web analytics

TPPA: US, corporate dominance – let’s do ACTION!!

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, March 5th, 2013 - 38 comments
Categories: activism, copyright, democracy under attack, internet, john key, slippery, trade, us politics - Tags: , , , ,

A round of TTPA negotiations is underway in Singapore. The  excellent Jane Kelsey is leading the critical discussion here in NZ.  Meanwhile there is some disturbing information from across the ditch in Aussie, raising the issue of corporate dominance over women’s health provisions and the undermining of women’s rights.

Kelsey posted yesterday on The Daily Blog about just how much Obama is using the TPPA to assert his agenda at home and abroad.  In doing this he is skewing the “negotiations” in favour of corporate US, and undermining any hopes for democratic processes. In ‘The reality of What TPPA means for NZ’, Kelsey says:

But today is the first day of the 16th round of talks in Singapore and the situation is getting serious.

The eleven participating countries – or more accurately, their current and temporary governments – are aiming to draft a new rulebook for the 21st century that locks in and extends the failed neoliberal model. In secret. For the indefinite future. Enforceable by each other and by their corporations in secretive offshore tribunals. …

Obama is putting the hard word on the other ten countries’ leaders, who are in turn pushing their chief negotiators and their teams to clear the dross out of the way so they can talk about trade-offs.

Some chapters are near that stage. Others have been at stalemate almost since the negotiations began as other countries rejected the basic tenets of US demands. Several of those areas are must-haves for Obama – notably, intellectual property, which impacts on pharmaceuticals, the internet and innovation and disciplines on state-enterprises that could extend to ACC, Kiwibank and the universities.

The way that John Key and Tim Groser talk, all the parties including New Zealand are equals at this negotiating table. But this has always been the US plus the rest.

Note that the key areas in focus include “intellectual property and the internet”.  This links in with the withdrawal of Murdoch’s News Corps from NZ Sky TV. Pressure for an accessible, affordable, critical and democratic “fourth estate” should be intensified, as the subscriber numbers for the Sky TV remain static, and television shows become increasingly accessible via the internet: a platform corporoates and investors are trying to control for their undemocratic financial gain..

Kelsey also issued a Press Release yesterday  that draws on OIA documents that expose John Key’s dodgy use of figures in relation to the TPPA:

An Official Information Act request revealed the Prime Minister was citing an unpublished econometric study in November 2012 by the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics that updated earlier versions published by the East West Centre.

Professor Kelsey says ‘the assumptions that underpin the report’s computerised modelling belong on an alien planet’. …

The report ignores any real world downsides – losing part or all of the $5 billion savings from Pharmac over 12 years, the stifling of innovation through extreme US monopoly rights over intellectual property, the economic and social costs of light-handed regulation, legal fees and compensation awards from investment arbitration suits brought by US firms, to name a few.

Yesterday there was also a press release by  AFTINET (Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network Ltd)  announcing a seminar in Sydney today on women’s rights and the TPPA.  It highlights that a US legal judgement means a pharmaceutical company can patent a gene linked to breast cancer. This will result in tests for breast cancer becoming unaffordable for most women.

With the TPPA, pharmaceutical companies  and investors are looking to control over and rights to other patents that will impact on large numbers of people, but especially on women, children and various “vulnerable” people.  (I guess “vulnerable” means those on low incomes and/or with little power).  The press release goes on:

This bad news could be even worse if the US government succeeds in its demands for even stronger patent rights, including for diagnostic testing, in the TTPA. This would lock stronger patent laws into an international agreement which Australian governments could not change,” said Dr Patricia Ranald, convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network and a speaker at the seminar

“The US also wants stronger patent rights for pharmaceutical companies to charge high monopoly prices for medicines, and to delay cheaper generic drugs becoming available. As well, the US wants to prevent governments from regulating medicine prices, as happens through the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

It is important that NZ citizens understand what is happening with the TPPA.  Good on Kelsey for keeping information out there – and Kelsey also served notice of upcoming actions around the TPPA:

A new phase of the TPPA campaign, Countdown to May, is about to be launched through the itsourfuture website with activities that anyone do: adopt an MP; recruit local councillors to move resolutions that are critical of the TPPA, or better still make them TPPA-free zones; deluge the talkbacks and blogs; host the cartoon exhibition. Sign up to the bulletin on the www.itsourfuture.org.nz website and you can be part of making this our 21st century, not theirs!

We can all get involved! Time for action!


38 comments on “TPPA: US, corporate dominance – let’s do ACTION!!”

  1. geoff 1

    Great post, Karol. It would be cool if we had Jane Kelsey commenting on the standard.

  2. MrSmith 2

    Were are Labour on selling our sovereignty down the river? I’m all ears!

    • MrSmith 2.1

      Edit : Where are Labour on selling our sovereignty down the river? I’m all ears?

    • DH 2.2

      TPPA talks began under Labour, from what I’ve read the Nats haven’t actually changed much of NZ’s terms at the negotiating table.

      I think Labour’s silence on it tells us all we need to know; either they agree with the Nats or they’ve got a guilty conscience… or both.

  3. muzza 3


    Looks like the signal of NZ selling out to corporations, has already been signalled!

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Shheeeezus. The US allow genetically modified (GM) food into their supply chain without any testing or labeling whatsoever.

      What does this do for the entry of unlabelled GM foods on to our store shelves?


      • freedom 3.1.1

        raw foods and heritage seeds will also be up for the chop, so to speak.

        then there is the prickly issue of US arrests for sharing raw milk and other heinous crimes against the corpocracy

        • Colonial Viper

          Each of these steps undermines the resilience of our local communities to be self sufficient in the face of uncertain climate and financial changes.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Which is, and always has been, the goal of the capitalists. Removing peoples ability to exist without the corporations and thus increasing dependence is exactly how they become rich.

            • woodpecker

              “I can see the day coming, when even your home garden is gonna be against the law”..Bob Dylan (early 80’s me thinks)

              • karol

                Thanks for that tip, woodpecker.

                From Infidels 1983, Union Sundown:

                Well, the job that you used to have
                They gave it to somebody down in El Salvador
                The unions are big business, friend
                And they’re goin’ out like a dinosaur
                They used to grow food in Kansas
                Now they want to grow it on the moon and eat it raw
                I can see the day coming when even your home garden
                Is gonna be against the law

                Well, it’s sundown on the union
                And what’s made in the U.S.A.
                Sure was a good idea
                ’Til greed got in the way

                Not sure what he’s saying about the union – otherwise an apt song.

      • muzza 3.1.2

        Yup, we have that deal signed, we have the food safety bill, natural remedies bill, etc all come to being, around the same time the TPPA pressure was/is really cranking up.

        These bills will have been written with an eye firmly on a TPPA green light, and will have *unintended consequences*, littering their future use.

        Most people have no idea what’s going on with these links, or that they are even in play, and the MPs self admit, do not read the bills in entirety!

        Who authors NZ bills – Oh that’s right, large corporate law firms!

      • yeshe 3.1.3

        I’m with you on this .. keep wondering if Monsanto and the like will be able to sue us under TPPA provisions for disallowing their murderous crops to be grown here ? Would love Jane Kelsey to answer this one .. it might be the one issue that could galvanise our tired and ill-informed public — this is so frightening and so few seem to have any interest, much less awareness … where are all the brilliant ones who signed their names on that anti-TPPA full page advert in the Herald, Dom etc a while back ??

        And yes, where is Labour on this very specific issue ? Voting Green party and candidate is only possibility now I think …

        • muzza

          And yes, where is Labour on this very specific issue

          Oh you will find the LP in the same place as the rest of the MPs – Bent over the negotiating table, having sold themselves, and the rest of us out, just like their counterparts, decades earlier!

          Conditionality policies – 1961

    • freedom 3.2

      and with the new head of the US FDA being a Monsanto stooge we are FUBAR,

      e.g: The Dairy industry has worked with Monsanto to produce high yield GM grasses. The FDA is an organization that after being lobbied by Dairy interests since 2009, now calls for Aspartame to be added to milk. Aspartame was declared a poison in 1975 by the FDA, but it is now in over ten thousand foodstuffs.

      • muzza 3.2.1

        E951 – Yes we have Donald Rumsfeld to thank for that, hands up who remembers Donald, he’s a nice man!

        I agree with you freedom, the indications are, that we’re well and truly done!

        Will the remaining compos mentis, please stand up!

  4. Wayne 4


    So what action do you propose?

    As I have noted before on this site (TPPA being one of the main issues I comment on this site) if the negotiating countries conclude the TPPA it will be ratified by NZ.

    In fact as Jane makes clear TPPA now has the strategic backing of the US, so its success is all the more certain.

    But NZ sees that as a desirable outcome. It was always the objective of the NZ Govt to get a NZUSFTA, and since it could not be done bilaterally, the vehicle of P5 which has now expanded to TPPA has been seen as a good outcome. Remember that NZ was an initial proponent of P5, and NZ is the depositry of the TPPA.

    There is absolutely no prospect whatsoever that NZ would not ratify TPPA.

    The NZ Govt will take no notice of Jane Kelsey, who is after all an ideological opponent of the Govt on virtually every issue. She has never seen an FTA she could support, therefore her opposition to TPPA is dismissed out of hand.

    However, I guess her objective is to influence those Govts that might have some sympathy with her views. But I would note her role in Korea oppossing the KUSFTA probably did not endear her to the Korean Govt, and they will make known to the other negotiating states.

    Her level of oppositional fevour to free trade agreements is so great, that it is easy for Govts to ignore her, even though she is deeply researched on the detail of the issues.

    • karol 4.1

      Jane Kelsey makes good suggestions for action, which I quoted at the bottom of my post. This includes:

      adopt an MP; recruit local councillors to move resolutions that are critical of the TPPA, or better still make them TPPA-free zones; deluge the talkbacks and blogs; host the cartoon exhibition. Sign up to the bulletin on the http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz website

      There are concerns about the TPP from various South East Asian groups and governments – hence their development of the alternative RCEP

      • Wayne 4.1.1

        Won’t change the view of Govt – and I would also bet will not shift Labour. But if it did that would certainly mean a radical shift by Labour if it was to oppose TPP.

        I personally would see that as a bad thing, but I guess you would not.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Won’t change the view of Govt

          That would be the problem with governments welded to an ideology – they don’t change their minds no matter the evidence.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      So Wayne, you’re not concerned about the undermining of our rights to decide how to govern the country, while US corporates get given more powers over our daily lives?

      • Wayne 4.2.1

        I see these sorts of negotiations as having a balance, every negotiating country has to give something to get something.

        So NZ will give something on IP protection to get market access for agriculture. In any event we also originate IP (ask Weta Films), so this might be as much to our benefit as it is a cost.

        And of course all FTA’s limit the sovereignty of Govts. Thats their point.

        • Draco T Bastard

          So NZ will give something on IP protection to get market access for agriculture. In any event we also originate IP (ask Weta Films), so this might be as much to our benefit as it is a cost.

          We’ll be worse off no matter what.

        • thatguynz

          Wayne, I’m sorry mate but if you think that the US will open the door to inbound NZ agriculture in any meaningful way then you stand to be sadly disappointed.

          The FTA’s (Free trade as opposed to Fair trade) that have been negotiated over time with ANY country have always favoured the larger trading “partner”. I don’t think anyone is naive enough to suggest the TPPA would be any different – if in fact it was largely about trade…

          Let’s be quite blunt about it – the TPPA is as far from a trade agreement as the current Labour Party is from it’s founding principles. It is a reduction in our ability to self-govern, self-regulate and is an acceleration of the global corporatocracy.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I don’t think anyone is naive enough to suggest the TPPA would be any different

            Wayne’s proven that he is that naive.

            if in fact it was largely about trade

            And you’re right, it’s not about trade but about banks and money and how they can take ownership of NZ without having to use an armed invasion.

            It is a reduction in our ability to self-govern, self-regulate and is an acceleration of the global corporatocracy.


          • Wayne

            Actually not true with China FTA, which has been a huge gain for NZ. It gives us tarriff and quota free access to China for all goods, including agricultral.

            China, arguably had other strategic objectives in mind in entering into the agreement with NZ.

            As for US agriculture – well the sequester makes the agriculture subsidies pretty vulnearble, and this is one of Obama’s objectives.

            • Colonial Viper

              It gives us tarriff and quota free access to China for all goods, including agricultral.

              You mean apart from the many times that China has been allowed to slap spontaneous tarriffs on to NZ imports since the signing of the agreement?

    • DH 4.3

      “In fact as Jane makes clear TPPA now has the strategic backing of the US, so its success is all the more certain. ”

      Your argument is all over the place. For starters Jane Kelsey doesn’t oppose the TPPA. She opposes some of what’s in it. Big difference there. Secondly you deliberately run Kelsey down for her beliefs and then concede that she does have valid arguments so what’s your point? Thirdly when you say that NZ will ratify the TPPA you’re not saying anything. It’s what is in the TPPA that concerns people, I doubt anyone is totally against trade itself it’s the terms & conditions we care about.

      • Wayne 4.3.1

        My experience of Jane is that she has oppossed every FTA that has actually been negotiated. Of course she would point out the specific issues that concerned her, but they were in all FTA’s, and her view was that if they were in the agreement it had to be oppossed.

        But I do recognise that she is very well researched – she knows the details, she writes well and is very articulate. But I fundamentally disagree with her perspective on the merits of free trade. I beleive it promotes overall welfare, she does not. And I also consider the evidence supports my proposition, not hers.

        Asia would not have the prosperity that it has today, unless the US market had the low tarriff barriers on manufactured goods that it has had for decades. The Asian economies had to export their low priced goods to the US to get their high growth rates. The US had to shift out of those sort of goods to higher value products and services.

        TPP is intended to further reduce tarriffs, especially on agricultral goods. For many markets, even in agriculture, the US expects to gain – beef into Asia, grain into Asia. For NZ the goal is diary and beef – we are a lower cost producer than the US.

        Jane does say that she supports “fair trade” as oppossed to free trade, but that seems to be trade which retains tarriffs rather than reducing them, or which has selective tarriffs, say low tarriffs for “fair trade” coffee but not for other coffee.

        By the way I understand that “fair trade” coffee is required to be produced by the grower and his/her family. There are to be no employees. Frankly I find that ludicrous – why shouldn’t people be able to employ others if they have the entreprenurial skill. It would be like banning NZ farmers from employing anyone on their farms. However, I concede no grower is forced to be part of the “fair trade” brand, but that is what it is, a brand.

        • DH

          Again your argument is all over the place. You belittle Kelsey in a clear attempt to rebut her by ad-hominem but you don’t address any of the arguments she’s made.

          I find it odd that you call the TPPA ‘free trade’ What’s free about it? If we are to be subjected to another nation’s laws then we’re not trading freely are we? You conceded that we have to give up certain freedoms in order to gain (potential) monetary rewards. How can giving up the right to trade freely, as we now do, be a precurser to free trade?

        • Colonial Viper

          lol how is the US ag lobby going to allow Obama to drop the massive annual Food Bill subsidies to them?

          Oh that’s right, it’s not.

          • DH

            These people who blindly support the TPPA are a bit odd. The biggest criticism of the TPPA is the secretive nature of the talks. We don’t know what they’re giving away or agreeing to. How can you support something you have no knowledge of?

            Without knowing what the negotiations are about it comes down to a matter of trust and risk evaluation. Can we trust the Govt to act in our best interests, can we trust them to get it right and if they make a mistake(s) that turn out to be bad for us what’s the potential costs and can the mistake be fixed?

            About the only thing we can conclude with certainty is that we can’t pull out of the TPPA once the deal is done. On that basis alone the default position should be to oppose it until overwhelming evidence is presented that proves its merits. Wayne here says “damn the torpedos, full steam ahead!”

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      But NZ sees that as a desirable outcome.

      No, it’s idiots that still hold onto the failed neo-liberal economic paradigm that see it as a desirable outcome.

      • Wayne 4.4.1

        Seemingly the majority of voters.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I don’t think that the majority of voters are holding on to the failed neo-liberal paradigm. It’s the political parties that are.

  5. georgecom 5

    Te Ohu Rata O Aotearoa (Maori Medical Practitioners Association) and the NZNO

    Monday 04 March 2013, 10:27am

    More than 400 members of New Zealand’s medical community have signed a letter to the Prime Minister asking him to be vigilant that our future health is not negotiated away under the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

    The letter, written by Christchurch paediatrician Philip Pattemore, was digitally signed online by 415 health professionals, mainly doctors and nurses.

    The letter expresses concerns over whether the TPPA could have a significant impact on New Zealanders’ future health and, in particular, the Government’s stated goal of achieving a smokefree New Zealand by 2025…”PHARMAC has saved the New Zealand taxpayer $5 billion over the past 12 years and greatly increased the access we have to medicine. Giving up the fight on patents could hike up the price of medicines significantly, causing inequity in access.”


    • karol 5.1

      Thanks for that information and link, georgecom. I hope it gets more widespread attention.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    3 days ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    3 days ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    4 days ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    4 days ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    4 days ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    5 days ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    5 days ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    5 days ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    6 days ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    6 days ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    6 days ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    7 days ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    1 week ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    1 week ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Working people carrying the can for the Government
    Today’s announcement of a Government operating surplus is the result of the hard work of many Kiwi businesses and workers, who will be asking themselves if they are receiving their fair share of growth in the economy, Grant Robertson Labour ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Breast cancer drugs should be available
    Labour supports the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s campaign for better access to cancer treatments as more patients are denied what is freely available in Australia, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In the last three years, PHARMAC’s funding has been ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Community law centres get much needed support from banks
      New Zealand’s network of community law centres, who operate out of more than 140 locations across the country, have today received a much needed boost, says Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “After more than 8 years of static funding ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Just 18 affordable homes in Auckland SHAs – It’s time for KiwiBuild
    New data revealing just 18 affordable homes have been built and sold to first home buyers in Auckland’s Special Housing Areas show National’s flagship housing policy has failed and Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is needed, says Leader of the Opposition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika wins big in Auckland elections
    The Labour Party’s Pacific Candidates who stood for local elections in Auckland came out on top with 14 winners, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Our candidates have won seats on one ward, four local boards, two ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seven7 hikoi to stop sexual violence
    2 weeks ago
  • Road toll passes 2013 total
    The road toll for the year to date has already passed the total for the whole of 2013, raising serious questions about the Government’s underfunding of road safety, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “According to the Ministry of Transport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay principals slam charter school decision
    A letter from Hawke’s Bay principals to the Education Minister slams the lack of consultation over the establishment of a charter school in the region and seriously calls into question the decision making going on under Hekia Parata’s watch, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to act on voter turnout crisis
    With fewer than 40 per cent of eligible voters having their say in the 2016 local elections, the Government must get serious and come up with a plan to increase voter turnout, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry presents solutions to homelessness – Govt must act
    Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party are calling on the Government to immediately adopt the 20 recommendations set out in today's Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A good night for Labour’s local government candidates
    It has been a good night for Labour in the local government elections. In Wellington, Justin Lester became the first Labour mayor for 30 years, leading a council where three out of four Labour candidates were elected. Both of Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More contenders for fight clubs
    Allegations of fight clubs spreading to other Serco-run prisons must be properly investigated says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister runs for cover on job losses
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago