In the ongoing debate on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, Dear Leader John Key has been at pains to try to reassure New Zealanders that any TPPA document would be “first presented to Parliament”.
“With all [free trade agreements] the way that they work is that have to be ratified by Parliament, and we have to build a parliamentary majority, and all of that has to happen through the transparency of the deal.”
And on 31st March this year, Key asserted on NewstalkZB;
“In the end, this thing has to go through our Parliament has to be ratified by our Parliament and has to bear scrutiny and I believe is in the best interests of New Zealand.”
Professor Jane Kelsey was one of many who countered Key’s assertions that Parliament would “ratify” any final agreement. Also on 31 March, she stated;
“How many times do the Prime Minister and other members of the government have to be hauled up for misrepresenting the role of Parliament in making treaties, especially the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement’? The Prime Minister is either woefully ignorant of the fundamental process of treaty making, as set out in the Cabinet Manual, or he is wilfully misrepresenting the process to the New Zealand public.
Parliament’s role in treaty making is largely symbolic. It has no power to decide whether or not the TPPA should be signed or ratified and no ability to change its terms TPPA or require it to be renegotiated.
The select committee process is a farcical exercise because its members know they cannot change the treaty.
At most, Parliament could refuse to pass legislation that is required to bring a particular law into compliance with the TPPA. But the government will have plenty of non-legislative ways to achieve compliance.”
Finally, on 15 June, on TVNZ’s Q+A, National’s own Trade Minister, Tim Groser responsible for TPPA negotiations clearly and utterly refuted any notion that the TPPA would have to be “ratified” by Parliament;
Note the first part of Groser’s response to interviewer, Corin Dann (@ 8:58);
“Oh well, we wouldn’t put [this] before the New Zealand Parliament.”
There we have it. The Trade Minister himself confirming what Jane Kelsey and other critics of the secret deal-making surrounding the TPPA have said all along: once the government agrees to a final document, it will not require ratification by Parliament.
John Key making a mistake once, is understandable.
John Key repeating that same mistake at least three times is no longer a “mistake”. It becomes willful misinformation. A deliberate lie.
Caught out again – this time by one of his own Ministers!
Charge: broken promise/deflection/half-truth/hypocrisy/outright lie/misinformation?
Verdict: Outright lie/misinformation
NewstalkZB: Key defends TPPA negotiations
Previous related blogposts
Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes
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