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Vote for NZ Labour if…

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, August 30th, 2017 - 53 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, Economy, election 2017, Globalisation, jacinda ardern, labour, liberalism, political parties, politicans - Tags: ,

NZ Labour have said they will seek to renegotiate foreign sales before accepting the TPPA. They’ve been silent on the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions (y’know, the mechanism whereby legislation around the likes of environmental protection or social welfare can be a cash cows for companies claiming compensation for potential loss of profit). And they will not state a willingness to “walk away”.

Anyway, putting aside an apparent acceptance of the ISDS process, there’s a couple of hoary or thorny problems with NZ Labour’s stand.

While they seem to be claiming that placing restrictions on over-seas buyers into the TPPA would alleviate some problems around property markets, Phil “Chinese Surname” Twyford has previously claimed Chinese buyers account for nearly 40% of house sales.

And China isn’t a party to the TPPA.

Then there’s the small detail that successfully re-negotiating anything in the TPPA, while theoretically possible, is extremely unlikely. All parties to the Agreement must agree to any changes, and since the whole damned thing is predicated on gaining various advantages, then…yeah.

I’ve also got a vague impression (though I’d have to check up on this) that no party to the Agreement can be disadvantaged in relation to arrangements any party to the Agreement may have with other non – signatories.

If I’m correct on that front, then NZ Labour would have to renegotiate provisions within the China Free Trade Deal too. And if I’m wrong on that front, then the question still remains as to why any signatory to the TPPA would give up a provision that’s enjoyed by a non-signatory.

Anyway. Here’s a link to Jacinda Arderns “bottom lines” from 2015 (the comments say it all) and here’s another to a “we see this as critical to NZ” videoed interview from eight days ago.

(It ought to be noted in relation to what Ardern says in the linked video, that Australia already had restrictions on foreign buyers and it simply didn’t cede those restrictions when negotiating the Agreement. And that’s entirely different to NZ Labour “thinking” it “should” get a second bite at the cherry)

53 comments on “Vote for NZ Labour if… ”

  1. tracey 1

    This is a problem but if Labour is in with Greens and NZF will this get bartered away?

    • Bill 1.1

      I’d say that the more the balance tips to having the Maori Party, Mana, The Greens and even TOPs influence in government, the more pressure NZ Labour will feel ‘in the house’ over the TPPA.

      But I’m not daft.

      If a vote is required, I’d pick they’d team up with National if need be.

  2. What you’ve done there Bill is describe why FTAs simply don’t work and make things more complex without any benefit and we lose control of our own nation.

    Far better for nations to declare standards that other nations need to meet before they will trade with them. Then they’d still be able to set their own rules.

    It’s time that we demand that the politicians remove us from ALL FTAs and start charting our own course.

    • DTB , … hit the nail on the head.

      The whole deal regarding FTA ‘s may bring in cheap commodities in return and provide for export markets , but the effect of that entrenches falling wages by having to compete with lower waged economy’s, smaller businesses that cannot compete are forced to close,… it is the very recipe for reinforcing and enabling the neo liberal framework.

      The lack of trade tariffs, regulations to protect our businesses, legislation designed to dismantle any real power of Trade Unions all goes hand in hand with FTA’s and the FIRE economy. And while the immediate benefits may be obvious for some sectors , the long term widespread economic erosion and general lowering of living standards becomes more and more entrenched the longer one stays in those agreements.

  3. Enough is Enough 3

    Simple Solution – vote Green

  4. Ad 4

    What’s the Green Party view on TPP?

    • Bill 4.1

      Against. As are NZF, as are the Maori Party. TOPs would logically be against it given their policies and even allowing for the fact they’re a Liberal party. And I’d guess Mana are against it too.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        I see that now on their site.

        “Fair, safe and environmentally sustainable trade…” is their phrasing.

        We’re always going to need rule-based orders to our trade. We’re too small and weak not to.

        My personal beef with TPP is how weak it is for dairy.

        • tracey 4.1.1.1

          Your beef ought to be about a small number of commercial lawyers (appointed by multi nationals) making decisions on disagreements in a private forum with no release of decision required.

          • Ad 4.1.1.1.1

            Process is one thing. It’s how you make sausage.

            The outcome matters to me more.

            • tracey 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes I know you are an ends justify the means guy. Just be careful what you wish for Prince.

      • mikesh 4.1.2

        ToP don´t seem to have a stated policy on it, but I would think that they would be in favour.

  5. weka 5

    Good to see a post on this. Kind of odd it’s not an election issue, maybe lots of people assume it’s dead.

    “Anyway, putting aside an apparent acceptance of the ISDS process,”

    I thought Ardern in that FB post said it was one of their bottom lines to renegotiate,

    e.g. “Corporations cannot successfully sue the Government for regulating in the public interest”

    It’s been a long time since I looked at it closely though.

    • tracey 5.1

      I cannot see that being renegtiable IF businesses remain involved in discussions

    • Bill 5.2

      The facebook post was put up before the TPP was signed. NZ Labour didn’t want it signed if corporations could “sue the Government for regulating in the public interest”.

      Well. They can and it was.

      And besides. Who would decide what “in the public interest” is, and whether any given piece of regulation met the bar, and even whether such a consideration was permissible and actually taken into account when arriving at decisions?

      Well, that would be the ISDS panel.

      Meaning that – NZ Labour, had they been negotiating, could have come back waving a piece of paper about “public interest” and it have had no effect whatsoever on ISDS considerations. (Not that we’d actually know one way or the other given the deep bunker of secrecy and unaccountability the whole process is housed within)

  6. red-blooded 6

    Bill, if you don’t want the TTPA and you’re pretty sure Labour won’t be given a chance to renegotiate things it’s unhappy with, then surely there’s no problem? Labour’s said they won’t back it as is – you’re saying they won’t be able to change it, ergo – they won’t sign it.

    Plus, the whole “Simple solution – vote Green” argument only works if you think the Greens are going to be in government as a majority party. How likely do you think that is?

    • How likely do you think that is?

      A whole lot better if everyone who’s concerned with how things are votes for the Greens rather than the Other Centre-Right Party.

      • NewsFlash 6.1.1

        Draco

        There simply isn’t enough Kiwi’s on the far left to gain a majority support in a democracy, that’s the reality, you can dream about it if you like, but at the present time you need to accept that the Greens can only play a support role in any future Govt, over time, I’m sure the Green support will increase as problems like Climate change become more pronounced.

        Poverty for Labour is still on the agenda, part of the solution is a better economy with more fairly paid jobs, better education for all.

        The Greens will play a vital role in helping to steer the Govt in the right (correct) direction, but a minority party can not enforce there policies on the majority in a DEMOCRACY

        • greywarshark 6.1.1.1

          NewsFlash
          That’s an interesting idea about democracy. It must have come from a theory textbook.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.1.1.2

          “part of the solution is a better economy”

          Actually – no. That is a neoliberal lie – and one which Labour, with the best of intentions, parrots repeatedly.

          We do not need a stronger economy at all, to eliminate poverty and have free education. Simple mathematics:

          Richest 10% have 60% of nation’s wealth
          Poorest 50% have 4% of nation’s wealth.

          For the poorest 50% of the population to have three times more wealth (i.e. 12% of the total), you only need very mild redistribution – the share of the top 10% would need to fall to 52%. So people like John Key would have to scrape by with $104m, instead of $120m. This can be achieved with ZERO economic growth, and three times more wealth would be a profound improvement for the poorest half.

          To achieve the same increase in wealth for the poorest 50% by economic growth – you need to grow the economy 300% – an impossible ask and environmentally damaging. And worse – most growth doesn’t go to the poorest half anyway, so the economic growth would need to be way more than 300%.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2.1

            If we did all that we’d have a better economy.

            But a few rich people wouldn’t be quite as rich and so no politician, except the Greens, will go there.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.1.1.2.1.1

              “If we did all that we’d have a better economy.”

              100% correct, putting money into the bottom end of town is the most useful place to put it, economically.

              To be fair to NewsFlash – I assumed they meant “economic growth” (and Labour and others do – incorrectly – go on about that). But as you say, a “Better Economy” can mean something other than growth – e.g. an economy that yields less poverty is a much better one.

              • e.g. an economy that yields less poverty is a much better one.

                True that.

                I like:
                An economic system that creates and relies upon poverty to work is a failed economic system.

                Yes, our present system relies upon poverty – just look at all the calls from the RWNJs to get rid of the minimum wage.

          • WILD KATIPO 6.1.1.2.2

            @UncookedSelachimorpha

            Bloody nice!

            … ” For the poorest 50% of the population to have three times more wealth (i.e. 12% of the total), you only need very mild redistribution – the share of the top 10% would need to fall to 52% ” …

            … ” To achieve the same increase in wealth for the poorest 50% by economic growth – you need to grow the economy 300% – an impossible ask and environmentally damaging ” …

            There you have it , – the neo liberal bullshit lies exposed.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.3

          Poverty for Labour is still on the agenda, part of the solution is a better economy with more fairly paid jobs, better education for all.

          Sounds good but they’re not doing anything to lift beneficiaries out of poverty.

          The Greens will play a vital role in helping to steer the Govt in the right (correct) direction, but a minority party can not enforce there policies on the majority in a DEMOCRACY

          And where have I ever said that they should?

          I’ve always supported democracy – rather than this elected dictatorship that we have.

      • red-blooded 6.1.2

        Draco, if you’re labelling Labour as “Centre-Right” you need to recalibrate your political judgement. I agree that Labour is closer to the centre than the Greens, but it’s very clearly a Centre-Left party. The MOU is a recognition of shared values – not identical, but complimentary – two left-wing parties agreeing to work together for the chance to form a left-wing government.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.1

          Draco, if you’re labelling Labour as “Centre-Right” you need to recalibrate your political judgement.

          Political Compass: 2017 party settings. Looks like they’ve shifted even further to the right from 2014. It’s not too far off calling them a radical right-wing party.

          • McFlock 6.1.2.1.1

            so, yeah, if you round 35/100 up to 50/100, they’re “centre”-right 🙄

            • adam 6.1.2.1.1.1

              For someone who says they have a masters/degree/somthing, you really struggle with what constitutes socialism there McFlock.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.1.1.2

              No. Centre would be zero. Thirty five is to the right of zero.

              • McFlock

                Yes. And the scale is of twenty increments, ten to the left and ten to the right. So if each increment is of ten political gradations (so -100 is extreme left and 100 is extreme right), what would “centre-right” be?

                • Centre would be 1/3rd of 200 which is ~66. Divide that by two to get 33 as the point centre ends either side of the zero point.

                  Divide that 66 by three to get the gradations within the concept of centre. So, from ~-11 to ~11 is ‘Centre’. From ~12 to ~33 would be centre right.

                  35 would actually be right-wing.

                  Labour in 2014 was showing about 25. In 2017 they’re showing about 30.

                  So, yeah, centre-right and moving right-wards.

                  • McFlock

                    So a full third into “right wing” still counts as “centre”?

                    But that means in 2014 they were a centrist party, and yet you were calling them “centre-right” even then.

                    And that’s if we take your proposal that the “centre” is an equal portion of the political continuum, rather than a liminal point between “left” and “right”.

                    So (at best) you’ve finally found some data that can be subjectively interpreted to support your preconceived opinion. Good for you.

                    • But that means in 2014 they were a centrist party, and yet you were calling them “centre-right” even then.

                      No, they were a centre-right party. The 25 that they were at at that point was well into the 12 to 33 that would denote a centre-right party.

                      As I pointed out. Which means that at this point you’re purposefully twisting what I said.

                      So (at best) you’ve finally found some data that can be subjectively interpreted to support your preconceived opinion.

                      It’s not pre-conceived – it’s a result of what I’ve learned from studying politics and economics over the last 16 years. In 1999 I voted National.

                    • McFlock

                      Sigh.

                      Ok, missed that second bit. Fair call.

                      But your wider point is still bullshit: the “right wing” is still 0-100.
                      “Extreme right” would be say ~95, no? It’s the position within the right wing, not its proximity to zero.

                      Calling Labour “centre right” is misleading, it suggests that they’re ~50. They ain’t. Nowhere near.

          • red-blooded 6.1.2.1.2

            Draco, that site is hardly impartial. Finding someone else with your viewpoint doesn’t prove your view to be correct.

    • Bill 6.2

      Labour’s said they won’t back it as is…

      Where did they say that? When? You got a link to a direct quote? Anything?

      Do you understand the difference between not supporting something “as is” (and therefore seeking re-negotiation) and signalling an intent to walk away from something because it’s unacceptable?

      In the last link in the post, Ardern is asked if NZ Labour will walk if they fail to successfully re-negotiate aspects of the Agreement. Cue, avoidance and bluster. (Go watch it for yourself. It’s the very first question asked in a 2 min vid)

    • NewsFlash 6.3

      +1 red blooded

      Your absolutely correct, they( Labour) won’t back it as it is, and the Greens have no show of Governing on their own, sorry Green supporters, but I’m a realist, not a dreamer.

      Have another listen to Arderns response to Audrey’s questions on TPP.

      Trade IS extremely important to NZ, problem has been the Nats have failed to recognize the importance and focused only on dairy, diversify and add value to our raw products before exporting, more innovation, more jobs.

  7. Jan Rivers 7

    The Labour Party has a policy on the TPPA. It is here. http://www.labour.org.nz/our_position_on_the_tpp
    Sadly the policy cannot be found on the website under the policy heading leading me to speculate that there is a risk the final policy will be less definitive. (it’s not linked from anywhere unless you know it is there).

    However I can’t help but think that, given the enormous public opposition and disquiet, a clear statement about either letting the agreement go or substantially renegotiating the problem areas inline with the It’s Our Future’s 10 bottom lines https://itsourfuture.org.nz/ten-demands/ would create a significant electoral advantage for Labour. It’s unclear whether the missing policy is a conspiracy or a cock-up.

    The policy points are pretty solid but the recent statements I have heard recently have focussed only on the housing issue which is a bit worrying.

  8. NewsFlash 8

    I’d say

    VOTE FOR LABOUR if……… you want to CHANGE THE GOVERMENT!!!!!

    • Bill 8.1

      Would you.

      A call to arms for a change of guard is what I’d say that is.

      • red-blooded 8.1.1

        Really? Will disparaging Labour enhance the chance of the Greens playing any significant role in government, Bill?

        Thought not.

    • adam 8.2

      Change in government won’t do diddly unless their is a fundamental change in how they do government. If you bottom line is the support of liberal economics, which the labour party is via there own policy – then don’t expect much. Because…

      My guess is the little change we will get was Andrew. It will be business as usual other wise.

      So how long before disillusionment sets in, one year or two?

  9. eco Maori/kiwi 9

    We are a small country so any trade deal that are negotiated We will lose something consumer protection what ever the small country always lose.
    Like one other blogger said we would benefit more if we spent more time and money on adding value to our exports.
    We produce some of the best food and wine in the world . all that money spent on ripoff trade deals was just spent on advertising our products around the world get the world to no Who we are were we are and what we produce .
    The other country’s think we are a city or state of Australia WTF.
    Now here is a example
    Nissan there products are just as good as Toyota in my view better .
    But Toyota are the biggest car company in the world the products are the same. They both come from Japan . I will bet that Toyota out spend Nissan on advertising and market research by far Toyota have the best ads. Lets let the whole world no who we are and that we are not part of Australia . and then watch the world start chasing our products.
    Come on its not —————————

  10. Sigh 10

    This is such utter bullshit. Labour voted against the TPPA.

  11. CoroDale 11

    The psychology imposed on Govt is as follows:

    “Without acceptance of astronomical market prices, (NZ and globally) or there will be a global economic depression.”

    In NZ, National Security will consider TPPA politics relevant justification for surveillance. A housing-crash and global-depression would be considered the 1# risk factor for economic wars, going potentially hot. The era of Quantitative Easing is the perfect storm, so expect 007 and colleges to be active around TPPA.

    But best we trust the above scenario is basically fear-porn. Let the next Govt save our country by maintaining financial independence and diverse international relations.

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