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Trust, Labour and the TPPA

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, November 5th, 2017 - 96 comments
Categories: Economy, International, labour, trade - Tags: ,

Action Station co-director Laura O’Connell Rapira wrote at The Spinoff the other day about the spin being used to push the TPPA:

And yet here I am, adding my own 700 words worth of political analysis to describe what has been a masterclass in ‘priming’ and ‘agenda-setting’ from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the New Zealand Labour Party.

The message they are spinning? “Sorry voters, but we had to swallow the worst parts of the TPPA. It’s not our fault, it’s National’s.”

This is, of course, patently untrue. The Labour-led government doesn’t have to forge ahead with a subpar trade deal […]

They are choosing to push ahead with it. They just want us to think it’s not a choice.

Priming has its basis in cognitive psychology. It is about readying the public for a political decision using messages that foreshadow the outcome. It is about tapping into preconceptions to frame up the inevitability of your decision so the public accepts it more easily because they have been prepped for it.

It’s Jacinda Ardern commenting on the likelihood of successfully negotiating changes to the most toxic clause in the TPPA – investor-state dispute resolution, or ISDS – with this statement: “I do acknowledge it will be difficult [at] this late stage to achieve this outcome, but that will not stop us from trying.”

This is the tricky bit for me. The words often sound reassuring and have a feel good quality to them that Ardern is so adept at, but in the end I still don’t know what she means. Is she saying that they want to try but they know that it might not work and then they will walk away? Or is she saying they will do their best but might have to sell us into a really shitty agreement? Personally, it’s hard for me to imagine Labour will sign with the ISDS in place, because it would be such a huge betrayal, but the point is that I actually don’t know, none of us do.

This kind of communication has become such a common occurrence with the TPPA lately it’s starting to piss me off. Being skilful at leaving people feeling good while not being terribly clear is useful in an election campaign against an opponent that is lying through its teeth and getting away with it, but it’s wearing thin now that Labour are in power and we need them to be upfront and treating us as people worthy of honesty and clarity.

Here’s another example from a NewstalkZB piece last week,

A Japanese foreign official says any move to renegotiate the deal [on housing] could be the end of it altogether.

But Ardern evaded the question on Tuesday when asked if she’d be happy to carry the weight of responsibility if she pursues negotiations, saying it’s about balancing resolution of the housing crisis with exporter interests.

“I don’t see the two as mutually exclusive and that’s what I’m focused on,” she said.

To me balancing the resolution of two potentially conflicting needs suggests a compromise, and saying that those two things are not mutually exclusive is technically true but might just mean you end up with a crappy compromise. Yes, they might not be mutually exclusive, but they might be too. Then what?

I don’t know where the bottom lines are any more and it looks more and more like Labour are finding hacks to a situation that is basically broken. I can’t escape the feeling this is not going to be the new government’s finest hour. I’m angry because of the TPPA issues, but I’m also sad because if Labour fuck this up that’s the scene set for our shiney new government for the next three years. I really hope I am wrong.

O’Connell Rapira goes on to talk about agenda-setting in media and political theory and how in this case getting a win on housing allows Labour to stay in the TPP. She acknowledges that the Labour/NZF/G government is our best option to mitigate the TPPA that National intended, but that there is room for cynicism:

But as I was doing research for this piece, I went looking for a petition Labour had launched against the TPPA earlier this year. I found this:

Big ol’ blank page

The cynic in me says this is purposeful. The charitable digital campaigner in me hopes it’s just a glitch. Either way, it didn’t do much to reassure me that Labour will hold strong when it comes to the pressure they will face from business to finalise the TPPA, ISDS included.

There’s been a number of conversations on The Standard about the TPPA-11, which are suggesting to me that the left is falling along a spectrum of greater or lesser trust in Labour or not. I want to but I don’t. I know they’re between a rock and a hard place in that they can’t be open about details ahead of the negotiations next week. But I also agree with O’Connell Rapira that Labour don’t have to be doing this.

The election campaign rhetoric about neoliberalism having failed us was a statement from a centre left position that was going to disappoint many left wing people, but more of a problem for me is that a Labour-led neoliberal-lite govt would still be a move in the right direction but for this – every way we turn there is still the issue of trust with Labour. Taking a position of ‘trust us, we know what we are doing’ doesn’t work with the kind of history NZ has. At some point Labour will need to do the mahi of earning the trust of NZ again, and what’s happening at the moment is the painful, ‘let’s wait and we’ll eventually find out’ way.

The Spinoff piece ends with this,

This comment, deep in the select committee report on TPPA in 2016 did provide some relief though. Here’s what Labour said then:

“The TPPA will have ramifications for generations of New Zealanders. For their sake, we should not so lightly enter into an agreement which may exacerbate long-term challenges for our economy, workforce, and society.”

I would add that I’ve seen it reported once that Ardern has said if they have to, Labour will walk away from the agreement. That I’ve only seen this reported once amongst all the other messaging is what worries me.

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96 comments on “Trust, Labour and the TPPA”

  1. Ad 1

    Same issue for this government as the last:
    Explain the benefits and costs to the public clearly and in daylight before signing.

    The rest is fog.

    • Ed 1.1

      That’s the problem.
      The benefits are seriously outweighed by the negatives.
      The only winners are big corporates.

      • Gristle 1.1.1

        The last cost beneither analysis undertaken for TPPA when the National Government inked it’s acceptance was a result that by 2030 the benefit of zero was within the model’s margin of error.

        Removing the USA from the participating parties sees a massive reducation in the possible upside risk of the deal. Unless the downside risk, such as IP rights, Pharmac’s role and capability etc are eliminated or mitigated then the modelling is only going to show a poor result.

        Why even go there.

        • Ed 1.1.1.1

          Yes, if the Labour Party give in on this, it’s shows their neoliberal colours are still strong.

        • weka 1.1.1.2

          Did the Pharmac stuff get sorted during National’s negotiations? Haven’t heard it mentioned in a while.

          • Carolyn_nth 1.1.1.2.1

            Health organisations are still concerned that TPPA-11 is no different from TPPA-12 on health matters.

            This article posted at 7.18am today on RNZ

            Health organisations are concerned the new government will follow the old when it comes to negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership deal.

            Three organisations have sent a letter to the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, before her meetings on the 11-nation trade deal in Vietnam next week.

            Erik Monasterio is the spokesperson for one of those groups: Doctors for Healthy Trade.

            He said many of the troubling elements of the TPP remained the same as before the United States withdrew, and health professionals want to remind the government what those are.

      • And it’s seriouly looking like the downsides may be even bigger for peoples privacy:

        How many of us simply click the box when the website says we have to agree to its rules or accept cookies to proceed without thinking about the rights over our information that this gives to the giant global corporations who run the digital platforms and services? And how many of us know the TPPA guarantees those rights to those corporations? If these rules remain in a TPPA-11, our government will face huge problems in trying to regulate the digital domain, especially through privacy laws that protect our personal information as new situations emerge, and to ensure that businesses and organizations that hold our data safeguard and handle it appropriately.

        Big corporations have easy access to our data and we’re not regulating it properly.

        • boggis the cat 1.1.2.1

          This is a useful example of where a foreign law, in corporate use, effectively negates local legislation.

          Now, what happens if Sony decide that it is a negative impact on their profit margins to have to adhere to local censor rulings? Ditto all of the multinationals producing intangible entertainment products.

          TPPA isn’t a trade agreement between governments, representing people: it is an agreement between giant corporations, looking to disempower the governments that represent the people.

          (Further out, surely it’s inconvenient that we use the wrong electricity standard and drive on the wrong side of the road. Free potable water from the tap? Down with this sort of profit-impairing evil!)

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      🙄

      So signing is inevitable then. Or you’ve just read about priming for the first time and you want to see if you can do it too.

  2. patricia bremner 2

    Weka, I am sure I saw a report of a recent Labour cabinet meeting which declared no trade deals will be accepted with ISDS clauses. Jacinda said this was the stance of the three parties. I think it was reported in Scoop political.

    • patricia bremner 2.1

      Regarding ISDS crrection 2, stance actually reported in Newsroom 31/10/2017.

      • weka 2.1.1

        I’m guessing you mean this?

        https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/10/31/57280/labours-first-act-is-to-ban-foreign-buyers

        Elsewhere, they announced that the Government would be able to focus on amending the Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) clauses in the TPP now the foreign buyers’ issue was out of the way.

        “We remain determined to do our utmost to amend the ISDS provisions of TPP,” Ardern said.

        “In addition, Cabinet has today instructed trade negotiation officials to oppose ISDS in any future free trade agreements,” she said.

        That doesn’t say no trade deals will be accepted with ISDS clauses.

        It says that Labour intend to their best on the ISDS in the TPPA but not if it’s a bottom line or not.

        It also says that they will oppose ISDS clauses in subsequent deals. One would hope that means it’s a bottom line, but again, it’s not totally clear (might be clearer in a press release or other media reporting). Here’s what would be clear to me,

        “Labour will not sign any future trade deals that have ISDS clauses in them.”

        And so on.

    • Venezia 2.2

      And reported here:
      https://itsourfuture.org.nz/jane-kelsey-nz-joins-trend-countries-say-no-isds-must-hold-firm-tppa/

      There are other countries unwilling to sign up to ISDS clauses. Lets hope it falls over.

  3. Korero Pono 3

    Labour’s lack of transparency on the TPPAII does not surprise me in the least. This double speak was occurring even when thousands were marching in the streets to oppose the shonkey deal. Jane Kelsey wrote an open letter to them pre-election (Link unavailable at present). Labour, unlike National will not get away with this type of duplicity. Once were Labour voters have not forgotten their shift to the dark side of the political spectrum in the mid 80’s (and beyond) and the TPP debacle will reinforce what we already believe. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be proven wrong…but I won’t hold my breath waiting for it to happen but if it does, Labour loyalists can say I told you so and I will take it on the chin. In the meantime, the only mediating factors this time are the Greens and NZ first, I wait in hope that either (or both) will oppose the deal when the time is right, which many will see as irrelevant because the Natz will support it anyway. Labour however will have pissed off those keeping them in power…if the TPP11 issue wasn’t so serious, I’d sit back with delight and watch the inevitable drama unfold.

    • Bill 3.1

      I don’t know how I feel about the prospect of NZ Labour chumming up with National to push this through if NZF and The Greens stay firm. I guess there’ll be a gallows laugh.

      Standing against that happening is Winston Peters having indicated, I think, that only the ISDS clause stands in the way of NZF support. To which I’d respond – “Hands up if…”

      • weka 3.1.1

        I’m tempted to say that at least the left would finally know where it stands once and for all, but I suspect there will be a fair amount of wool being pulled over eyes no matter what deal gets signed.

    • Venezia 3.2

      Korero pono.. I take from what Jane Kelsey says (see link above) that Labour/NZ First have a clear commitment to try and get the ISDS clause removed and have made statements since election confirming this, instructing negotiators this is their position. But there will be a lot of pressure on them (not the least being NZ negotiators) about signing. There are other countries who intend not to sign up to ISDS clauses, so lets hope this prevails.

  4. James 4

    I thought labour were very clear.

    They have their bottom lines all over their website:

    “Labour will not support the TPP if it undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. This means:
    • Corporations cannot successfully sue the Government for regulating in the public interest”

    I have not seen releases that they have changed policy and assume that they were keeping to their very public views – unless giving up on this is another captains call by Jacinda.

    [if you are going to cut and paste please provide a link so people can see the context. Link added now – weka]

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1507/S00399/labour-will-not-support-tpp-if-it-undermines-nz-sovereignty.htm

    • weka 4.1

      So why not say it’s a bottom line and they will walk away if the ISDS clause/s remain? Is it because it’s not that black and white?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1

        It’s clear that companies can sue us, so long as they’re unsuccessful 🙄

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          The thing that drives me crazy is was it incompetence that led to that particular sentence, or was it deliberately vague? Either is not a good look for Labour but I’m really hoping it was someone that didn’t have particularly good communication skills.

          I’m so over this shit. As just saying used to say “tell the fucking truth” (not sure they added the expletive). It’s not that hard, it gets easier with practice.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2

          So, if they sue the country for 5 trillion but only get 5 billion is that counted as successful or unsuccessful?

        • lprent 4.1.1.3

          Companies can sue us anyway. They just have to do it in the courts rather than this half-arsed non-judicial system that is the ISDS

          • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.3.1

            Which renders the passage even less clear.

            Plus, it really depends who the government is. If it’s National, all you have to do is inform them you aren’t going to sue and collect $11M anyway.

            • Gristle 4.1.1.3.1.1

              OAB, please remember that through the OIA it has been revealed that McCully’s much relied upon legal advice has been found not to exist. Therefore statements made by various National Cabinet Ministers that the legal advice was the basis for giving $11m to various influential people are lies. Were any statements made in Parliament to this effect, then there has been a breach of privilege.

              It has been revealed that there was no legal recommendation support the payments. Further, it has been stated by McCully that the money was paid with the intention of smoothing the way for Saudi government officials to endorse a FTA with NZ. As such, does then become an attempt to corrupt officials of the Saudi government? Probably drawing a long bow on that one, but I am very uncomfortable even being able to ask that question of a Government Minister.

      • Carolyn_nth 4.1.2

        There’s also copyright and patent issues. Not a word from Labour about these.

    • James 4.2

      Sorry re link – it’s also published on the labour website.

  5. Tony Veitch (not etc) 5

    I walked away in disgust from Labour in 1987 and am still not a member of the party, though I donated during the election campaign.

    I also worked hard in ChCh Central for Labour . . .

    But, if they sign TPP-11 with ISDS still in place, that’s it – National-lite is not a party to retain my allegiance!

    We must rid this country of the last vestiges of that most insidious of modern cancers – neoliberalism!

    100% Korero Pono above.

  6. Reality 6

    Things may not always turn out ideally in the real world, whether we like it or not. We won’t always get what we want. How about trusting our new PM that she will do her very best for New Zealand, in contrast to John Key who wanted only to please his mates or those with influence.

    • weka 6.1

      Because her idea of what is best isn’t the same for lots of other people. I’m pragmatic around a lot of things that Labour will do, but the TPPA is one that is so important that it’s not enough to just sit back and hope Labour get it right.

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        weka
        +100

      • cleangreen 6.1.2

        Correct Weka, Labour will be fools if they sign this corporate toxic rort document that we have yet to see in full!!!!! So we are all flying into a cloud with no navigation skills here.

        TPPA = Sell our country as we get nothing back in return so expect ruin.

      • Grantoc 6.1.3

        The TPPA is ‘so important’ but not for the reasons you’re espousing.

        Its ‘so important’ because it will provide access to a number of export markets that as a country we don’t currently have access to. That’s important because selling into these and other export markets helps provide the do rah me to pay for the long list of social programmes that Labour wants to implement.

        Closing down our ability to export into these markets undermines Labour’s ability to fund such programmes.

        Our economic and social well being is pretty dependent on exporting. TTPA will facilitate this.

        Is it better to walk away from the TTPA with our ‘sovereignty’ (whatever this actually means) intact and not be able to fund programmes to tackle child poverty, for example; or is it better to sell our exports into the Japanese market, under TPPA, and generate export earnings so that child poverty programmes can be funded?

        • weka 6.1.3.1

          False premise there. No-one is suggesting we close down our ability to export*.

          “Our economic and social well being is pretty dependent on exporting. TTPA will facilitate this.”

          Yet plenty of people including Labour have said that the TPPA itself (not FTAs in general) won’t bring NZ much direct economic benefit. Labour have a whole analysis of the proposed benefits.

          Also, the TPPA isn’t a trade agreement, it’s a move by certain sectors of societies globally to shift power from governments to corporations. So yes, sovereignty is the key issue there. There are plenty of other ways for NZ to make a living, we don’t need the TPPA despite your ungrounded assertion that we do.

          *apart from maybe Draco but he has other suggestions for the economy.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.3.1.1

            *apart from maybe Draco but he has other suggestions for the economy.

            Even i don’t say we should get rid of trade altogether. I just say that when every country has a well developed economy there will be little to no trade and that we have to plan for that. We’re not in the 18th century any more and productivity is high enough and factories efficient enough that economies of scale no longer apply and so every country can provide for itself from it’s own resources and doing so is cheaper.

            • weka 6.1.3.1.1.1

              True, and I see it similarly although for me its ecologically based, the locavore movement, and in the principles of think global act local.

            • boggis the cat 6.1.3.1.1.2

              and productivity is high enough and factories efficient enough that economies of scale no longer apply

              Completely incorrect.

              Or wait: did someone invent those Star Trek replicators?

              and so every country can provide for itself from it’s own resources and doing so is cheaper.

              Nope.

              Do you believe that there is some form of global conspiracy going on, and we don’t need to trade something in order to buy shiny iThingies (for example) — because Dave across the road can make one in his back shed from some river clay and wool clippings?

              What world are you living in?

    • Carolyn_nth 6.2

      Trust needs to be earned. The thing is, Ardern has been leader for too short a time for us to know whether to trust her on this.

      Looking at the way Labour pre-Ardern had left wriggle room to sign the TPPA(12), then it’s looking like continuation of the same under Ardern. So, it looks like change of face, but it is still (neoliberal) Parker leading the Labour caucus on TPPA-11.

      Until we see the deal Ardern’s government signs up to, we will not not for sure if it is still Parker (and Robertson) running the show.

      I would like to see Ardern develop to being the leader taking the reins assertively (not just in media performance).

      I keep hearing in my head, a refrain from a Joan Armatrading song when it comes to the current TPPA-11 narrative: “Drop the pilot” – not sure if the rest of the song fits the situation, but I guess we don’t really know yet what sort of leader Ardern is going to develop into.

    • eco maori 6.3

      +100 Reality cant you guys see Jon key wants to be in the billionaire club and he will use us to get there. Ka pai

  7. Nick 7

    Winston was dead against it, Greens were dead against it, so I will be surprised if they go ahead. I marched against this, so hopefully that wasn’t in vain.

  8. Bill 8

    Hands up if you want the countries lowest common denominator on food standards to prevail in New Zealand? What about farming practices? Or health and safety?

    In these areas and others, deals like the TPPA bolster trade agendas in such a way, that over time, various domestic industries and sectors demand that regulation gets watered down so they can remain competitive.

    Think (for example and under the TTIP) chlorinated chicken being imported from the US being much cheaper than UK chickens where there’s a stricter animal welfare regime. The UK chicken industry’s farmers and processors then win a relaxation in legislation to bring them more in line with the US. Or they go under.

    A fair few articles have been written on this dynamic and it’s not limited to the US, chlorinated chickens and the UK chicken industry. (I’m sure google will prove to be a most excellent friend 🙂 )

    • weka 8.1

      This.

      We are now so focussed down onto the ISDS as if everything else about the TPPA is going to be ok.

    • timeforacupoftea 8.2

      chlorinated chicken is normal practice in NZ so what would be the problem if we were to get cheaper chicken from the US

      • Bill 8.2.1

        Twat misses point. Way to go…

      • boggis the cat 8.2.2

        so what would be the problem if we were to get cheaper chicken from the US?

        We can raise chickens and process them into food here, using local resources, without exploiting ‘illegal’ labourers and making the animals’ lives horrific.

        Better to import things that we can’t produce locally.

  9. BM 9

    This article sums up how this Labour government will operate.

    Steve Maharey, newly appointed Social Development Minister under Helen Clark, excused one of that government’s changes of tack when challenged about the mismatch between his opposition rhetoric and his actions by breezily saying it was ‘just the sort of thing you say in opposition’.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/342862/labour-tpp-stance-harks-back-to-maharey

    • boggis the cat 9.1

      I think that neo-liberalism is on its death-bed, BM. Labour will have to side-line the old Tory-light cadre and move with the times.

      You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

  10. Molly 10

    MANA was often the main political party presence at every protest I attended in Auckland, and Greens were there too, with NZ First having a marginal appearance. Labour and the Maori Party only attended one, and their speeches were ambiguous so I am not convinced they are listening to anyone outside of their immediate political circles.

    If they go ahead, despite all their attempts to do the easy fixes (credit given where it is earned) they will cement themselves in my opinion as a return to the status quo, just one step at a time…

  11. chris73 11

    For what its worth Weka I’ve always felt you were one of, if the most, balanced people on here

    • weka 11.1

      Crikey chris, not sure how to take that from a right winger when I’ve just written a post critical of Labour 😉 but thanks.

      • chris73 11.1.1

        Well what it shows is that while you are of the left you’re stilling willing to criticize Labour rather than being blind to their faults which means I take your posts more seriously than others

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          ah ok, well there’s plenty of critique of Labour here and I spent a chunk of last year pushing back against Labour bashing.

          I vote Green so I don’t have any particular allegiance to Labour, and I see them as centre left not left anyway. But it’s true that it’s easier for me to write about what they get right and wrong than say with the Greens. I do feel an allegiance with the Greens and given they also get attacked all the time I end up writing posts about what they are getting right, it’s just a balance thing (also, I find them genuinely interesting and exciting). It’s not like I don’t think there are things there to critique the Greens on though.

    • James 11.2

      Would have to agree with that. Not just because of this post – but in general.

  12. cleangreen 12

    Labour Coalition Partners NZF/Greens firmly against TPPA = Labour are ‘lite’ on TPA.

    Sadly, is this the first sign of dissention between these coalition partners?

    Jacinda must in ‘caution’ heel to their partners else we all collectively suffer here as a elite keep on being allowed to rule & plunder.

    Recall when our new Leader Jacinda said i her opening speech in Auckland tow hall. (quote) ; “We will run an inclusive government where every one has a voice and is heard”

    Please Jacinda, refuse to sign TPPA as we will loose our country and our freedom to choose & democracy otherwise.

    • weka 12.1

      “Sadly, is this the first sign of dissention between these coalition partners?”

      I haven’t heard a peep from NZF or the Greens, so no, I don’t take this as dissent. It’s disagreement. We knew going in that Labour differed in important ways from the other two parties.

  13. Enough is Enough 13

    “it’s hard for me to imagine Labour will sign with the ISDS in place, because it would be such a huge betrayal”

    And everyone here needs to let their local Labour MP know that. This is not something minor. Labour were elected the government to stop the corporatisation of New Zealand by the Nats.

    If they are simply going to roll over and let it happen, then what the hell was the point in changing the government.

  14. RedLogix 14

    So far I’ve been very muted in my support for this new govt. I expect that by and large it will do good things and be an improvement overall on National’s lazy kleptocracy. But it will also leave me feeling betrayed on issues like this.

    I’m not especially against trade deals. They have a place; but this TPPA was fundamentally flawed from the outset and Adern would be doing everyone a favour by walking. If the whole thing fell over, all the better. The various nations involved would be forced to start over, ask the core question “what is the goal here?”, Why, how and what … in that order.

    Walking would be a political challenge, the commentariat would squeal and howl for a few weeks … and then nothing. Because really NZ has nothing much to lose by not signing. But this govt would gain something very important, that it was willing and able to impose it’s OWN brand of political change and and firmly signal they are no longer beholden to the establishment neo-liberal group-thinking trolls that still infest our power structures.

    It really comes down to a matter of political courage. Do they believe?

    • Philg 14.1

      RedLogic. +1
      I feel that Jacinda is being rushed into this deal. There is no need to rush. That is the oldest trick. NZ FOR SALE .. BUY NOW!
      The neoliberals have resurfaced in Labour. Parker, O’Connor, Robertson, Jacinda? Transparency is what is required, full disclosure, not disclosure of fools.

      • Wayne 14.1.1

        Philg

        The 11 negotiating parties are working to a timetable. Essentially the intent is that they all sign together this month. I suspect the various nations will think that they have spent enough time on TPP by now, and it is time to close the deal.

        The PM seems to get this (well briefed but intuition as well). Which is why she has softened everyone up for the deal to be done at APEC and EAS. That means November 15.

        So there is a need to rush if NZ is be an effective part of it.

        I appreciate Standardnistas are uniformly opposed to TPP 11, even with various amendments. But the wider NZ interest (at least in my view) means we must be there.

        Not being in such a deal will harm NZ within the Asia Pacific region, and in a trade sense deny trade opportunities in Japan, Canada, Mexico and a number of Asian nations. Japan being the biggest of these, and alone worth hundreds of millions in reduced tariffs and quotas..

        • KJT 14.1.1.1

          Don’t go for evidence much. Do you Wayne?

          Simply repeating the same thing over and over does not make it true.

          Even the right wings own assessment show the gains from TPP are marginal, at best. And to get them we have to abandon any chance of legislating for any social benefit, that may affect corporate profits.

        • KJT 14.1.1.2

          70% of New Zealanders know the TPP is a crock of shit. And do not want it signed.

          Obviously Wayne, like most of our “born to rule”, “rotating Dictators” have a problem with democracy, also.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.3

          But the wider NZ interest (at least in my view) means we must be there.

          But we’re also a democracy and not a dictatorship and the majority of the population is against the TPPA:

          …and more than half of the New Zealand public opposed the TPPA in a TV3/Reid Research poll.

          Which means that your view is meaningless. And that goes for all the MPs that support the TPPA as well.

          Quite simply, if NZ is actually a democracy, the government would not be signing it.

          Not being in such a deal will harm NZ within the Asia Pacific region, and in a trade sense deny trade opportunities in Japan, Canada, Mexico and a number of Asian nations.

          Everything I’ve seen indicates that it would do us less harm being out of it than being in it.

          Japan being the biggest of these, and alone worth hundreds of millions in reduced tariffs and quotas..

          Which is all unlikely to happen as they all look to producing other non-tariff barriers. If any of these other nations believed in free-trade they would have done what we did in the 1980s and dropped their tariffs and other barriers. They all understand that if a country wants to develop an industry then significant controls and government subsidy is the only way to go.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 14.1.1.4

          Corporatistas are literally blind and deaf to the drawbacks of TPPA-11; they perceive only positives (for themselves.)

          The majority of NZers, however, are well aware that TPPA-11 is a dog of a deal, just as the majority of NZers could see the hazards of transferring public assets to private owners.

          Why is neoliberalnista Dr Mapp so enthused about selling NZers short?

          “230 Law and Economics Professors urge President Trump to Remove Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) from NAFTA and Other Pacts” – 25 October, 2017.

          https://www.citizen.org/system/files/case_documents/isds-law-economics-professors-letter-oct-2017_2.pdf

          “ISDS thus undermines the important roles of our domestic and democratic institutions, threatens domestic sovereignty, and weakens the rule of law.”

    • I’m not especially against trade deals. They have a place;

      I am because they don’t have a place. They force trade rather than freeing trade.

      The basis of free-trade is Willing buyer, Willing seller.

      For a country that means setting standards that other countries have to meet before trade happens.

      but this TPPA was fundamentally flawed from the outset and Adern would be doing everyone a favour by walking.

      That applies to all FTAs. The concept behind them is flawed.

      What they’re supposed to do is to make laws in the signer countries the same, to bring standards together. But you’ll note that large and powerful countries will often change laws against the agreement or simply not make them in the first place. Or, as happened with the steel from China, when an action breaks those standards will not enforce them and will even threaten retaliatory action if the smaller country makes too much fuss about it.

      But the big flaw is that it removes a nations right to self-determination from them. Prevents them from acting in their own best interest or, more importantly, even stops them doing what is right.

      Walking would be a political challenge, the commentariat would squeal and howl for a few weeks … and then nothing. Because really NZ has nothing much to lose by not signing.

      By not signing we lose nothing while if we do sign we will actually be worse off. Many public services, health for an example, will be more expensive and we’ll lose some sovereignty.

      But this govt would gain something very important, that it was willing and able to impose it’s OWN brand of political change and and firmly signal they are no longer beholden to the establishment neo-liberal group-thinking trolls that still infest our power structures.

      And that would be the big one. Having a government willing to stand up to the big players and the corporations.

      • RedLogix 14.2.1

        The core idea that I think FTA’s should have is to regulate the labour, social, environmental and externality costs between nations.

        For instance it makes no sense to have strict rules in one nation around materials recycling and toxic discharges, if that same nation then imports goods from another with no such constraints. It just turns the whole thing into a scam.

        Same goes with a host of other standards and conditions. Even intellectual property rights do need to be treated in a consistent fashion (absent the corporate bullying embedded into the TPPA). Consistent rule of law, banking, commercial practice and procedure are all important as well.

        Since the global WTC process stalled some years back, it does make sense to continue with regional substitutes. But we should see them as an ongoing process of negotiation and improvement over time. Locking ourselves into ‘once-only’ trade positions with unknowable outcomes is just mad.

        Set the goal first. Get agreement on why we need multinational trade rules, and what the long-term outcomes should be. The TPPA fails at that crucial hurdle because no-one has confidence in it’s intentions.

        Then commit to how, design and on-going process of data and information sharing, build trust, proposing rules and protocols that enable all the nations to contribute in confidence. Create an open-ended process of negotiation.

        Then the details of what you will do become just simple technical decisions. If they work great! If they don’t then back to step 2 and re-work them. If one party loses confidence in the process, then back to step 1 and have a long hard think about why again.

        And if you can’t answer ‘why’, then walk away.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.1

          The core idea that I think FTA’s should have is to regulate the labour, social, environmental and externality costs between nations.

          Yes but if you think about it we don’t actually need international agreements to set those. Each country just needs to say that other countries just need to meet their standards or better to be able to trade freely between them. This actually would reverse the ‘race to the bottom’ that’s been happening over the last few decades and encourage each nation to develop their own economy and society.

          Money shouldn’t be able to go out side of its country of origin. Hell, it shouldn’t go outside of the Reserve Banks’ computers. You’ll probably need some sort of international agreement to facilitate monetary exchange between Reserve banks but that’s all.

          Foreign ownership needs to be banned internationally. All that achieves is higher rates of inequality and poverty.

          • red-blooded 14.2.1.1.1

            Sorry, Draco, but that’s needs a bit more thinking through. How do countries like China or India ever get to lift their national earnings and thus create conditions in which they can actually implement policies to protect the environment and improve workers’ rights and incomes if nobody trades with them? And do you think little old NZ can sit in our own wee box, producing everything we need because no-one (or very few) meets our standards? The pressure would actually be pretty much what it is now – countries would want to trade and so would lower their standards so that they could trade with as many other partners as possible.

            As for your ideas about money, ever heard of Bitcoin or any of the other digital currencies? You’re not going to be able to turn the clock back to the days in which money was coins or bits of printed paper and you could put it in a central bank and lock it up. And it’s not reserve Banks that trade, it’s companies and individuals.

            Global trade is here to stay. We can do our best to promote good regulations and we can refuse to sign agreements that we see as having a negative impact, but don’t let’s get too carried away, here.

            • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.1.1.1

              How do countries like China or India ever get to lift their national earnings and thus create conditions in which they can actually implement policies to protect the environment and improve workers’ rights and incomes if nobody trades with them?

              By developing their economy to utilise the resources that they have available. In fact, that’s the only way to do it.

              The best way for them to do that is R&D funded by their government creating money and spending it into their economy.

              This applies to all nations.

              And do you think little old NZ can sit in our own wee box, producing everything we need because no-one (or very few) meets our standards?

              Yes and any nation that can’t has problems as it obviously can’t support itself. This is going to become a major issue in the preceding decades as Climate Change advances.

              The pressure would actually be pretty much what it is now – countries would want to trade and so would lower their standards so that they could trade with as many other partners as possible.

              I think it more likely that they’d increase their own standards as that actually does make life better for their nations while lowering standards makes things worse – as the last thirty years of lowering standards proves.

              As for your ideas about money, ever heard of Bitcoin or any of the other digital currencies?

              Yep and they’ll do all the same things that private currency have always done – trash the economy. It really is what happens when everyone can make their own currency. We really do need to make them illegal.

              And it’s not reserve Banks that trade, it’s companies and individuals.

              The Reserve bank is the keeper of the currency – a fairly important role that ensures that individuals and companies can trade. Or do you think everyone will go to barter once all the private currencies have trashed the economy?

              Global trade is here to stay.

              Actually, from what I can make out it’s time is limited because it’s going to get a whole lot more expensive with climate change, fuel restrictions and better automated factories.

              • Wayne

                Draco,
                Given your extensive knowledge, you must know that sea transport is ultra efficient in the amount of fuel used per ton shopped. International shipping is not a major contributor to global CO2 emissions. In short global trade will continue to increase.

                • Yep, I knew that.

                  I also know that ships are susceptible to the ever increasing storms that Climate Change is brining.
                  I know that a factory in one country is just as efficient as in another country making the transport an extra cost that’s simply not needed.
                  I know that we don’t need foreign currency to develop our own economy. That we only need it for trade.
                  I know that any interest rates above zero and perhaps below make comparative advantage meaningless and trade even more costly.

                  These are some of the things that I know and they all point to the simple fact that trade is expensive and decreases development.

      • Tony Veitch (not etc) 14.2.2

        Absolutely agree, DTB!

        Let’s show some spine!

  15. Richard Christie 15

    Labour have facilitated the passage of TPP throughout its development and passage through the House.

    Been bloody obvious for past 4 years they’ll accept ISDS processes.

    • Been bloody obvious all along that the leaders of Labour have been in favour of the TPPA. Hell, they’re the ones that started the talks on it.

      None of them have clicked over the last thirty plus years that NZers don’t actually want to give everything away.

      • James 15.1.1

        “Been bloody obvious all along that the leaders of Labour have been in favour of the TPPA.”

        Well they campaigned heavily on their bottom lines and giving away out sovereignty- are you saying they were not being honest with the voting public ?

        • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1

          No, they were being honest. But that doesn’t mean that they’re listening and taking note of what the populace are saying.

          Also there’s the point that out electoral system will always return us a government even if the majority of us don’t want that government and that that government can then do what it chooses rather than what the populace wants.

          We don’t really have a democracy in NZ – we have an elected dictatorship.

      • Richard Christie 15.1.2

        Been bloody obvious all along that the leaders of Labour have been in favour of the TPPA. Hell, they’re the ones that started the talks on it.

        Yes, however the ISDS clauses were not there at inception, they were injected later, after, iirc, the US became involved. I’m just saying that Labour have never made any serious noises about ISDS.

  16. James 16

    It’s just not the tpp11. But the way labour / nzf are going we will have the tpp11 and put at risk future deals with the EU.

    Pretty impressive in the first 100 days

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11940045

    • Richard Christie 16.1

      I fully support Peters thawing NZ’s relationship with Russia.

      • cleangreen 16.1.1

        Me too Richard Christie,

        Russia would be a great trading partner & ally for us since they are more eaily satisfied with trade than even China is today.

    • boggis the cat 16.2

      The EU has come unstuck due to internal problems (those ex-Comecon countries didn’t quite morph into replicas of the UK or France, after all), and the ill-advised foray into Ukraine’s internal politics (that whole coup thing).

      Russia looks to have bent rather than broken, economically and politically, and have further tied themselves to China. That makes some form of trade agreement a good idea, even if cranky ol’ Uncle Sam will get pissy about it.

  17. Dale Frew 17

    I trust this labour led government twice as much as I did the nat’s but then 2 x 0 still equals 0. Yes life for the working poor will be better with labour (in the short term anyway) than national but only marginally. this government will tinker with the excesses of our neoliberal economy but lets be honest Jacinda has spent her entire political career within the neoliberal sphere, and her hero is Helen clark who followed the neoliberal agenda. As for Winston while yes an impressive speech, he has spent the last nine years propping up the nats neoliberal agenda that he now claims is our foe. his words ring more of political expediency than deeply held ideology. But what scares me the most is the blind euphoria from the so called left of having a labour led government. So before the wellington “chardonnay socialists” (or whatever they are drinking now) raise their glasses for another toast they need to start winning back some trust and a good start will be walking away from the TPP and develop a real plan for lifting the living standards of our working poor. For while their first 100 day plan looks impressive and gives the public a “feel good moment” it does lack any real substance that will bring any real change for the working poor. 75 cent increase in the minimum wage even the $20 ph by 2021 is hardly substantial.
    I do hope to be proven wrong but history will be the judge

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      he has spent the last nine years propping up the nats neoliberal agenda

      Say whutnow? Citation needed.

  18. savenz 18

    Learn from the USA and Nafda. When people and towns are effectively obsolete in their own country, strange things happen. Hence rise of Trump. No one trusted Hillary when she said she would get rid of TPPA. Telling everyone how marvellous free trade has been for wealth (as averaged out not median) rings hollow when the middle class wages and living standards are dropping in real terms and people have to work harder and longer and with more instability for the same wages before neoliberalism.

    Somehow supporting the burgeoning middle classes of China and India are not the warm little fuzzy in the workers of the west.

    Bizarrely the other angle used to sell TPPA is stopping China. The same countries aka USA and UK trying to stop China are actually supporting them by manufacturing in China and using asian cheap labour and materials on projects which undercut their local labour and goods. The UK spends a fortune on defence and then signs a contract with China for them to provide their nuclear power station (Hinkley PT) at incredibly inflated prices in the age of cheaper and cheaper power. Obviously someone got some backhander out of it and it’s not the British people.

    In NZ we increasingly are a country that exports profits under the trade deals NOT goods or services. Giving away residency and citizenship so that Labour can get cheaper and cheaper and keeping the Ponzi scheme going.

    The problem is, in NZ unlike many countries that bring in cheap Labour we have a welfare system, so as new citizens are discarded or decide they don’t need to work, the NZ system is expected to pick up the slack and of course it can’t have the same services with less income, more outgoings and only asset sales and borrowing to turn to. Things are going to change for the worse. Or Labour campaigns to increase taxes, increase retirement age etc to the middle class who already have longer work hours and less money and people switch off and stop voting or their votes become split.

    Wise up. Time to look to the future, stop looking at other countries and work with the many assets NZ has. Well educated population, honest, abundant natural resources like water, strategic location, etc etc. Look to the future. We already missed clean energy in the Natz arse licking to the declining oil industry.

    NZ seems to think we should turn ourselves into Singapore, Ireland, UK, China and USA, instead of looking at what makes NZ unique and how to turn that into jobs and benefits for the future generations.

    We don’t need TPPA if it’s more of the same. To support it will be curtains for the new government next election, because it’s not an easy road ahead picking up the fuck ups of the Natz and the lefties are tired of Labour’s links to neoliberalism and Natz will sing it from the rooftops next election if Labour and NZ First sign up to TPPA with Green support.

  19. Whispering Kate 19

    It will be Jacinda’s legacy if this beast gets signed. Typically National have escaped the responsibility of signing the bloody thing, a trait they are very good at, leaving others to do the hard yards. . How does Winstone feel about all of this, he has been conspicious by his absence since the election, is he resting up with his mate Shane Jones and getting his strength back being an older gentleman as he is, was all the negotiating too tiring for him.

    If the TPPS is signed with the ISDS still in place then I will be very disappointed in Jacinda Adhern. I cannot understand why she is so hell bent on signing it. What is Winstone’s position on this, the Greens surely must be so against it. I never trusted Labour and voted for the Greens, I am feeling that my intuition was based on good judgment.

    As for Australia and Turnball’s stroke of genius – fancy having an on-going “so called” agreement with the US to take on these suffering refugees conveniently in place just when she is visiting the country. Jacinda was probably saying to herself “just saved by the bell”. How stupid does he think we all are.

    • savenz 19.1

      The problem is that the Kiwi politicians are in a time warp – thinking about trade post 2nd world war when nobody could get enough of our products in the UK.

      Times and trade has changed in the post war, post modern, global, multinational world. Kiwi politicians still have not caught up with it.

      They think somehow trade is always beneficial and prepared to sign outside of their knowledge and understanding of all the 1000’s of details that are not trade related. This they leave up to other people who are generally the IYI (intellectual yet idiot class) or just plain opportunistic idiots.

      There is also a massive short term investment rather than per generation – sort of sell everything now and then give a few handouts to the young. A year of tertiary study and $10k towards a house while wishing them luck in a foreign owned and effectively operated global banana tax republic with a contract job at declining wages, which soon they won’t even have.

      Have a look at what’s going on.

      The Cadbury and Mondelez situation and Silver fern farms
      (http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201843153/business-commentator-rod-oram).
      Foreign owners of Silver Fern Farms ‘failed to deliver’
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/331008/foreign-owners-of-silver-fern-farms-failed-to-deliver

      This is already happening without TPPA, imagine what’s gonna happen when overseas shareholders start getting even greedier with more profits being demanded by lawyers and opportunistic lawsuits to governments, lower wages, less quality, more pollution and legal battles to boot in special business tribunals with companies that have more money than the NZ government.

      NZ could have sold produce to Russia, but didn’t so the free trade model is not even working as NZ gets more and more tied to alliances and interests that seek to restrict trade not allow it.

      Extension of copywrite duration is something not even considered by the NZ government and media. More and more restrictions on IP and terms in biologics for example.

      The world is moving to open source, more permissive intellectual regimes to foster innovation and keep change flowing, not being locked down by giants in legal battles. In a world of increased automatic it is becoming more critical to allow for more rapid innovation so new jobs can be created. The business Giants see whats coming and they don’t want the change, they want to see zero restrictions to them, compensation for them for change and the most profitable taking all away from smaller players, legally.

      In a small way the legal action against Andrew Little timed for the election, showed what is going to happen under these agreements. Now expressing an opinion can disrupt and bankrupt somebody for years.

      Scare tactics and legal disruption is effective to stop change and TPPA is about stopping change and giving power and maintaining profits to big business and away from governments trying to protect people or just run their country how they want for their own interests. Under democracy governments should have that right.

  20. Brian Tregaskin 20

    lots of detail here about ISDS and potential sub agreements with a few targeted countries not to sue each other
    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/inside-parliament-housewarming

  21. John L 21

    So….here we go…

    Labour showing it’s no better than the arseholes recently evicted…..

  22. Sparky 22

    Yeah I have said it before and I’ll say it again in my opinion Labour are no longer a party of the left. I believe they gave that up in the 1980’s with the “New Labour” government and little has changed since.

    Yet for all that we get the fanboys/girls and apologists who stubbornly and often angrily refuse to face facts……

    All I can hope is the TPP11 is the last nail in their coffin (if it passes and I suspect it will) and people wake up to the fact there is a need for better support for new parties and others such as the Greens/NZF that are truly on the left of the political divide.

  23. Angel Fish 23

    Even Trump left the TPPA!

    • boggis the cat 23.1

      Yes, but he had no idea what it was. He just wants his lawns mowed by poor white people, not poor Hispanics.

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    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    21 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    5 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    6 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago

  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
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