Helen Clark needs to heed her own UN advisers on TPPA



‘In standing beside National Prime Minister John Key and appearing to endorse the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) Helen Clark has forgotten the most vulnerable New Zealanders who will bear the brunt of the government’s concessions to US demands, especially on medicines, and the rights of New Zealanders to decide our own future’.

‘It also puts her at odds with her own Labour Party’s position that it won’t support a TPPA that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty, which the Prime Minister has already admitted it will’.

‘Clark’s statement suggests she has become too far removed from the realities and opinions of ordinary New Zealanders’.

‘Helen Clark also needs to remember her responsibilities as the head of the United Nations Development Programme’

There a mass of evidence that the poor and most vulnerable will lose from the TPPA, especially those who rely on affordable medicines – a view expressed by other UN agencies, such as the World Health Organisation, and UNAIDS.’

Last month ten of the UN’s special rapporteurs wrote a public letter expressing wide-ranging concerns about the impacts of agreements like the TPPA on human rights, including rights to health, health, culture, food, indigenous people, and democracy, and calling for a human rights impact assessment before any negotiations are concluded.


  1. I guess Helen Clark has always been fair trade and on the basis that trade is fair and free, I guess we probably all fairly well are. Our problem with things such as the TPPA is that they seem to be more about corporate protectionism, even in countries that are not their own. The whole thing, I am sure, is driven by corporations, it sure won’t be the little small business owner/operator like the woman in Eketahuna who milks 7 cows, makes cheese that she sells and makes a living from it. It probably will make life more difficult for the likes of her. If it wasn’t about corporations, the TPPA probably would not harm her, might even help her.
    National sovereignty has to be important and not just for NZ but for other countries as well. I imagine Canada has a reasonable, niche dairy industry that supplies pretty much all they need in dairy products, I can fully understand they might not want to be reduced to reconstituted milk from NZ WMP. And I am damned if I want my little bit of lamb I can afford to eat from time to time to become so expensive that I am faced with inferior product from somewhere else, probably in a can.
    Anyway, I am getting that horrible sinking feeling about this thing, I hope I am wrong.
    Just a note, it serves no-one to put up such an unflattering photo of Helen Clark, or anyone for that matter.

    • “…. it serves no-one to put up such an unflattering photo of Helen Clark, or anyone for that matter.”

      Oh I dunno . . . the lopsided mouth that speaks one thing out one corner and the opposite out the other seems to sum it all up really.

    • Shouldn’t the consumers in Canada get to decide if they wish to support the Canadian dairy industy or not? Currently they have no choice if they want to buy local or buy the unsubsidised product from NZ.

    • Why shouldn’t the Canadian consumr get to decide if they want to support the Canadian dairy industry or buy unsubsidised product from NZ?

      • Maybe when the three most protectionist economies bully their way into a free trade agreement, they should consider free trade? Just a thought…

        But hey, if Canada wants to protect her farmers good for her, same with the US, & Japan… good on them….
        but when they insist on their rights to protect, when negotiating a free trade deal, they need to maybe consider either free trade, or fuck right off…


      • Because Canadian Citizens might consider the full implications of “free” trade and decide that market stability in their dairy sector is more important than ideological purity.

        You do support the right of Citizens to determine these matters, don’t you, Gosman? Democracy, right?

        By th way, Gosman, the Canadian system isn’t as dire as you make out;

        In Canada, 1L milk; C$1.20 ($NZ1.40) to C$1.50 (NZ$1.75)

        Ref: http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1241775-atlantic-canada-milk-prices-among-highest-in-canada

        Exchange rate 1.1698 – 2.10.15

        Ref: https://currency-converter.net/?gclid=CI7A5NeEosgCFcEIvAody_wJrg

        In New Zealand, 1L milk; NZ$2.55

        Ref: http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=New+Zealand

        So if you going to go by price alone, Gosman, I doubt if Canadians would support your case for free trade. Their milk is cheaper than ours.

      • Because they know full well that allowing cheap WMP in will actually destroy their market, that is why, and good on them for sticking to their guns over it

      • Why shouldn’t the Canadian consumr get to decide if they want to support the Canadian dairy industry or buy unsubsidised product from NZ?

        Are you referring to the TPPA, Gosman?

      • Goooooo-ose.

        Still trying to spin your theories.

        Consumers don’t get a choice because the Greenspan put is caput.

        Actually Alan Greenspan said his economic theories which you talk about are wrong.

        Central market controls have failed capitalism like it failed communism.

        A little TPP on the side is just to protect a few investors. I’m quite confident you are not one of those protected investors.

  2. Was Helen told that NZ’s support of her for United Nations Secretary-General in December, was dependent upon her supporting Key and the TPPA?

    Quid pro quo?

    • Deals are always done behind the back at the UN. The Saudi’s chairing the Human Rights council . . . brazen corruption for all to see and life at the UN just rolls on.

  3. the facts on helen clark are that after nine years leading a neoliberal government..that as labour in name only..she left as the record of its’ presence/efforts..

    ..a low-wage/high-cost economy..more environmentally-degraded …subject to big btother state surveillance..

    ..with as the most telling marker the quarter of a million children living in poverty when she handed over to key..

    ..that is her indictment..

    ..clark lacked both the moral and political courage to buck against that vile benny-bashing/fuck-the-poor streak in new zealand culture/society..

    ..she not only failed to buck against it..she pandered to it..’cos she knew it helped get her re-elected..

    ..with her sneering at unworthy families..and her legislated apartheid of working for (some) families..

    ..and her arbeit macht frei prescription for all..

    ..clark came from rural tory background..her actions in office proved she didn’t fall far from that tree..

    ..and of course she supports tpp..it was under her as prime minister that goff first invited america to join what was then a regional trade deal proposal..

    • If the neo libs are the problem, like you say they are, where’s the evidence to support your often pushed theory that this country wants rid of them?

      Remember, according to you, the nats, labour, greens, NZ1st, act and uf are all neolib parties. How come they get 90%+ of the popular vote in elections?

      If your spin were to be believed, mana (as the only cast iron non neo libs) would be a 40% party in the process of winning over the majority.
      Are you sure it’s not just wishful thinking on your part to make your very small political voice sound less extremist, inconsequential and totally insignificant?

        • No, not really, being a died in the wool labour, but current green voter. I’m not extreme at all.

          • heh..!..yr response to frank says so much more than you could possibly imagine..

            ..and fascinating that as a former labour/current green voter you consider my railings against poverty/inequality/environmental-degradation ‘extremist’..

            ..and yes..you are correct in one thing…in no way are you ‘extreme’…eh..?..heh..!

            ..even tho’ in many non-‘extreme’ peoples’ eyes these are ‘extreme’-times..calling for ‘extreme’ action..eh..?

      • @ peter swift..

        are you totally unaware of what is happening in britain and america..?

        ..as in the rejection of that pillar of neoliberalism..austerity/fuck-the-poor!-policies..?

        ..i don’t recall arguing the country ‘wants’ to be rid of austerity-politics/neoliberalism/our sad-excuse for a labour party for the last 30 yrs..

        ..i have argued the country ‘needs’ to be rid of that ‘sad- excuse’/greed-centred version of ‘labour’-politics..

        ..and/but seeing as you asked..i do think that anti-austerity message will be welcomed in this low-wage/high-cost/1/4m children in poverty country..

        ..i take it you just want more of the same..?

        • “are you totally unaware of what is happening in britain and america..?”

          Nothing has happened in Britain or America yet, apart from protest votes and pre general election wishful thing.

          But then I remember you claiming mana were going to get 10% of the vote and be a major player to be reckoned with… And we all know how that turned out.
          Statistically you’re better at daydreaming than political punditry, and I like that.

          • Nothing has happened in Britain or America yet, apart from protest votes and pre general election wishful thing.

            Really, Peter? I think the ascension of Jeremy Corbyn, and the popularity of Bernie Sanders in the US, as well as left-wing governments being elected elsewhere is a ‘thing’, don’t you?

            But then I remember you claiming mana were going to get 10% of the vote and be a major player to be reckoned with… And we all know how that turned out.

            Yeah, nah. You’re thinking of ACT;

            Brash has said that he wants to get 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the vote.

            Ref: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5044470/No-honeymoon-for-Don-Brash

            • “the ascension of Jeremy Corbyn, and the popularity of Bernie Sanders in the US, as well as left-wing governments being elected elsewhere is a ‘thing’, don’t you?”

              It doesn’t mean a single thing. If either of them get elected you may have a point to push, but until then, it’s just protest votes, opinion polls and ultra left wishful thinking.
              But let’s bring it back to NZ. How are the anti neo lib parties doing these days?

              “Yeah, nah. You’re thinking of ACT”

              Nope, it was definitely PU’s fantasy. Don’t make me have to go to the standard and trawl the archives to prove it. lol

              • at the time that 10% prediction was made int/mana were at their high point of 7%..so such a prediction was well within the bounds of possibility..

                ..that harawira (and others) then totally screwed the pooch in the ensuing campaign..which saw support plunge..

                ..i don’t think negates the validity of that prediction..at that point in time..

                ..but you may well disagree..

                ..but personal slaggings to one side..could you point out the points you disagree with and why..in my original summation of the aftermath of the nine years of clark..

                ..what did i say that was incorrect/untrue..?

                ..and re this ‘extremist’-label you are so keen to throw around/assign..

                ..from where i stand..a labour party that left what they did after nine years..

                ..was an ‘extremist’ neoliberal party..

                ..what say you..?

      • I’ve never seen anyone accuse NZ First of being neo-liberal, and whatever their flaws I can’t see how anyone could credibly claim that’s one of them. The Greens are accused of moving toward neo-liberalism *recently*. Parallels are being suggested with the political opportunism of the Māori Party, who were founded from the grassroots reaction to the Foreshore and SeaBed confiscations, but then shifted towards mouthing ‘jobs for the boys’ excuses for supporting National (and thus neo-liberalism). Whether these accusations against the Greens are justified or not is arguable, but since the main arguments so far seem to consist of the new co-leader having once been involved with business, and Red Peak (hand-wave, hand-wave), I’m far from convinced.

        As for National and Labour, you can’t consider a vote for them to be a vote for neo-liberalism. If you ask people why they vote for one of them, it’s usually because they assume (despite MMP) that one of them will always be the government, and they want to get rid of the other one (or keep them out), not realising that from the 1980s until very recently, they’ve been two sock puppets with the same operator.

        Key’s government, like Clark’s before it, can’t last forever. Most likely, some combination of Labour, NZ First, and the Greens will be the next government. Whether that is yet another neo-liberal government depends, to some degree, on us. Can we, the social movements of Aotearoa, can come up with an convincing alternative? A unifying vision and a set of solutions that make sense to the grassroots supporters of those three parties, as well as smaller progressive parties like Mana, Internet, Democrats, Cannabis, New Economics, and the Pirates?

      • Far from it, in fact, not even close.
        I’m a well adjusted left of centre voter from way back. I’m pointing out the obvious flaw in the ‘neo lib’ meme/mantra/dogma and putting it out there that >90% of voters don’t agree, going on election results. So why keep going on about it and alienating the very voters you need to get you to utopia?

        And I don’t want third way any more than I want Comradeski’s little red book. Sensible, common sense left wing politics will do me fine.

        • I’m a well adjusted left of centre voter from way back


          I doubt that.

          Reading your comments these last few days shows your scorn for anti-neo-liberal activism. Plus, I’ve not real one single criticism from you on any neo-liberal policies.

          For example, Charter Schools.

          Or privatisation of prison management.

          Or the rise in child poverty and wealth/income gap.

          Or state asset sales.

          Or tax cuts in 2009 and 2010.

          I’d be interested in your views on just those five points. Call them a “political litmus test”, if you will.

          • “Reading your comments these last few days shows your scorn for anti-neo-liberal activism. Plus, I’ve not real one single criticism from you on any neo-liberal policies.”

            It’s not scorn for their activism. More pointing out the 90% non activist voters don’t seem to care. If they were that bothered by it and wanted radical change, they wouldn’t keep voting for the five parties listed as being neo lib.
            That’s not a comment on the practice and not an indication of Blairite tendencies. That might be you pre judging based on my commentary style.

            “I’ve not real one single criticism from you on any neo-liberal policies… For example… “political litmus test”, if you will.”

            Oppose 1, 2 and 4. Support the greens (as you chose to disbelieve) on poverty, would tax the rich ’til it hurt and would close all the gaps for probably the same reasons you would.

            How’s that?

  4. I run a small business, where I export small quantities, and “free trade” is of ZERO benefit to me, and of zero benefit to thousands of other small businesses. “Free trade” has only been of any benefit to the fat cat corporations, not to the small guys, and if the TTPA is signed it will make our lives WORSE.

      • Clear off gosman and mind your own business,you are a right wing trouble maker and we are not interested in your comments,your friend Andrewo might be ,go and have a coffee with him,you are both on the same level sub human ,hah I feel better for that .

        • It sounds like the usual line of “we should have a conversation” only applies if you agree with the original conversation point.

  5. Here’s a wee song from Black Sabbath – one of my favorite bands….and Ronnie James Dio….. kinda tells the story of the TTPA after a fashion I believe…

    “The Shining”

    There’s a man who sees all there is to see
    What the future holds for all
    As the days grow dark, was his sole and final warning
    Beware of the one with invisible friends
    They will steal into your mind
    And all too soon, the signs begin to show

    Rise up to the shining
    Live long live now
    Rise up to the shining
    Don’t be blind by fools again

    As the page is turned and the story’s told
    From the visions he had seen
    The house on the hill with the haunting eyes that call
    No one left when madness came out
    To play its game
    If you stay too long, you’ll finally go insane

    Rise up to the shining
    Live long live now
    Rise up to the shining
    Don’t be blind by fools again

    Bells will take their toll
    On your way
    There’s no way we’re born to shine
    Before our time, all your life, you’re
    On your own
    Lonely road
    Lost in a time
    Let the light lead your way
    To the golden throne
    It’s the only way

    Rise up to the shining
    Live long live now
    Rise up to the shining
    Don’t be blind by fools again
    Rise up to the shining
    Love long live now

    Oh rise up, to the shining
    Wise up they’re gonna steal your mind
    Rise up, the house is gonna haunt you
    No one laughed, no one cried
    You stayed too long
    You’re finally gonna stay

    And if that’s the picture of hell….you really got to have a think where this so -called ‘PM ‘ is leading us….

    • Actually that was Tony Martin from The Eternal Idol album, but yes, I agree wholeheartedly. 🙂

    • Actually that was Tony Martin from The Eternal Idol album but yes, I agree wholeheartedly. Such a great song. And I can think of many Queensryche songs too funnily enough. The Operation: Mindcrime album comes to mind. Revolution Calling indeed.

      • l00l…I remember when my bassist played that on cassette to me in the car after band practice…I was taken by the prophetic…at that time it was Black Sabbath and Dio…

        But still none the less…. applicable to this unfortunate situation we find ourselves in … swept along by invisible ‘friends’ who have an agenda…

        And that agenda is not for our national or communal good health…

        And that is the message we should be heeding… and the likes of Prof Jane Kelsey…who is indeed that voice of warning.

  6. ” Helen Clark has forgotten the most vulnerable New Zealanders ”
    With the utmost respect fabulous Prof’ Jane Kelsey.
    Helen Clarke hasn’t forgotten those most vulnerable, and lets face it, that’s 99% of us. She just doesn’t give one small flying fuck.

    Helen Clarke has the jonky effect down pat.

    New Zealand will most certainly ‘do better’ under the TPPA being bandied about. The very rich will become ever richer, the very average will be very much more average and we’ll all tick along like the dowdy aunt and uncle at the piss up. We’ll suffer the interminable boredom of a secure, albeit modest personal economy then go to our graves spent and be-slippered. The dull minded will breed then expire, the desperate will do debt for shits and giggles and the intellectuals will lament.

    While we unlucky, plain looking, uninspired and spirit vacant look up at the Gulf Streams flying over head, speeding our Masters to what were our beaches, forests and farm lands we’ll bow our heads and give thanks for our half spanish white walls sporting lovely prints of bridges over rivers in noice frames made in China and all bought at half price at The Ware House . Where everybody gets a bargain. That cannot be denied. The epidemic of sameness is enveloping us like a pillow being placed, ever so slowly over our somnolent heads, dulled by television and castrated by rugby.

    In short, we’re becoming the authors of our own demise .

    The TPPA will revitalise farming in NZ but at what cost?
    The cost will be the family farm. The farmer who has children who then become farmers. That is over.
    The Neo Farmer will be robotic employees who will extract product from a bony cow or chemical saturated field which will then be supplied to you by the Neo Supermarket ( Twinkle-Sparkle, Rugby , tits, bums, tabloid mag. Boom ! Oh ! And don’t forget the piss down by the cheeses ? A few tinnies and a soft blue mate. Sweeeet )

    I see a future where soylent green ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green ) arrives by Amazon drone . ( http://www.amazon.com/b?node=8037720011 )

    I shit you not, as they say.

    I was talking to a man today. He was a nice man. I liked him . He was telling me that he was studying for his exams that would give him the legal qualification to build a house. He went on to say that without the consent of legal thingies we could not build our own homes. I said, and understandably, what the fuck?

    A lawyer is telling us that we can’t build our homes from our materials whenever we like on what ever we like.

    The TPPA is a done deal. We lost the argument against the TPPA the moment it was mooted .

    The only way forward is to organise public action. In the streets shit. Down and dirty. Otherwise those bland little fuckers flying over you and I will eat you alive.

    • The TPP will not revitalize NZ farmers.
      I agreed with you that Clark never cared and still doesn’t care about the well being of kiwi’s. The UN are behind the TPP and the NWO. Clark swore an oath to the UN when she was PM of NZ.

      1)There is disclosure so there can be said to be no negotiations for the TPP . Kelsey is there to mislead on the Law. Natural law says there is no disclosure and is no contract.As the people of NZ are the effected party.

      Kelsey is controlled opposition for the Fabian society( wolves in sheep clothes). She did not even name the people of NZ as co applicants for disclosure in her (5 yr delayed) high court F -show.

  7. By their actions shall you know them…

    None of her actions have been much use to the likes of us.

    Doesn’t even bother to live here any more…

  8. Yes, Helen Clark is for free trade. During her time as PM she signed a free trade agreement with China and New Zealand has suffered business closures and job losses ever since.

  9. Looking at this from a high level:

    On the one hand we have two of New Zealand’s most recent Prime Ministers backing this deal. Both are well respected and connected internationally but come from different sides of the political spectrum.

    On the other hand we have an overtly Marxist lecturer from a minor university who has been in the same job since 1979 and who seems to do nothing but complain about international trade for the last 36 years whilst ignoring the huge benefits it has conferred.

    Hmmm now who am I going to believe?

    • “Marxist lecturer”? Who are you referring to?

      As to who you are going to believe, Andrew, that is between you and your common sense (if you have any). I stopped “believing” right wing politicians in my 20s. Too many lies. To simplistic. Too much moralistic bullshit.

        • Nope, in this case, Google is not your friend, Andrew.

          Your quotation about “left-thinking Marxist scholars … taught her the political theory that … underpins her daily work” is from a Listener article by Peter Calder.

          The article is behind a paywall.

          So there is no telling who the quote refers to or who made it or the context.

          As such, it is worthless.

          But no doubt it appeals to your closed mind; parroting a quote with no knowledge of it’s provenance.

    • I would personally believe an academic who has studied FTA’s her whole career, over a couple of agenda monkeys who cant see, or dont care to see, that this will turn NZ into a cesspit of low wages & environmental degredation.

    • John Key respected Huh don’t think so,he is a spitefull minnow in a corrupt pool of which you soak in. Jane Kelsey is worth a hundred plus more than your creepy hair pulling ,lying cheating ,forgetful,fraudulant
      excuse for a PM
      Got a couple of bob to protect have you? ,a ten bob millionaire with ideas outside your level of intelligence.
      the only high level you look down from is cloud nine your bad breath has created your cloud ,go away you give a headache.

    • Politicians – the most un-trusted profession in the world? Are you for real? How could anyone believe a politician with a lot to gain, over an academic with nothing to gain, except smears, dirty politics etc.

      • Do you think only the politician is un trusted?
        Not the Crown corporate employees, corrupt NZ lawyers are trustworthy lawyershttp://www.anticorruption.co.nz/petitions/petition-for-an-independent-lawyers-authority/
        The mainstream media and its “alternative” sites are all un trusted by people who are awake…
        as are the academics that work for the Fabian Society( wolves in sheep’s clothes)
        Kelsey has not been smeared yet Sarah since 1979!!! wow red flag, the opposition and mainstream media likes her, she is also very political as you can read in her PR .
        Heaps of university academics are corrupt, it is well known fact. Her job is to distract you from the truth of law.

        No disclosure no contract. The people of NZ are the effected party and have not even negotiated yet!
        Don’t forget that.



    • “…who has been in the same job since 1979 and who seems to do nothing but complain about international trade for the last 36 years whilst ignoring the huge benefits it has conferred.”

      Why is it a problem for you that Prof Kelsey has been in that role since 1979? Do you have a problem with that, and if so, why don’t you apply for the position when her contract expires?

      Second, when you claim “huge benefits” conferred by so-called “free” trade agreements, are you referring to,

      * the high rate of unemployment since the 1980s?

      * the closure of manufacturing jobs in this country?

      * the export of lost jobs to low-wage societies where worker exploitation and zero safety-standards are the norm?

      If so, then your definition of “huge benefits” is at variance with the rest of us.

      What you are really saying, my little Stalinist friend, is that you want critics of new right policies such as “free” trade deals, to be silenced. You don’t want debate – you want to hear only one voice.

      Otherwise you’d be debating the pros and cons of the TPPA, rather than attacking individuals.

      Would you care to tell us what the benefits of the TPPA would be for New Zealand? Give us a couple of examples.

    • Undermining tertiary educators is what the right wing does best; try and de-value their education, their job and their values in order to de-value their argument. Its a piss poor way of trying to win an argument, but then again when you cant win an argument, you change the topic you’re debating on, amirit ANDREWhaleOil?

      • Poor you ANON. Is the big meany Frank changing the subject on you, ohhhhhhh. If you can’t tell that was sarcasm.

        New Zealand wage earners compete with Chinese wages. Yet you think some boggy man devalues tertiary educators?

        No wonder the TPP is unorganised

  10. Helen Clark and John Key are beholding to the same masters. These elite and wealthy hypocrites are knee deep in supporting the UN and Agenda 21.

    We have been led to believe that the UN is a totally benevolent organization and it is not. Propaganda machines towards the NWO ( and Agenda 21 ) and most are unaware of any of this. We need to question all ! ! ALL Authority – especially the UN and these two disgusting leaders who have failed us.




    • I was waiting for someone to bring up Agenda 21! Don’t believe in it myself but I do think for Agenda 21 conspiracy theorists this is grist to the mill.

      The question is: given Helen’s position at the UN has she made a serious mistake stepping into one of the hot button domestic political issues of the moment. She should have know her support would set off fireworks in all sorts of direction. I thought she would be more astute than that.

      • Ripe Pineapples – Not believing in Agenda 21 and our two leaders connections with it and the UN shows ignorance. Get educated about the facts and then comment here with some authority instead of blowing smoke.

      • Helen knew all along exactly what she was doing. She joined the UN not by accident. She was picked and groomed long ago and all of this current hoop la is of no surprise to her. There is no “grist to the mill” to anyone regarding the UN who is aware of their secret agendas and connections with the NWO. This is not about anyone trying to prove or dis-prove any conspiracy – it is about exposing the truths. Helen is no dummy and she knows exactly what she and the UN are doing and what their future plans are. It is we, the international citizens, who are the unaware ones and ones being led by stupid lying propaganda mongers. Mind control.

        I repeat myself by referring, again, for those interested to check out Rosa Koire and Agenda 21 and its connections with the UN.
        Then you will understand the truths that most are not aware of or afraid to face. Also the website “Educate Yourself” is another place to get the facts and truths. Tavistock Institute is the beginning brainchild of the mind control and brainwashing movement.

      • Agenda 21 is definitely a thing:

        But as far as I can tell it’s a good thing. It was an outcome of the Rio Earth Summit. It’s about achieving sustainable use of the planet’s resources in a way that provides for all human needs, ie ending environmental destruction and poverty. I’ve heard a lot of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) about Agenda 21. Most of it seems to come from the same sorts of sources as climate change denial.

    • Indeed, Pineapples.

      I am greatly disappointed by her comments.

      National has constantly derided her Labour-led administration (2000-08) as leaving the country in a “hopeless mess” – and now she has rewarded them with this propaganda coup.


      • Frank,

        NZ is an exporting country and I recall one of our very successful exporters telling me that to make money from exporting the Kiwi dollar needed to be about 52 cents to the USD. As we have largely been way out of line with this ratio, we have enjoyed cheap imports but primary produce has suffered as has our tourist industry.

        I think the TPPA is our solution for the future, as Helen Clark has said, we cannot afford not to be involved. Prof Jane Kelsey has promoted a different direction, but I am a simple guy from a farming background who has spent most of my working life in the primary sector and I repeat the comments of Helen Clark and our PM and believe the TPPA is an agreement we must be part of.

        • Thing is, Grant, New Zealand used to do trade way before these so-called “free” trade deals came along. In fact, human civilisation was built on trade.

          So “free” trade deals are a recent invention that we seem to have done nicely without.

          Doing bi-lateral trade deals, openly, and involving fair trade is one thing. I’ll support that.

          But deals done in secret? Which compromise our right to pass laws at risk of being sued? Which seem to protect corporations at the expense of our sovereignty?

          No thanks.

          That’s not a trade deal. That is enshrining the power of corporations alongside sovereign states. And that worries me greatly.

          Considering Australia is not prepared to sign up to the Investor-State Disputes provision of any TPPA, it seems that their recent (and ongoing) lawsuit with Phillip Morris (which moved their Australian shares to Hong Kong to enjoy the provisions of the Aust-HK Free Trade Agreement – http://www.smh.com.au/business/smoke-signals-plans-of-big-tobacco-plain-to-see-20120828-24yqj.html) has left a very sour taste in their mouths on ISDs.

          We are told that negotiations have to be done in secret. This is arrant nonsense. Of course negotiators know the positions of each other. Their papers are on the table; their points open for negotiation.

          If it weren’t, it would be like two chess players playing on separate boards, in different rooms, not knowing what moves each was making. It is nonsensical.

          On top of which is the mis-information from Key, Groser, English, et al, who promised – hand on heart – that TPPA would not affect Pharmac.

          Then Key revealed that yes, prices for medications would rise. (http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/279879/tpp-key-admits-medicine-costs-will-rise)

          Of course, he then promised that the rise in prices would not be passed on to New Zealanders. He said “government would bear the cost”.

          More bollocks.

          Government is funded by us, the taxpayers. So we do end up paying more for medicines, albeit indirectly.

          And you can bet that the increased cost in medicines would eventually be passed on to citizens by increasing the price of subsidised medicines, as English did in his 2012 Budget when he increased prices from $3 to $5, (http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6918654/Prescription-cost-to-rise-to-help-pay-for-Budget)

          So I don’t believe a word Key utters. The man is an outright liar.

          As for Helen Clark’s comments. They are unfortunate, considering several UN organisations have voiced concerns about the TPPA (http://www.ohchr.org/FR/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16031&LangID=E and http://www.asia-pacific.undp.org/content/rbap/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2014/12/15/new-un-report-highlights-possible-wide-ranging-impacts-of-free-trade-agreements-on-human-rights-in-the-pacific.html)

          On a more personal note, I hope your farm is doing well and you’re not adversely affected by the downturn in dairy commodity prices.

          • Frank,

            Appreciate your comments but if we decide to ignore the TPPA we are effectively becoming an island – gone are the days when the UK would take our lamb.

            Tell me how NZ primary industry exporters are going to be better placed by not entering the TPPA is all our competitors do?

            Sovereignty is a fine ideal, but tell me how this is better than to freely trade with the countries party to the TPPA – assuming we do not sign.

            • As I pointed out, Grant, We’ve had trade long before “free” trade deals came along. I fail to see the sudden urgency in doing these deals. We’re already trading several billion dollars worth all over the planet.

              There seems little point in engaging in any so-called “free” trade deal if;

              (a) we end up paying more for medicines. That means our sick and elderly will be paying more, so corporations can profit and return bigger dividends to their shareholders. That is not a winner for me.

              (b) the US maintains it’s protectionist farm policies. What do we get out of it?

              (c) corporations are able to sue our government (and by default, us, the taxpayer) if we want to pass laws regarding health, education, land sales, environmental protection, etc. There have been too many cases of these “free” trade deals resulting in corporate power over-riding sovereign government’s abilities to pass law. The latrest example is the German government being sued by Swedish power company, Vattenfall (http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/vattenfall-vs-germany-nuclear-phase-out-faces-billion-euro-lawsuit-a-795466.html)

              What did the German government do to warrant this? They are phasing out atomic power plants. So Vattenfall is fighting back with a billion dollar lawsuit.

              That suit is being carried out using an Investor State Dispute process.

              Question is, Grant, how do you feel about the NZ Government (ie; you and me) being sued by big corporations if we do something they don’t like?

              • Has any one considered that New Zealand sends most of its milk products to lactos intolerant populations?

                New Zealand does a lot of good manufacturing in the medical devices sector.

                Australia is our biggest exporter. I don’t see how handcuffing this vital growth sector by singing away intellectual property rights under TPP will benefit New Zealand at all.

              • Frank, using an agricultural term I think we are “putting the cart before the horse” much of what is being stated as fact is pure speculation. I need to know a little more before I can join the conspiracy theory.

                • I need to know a little more before I can join the conspiracy theory.

                  Precisely, Grant!!

                  You’ve nailed it, mate.

                  None of us know what is being negotiated or signed up to, in our name.

                  Who puts their signature to an agreement without knowing what they’re signing?

                  • And we shouldn’t be signing a deal that allows corporations to sue New Zealand.

                    Only idiots give a Government the benefit of the doubt in suck cases.

                  • Amazing, Frank – Ii is absurd to suggest we should all know what is being negotiated before it is signed. We elected a government and they surely must have some role. If they get it wrong they will be punished at the polls. Speculating on what may or may not be in the agreement is something neither you or I should not be able to influence.

                    have a nice night!

                    • “We elected a government and they surely must have some role.”

                      Maybe, but I agree with Frank that that role is *not* to keep us in the dark and feed us bullshit. We are not mushrooms!

                      “If they get it wrong they will be punished at the polls.”

                      So, would losing an election hold National accountable and fix everything if they signed a secret pact that turns out to make NZ a state of the USA? Of course not. Such major changes to our systems of governance and accountability should only happen with a thorough public debate, with all relevant information made public, and with an overwhelming majority of the public in support. The same applies to the TPPA.

  11. Given that Helen Clarke presided over the signing of an FTA with China, it would be odd for her not to support the TPP. It will be interesting to see once it is signed if the doom mongers are as wrong as they were on the china free trade agreement.

  12. I don’t listen to anything that comes out of the UN.
    They give veto powers to USA, Russia and China.
    They’re about as informative as Sean Plunket.

    • Actually, digging up the political corpse of Helen Clark to smile for the cameras and endorse the TPP is a sign of just how desperate Key and Groser are. Keep up the good work TPP campaigners, the public are on your side, and will see through this little PR exercise.

      As for your loyally regurgitated key message Dean, why don’t you scuttle back to your Crosby-Textor masters, and tell them their time is nearly up?

  13. I think somewhere along the line and in her tax-free job at the UN Helen Clark has lost touch with NZers especially low income NZers. She knew, whilst PM, that those on low incomes in NZ find it hard to make ends meet. I mean even in her time as PM it was well known that NZ was and still is a deliberately kept low income country.
    Unfortunately she has become yet another multi-millionaire shaking hands with another multi-millionaire i.e John Key; in his seeking of photo opportunities.
    And so Clark has become spoilt in her job and because of her shallow/empty words when it comes to ordinary NZers we all know she long ceased to be ‘one of us’.
    Still it was interesting to see a photo of Key looking at Clark with absolute utter contempt. He probably wishes he had her job as he wouldn’t be having to pay any form of taxation whatsoever and still make millions. Maybe, along with a knighthood, that is what he is hoping for i.e to get into a tax-free job for life at the UN.
    My late mum met Clark’s dad about 20 years ago when she was doing some community work in our area. I bet Clark’s dad would be turning in his grave if he knew how much his very own daughter would let down the ordinary NZers he walked with.

  14. Once again hubris & ambition of @helenclark triumphs over vestige of principle. Goff, Moore, Groser, Key, now Clark #kiwislings

Comments are closed.