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TPPA review time slashed

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, April 8th, 2016 - 38 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags: ,

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 15: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key speaks during the Auckland Chamber of Commerce Business Vitality lunch at Pulman Hotel on March 15, 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand. Business leaders joined Prime Minister John Key to hear his views on business and the economy for 2012. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

Remember John Key promising that the TPPA would be subject to full parliamentary scrutiny?  Well National has moved to slash the time the select committee has to consider and report on submissions presented by New Zealanders on the treaty.

From Radio New Zealand:

MPs have been given just five days to consider hundreds of submissions on the controversial TPP trade deal after the timeframe was drastically cut from four weeks.

The select committee was originally give a month to write its report and present it back to Parliament.

Opposition MPs were furious at the sudden change and they called it an attack on democracy.

The trade deal has already been roundly criticised by its opponents for being too secretive and lacking consultation.

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee had been hearing submissions on the TPP from hundreds of people across the country and that will continue until the end of the month.

But opposition members on the committee say they were told yesterday the government wanted to cut down the time they had to analyse the submissions, so the legislation could get through by the end of the year.

They said they were stunned by the news and felt angry and frustrated.

The change is a bit surprising.  You have to wonder if the extra three weeks gained in the process is worth the political grief.  Mark Mitchell’s justification is that the Government wants to get the required legislation through by the end of the year but the decision reinforces the already very strong impression that the parliamentary scrutiny process is a farce.

38 comments on “TPPA review time slashed ”

  1. Trying to take away attention from the Panama Papers with brutal stealth privatization of the Kiwi bank and the TPPA hearings? Of course!

  2. Mr. Natural 2

    John “I’ve always believed in a system where we ask the people for constitutional issues” Key has once again demonstrated his hypocrisy and contempt for the democratic rights of New Zealanders. Time is of the Essence – the TPPA is a covert transfer of National Sovereignty into Multinational Corporate rule, and if he doesn’t rush through the ratification process, the slowly awakening masses will send his treasonous ‘agreement’ into the dustbin of History, along with his ‘corporate flag’…

  3. Andrew R 3

    Nice. I won’t be heard by the Select Committee before the report is written. Just like how another Select Committee didn’t read my submission on last GCSB Act before writing their report. Honest John’s democracy in action.

    • te reo putake 3.1

      You could always turn your back to the committee when you speak. You’ll get told off, but you’ll make a point.

  4. ianmac 4

    The submission that I sent was probably futile as Mar Mitchell’s instructions are to ignore any anti-TPP reasoning because the deal must and will go through regardless. A bit miffed really. And the intent to present an omnibus Bill to be passed by Christmas will already be being written. Like the Master recording the mark for your exam before you sit it.

  5. just saying 5

    More than 2500 people submitted as individuals via Action-Station website. Other organisations such as the Green Party also provided a platform for submissions. Like me, many would have gone straight to the parliament website. Also many groups sent submissions.
    I wonder who told the media the committee hasd received “hundreds” of submissions?

  6. Heather Tanguay 6

    Once again this is a big fishy red herring, Key wants everyone to become furious about this so they stop thinking about the Panama papers.
    I can not help but thinking that the Panama papers are very involved with the TPPA and that the sooner it is ratified for key the better.
    I am so impressed with the speed the people in Iceland have acted, they have a very positive result.
    Once again New Zealand has been embarrassed by the revelations in the Panama papers, but as New Zealanders we should take comfort that our Prime Minister is comfortable, that is such a relief knowing this.

  7. katipo 7

    Looks like they are using the same tactics with the The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

    …”The Government is about to set up a “reading room”, containing classified TTIP documents. This apes an idea used elsewhere in the EU, but European parliamentarians who have been to their reading rooms have complained that they are bound by confidentiality agreements.
    Katja Kipping, a German MP, said she was given only two hours to read 300 pages and was handed a rulebook stating that she was being granted “an exceptional degree of trust”….


  8. joe90 9

    Free trade is free movement of capital so as the Panama papers reveal more and more, perhaps there’s a pressing need to get the TPP over line.

    The trade agreement with Panama would effectively bar the U.S. from cracking down on this activity. The U.S. would not be allowed to treat Panamanian financial services transactions differently from transactions in nations that are not tax havens. It would also be unable to pursue some standard anti-money laundering techniques in Panama. Combating tax haven abuse in Panama would be a violation of the trade agreement, exposing the U.S. to fines from international authorities.


  9. Draco T Bastard 10

    Labour needs to come out now and say that they will withdraw from the TPPA on the day that they assume office.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.1

      Which they won’t because that would leave all of our competitors in a trading block of 800m people and us on the outside. And not even Labour are that stupid.

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 10.1.1

        Not true. We have already have existing FTAs with 3 other TPP countries:

        with Australia NZ-Australia CER
        with Malaysia NZ-Malaysia FTA
        with Singapore NZ-Singapore plus

        CEPNZ-China FTA
        NZ-Hong Kong, China CEP
        NZ-Thailand CEP
        NZ-Korea FTA

        This idea that we will be shunned is scare tactics. Read the following and calm down.
        This piece is on the World Trade Online today.
        Scholar Says TPP Economic Studies Not Conclusive, Ask Wrong Question

        A globalization scholar last week said the current economic research on the impacts of trade liberalization is insufficient to conclusively determine how the Trans-Pacific Partnership will affect the U.S. economy, meaning policymakers and politicians will have to base their decisions to support or oppose the deal on other considerations.

        The TPP is a means of inflicting a corporate wishlist on nations whose leaders are either complicit or too stupid to realise what they are doing.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          What always haunts one as the New Zealand Prime Minister is ‘will there be a series of trade blocs you’re not part of?’. Because that’s unthinkable for New Zealand, an exporter and small trading nation. So of course New Zealand has to be in on the action with the TPP and go for the very best deal it can

          • lprent

            But we’re not part of the EU. Or NAFTA. Or for that matter with the trading bloc that Russia has with some former soviet states.

            Want to show me how that affects us in any of our non-commodity parts of our export economy? Because it doesn’t. We sell things like software, firmware, hardware, services, tourism, and most of the non-rural sectors that employ the majority of kiwis who export without requiring bloc trading privileges. How does TPP affect anything except farming and maybe forestry?

            Even in farming we really don’t have much effect because farmers are almost entirely trading based on world commodity prices for things like milk powder, beef, wool, etc. We sell all of those to the volume we can produce at prices set on the world market.

            That is a VERY stupid argument.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

              You’re argument’s not with me, if you don’t like the above.

              • lprent

                So if you can’t argue that point why did you bring it up?

                You have a career as being a parrot?

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  Well, I cannot guarantee you that I will be able to do anything so brilliant as an genital metaphor but I am happy to have a go.

                  You may see not value in free trade, but many do. It is for this reason that successive new Zealand governments of all kinds have put considerable efforts into this area. Did Mike Moore say: fuck GATT we can sell firmware to Djibouti without one? No, he didn’t. Did Phil Goff say: what’s the point in a free trade agreement with China? They’ll buy our software without one (especially if it is designed by the World’s Greatest Sysop)? No. He didn’t. And did anyone think there would be the value in establishing rules so that trade is fair, and there’s a process for resolving disputes? So that if, say, the Australians arbitrarily restricted our imports of apples there would be a way to get them to stop? Why, yes, they did.

                  Sure, we could have sold product to China without a free trade agreement, but we seem to have rather better since we’ve had one. I suspect this is not a coincidence

                  It is for this reason that the person whose argument you consider stupid considers we are far better off in TPP than out of it.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    You may see not value in free trade, but many do.

                    I see the value in free-trade (It’s somewhat minimal) but the TPPA isn’t a free-trade deal – it’s a corporate takeover.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      Yes, but you think everything’s a corporate takeover, so no-one’s going to pay any attention to what you say.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Ah, so you really don’t have an argument for the TPPA.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      I do. It’s Helen Clark’s argument and she and I like it.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Thing is, it’s not actually an argument. It’s a sound bite – nothing more.

                • Lanthanide

                  He brought it up because Helen Clark said it, and he believes that if Helen Clark said it, it must be true.

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    …and LPrent thinks she’s stupid.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      She may have been one of our greatest PMs but that doesn’t mean that she’s right on this.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      But, we’re agreed she’s “stupid”, right?

                    • Lanthanide

                      No, he thinks the out-of-context quote you gave of Helen Clark’s was a stupid argument.

                      Good people like Helen can sometimes make stupid statements, and when stupid people like you quote a stupid statements from someone without attribution and out of context, it’s entirely reasonable for people to think it’s just you being stupid again.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel

                      I’ll tell Helen you think she’s strayed.

  10. Murray Simmonds 11

    I’m struggling to see how any of the following quotations (from comments offered above) suggest other than that, “with the TPPA, we are being subjected to outright BLACKMAIL”:

    “This idea that we will be shunned is scare tactics.”

    ” . . . because that would leave all of our competitors in a trading block of 800m people and us on the outside . . .”

    ” . . . will there be a series of trade blocs you’re not part of?’”

    is this the real reason why our pathetic government hell-bent on signing it?

    Could be. I wouldn’t put anything past them. its certainly not a
    “trade” deal that offers us anything POSITIVE, from what I’ve read about it!

    Perhaps Helen Clark’s statement that we can’t afford not to be part of it IF IT’S A GOOD DEAL” should have omitted the final five words.

  11. RedBaronCV 12

    Will they have the votes to get the omnibus bill through parliament? Or is the haste due to something we don’t know yet?

  12. Molly 13

    Attended the Auckland committee meeting with a friend yesterday. Interesting, but not an enlightening or democratic experience.

    Left immediately after because some – “NZ Association for International Business” starting quoting a report from Chapman Tripp – an unfortunate reference since I had just read the link between them promoting foreign trust loophole in 2011, and had added them to my list of local leeches.

    There was a marked difference between my friend’s testimony, which was accompanied by Lindsay Tisch’s gentle snores, David Shearer’s unapologetic paper-shuffling throughout and various blank stares from other committee members.
    (Mark Mitchell was actually almost gracious, but his fixed stare seemed well… “fixed”.)

    The three man team from the business association – demanded that the TPPA get ratified, and garnered immediate attention and just-like-me love and attention from the committee. Their follow up statement that despite fears to the contrary – sovereignty would not be affected, was greeted with small nods. My non-existent Tourettes was considering making a loud appearance, so we left.

    Two police officers were at the door, and two more were outside on the street, talking to someone who was standing alone with banners, looking about 1/1000th of the level of disruption from the roadworks. Very surreal appearance in a venue that looks like it transferred directly from the 1980’s.

    A direct personal experience of faux consultation, and transparent democracy.

    • Macro 13.1

      Yes the “consultation” is nothing but a sham. That’s why they are cutting the time down from a month to 5 days – there is only so much time they can put beans in their ears.
      Labour – if it really wants to show that it has the potential to govern and work in coalition with The Greens and NZF must come out firmly against this TPPA and state quite clearly they will remove from the “agreement”. It has to say it now – it cannot wait. The line must be drawn. This would be a defining difference between the left and National, Act, and the Dunny.

  13. saveNZ 14

    Absolutely disgusting. The panama papers are now disclosing what everyone already knew. The law is being manipulated by the super rich corporations and individuals via complicated ‘quasi legal’ deals that steal from other individuals to give more money and power to the rich and stop them being taxed. That is why TPPA need their own quasi ‘courts’ run by their own quasi ‘tribunals’.

    With Trump, Clinton and Sanders all against TPPA, we have to wonder what John Key and Mark Mitchell (from Dirty politics, worth a read to see how Mark Mitchell actually went from nowhere to a high powered National MP heading the spy and TPPA submissions committee). Obviously the master plan need acceleration with the Panama papers and probably much riding on Key and Mitchell getting TPPA through for them personally.

    Does anyone really think Key and Mitchell are working for NZ or even the National party anymore? Nope just to take as much from the public purse and transfer it into their own and rivals pockets as fast as possible.

    Lets hope their actions are judged wine box style and they actually end up in Jail for their crimes.

    • mosa 14.1

      Trump and Clinton are not against the TPPA and if elected they will ratify it if congress gets on board
      Sanders is the only one i believe when he says he is against it, he knows the damage it will inflict on non elites and the working destitute everywhere
      This business with the select commitee process should not suprise anyone
      The TPPA and its backers dont believe it requres the full insight of our scrutinising select commitee process ,its above that and once again Key is deceiving the electorate with assurances to the contrary
      Its all a complete farce sold by the used car salesman himself without a warranty.

  14. Whispering Kate 15

    One thing I can’t understand ( this decision to bring it down to five days for submissions to be heard) – is why? The first thing I said to myself is “why”. Has any journalist/interviewer actually demanded a reason why this decision has come about. Asked for a justification as to why the time has been slashed to five days. It’s a serious enough question for somebody to pin the Government down and demanded why. Everything else has been discussed online etc but the darned reason why?? I think they gave some sort of wishy washy reason but that isn’t good enough. It’s bad enough that the submissions are going to be ignored but this is sheer arrogance on the part of the Government.

    The Opposition should be yelling from the debating chamber and creating hell about this. This Government is a dictatorship and we the citizenry are just compliant accepting all this corruption which is going on around us which is shameful. I don’t know what the answer is but reading “The Sugar Bag Years” people then got their act together and at least did dissent over the state the country was in.

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