TPPA to be signed in New Zealand but the Government is not confirming

Written By: - Date published: 6:18 pm, January 7th, 2016 - 24 comments
Categories: Globalisation, International, trade - Tags: , ,

TPPA protest November 2015-12

From Scoop:

The ministers from the twelve countries who negotiated the the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will sign it in New Zealand on 4 February, a government spokesperson from Chile has confirmed.[1]

The New Zealand government has made no formal announcement, despite reports that it would host the meeting since the APEC summit last November.

‘Consistent with the government’s obsessively secrecy throughout the TPPA process, we have to get confirmation of what is happening in our own country from offshore’, says Auckland University Professor Jane Kelsey, who has led legal action to challenge the government’s failure to release information on the TPPA.

‘Polls have shown the government doesn’t have popular support for the deal. Presumably it wants to limit the chance for New Zealanders to make their opposition heard’, Kelsey said. ‘We were reliably told by offshore sources some time ago that the meeting is in Auckland, but we expect the government to try to keep the actual venue secret until much closer to the day’.

A series of high profile public meetings has been planned for the main cities at the end of January, starting with Auckland Town Hall on the evening of 26th January, followed by Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

The star attraction will be Lori Wallach, director of Washington based Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, the organisation founded by Ralph Nader. She last toured New Zealand when the TPPA ministerial meeting was held here in late 2010.

‘The US holds the key to the fate of the TPPA. Lori Wallach probably knows more than anyone about what is really happening in the US Congress and across the corporate lobbies and civil society groups in America. Her insights will provide a reality check in advance of the pr spin that is bound to surround the signing’, Kelsey said.

24 comments on “TPPA to be signed in New Zealand but the Government is not confirming”

  1. Tautoko Mangō Mata 1

    EFEManila 18 Nov 2015
    “The dozen countries that concluded negotiations in October on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement decided here Wednesday that the deal would be signed on Feb. 4, 2016, in New Zealand and that the signatories’ respective legislatures would have two years to ratify it.”

  2. Anne 2

    ‘Polls have shown the government doesn’t have popular support for the deal. Presumably it wants to limit the chance for New Zealanders to make their opposition heard’, Kelsey said. ‘We were reliably told by offshore sources some time ago that the meeting is in Auckland, but we expect the government to try to keep the actual venue secret until much closer to the day’

    It could also have something to do with the security of both the venue and overseas personnel. It’s likely no-one will be allowed within a bulls-eye of the venue anyway.

  3. Ad 3

    They are working pretty hard to have the whole TPPA secretariat based in Auckland – the initiative is being pushed by ATEED, with tepid if not resistant responses within MFAT, who of course want it based in Wellington. (Where all the country’s trade and commercial action is. Not).

  4. fisiani 4

    Why on earth would NZ give out information that could be used by terrorists? It would be great if a signing ceremony was held in New Zealand because it would recognise the incredible deal that Tim Groser won for us. Only the luddite rent a mob great unwashed want to know where the great event will be so that they can chant inanities from 3 kilometres away. It’s a free country 1,000 people can vent their spleen whilst 4,600,000 quietly celebrate a fantastic opportunity for every exporting business in NZ.

    • Doogs 4.1

      Drunk the cool aid again have you fisiani?

    • RedBaronCV 4.2

      Why do we want to sign anything that is going to attract terrorists? Are we that stupid?

      They are coming here because an island state of 4 million people is easy to lock down and no doubt we have all been spied on already to within an inch of our lives. What’s the bet that some of these people coming for meetings in late January will get denied a visa as they rock up to board in LA or elsewhere.

      Does this mean that John Key gets to hold hands and suck up to Obama and the US- must be real high on the bucket list.

      and would anyone care to hazard a guess what this is going to cost us taxpayers??? It’ll put the flag to shame, central Auckland & Wellington will be locked down for days with massive cost to industry and commerce.

      And what’s the bet that the US warship visit will coincide with this, just in case the natives get uppity you know.

      • Wayne 4.2.1


        The US warship visit will be for the 75th anniversary of RNZN in October 2016, when it is also possible that President Obama will visit.

        New Zealand is the repository/administrator for TPP so it was always likely the signing would be here, and that the secretariat would also be based here. I imagine a secretariat of around 100 people initially, growing to some hundreds in next few years. Probably has an annual value of $30 to 50 million, paid for by all the TPP parties.

        I appreciate that the anti TPP activists will have their demonstrations, but I can hardly see them being on the scale of the 1981 anti Springbok tour demonstrations.
        There just isn’t enough passion in the issue.

        • RedBaronCV

          I don’t imagine either of us will get much notice of warship or Obama visits so they could be sooner rather than later..

          Wow we may just possibly get $50m a year from a secretariat- how underwhelming – will we be spying on that secretariat for the USA?? Like we did for Tim Groser wasn’t it.

          Woud you care to hazard a guess at to how much this show is going to cost us poor bloody taxpayers – no – thought not- but it’s going to make that $50m look like petty cash. Another Nact great deal – not.

          Given that JK can’t even face a small peaceful legal domestic demonstration without losing it – does he think Sue Bradford is going to put him in a headlock?

          The size of any potential demonstration is irrelevant. Even if there was the remote prospect of a three man demonstration JK would shut the whole of Auckland down and in my opinion that is exactly what will happen.
          What’s the bet that Nact will declare the necessary days as extra public holidays but unpaid of course and that the school year will suddenly be starting a little later. if I was any sort of business in Auckland I’d be blacking this out right now.
          i’ve seen the level of shut down that happens overseas.

      • Smilin 4.2.2

        A real thanks for that RedBaronCV you couldnt get closer to the truth that sunk right in
        Cosey Key Obama must be really good those holidays in Hawaii ,no news? really strange that

    • The Chairman 4.4

      Fisiani, here’s some food for thought.

      Over 75 per cent of all NZ firms have never generated overseas income.

      This is consistent with most small businesses reporting that they either cannot or are not interested in exporting.

      97 per cent of enterprises in New Zealand are small businesses.

  5. savenz 5

    More corporate robbery under TPP – find out how a US company took public research and then patented it and now demanding $84,000 for treatment of a $4 drug that they didn’t do the research on.

    “In February, Doctors of the World filed a patent challenge in Europe against Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), arguing that “the molecule itself is not sufficiently innovative.”

    They are claiming that Gilead merely copied their publicly funded research, patented it, and then spiked the price to reap insane profits. And reap insane profits, they did. In 2014, Gilead reported a total revenue of $24.9 billion as compared to the previous year’s $11.2 billion. ”

    The reality is that we live in a world where justice is rigged to the rich corporations and they are gaming it more and more with deals like TPP. You can bet Sovaldi have a lot more money ($11.2 billion profit) to pay lawyers fees than Doctors of the world in the up and coming lawsuit.

    Do we as a country really want to have to live our lives around lawsuits under these agreements?

    • Chooky 5.1

      +100 savenz…corporate white collar crooks who have bribed USA politicians are involved in pushing the TPP…this is why there is resistance in the USA to the TPP

      eg. of money being passed to politicians by corporates

      ….”Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, who is the former US trade representative, has been one of the loudest proponents of the TPP. (In a comment to the Guardian Portman’s office said: “Senator Portman is not a vocal proponent of TPP – he has said it’s still being negotiated and if and when an agreement is reached he will review it carefully.”) He received $119,700 from 14 different corporations between January and March, most of which comes from donations from Goldman Sachs ($70,600), Pfizer ($15,700), and Procter & Gamble ($12,900). Portman is expected to run against former Ohio governor Ted Strickland in 2016 in one of the most politically competitive states in the country…

      (….it would be ironic if New Zeaaland and other countries got the TPP but USA was exempt)

    • Smilin 5.2

      I suppose we could lobby for a new Masters Degree in our universities
      Corruption 6 papers
      1929 -45
      2009- 2017 still awaiting completion part paper

  6. Chooky 6

    By Prof Jane Kelsey

    ‘BREAKING: Offshore confirmation: Ministers to sign TPPA in NZ on 4 February 2016’

    “There is a difference between signing and ratification. Obama can sign on 4 Feb, after giving 90 days notice to Congress that he intended to do so. The approval of US Congress is needed for the implementing legislation that must be passed before the TPPA can come into force in the US and there are lots of other ways that US politics will make its presence felt. See my process paper at

  7. Anne 7

    Very interesting!

    According to Andrew Little, at least three countries (including Australia) sought and were given exemption from the foreign land-ownership provisions. New Zealand never applied for an exemption.

    • Scott M 7.1

      Why on earth National thinks foreigners owning our businesses and land has any benefits to NZ is beyond me! And thats what this shitty deal locks in.

  8. Incognito 8

    Hmm, isn’t the 4th of Feb in the first week that schools are back and just before Waitangi weekend and just after Auckland Anniversary? Indeed, Term 1 starts between Monday 1 February and Friday 5 February. Must be coincidence …

  9. Gristle 9

    Can anybody answer the question about whether the TPPA will bring cigarette plain packing under the ISD provisions? I mean the Austrailian’s have just won a positive ruling out off Hong Kong and NZ was waiting for that to occur before progressing with our own plain packaging legislation. If this is not enacted before the TTPA is signed off, then is plain packaging off the table again.

    I can see the TTPA becoming another one of those long lists of excuses used by the government to do diddly squat. A list that includes:
    1. It’s an operational issue.
    2. I will get my officials to look into it
    3. I will get a report done on it.
    4. it a matter of privacy
    5. It’s before the courts
    6. I have to go on holiday to Hawaii
    7. Labour did it first/as well
    8. The dog ate my homework

  10. Tautoko Mangō Mata 10

    from the US trade website

    TPP Countries Plan For Feb. 4 Signing In New Zealand; Legal Scrub Done
    Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries are moving ahead with a plan to sign the agreement on Feb. 4 in Auckland, New Zealand, after completing the legal scrub of the English version of the deal, according to informed sources.

    Expanded Japanese Subsidies Could Sap U.S. Pork Industry’s Support For TPP
    A Japanese government plan to expand subsidies to domestic hog farmers has U.S. pork producers up in arms over fears that the move could erase their market access gains under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This development is casting doubt on whether the U.S. pork producers will continue their fervent support for the deal, industry sources say.

    TransCanada Initiates NAFTA ISDS Claim Over U.S. Keystone Denial, Seeking Over $15 Billion In Damages

  11. How interesting! Am I the only one who thinks it would be John Key sticking a great big middle finger up to the NZ population to sign away our sovereignty on Waitangi day weekend?

    For the time being I’m calling bullshit on this information. Not that I doubt John Key would love to rub our faces in it but I think the people around him would be hesitant!

    • David H 11.1

      But Key don’t give 2 tosses about the ordinary Kiwi. So yes a huge middle finger would be his style.

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