gave about public broadcasting, claiming that TPP would prevent a future govt from increasing govt support for public broadcasting. That could only be the case if for instance Labour nationalised TV3 and associated companies, but they would never do that. Reintroducing a Charter, or recreating TV7, or a modern iteration of such would be unaffected by TPP.

        Overall I thought Robertson gave quite a skillful speech. Unlike the other Parties, he had to reaffirm Labour’s support for free trade, since he knew whatever he said would be well documented. But he also had to say enough to the specific audience in front of him that they would be generally supportive. So saying Labour was against TPP because of sovereignty issues was what the audience wanted. He also knows Labour can vote against the enabling legislation because National already has the votes. Will that be seen as too cynical by swing voters and the business community? Who knows, will TPP really be factor in the 2017 election? Probably not.

        And for Muttonbird, you (and other commenters on this site) know that TPP and free trade are the most frequent items I comment on. I have had an interest in trade issue for 40 years, long before I was a member of the National Party. My LLB (Hons) dissertation of 1975 was on the EU provisions protecting New Zealand dairy exports to the UK. I lectured on International Trade at University many years ago. I was on the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee in Parliament. So I have a particular interest in what the major opposition party thinks on this issue, especially given their background on free trade.

        • vto 2.3.2.1

          no answer to the point immediately above wayne? again?

          • framu 2.3.2.1.1

            with all that experience you would think it would be an easy one for wayne to tackle

            • vto 2.3.2.1.1.1

              yes, and it is a very real point and genuine question.

              • Wayne

                At this stage of the TPP (a week from signing), I will leave the issues to the government analysis. It is after all nearly 300 pages and covers pretty much all the points. You can either agree with the MFAT’s legal experts or you can agree with Jane Kelsey.

                But as a general point I don’t see that TPP seriously restricts the govt from it normal course of business, irrespective of whether National or Labour is the govt.

                There is nothing in TPP to stop Labour for instance doubling the price of carbon under the ETS, providing free doctors visits for all, building 10,000 state houses per year, having a tax rate of 50%, having free tertiary education, a minimum wage of $18 per hour and a host of other things.

                They could not unilaterally terminate existing offshore oil drilling licences, such as Maui, without providing full compensation. But they are not suggesting they will do that. And in any event the existing law of state responsibility would mean they would be liable anyway.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  That is one of the main reasons we are relocating our business offshore so we can come back in as foreigners and get the extra and substantial benefits the TPPA confers on foreigners over kiwis.

                  Wayne Mapp has no answer to this…

                  vto

                • vto

                  Wayne, for the umpteenth time you have still not answered the question, as OAB highlights…

                • framu

                  “There is nothing in TPP to stop Labour”

                  ISDS wayne

                  “and under TPP other people outside NZ have strengthened legal rights and a “non court” tribunal that is only open to them, has no appeal mechanism and no obligation to make findings public

                  and then theres the mere threat of litigation and how that changes behaviour”

                  yet another question you wont or cant answer – every time you evade and avoid

                  • Wayne

                    framu,

                    ISDS would not stop any of the things I mentioned.

                    International arbitration law (really the law relating to expropriation) does not stop governments from doing these sorts of things. They are the normal risks that business has to deal with. TPP does not restrict them.

                    What TPP do is require specific actions, such as extending copyright periods and biologic patents. If a govt which is a party to TPP fails to do this it will be liable.

                    A govt has to go much further than the general run of govt activity (whether left or right) to trigger expropriation liability. That is why I specifically mentioned Maui, and the circumstances which would trigger liability.

                    OAB,

                    Do you really think any likely NZ govt is going to expropriate your business, or do something so drastic that it amounts to the same thing?

                    There must be other more immediate reasons why you have re-located, such as lower tax rates, greater deductions, more support for R&D, closer to your markets, etc.

                    • framu

                      “and under TPP other people outside NZ have strengthened legal rights and a “non court” tribunal that is only open to them, has no appeal mechanism and no obligation to make findings public

                      and then theres the mere threat of litigation and how that changes behaviour”

                      wayne – im not saying that the state cant do something – im saying that there are consequenses of such actions – and that these are ruled upon by a system that isnt transparent, open or fair

                      youve said ISDS wont stop something while utterly ignoring that ive already put forward how i see ISDS and what that means re: the states actions.

                      either your not bothering to read, arent that up to speed or are playing games

                      maybe bother with the actual question instead of inventing something to answer for a change.

                      seriously – its like arguing with porridge

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Wayne, it’s vto who’s talking about incorporating off-shore, not me.

                      I’ll turn your question around: it’s clear that US companies see the potential for “drastic” consequences of domestic legislative changes, or why go to all the trouble of hiring trade and investment lawyers and lobbyists to get ISDS clauses into trade agreements.

                      If I could sue the government for damaging my business interests, it would be more along the lines of the way increasing inequality makes us all poorer, thereby shrinking the market for everything.

                      One reason for incorporating offshore, far from being the fear of what government might do to me, is the extra weapons it provides to use against them: a thoroughly anti-social and perverse behaviour, which is probably why it appeals to National Party types.

                    • sorry to butt in – just wanted to thank you framu for the work you are doing with wayne – hard work I know but so much appreciated and so enlightening on this and previous threads – it really does support the adage that sunlight is the best disinfectant.

                    • Wayne

                      OAB,

                      ISDS had its origins in situations where it is perceived that one or more parties do not have a fully independent judiciary. In the case of TPP, Vietnam will fit the bill.

                      Over the years there has become a well developed body of international arbitration law (especially the International Chamber of Commerce) on international contracts, expropriation, insurance, shipping etc. So any large international law firm is going to have a substantial practice in this area.

                      ICC cases now cover a wide variety of international contracts, and not just with countries with poorly developed legal systems.

                    • Scott M []

                      Based on your logic Wayne, NZ should gave an annexure exempting us from ISDS given that we have an independent judiciary.

                      And yet we dont… Why is that?

                    • framu

                      cheers marty

                      i had a long, self imposed exile (for getting a bit carried away) so trying to engage in a less confrontational/grumpy, yet still persistant way

                      any time someone wants me to drop a subject just holler – i know it can fill up column depth at times

                    • Macro

                      And why is it Wayne that the Govt is holding back on reintroducing plain packaging on cigarettes despite the fact of the win for Australia against the William Morris ISDS action? After all they indicated that they would.

                    • vto

                      Wayne, you still do not answer the question about why foreigners enjoy extra and substantial rights over kiwis when it comes to investment

                      When will you answer it?

                      Your failure just feeds suspicion

                • DH

                  “There is nothing in TPP to stop Labour for instance doubling the price of carbon under the ETS, providing free doctors visits for all, building 10,000 state houses per year, having a tax rate of 50%, having free tertiary education, a minimum wage of $18 per hour and a host of other things. ”

                  Wayne. I don’t know if you picked those examples coincidentally or cleverly but it’s telling that you’re referring only to actions the Govt presently has full sovereignty over.

                  The TPP explains pretty clearly that the State can no longer intervene anywhere in the market where it does not already have virtual control. It’s also clear that any existing market intervention the State cedes post TPP can not be reclaimed by a future Govt.

                  Right now we could build 10,000 state houses, We will not be able to build them unconditionally after English has finished his big state house selloff to the private sector. Well not after signing the TPP anyway.

        • left for deadshark 2.3.2.2

          @ Wayne ….your like a clapping seal, I say to the people “look out below”

          Your happy too have our democracy taken off the people of this land, and given to powerful Corp’s, oh thats right, if only we have loads of money, we could also sue the government. As that current PM said, if your rich go to court.

    • AmaKiwi 2.4

      Robertson was pathetic, the worst speaker of the lot.

      The ONLY point he expressed disapproval of was loss of sovereignty.

      If opposition to TPPA is a major issue for you, vote Greens or NZ First.

      Yours sincerely,

      Despairing Labour Activist.

      • Macro 2.4.1

        Yes I agree that of the 4 politicians Robertson was the least impressive. How he could blather on about how well the Labour Party had done by workers after shafting them so ruthlessly in the 1980s and never fully repealing the massive injustices in the 2000’s take a lot of hypocrisy. I really think he believed it though. Anyway I was 5 rows from the front and watched him constantly while the others were speaking – and I think he started to get the message that really this deal is not about trade whatsoever, and maybe it wasn’t going to be such a good thing for business and workers in NZ apart from the favoured few (ie Dairying – and even that was a long shot). I shall be waiting to hear some more strident messages from Labour in the near future. The mood of the meeting was quite clear TTPA – NO WAY!

  3. red-blooded 3

    I’ve got to say, I think Andrew Little was somewhat underwhelming trying to voice those policies on nat rad this morning.

  4. BM 4

    I don’t understand why the left is anti the TPPA and trying to stop it.

    If it fails and causes misery as every one on the left is so certain it will, the left will then be able to beat the right around the head with it for the next 20 years.

    You guys shouldn’t be trying to stop it, the TPPA could be the lefts ticket to at least 4 -5 terms.

    • Stuart Munro 4.1

      It might astound you to know that many on the left believe the debt and misery inflicted on New Zealand by gross incompetence on the part of National is better diminished or avoided. The TPPA is a typical example. It’s not about spite or malice, the principle drivers of Gnat policy, but about the national interest. Signing an inferior corporate carte blanche like the TPPA is better avoided altogether – whatever the creative mathematical fictions the party who have delivered eight successive budget failures have come up with to claim that pie-in-the-sky will be delivered in 2030.

      • Nick Nack 4.1.1

        The TPP grew out of the TPSEP or P4 that was signed in 2005 under a Labour Government. The TPPA discussions began in 2008, also under a Labour Government. The jury is still out on the merits of the TPP in my opinion, but both major parties have supported free/limited trade agreements for decades.

        • Stuart Munro 4.1.1.1

          The only reason the jury could be out is that treacherous Gnat weasels concealed as much of the TPPA as possible for as long as possible. We know what that means – had it had any merit whatsoever the vermin would’ve been braying it from the rooftops.

          • Nick Nack 4.1.1.1.1

            I am reviewing the TPP material now, from both sides of the debate, but I am far from convinced that Labour would have done anything differently. The China FTA was negotiated (by Labour) largely behind closed doors. Indeed most free trade deals are. Indeed virtually all diplomatic initiatives are!

            • Pat 4.1.1.1.1.1

              the China/NZ FTA is nothing like the TPPA…as I’m sure you are aware

              • Nick Nack

                Stuart’s point was about secrecy of the negotiations. In that regard, the China FTA and the TPP are the same.

                • framu

                  would you agree that

                  a) the scale and scope of the TPP is vastly bigger than the china FTA
                  b) that due to this, the acceptable level of secrecy is different

                  if were going to compare TPP and china FTA shouldnt we acknowledge the difference before trying to make niche comparisons?

                  Kind of like how different classes of vehicles have different safety and license requirements – it would be quite foolish to try and compare whats required to drive a truck compared to a car without first recognising that the two vehicles are quite different

                  • Nick Nack

                    “if were going to compare TPP and china FTA shouldn’t we acknowledge the difference before trying to make niche comparisons?”

                    Framu please be clear I am not defending or otherwise the level of secrecy around trade negotiations. This discussion started with Stuart’s comments that seemed to single national out for criticism in regard to how these deals are negotiated.

                    “if were going to compare TPP and china FTA shouldn’t we acknowledge the difference before trying to make niche comparisons?”

                    I don’t see why. The China FTA is of a vastly different ‘scale a scope’ to most (if not all) other FTA’s NZ is a party to, yet the negotiations are always performed away from the public eye. Arguing that the TPP is a ‘special case’ and therefore that Labour would have negotiated more openly, seems a stretch.

                    • framu

                      the TPP represents a multi country deal covering over 40% of global trade, and has the bulk of its clauses devoted to non free trade issues

                      the china FTA is a trade deal between two economies

                      the TPP is quite clearly of a different scale and scope

                      If were going to talk about how much secrecy is OK we need to first see that the scale and scope of the TPP is very different, ergo it has different requirements and thresholds re: public engagement and transparency

                      I dont give a monkeys might labour might or might not do and yes, i get your not defending the level of secrecy,

                      im only pointing out that ignoring the differences between the TPP and the china FTA, while comparing them, isnt comparing apples with apples.

                    • Nick Nack

                      “im only pointing out that ignoring the differences between the TPP and the china FTA, while comparing them, isnt comparing apples with apples.”

                      That’s where I believe you are wrong. Either it is ok to negotiate trade deals in private or it is not. This is a matter of principle, not scale, otherwise where do you draw the line, and why? The China FTA involved NZ entering a free trade agreement on an entirely different scale to the one we have with Malaysia. Should negotiations on the Malaysian FTA been in secret but the China FTA not?

                    • framu

                      “That’s where I believe you are wrong. Either it is ok to negotiate trade deals in private or it is not.”

                      hold on, back it up a touch – your stepping past the point im trying to make. First discuss the difference (or not in your view)

                      ” This is a matter of principle, not scale, otherwise where do you draw the line, and why?”

                      the scale changes the principle – and i dont know where you draw the line – but it cant be drawn…. untill we accept that the scale is different.

                      the differences

                      1) the TPP isnt a deal between 2 partners or countries – it is a deal that covers a massive amount of humanity, in multiple countries. Its not a deal between two countries, such as the china FTA and the malaysia one etc etc

                      2) the TPP isnt a trade deal at all – it only devotes a tiny proportion of its content to trade, with much of the other chapters being highly contentious to many many people

                      these in my view increases the need for greater transparency and input from all parties. Not just the industry reps and govt appointees.

                      (and yes – now im repeating myself)

                      now – could you please discuss why my two points are no different to the china FTA BEFORE going on about the secrecy – Because how you view those two points is kinda important to the aspect your talking about.

                    • Nick Nack

                      “could you please discuss why my two points are no different to the china FTA BEFORE going on about the secrecy – Because how you view those two points is kinda important to the aspect your talking about.”

                      You’re jumping ahead of yourself, simply because I don’t agree these points are important. I see this as a question of principle, not degrees.

                      “the scale changes the principle”

                      That’s where we disagree.

                      ” – and i dont know where you draw the line – but it cant be drawn…. untill we accept that the scale is different.”

                      That’s not correct. For example we could simply declare we will not engage in any negotiations that are to be held in secret. Or, we could accept the reasons such negotiations are held in secret, and continue as in the past. Both are positions of principle. Both can be applied irrespective of scale.

                    • Nick Nack

                      Framu, I have found what I believe to be a valid comparison that may make my point clearer.

                      The ACTA (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement) is “a multinational treaty for the purpose of establishing international standards for intellectual property rights enforcement.”

                      This agreement dates from 2006, with NZ involved since 2008 (under a Labour Government), with all negotiations conducted in secret.

                      What is relevant is the criticisms of the ACTA, which closely mirror those of the TPP, including:

                      “Organisations representing citizens and non-governmental interests argued that ACTA could infringe fundamental rights including freedom of expression and privacy.”

                      “ACTA has also been criticised by Doctors Without Borders for endangering access to medicines in developing countries.”

                      “The secret nature of negotiations has excluded civil society groups, developing countries and the general public from the agreement’s negotiation process and it has been described as policy laundering by critics including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Entertainment Consumers Association.”

                      To me the issue of scale is a red herring.

                • Pat

                  if you want to compare apples with tractors

                  • Nick Nack

                    Stuarts comment, that started tis discussion, was “The only reason the jury could be out is that treacherous Gnat weasels concealed as much of the TPPA as possible for as long as possible.” You could have said exactly the same thing about the China FTA. In fact some people did.

                    • Pat

                      and I said the China/NZ FTA is nothing like the TPPA…as I’m sure you are aware….whats your point?

                    • Nick Nack

                      The difference is irrelevant to whether or not agreements should be negotiated in secret.

    • Puckish Rogue 4.2

      Just another attempt to bring down john Key, I guess when you get desperate you’ll try anything

  5. Wayne 5

    I have now listened to Andrew Little’s interview on Morning Report.

    As best as I can tell, Labour will (probably) vote against the enabling legislation, specifically on the urban land sales issue.

    However it seems they will not withdraw from TPP, but will tighten up the existing provisions restricting urban lands sales, and hope that none of the other 11 parties will object.

    He also said they were also opposed to any provisions that restricted NZ rights on labour laws, environment and anything else that Labour felt New Zealanders should be able to control.

    Realistically that was just rhetorical flim flam. To begin with there are no significant restrictions that really restrict the ability of the NZ government to determine these things, unless a NZ govt starts the wholesale expropriation of legal rights, which Labour would not do.

    So the issue for Labour is fundamentally about urban land sales.

    Hard to get a “yes/no” answer from him. Mind you, it is an important political skill to avoid such a trap, but sometimes the situation demands a “yes/no” answer.

    • framu 5.1

      “To begin with there are no significant restrictions that really restrict the ability of the NZ government to determine these things, unless a NZ govt starts the wholesale expropriation of legal rights, which Labour would not do.”

      and under TPP other people outside NZ have strengthened legal rights and a “non court” tribunal that is only open to them, has no appeal mechanism and no obligation to make findings public

      and then theres the mere threat of litigation and how that changes behaviour

      im heartened by your forthright, straight to the point, change of heart over the TPP wayne

      why just yesterday you admitted that it wasnt democratic – now this

    • stever 5.2

      Wayne…”there are no significant restrictions that really restrict”…

      A bit of hedging (“film flam”) there!…..”significant” and “really”.

      So there are some restrictions?

  6. fisiani 6

    Will Andrew little vote for the TPPA . Yes or No? He must surely be able to answer. i reckon he will bluster like a No but cave in and vote Yes.

    • Paul 6.1

      Sadly I agree with you.

    • Naturesong 6.2

      He can’t vote for the TPPA.

      Treaties are signed off by the executive, not parliament.

      • fisiani 6.2.1

        Is he for it or against it. Who knows?

        • vto 6.2.1.1

          $1,500 million in benefits to NZ in 2030

          ha ha pathetic

          my granny makes more than that

        • AmaKiwi 6.2.1.2

          “Is he (Little) for it (TPPA) or against it. Who knows?”

          I do.

          The Labour caucus operates by collective ir-responsibility. Translation: the lowest common denominator prevails, which usually ends up producing meaningless b.s.

          You saw this before with Shearer when the only meaningful opposition in parliament came from the Greens and NZ First. It worked so well then the same caucus dinosaurs are doing a re-play with their gutless performance on TPPA.

          • BlueSky 6.2.1.2.1

            In a adversarial system of government the opposition are responsible to oppose. They are failing.

            As you say collective responsibility does result in the lowest common denominator but that can be changed. Thus extremely conservative views move the result conservatively.

            To help out Labour again. They need to eliminate views from consideration that do not align with their principles so they are not factored into the LCD result. (they obviously can adjust principles)

            Keep principles front and centre and ensure that policy aligns with them otherwise it’ll be 1984.

      • Pat 6.2.2

        thats correct….but Labour can take a position

        • Scott M 6.2.2.1

          Using the government’s own figures there will be benefits of $2.7 billion. Taking away the tarriff and copyright costs acknowledged by government ($55m + $24m respectively per annum) of $2.37 billion this leaves benefits of $363m over 30 years.

          Promoting this “trade” deal on the basis of it’s economic benefits is beyond a joke.

        • Scott M 6.2.2.2

          Attended meeting at Town Hall tonight. Grant Robertson clearly stated Labour would oppose TPPA and any enabling legislation.

          • AmaKiwi 6.2.2.2.1

            Scott M

            “Labour would oppose TPPA and any enabling legislation.”

            I disagree.

            I haven’t seen a transcript but the impression I got was that Robertson said bugger all nothing except the next Labour dictatorship doesn’t want to be hamstrung (loss of sovereignty) by TPPA.

            He kept blathering on about “democracy” when the Labour caucus has no intention of submitting anything meaningful to a binding referendum ever.

            If you oppose TPPA, vote Greens or NZ First. The Labour caucus is populated by to many dinosaurs.

        • AmaKiwi 6.2.2.3

          Pat

          The caucus IS “Labour.”

          It’s a myth that the caucus represents the party members. Have you forgotten Shearer’s caucus rigged election to the leadership over Cunliffe?

          Has “Labour” polled you about TPPA? Nope. The caucus decides the Labour’s policy. They are so much wiser than the rest of us.

          • Pat 6.2.2.3.1

            Ifs as you say the caucus is Labour, and I don’t necessarily disagree…they can still take position rather than trying to please everyone and end up easing no one….as it appears they finally have…..sort of

  7. Muttonbird 7

    The government must be under a lot of pressure behind the scenes to have been forced to bring the release of this information forward two weeks.

    It looks like those wanting proper debate on this trade agreement are indeed making a lot of headway.

    Either that or the report was released today to cover the deficit blowout.

  8. Muttonbird 8

    Amazing the the government plants on this thread are obsessed yet again with what Andrew Little thinks.

    You’d think Andrew Little is the Prime Minister already!

  9. Scott M 9

    Good on Katie Bradford. Keep the pressure on!

  10. vto 10

    Here’s a thing.

    Check out the “supporter” comments on this Stuff article http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/assignments/share-your-news-and-views/13753415/Prime-Minister-I-am-not-misinformed

    Not one bit of analysis. Not one bit of clear objective thought or writing.

    Only personal denigration and abuse.

    Says it all.

  11. Blue Sky 11

    NZ interest in TPP amounts to the little boy in playground begging the big kids to let him join in. Big kids say sure and proceed to boss him around getting him to do the dirty work and probably bully and abuse him. Should he object it is likely that he’ll get more abuse and be threatened (ISDS anyone) But he feels like a big kid though no better than a slave. Really NZ, grow up. We will be serfs in our own country paying tribute to corporate overlords while they exploit what is left of our resources.

    Those that are sure we won’t be sued please leave your name and bank details. I’m sure you’ll be happy to fund the legal defence.

    • Scott M 11.1

      Yes “free trade” only works for the big boys as more and more wealth is transferred to large international companies.

    • ropata 11.2

      So true, FJK and his merry band have huge delusions of grandeur but in reality we are a crumb, one single corporation (e.g. AAPL) has revenue that dwarfs our pathetic GDP. NZ will soon be picked apart by vulture capitalists.

      Outlaw all transnational corporations.

    • AmaKiwi 11.3

      Blue Sky

      +1

  12. BlueSky 12

    It would good for Labour to start acting like the opposition and oppose. They seem completely bamboozled because it is labelled a FTA.

    To spell it out, the major point of objection is the ISDS. Does Labour policy and principles actually support this kind weakening of democracy? The government is supposed to work in our interests.

    It is the thin end of the wedge to weaken democratic oversight and reduces the ability of government to act in the interests of its people. (the supposed benefits are not for the people of this country)

    Remove the flawed ISDS trojan horse provision and replace it with something more supportive of democracy and less weighted to the wealthy. (ie corporates)

    There, told Labour and/or the Government what they should do.

    • Stuart Munro 12.1

      Removing the ISDS is the minmum – but even Labour should be able to grasp that such provisions offer no benefit to NZ whatsoever.

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