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What will National give away?

Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, July 28th, 2015 - 108 comments
Categories: accountability, Globalisation, International, labour, national - Tags: , ,

The TPP is back in the headlines with hype that agreement may be near (again).

Labour has set out its bottom lines for supporting any final version. You know they make sense because our increasingly shrill PM has described them as “barking madness”. So my question to National and its supporters – which of Labour’s bottom lines are you prepared to give away, and why?


Update: We can cross off point 1, Key sells out Pharmac.

108 comments on “What will National give away? ”

  1. Macro 1

    Hmmmm…. Nothing in Labour’s bottom lines about protection for workers who jobs will be off-shored (exported), from competing with countries whose labour laws and working conditions are less than ours (although we are heading rapidly to the bottom anyway). Why does the party call itself “Labour” now? Remind me.

    • Sable 1.1

      Agreed. Hard Labour would be a better title. Maybe for the dirty Nats the National Anti Socialist party of NZ.

  2. BM 2

    Should have left out the treaty of waitangi comment, it wasn’t really needed.

    • DoublePlusGood 2.1

      Please explain why you consider it appropriate for the Treaty to not be upheld by the TPPA?

    • RJL 2.2

      @BM — you only feel that way because you don’t understand the Treaty or its place in NZ.

      Educate yourself.

  3. Charles 3

    Yeah unfortunately, even if he is talking hogshite towards the end of his spiel, Labour just got their ass handed to them by John Key on this matter.

    What do you call malleable positions on yet-to-be-written policy that never turns up/ on-the-hoof/ off-the-cuff/ attached to nothing, when you aren’t doing any of it?

    “Bottom Lines.”

    As for the ToW “bottom line” – do I laugh, or puke? I don’t know what Labour are anymore, but at face value, they aren’t a group I’d want to have anything to do with.

    • ianmac 3.1

      Do you know what you are Charles?

    • Tracey 3.2

      I think it indicates that Labour want the agreement, just as they did previous agreements. No surprise other than their attempt to make it seem like they will resist it.

      How many FTA’s have we pulled out of after signing them?

  4. Tracey 4

    According to a negotiator of the China/NZ FTA there are a bunch of our Dairy Industry heads in Hawaii this week… More corporate reps getting access to the negotiations (and probably documents) but the people, the people can’t be trusted with the info..

    Has anyone made any predictions on how many years before we can expect to see the results of the TPP filtering into our job market, wage markets and so on? They have done projections, right? Otherwise how do they work out what is of benefit to NZ or not? I have asked Dr Mapp many many times on here and he doesn’t know the answer either. If we haven’t done this analysis, how will we be able to measure whether it was a “success” or not in the future, and how do we distinguish its alleged impacts from other impacts?

  5. Tautoko Mangō Mata 5

    National are prepared to give away our right to have any meaningful input into whether or not we want an ISDS in the TPPA. By voting down Fletcher Tabuteau’s Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill, National prevented it going to Select Committee
    and therefore preventing the chance for the public to be heard on this issue.
    I doubt that they actually have any bottom lines, BUT I would be happy to be the first to congratulate Tim Groser if he rejects the TPPA and proves me wrong.

    • Fletcher’s bill is actually really problematic, as ISDS provisions alone are not a bad thing and it could constrain future trade deals. The issue is that ISDS provisions have been pretty bad in the past.

  6. Gosman 6

    The first two of them seem quite reasonable and I would expect to see an agreement satisfy much of what has been requested. The bottom three are a little vague.

    What does “The Treaty of Waitangi must be upheld” actually mean in a practical sense? How is it being upheld now in relation to our FTA’s with Australia and China for example.

    CER limits the ability to restrict purchase of land and housing. Does that mean Labour is opposed to CER now?

    What is the definition of meaningful gains? How is such a value laden term quantified? I wouldn’t expect NZ to sign up for a Trade agreement unless we do get better access for our goods and services but there is also advantages in unilaterally lowering trade barriers as well.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      “What is the definition of meaningful gains?”

      It means they won’t accept National trotting out some token, hollow “wins” and claiming that it will make a big difference to NZ farming when a realistic analysis shows that it’s all hot air and posturing.

      Note that Labour aren’t demanding completely free trade and 0 tarifs for NZ farming exports to all other countries, because they know that isn’t on the table and they won’t get it.

    • Tracey 6.2

      How do you measure ” in the country’s best interests.”? It would make sense to have an analysis of costs/benefits to base this on, wouldn’t it? I wonder if we will get to see those measures when it is signed on Sunday our time?

      Do you have evidence that CER has contributed significantly to the high prices and low supply of houses in NZ? Please post it.

  7. plumington 7

    While the discussion is all about Auckland house prices and tenants in our own country
    Sunday TV1 had an interesting report on Australia farms being bought by Chinese to feed the OWN population no aussies needed thanks Australias food security in under real threat
    With our dairy farmers now being vulnerable to ruin who will have 3 trillion dollars to purchase these cash strapped farmers for a song (WHAT A COINCIDENCE)
    Hungry tenants ?

    • maui 7.1

      I saw the promo for that, and it’s surprising TV1 (being generally anti-Labour) would be so helpful to Labour by showing that item so soon after Labour targetted overseas chinese buyers.

    • Tracey 7.2

      Same thing is happening in Fiji. Large portions of land being sold to Chinese interests and in return they are investing (Lending?) money to the Government there to build roads etc

  8. Save NZ 8

    It’s a bad deal, our sovereignty in exchange for some magic beans.

    Nothing to do with trade and all to do with control by lawyers in foreign tribunals.

    Labour could be reassuring it’s potential voters with a NO to TPPA – the conditions sited by Labour are vague and meaningless.

    National has signed away our property rights already so many Kiwis can look forward to becoming tenants in our own country in the Korea Free trade agreement.

    Labour could be looking forceful and decisive on TPPA instead some sort of confusing vague dribble that has more holes to an intelligent person that swiss cheese. Get some guts and just say NO. Hold the Nats to account for a change. Not dabble around the edges of toxic policy.

    Free trade – more like forced Bankruptcy.

    Ask the farmers, have they benefited from current Free trade agreements or has the constant red tape, increased cost of farms, milk scares, milk price drops, and job losses been worth it?

    Maybe we could look to feed our own children first.

    • tc 9.1

      There’s a bat to smash him with right there given how many folk rely on cheap medicine combined with the underfunding NACT have done in health.

    • Bill 9.2

      And as a ‘sweetener’, major pharmaceutical companies will offer to run late stage drug trials of expensive but unproven medicines in their newly found South Pacific petri dish.

      My, won’t we be the lucky ones! Cutting edge pharmaceuticals. For free!!

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        Yeah, and our public health system will have to deal with any trial participants cut down by adverse effects. Privatising gains, socialising losses.

  9. Adrian 10

    We are in a battle if not a war, all war is predicated on protecting or acquiring land or ” living room” ( liebersraum, was the 2nd Riech’s reason for invasion ) .
    This latest battle or war is all about getting the land by financial means and is being waged by the Chinese Communist Government, 3 trillion to buy inland Australia, and the chilling thing from the doco was how complicit the Aussie banks are in the forcing off of Aussie farmers clearing the way for sales to ” private ” Chinese “investors “.
    There is no ” private ” money in China without the people holding the money having very very close links to regional or central government in China.
    Nepotism and corruption are rife there and is the main reason for the US pushing the TPP and the exclusion of China as China’s desire to be the world financial power is seriously hampered by it’s appalling ” official statistics ” and dodgy asset valuations.
    Like most wars we are fighting this one like it was the last one. Asymmetrical war is so last century.
    As a footnote from last weeks Herald ( I think ), how can two “students” have 26 million of Auckland property to put on the market.

    • rational thinker 10.1

      nice comment

    • Blue Horseshoe 10.2

      Look into who were the advisors to China in setting up the banking industry

      Having migrated tens of millions of jobs to China this massively expanding monetary base, western bankers are now chasing that same money aggressively

      China not being part of TPPA negotiations is irrelevant to the intentions

      Then of course there is India

      Those two nations are the corporations primary targets, for a myriad of reasons

  10. DH 11

    Jane Kelsey made some pretty pertinent observations about Labour’s so-called bottom lines. They’re not definitive, they mean whatever Labour decides they’ll mean, which makes them worthless.

  11. r0b 12

    We can cross off point 1, Key sells out Pharmac.

    • DH 12.1

      “We can cross off point 1”

      But we can’t, can we. “Pharmac must be protected” means what exactly? Protected against what and from what?

      Your link refers to TPP extending patents a la US style and making medicines more expensive. Labour haven’t said they’d prevent that in their bottom lines, Pharmac would still exist with longer patents so it wouldn’t necessarily breach Labour’s bottom lines would it.

      • arkie 12.1.1

        I’m not a Labour fan generally but give them some credit.

        Protecting Pharmac is to protect the cost-saving benefits that the collective bargaining provides the country.

        It’s very uncharitable to suggest that Labour don’t mean exactly this when they say Pharmac must be protected.

        • Colonial Viper

          We’re not here to give Labour the benefit of the doubt. Simply put, they haven’t earnt that privilege.
          Labour’s recent statement on the TPPA is better than their previous ones, but there is much room for improvement and clarification.

          The TPPA is fundamentally corporate driven. That’s where all the benefits are accruing. We don’t want it or need it.

          • arkie

            I just think one sounds a bit like a CT/semanticist pedant if you think that statement “Pharmac must be protected” isn’t about preserving the power of Pharmac to buy us cheaper drugs.

            OTOH I wholeheartedly agree that Labour’s position on the TPPA, and in fact FTAs in general, does not perfectly align with my views also.

            • freedom

              If Labour had used more detail instead of simply saying”Pharmac must be protected” I imagine many decrying the lack of detail would instead be saying Labour should simplify their message into sound-bite friendly phrases like “Pharmac must be protected”

        • DH

          “Protecting Pharmac is to protect the cost-saving benefits that the collective bargaining provides the country. ”

          That says little to nothing, you could be a speech writer for Labour.

          I’d point out that extending patent rights wouldn’t stop or change Pharmac’s function or operation. That would only cost the taxpayer more in a higher medicines bill. Pharmac would still be there so can we assume that Labour supports the adoption of US patent laws?

          “It’s very uncharitable to suggest that Labour don’t mean exactly this when they say Pharmac must be protected.”

          Why is it uncharitable? They haven’t been clear in their intentions or meanings, as Jane Kelsey wisely observed. I have no reason to trust them so why should I blindly accept their platitudes which frankly have no worth?

          • arkie

            Okay to breakdown the first statement:
            Pharmac is fairly unique in the OECD countries and it is highly regarded because it comparatively saves our Government a lot of money by negotiating the best price for the most appropriate medicines. This is its strength and its point of difference which is what is worthy of protection. Agreeing to extending patent rights would prevent Pharmac from doing the very thing that makes it successful.

            On the second point: I think it is uncharitable because at face value a reasonable person would assume that’s what “Protect Pharmac” means. I agree that Labour have done a poor job of communicating their intentions in the past few decades and I am not nor have I ever been a Labour voter but I also think it is highly unlikely that what Labour is saying with “Protect Pharmac” is “Keep the name Pharmac, but entirely undercut it’s ability to save NZ money and we’ll be happy with that”.

            • DH

              If Labour didn’t have the pro free trade politicians like Goff I’d be more inclined to believe their intentions are honorable. Unfortunately we can only judge them on past behaviour and they do not have a very good history of being straight or honest with us.

              Lets try taking this patents issue to a conclusion. Pharmac’s major economic asset isn’t its bulk buying ability but the choice it has. Generics offer not just cheaper alternatives but also create price competition; the big pharma brands are forced to cut their prices if they want our business.

              Extending patents will force Pharmac, in many instances, to buy a single brand without an option for alternatives. The patent holder will have monopoly rights on the supply of that drug and they will price it accordingly.

              Pharmac will still be a bulk buyer, it will still fit this description of ‘protected’, but many of the benefits from having Pharmac will be gone. Now what is Labour’s stance on patents?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                good point. Patent protection on things like pharma is a big deal.

              • northshoredoc

                No disagree – the PHARMAC issue is a red herring.

                More often than not generics enter the market in the USA even before they enter the NZ and Australian market. PHARMAC is also far more canny and has more options at its disposal than people give them credit for.

                As and example the earliest major win for PHARMAC was in a patented drug area long before the relevant products patent expired where one company traded hugely on price to get another of their medications funded. Many companies continue to do this to get increased access for the medicines or to just get them on the pharmaceutical schedule to begin with.

                I still believe the TPP agreement when we finally get to see it will be a waste of time as the lead in for our major offerings in the agricultural/horticultural areas will be decades away.

          • Lanthanide

            You’re making a fool of yourself.

            Simple question:
            Will the types of drugs Pharmac routinely buys at present cost more after the TPP is passed?

            Answer: Yes.

            Therefore, the TPP does not protect Pharmac, as it stands.

            If you want to try and say “oh, but Pharmac still exists, the drugs just cost more”, then you’re right into slippery slope territory.

            If the TPP said drug patents would now last 1000 years instead of the current limit (apparently after 5 after a drug gets to market), would you try and say “Pharmac still exists, so it’s still protected”?

            What if the TPP said drug patents would now last 1000 years and they would be strictly rationed based on the population of the country? Would you try and say “Pharmac still exists, so it’s still protected”?

            Obviously, “protect Pharmac” means “protect Pharmac in its current form, powers and costs”. Extending patent lifetime for drugs does not protect Pharmac’s costs.

            • DH

              You’re projecting there Lanth, what you’ve written is your own personal interpretation of what you think Labour are saying. It could be correct, it could be completely wrong.

              If you want to assume that’s your wont. For me the lack of clarity implies subterfuge; they’re being vague and obfuscating to avoid being pinned down to positions they don’t want to take.

              The patents issue isn’t about Pharmac, in that context Pharmac would just be collateral damage of changes to patent laws. That issue is about patents so I would expect Labour to publicly oppose the proposed TPP patent extensions. Maybe they do but they’re being pretty quiet about it and its not one of their bottom lines is it.

              • Lanthanide

                No more projecting than this, from you:

                “We can cross off point 1″

                But we can’t, can we. “Pharmac must be protected” means what exactly? Protected against what and from what?

                Refusing to interpret something in a logical and sane fashion, is still an interpretation.

                The patents issue isn’t about Pharmac, in that context Pharmac would just be collateral damage of changes to patent laws.

                Yes, so Pharmac hasn’t been “protected” from “collateral damage”, has it?

                • Tracey

                  If Pharmac’s costs go up as result of extended patents (as suggested by Key), even though the price to the end user stays the same, the taxpayer pays the difference, right? These Pharmaceuticals are all offshore I assume, so that means more money going out of our economy? Just making sure I understand what Key is happy with.

                  • northshoredoc

                    Apart from a very few exceptions all pharmaceuticals are manufactured overseas and imported.

            • northshoredoc

              “Simple question:
              Will the types of drugs Pharmac routinely buys at present cost more after the TPP is passed?

              Answer: Yes.”

              Not sure why or how you come to that conclusion ?

  12. wyndham 13

    For months now, Tim Groser has been assuring New Zealand that Pharmac is non-negotiable under TPP and that is an absolute bottom line. I seem to recall him being asked the question on Q+A or maybe The Nation and coming out emphatically with that position.
    Now what does Slippery John have to say this morning . . . . .


  13. Tracey 14

    Pharmac changed the medication I was on a few years ago to a generic medicine. They stated it was the same but cheaper. Within a couple of weeks my dosage had to be doubled cos the new medicine was not performing the same as the original. So, did that work out cheaper, or not?

    • arkie 14.1

      Pharmac isn’t going to get it exactly right every time for every individual. It is widely praised in medical circles and it’s strength lies in it’s ability to produce savings for our collective benefit.

      • Sacha 14.1.1

        Savings which the big pharma companies have been lobbying to reduce or eliminate – and TPP probably gives them just what they wanted. Nice job, Timmy.

      • Tracey 14.1.2

        I was trying to point out that a health model entirely driven by the financial bottom line isn’t always the best at delivering health outcomes. I am aware of the praise for Pharmac and have read extensively about it and its model. It is a good model and as you say not perfect BUT my example above is not isolated.

        It’s interesting to see Key so blase about taxpayers paying more for medicines even if the individual recipients will still be covered by said taxpayers…. usually he is all gung-ho for not putting extra cost on taxpayers.

  14. adam 15

    More smoke and mirrors from Key – not happy to call people crazy – which I’ve said before is the fall back response when ever you question orthodoxy. Key now giving us a TINA moment. And the media, sit there and lap it up. lap dogs one and all.

  15. Stuart Munro 16

    I have it on good authority that National are throwing in Droit de Seigneur as a sweetener to the TPPA. This is consistent with their long term policies; they have always treated New Zealanders basically as livestock.

  16. freedom 17

    “The question for New Zealanders is as simple as this: Do you think if we have access to the massive United States and Japanese markets with our exporters having a level playing field, will they do better or worse, will it create more jobs or less, will the country be more prosperous as a result?” (bold mine)

    so Key is promising a level playing field now ?? roflmao

  17. Sable 18

    I doubt the traitorous National party will uphold any of the points raised unless the public give them no choice. Which in large part is down to the mainstream media making a public issue of this, which with Campbell live gone, is highly unlikely.

    • Wayne 18.1


      You can wait till the general election and vote for a Green government.

      Voters absolutely knew in 2014 that National was committed to TPP, and economic liberalism generally. Voters knew any trade deal inevitably has trade-offs. And they still voted for them, as they did in 2011 and 2008. No-one was being hoodwinked by a secret agenda.

      So how do you say to the majority of your fellow citizens that they are traitors, when they are getting exactly what they voted for.

      That is why National has a mandate to enter into TPP.

      • Stuart Munro 18.1.1

        No democratic government ever has a mandate to act against its citizens enlightened best interests. National are essentially autocratic – their arrogance is only surpassed by their frankly breathtaking economic incompetence.

        $101 billion in debt – $202 billion is my prediction before these clowns leave office, unless we throw them out.

        • Wayne


          You have your chance to “throw them out” in just over two years.

          • Stuart Munro

            I can’t count on that Wayne, because they dishonestly deprived me of my vote last time for being out of the country a couple of months too long.

            A democratic polity always has the right to throw out a lazy treacherous non-performing government. Some say it is a duty.

            • Wayne


              You must have been out of the country for some years. My memory of electoral law means that so long as you visit once every three years, or can say New Zealand is home (in the sense of having a home here) then you can vote.

              And this particular law has been unchanged for at least a decade.

              • Stuart Munro

                So what – I left the country to avoid the no growth + slave fishers economy you and your accomplices have created.

                My right to vote is something you interfere with at your peril you tyrannous piece of filth.

                • northshoredoc

                  Stuart, do you think that that such threats make it more or less likely to take your comments seriously ?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Oh – I suppose you think I should just roll over while the Gnats sell us out.

                    The absolute least they deserve is to be labelled as the traitors and scoundrels they are.

                    There’s no corrupt speaker to cover for them here.

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.2

        That is why National has a mandate to enter into TPP.

        National has a mandate to cut a deal which improves the lives of NZers, not just the lives of a few National Party officials.

        • Wayne

          Colonial Viper,

          Indeed you are correct. That is why the National govt is part of the TPP negotiations. Free trade “improves the lives of NZers.”

          • McFlock

            That’s the religious mantra. Slightly more mixed results in reality.

          • Blue Horseshoe

            Those like you, Wayne

            Not all New Zealanders, as you should we well aware

            If you gave a toss about Nz’ers you would not repeat the shit you do online.

            My estimation is that you don’t give a fark


          • Draco T Bastard

            No, it enriches the already rich while making everyone else poorer as history shows.

            • Stuart Munro

              I’m not sure it even enriches the rich in the long term – Robert Reich shows western Friedmanite economies have shown declining growth as they moved away from social responsibility. The Gnats represent a move backward to pre-industrial norms – but lacking the healthy moral influence of Adam Smith.

          • Tracey

            It would have been really cool if the Nats how outlined (and anyone else backing TPP) before the election their cost/benefit analysis and measurement of “success” and “benefit to NZ” so we could all be convinced. A relatively simple thing to publish considering they must be working off it?

      • RedBaronCV 18.1.3

        Hanging on by the skin of your teeth after gifting a seat = a mandate – cut the crap Wayne – this sort of stuff has to be in the interests of all NZ not the Nact party & their funders.

        But hey the unions can register an offshore company with all the members as shareholders and the first time the NActs try to water any local employment issue down they can sue for the members losses
        ditto for reducing the RMA and building codes – anyone who lives here can buy a one cent share in NZ Inc registered offshore and have a go when they suffer loss – io rent my backyard sunshine out to my neighbour for his laundry business ( offshore)

      • Tracey 18.1.4

        It would have been really cool if the Nats how outlined (and anyone else backing TPP) before the election their cost/benefit analysis and measurement of “success” and “benefit to NZ” so we could all be convinced. A relatively simple thing to publish considering they must be working off it?

  18. tc 19

    Here’s what one independant media in Oz is saying:
    ‘Australian sovereignty is at risk under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with evidence showing a toxic combination of corporations, ambulance chaser law firms and biased arbitrators will be able to overrule our laws.

    The investor-state dispute settlement mechanism that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will lock Australia into is biased in favour of transnational corporations, evidence shows, and costs governments millions even when they “win”.’

    Sounds exactly like the kind of deal the hollowmen would be happy with.

  19. Jenny Kirk 20

    A basic reason for PHARMAC’s establishment was to use collective bargaining to lower the cost of patented medicines. John Key has just undone what has been an outstanding success for NZ, and is the envy of other countries.

    From Pharmac’s history http://www.pharmac.health.nz/about/our-history

    ” During the 1980s medicines prices were increasing at a faster rate than other healthcare spending, and were one of the fastest growing items of Government expenditure. Growth of more than 20% in some years meant medicine prices were threatening to crowd out other healthcare funding. A response was needed, and in 1993 the Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC) was created to actively manage Government spending on medicines.”

    ” PHARMAC’s objective was to introduce price competition to a market where it had not previously existed. PHARMAC’s role was, in effect, to get better value for medicines so that the best health outcomes could be achieved from public money spent on medicines.”

    • northshoredoc 20.1

      Keep calm, while not having see the details…PHARMAC will not be going anywhere and will continue to use the tools at their disposal to block expensive products, source cheap generic medicines for NZ and continue in almost exactly the same way as they have done.

      The reason medicines pricing was out of control in the early 80s was due to the nature of how medicines were funded – effectively the companies popped down to Wellington and said we’d like “x price” and the ministry obliged with little to no restrictions, now we have very significant price competition as soon as medicines go off patent and even before they go off patent between different suppliers of patented medicines.

      • Sabine 20.1.1

        dear leader in his own garbled words seems to know more than you do

        Mr Key rejected criticism the deal would be bad for New Zealand, saying by opening up other markets this country’s exporters would benefit.
        But he said there was a high probability patents on medicines would be extended under the deal.
        “That means the Government will have to pay for the original drug rather than the generic for a little bit longer.
        “But for consumers that won’t make any difference because, you know, on subsidised drugs you pay $5 for your prescription so the Government may incur slightly more costs there.”
        Mr Key rejected suggestions that if Pharmac was having to pay more for drugs it might delay bringing expensive drugs into the country.
        “You’ve got to remember under the Pharmac model they always make sure that there are a variety of drugs and often not just one.
        “I mean if you take, you know, drugs for a condition that’s quite common they often have about three on the list. They don’t just have one,” Mr Key said.
        But Green Party co-leader James Shaw said extending patents and making medicines more expensive would have an impact in New Zealand.
        “It means that we may have to wait longer. It means that there may be some medicines that simply aren’t available, that won’t become available or if they do become available that they’re available at the market prices which is eye-wateringly expensive,” Mr Shaw said.
        Labour leader Andrew Little said his party would not support the deal if it did make medicines more expensive.
        “Their right to charge a premium, for their drugs – for there to be no competitors for a longer period of time.
        “That is going to make medicinal drugs more expensive, for a longer period of time.
        “It is going to add costs to Pharmac, it’s going to add costs for the New Zealand taxpayer – that is unavoidable.”
        He said it would breach Labour’s bottom line that the ability of Pharmac to buy drugs should not be undermined, and on that basis the party could not support the trade deal.
        Ian Powell, executive director of senior doctors’ union the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, said any cost increases to drugs under the proposed TPP would be passed on to consumers.
        Mr Powell said Mr Key’s admission was long overdue and confirmed drug prices would rise.

        • Northshoredoc

          I wouldn’t take anything out of key’s mouth as gospel most of the time he has no idea what he’s talking about

      • Stuart Munro 20.1.2

        Yes yes – we should just trust in the gibbering incompetence of the rogues and traitors that have led us into unprecedented levels of debt with no exit strategy.
        Your quietism would do credit to Dr Mengeler.

        This pathetic caricature of a Westminster government is no longer constraining frank corruption and economic treason and it’s time it was brought to heel.

  20. Wayne 21

    Presumably all the negotiating states have agreed to extend patent periods. This also occurred in the WTO negotiations of the early 1990’s.

    So in effect the nations that import drugs (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Chile, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei) have agreed to give an economic advantage to those nations that manufacture pharmaceuticals (Japan, Mexico, Singapore, United States).

    There will have been a deal struck around this. The pharmaceutical importing nations also export things to the nations they have given an economic advantage to.

    In short; is this effectively the bargain around reduced barriers to agricultural exports to Japan and the United States.

    We will have to see, but it was always apparent that the TPP, as with any trade deal, would involve mutual concessions. Each country would have to give something up in order to gain something of value to it.

    I would also note that this does not breach Labour’s position on Pharmac, which presumably is why it was framed in the way it was.

    Even if Labour ultimately votes against the enabling legislation for those parts of TPP that require it, they will not have put themselves in a position where they are simply saying “no” to TPP. Their position is more nuanced than that. And that will be important to them when they eventually get back on the Treasury benches. Because repeal of TPP simply will not happen.

    • Tracey 21.1

      How is “the best interest of NZ” measured Wayne? Have you seen the cost/benefit analysis that determines the best interest? Have you seen the projections upon which “best interests” are based and when do they start coming to fruition, and, how will they be separated from other factors occurring in NZ in the future?

      Because markets up not just being opened up to our exporters but to exporters of all countries in the TPP, yes? How are these best interests measured Wayne?

      • Wayne 21.1.1


        In 2008 Treasury said in their analysis of the China FTA that New Zealand might get an extra $1 billion in trade with China. I said to them they had grossly underestimated the impact of the China FTA.

        So as you know I trust my own judgement as to the value of free trade deals. In my view New Zealand has gained from every single trade deal we have entered into. We gain greater access to markets in goods and services, and that means we get better growth. As a general proposition New Zealand has done better as an economy since the early 1990’s which is major period of trade liberalisation.

        Now I know most Standardnista’s don’t accept that.

        But at some point, especially on a blog, it is simply not worth continually making the same points (in different ways) to people who have a diametrically opposed view.

        I know you will never vote for economic liberalisation, just as you know I will never vote for socialism.

        • Draco T Bastard

          As a general proposition New Zealand has done better as an economy since the early 1990’s which is major period of trade liberalisation.

          So much better in fact we have far more poverty…

          …Oh, wait, that’s not actually better. In fact, it’s what feudalism did and what brought it down.

        • Grant

          “We gain greater access to markets in goods and services, and that means we get better growth. As a general proposition New Zealand has done better as an economy since the early 1990’s which is major period of trade liberalisation.”

          The following link suggests that things are not quite what you state them to be Wayne.


          Can you spot a trend line in that graph?

          • Colonial Viper

            What Wayne means to say is that the capitalist ownership class has done better in general since the early 1990s.

            Those people having to work 3 or 4 part time jobs to stay afloat don’t count in his calculations.

            • Grant

              I do understand that when Wayne talks about Nz’ers being better off he is referring to a particular class of NZer, not all of us.

              But Wayne is a little bit challenged on some economic concepts as evidenced by the fact that he recently tried to claim (on Bowalley Road) that the average and median incomes were essentially the same thing in this country.

        • Tracey

          …and I hoped you would answer the question I asked rather than use it as a platform for your belief or think or view or ideology. Cos cost/benefit analyses and measurement methods preclude the need to rely on your gut feeling.

          “As a general proposition New Zealand has done better as an economy since the early 1990’s which is major period of trade liberalisation.”

          Cold you compare it to say, the 1960’s so we can get a good idea of how we have all benefitted? New Zealand has done better as an economy by what, the measurement of GDP? Many charts/graphs have been posted which cast some doubt on the usefulness to all NZers of measurements base don increased GDP per se.

    • Ad 21.2

      Wayne, I’m not always against free trade deals, and in particular I thank my lucky stars the impact of the Chinese FTA has enabled huge investments in both productive and real estate assets. Which indeed was a Labour deal.

      And we are still feeling the benefits of CER with Australia, one Queenstown ski pass at a time.

      But an FTA so big should show clear benefits for our overseas trade. By definition. All I am hearing from National about the real stuff we need freed up – access to our dairy and meat and other exports – is mumble mumble.

      New Zealand was told from the beginning that nothing but a comprehensive FTA about dairy and other agriculture would be acceptable. Pretty close to Groser’s words.

      New Zealand is being sold side shows right now.
      You will find that NZ citizens will poll National down hard on this, unless they deliver the milk.

      • Tracey 21.2.1

        My concern is the lack of data and mesurement behind all these statements that things will benefit or (not) all NZers or “New ZEaland”. SURELY governments do cost/benefit analyses and projections to ascertain if, in best circumsatnces, we will improve or degarde as a result of something like a TPP?

        And those ought to be publicly available, even if the negotiations are not. Although now even our Dairy Industry Leaders are privvy to the TPP goings on… more corporate knowledge, less people knowledge (cos we are all too dumb to understand what is good for us) . I wonder if Dairy reps are there to comfort them in the sun for what won’t be coming their way.

  21. millsy 22


    Do you think the government should be sued for increasing the min. wage?

  22. Wayne 23

    Mill yay,
    There is no chance that NZ could be sued for increasing the minimum wage. Do you really think that our negotiators (and for that matter those of the U.S.) are so stupid that they would blithely negotiate away the normal functions of government.
    IDS exists primarily to stop actual expropriation and discriminatory taxes aimed at destroying investments of an international business.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 23.1

      “Corporations against the minimum wage – Veolia v. Egypt:
      Since 2012, the French utility company Veolia has been suing Egypt
      based on the bilateral investment agreement between France and
      Egypt for an alleged breach of a contract for waste disposal in the
      city of Alexandria. The city had refused to make changes to the
      contract which Veolia wanted in order to meet higher costs – in part
      due to the introduction of a minimum wage. In addition, according
      to Veolia, the local police had failed to prevent the massive theft of
      dustbins by the local population. According to media reports, Veolia
      wants 82 million euros in compensation. (Karadelis 2012)”

    • North 23.2

      Depends on your definition of “normal functions of government”, doesn’t it ?……. Weasel Wayne.

    • McFlock 23.3

      we don’t know how stupid or smart the negotiators are.

      Because the negotiations are secret.

      • Tracey 23.3.1

        not to everyone. Many corporates, and by extension their Boards have access. Our Major Dairy Reps are in Maui now. Apparently our (and other) secret services have been using their tools to spy on allies commercial stuff for years, so why Wayne keeps asserting that democracy has to be denied to keep negotiating positions sacrosanct is bizarre.

    • Colonial Viper 23.4

      IDS exists primarily to stop actual expropriation and discriminatory taxes aimed at destroying investments of an international business.

      Taxes are equivalent to wealth expropriation carried under the threat of official sanction and retribution, wouldn’t you say, Wayne.

    • millsy 23.5


      What would be possible examples of “actual expropriation and discriminatory taxes aimed at destroying investments of an international business.”?

      Re-regulation of the electricity market to bring down prices?
      Strengthening of public provision of education and health?
      increasing state housing?
      Ensuring water reticulation stays public?

      Mind you, on the plus side, IDS would have probably stopped Max Bradfords power reforms in their tracks…

    • Stuart Munro 23.6

      Yes I really think they are that stupid. We certainly didn’t get $101 billion in debt by surpassing brilliance – it probably involved Treasury being ‘clever’.

  23. North 24

    TV tonight…… The Ponce Key……. pharmaceutics are gonna cost “a little bit more……” As though he never knew it.
    Man…….this effete traitor has ponced us out !

    If Labour can’t do something with this……well fuck, I dunno ?

  24. Tautoko Mangō Mata 25

    I recommend this article, written in a q and a format as it gives a thorough coverage of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement System
    by comparing the official information supplied by Office the of the U.S. Trade Representative then the facts, together with links to the supporting evidence.

    Although it is written for the US, all of the examples are applicable to NZ.

    • Tracey 25.1

      VERY good link. One only needs to read which nations have utlised the provisions the most to get an idea of potential problems for us, and to see the scope of what they sue for. Either Wayne doesn’t know or is deliberately peddling misdirection, which would be very sad indeed for someone holding the position of Law Commissioner.

  25. Jeremy 26

    NP = a total misrepresentation?

  26. Jeremy 27

    Not a great situation for NZers

  27. John 28

    Labour says if Pharmac isn’t protected, we shouldn’t sign the TPPA.

    So are they really prepared to throw away potentially thousands of dollars per capita in benefits, just because medicines go up a few dollars per capita?

    Because that’s verging on lunacy.

    It’s like turning down your lotto winnings cause you don’t want the expense of going to pick them up.

    • Tracey 28.1

      “potentially thousands of dollars per capita in benefits,”

      Please post the cost/benefit analysis which allowed you to purport this and the measurement of projected benefits/burdens for our participation in the TPP.

      Thanks in advance

  28. What do you call a group of about 500 people called lobbyists, sitting in rooms in places no normal person can get too talking to politicians of countries far away making deals that are going to screw billions of people without them knowing what the agreement actually entails. In other words: secret deals!

    I would call that a CONSPIRACY.

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