MUST READ: Sober reflections on the TPPA deal – and why we need to keep fighting



After five and a half years Tim Groser and co finally did the deal. This was the worst possible day to be flying for 26 hours, trying to catch up with the details and unable to respond to media calls and the inevitable character assassination of those of us opposed to the TPPA.

There was no way the twelve governments were going to end the TPPA ministerial meeting in Atlanta without an agreement, especially after they got so close in Maui. They were out of time and too much political capital was at stake for any of the governments and ministers to have ‘failed’.

Instead, they failed us. New Zealand, along with Vietnam and Malaysia, are the biggest losers. We were always one of the most vulnerable players: no bargaining leverage, unrealistic demands pressed by an aggressive trade minister, and facing potentially more radical adjustments to satisfy US demands than participating countries that already have a USFTA.

We can take some solace in knowing that the battles fought nationally and internationally over the years, and the determination of staunch and courageous negotiators from some countries, stripped out some extreme proposals that became known through leaks. The final deal is still toxic, but it could have been even worse.

Without the text it’s impossible to precisely assess its implications, and we won’t get to see that for another month. Under the US Fast Track law, President Obama has to give 90 days notice to Congress before he can sign the TPPA, and must make the text public 30 days into that period. That gives the participating governments and their fellow travellers a month to spin the benefits, knowing that we don’t have the details.

Meanwhile, members of the US Congress and the corporate lobbyists who are ‘cleared advisers’ will get to see the deal. They will be all over it, seeking to change what they don’t like and making new demands. That will be the first of many opportunities for them to seek to rewrite the ‘final’ deal.

We do have some information. The USTR immediately released a 15 page summary of the 30 chapters. The Japanese government’s chapter by chapter account is more detailed and runs to 36 pages, but in Japanese; so, frustratingly for us, is the Ministry of Agriculture’s detailed explanation of Japan’s market access commitments. Canada has produced its own account In New Zealand, MFAT has released a Q&A which says the only costs will be a 20 year extension to copyright law. 

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The spin has already begun. Fran O’Sullivan praised Groser’s ‘brinkmanship in the final brutal hours’ for securing New Zealand a deal on dairy that provided more than enough foie gras to compensate for any dead rats. What bollocks! It is true that Groser held out, arguing with USTR Froman until 5am. But he came out of it with bugger all.

In the assessment of US blog Politico: ‘

Losers: New Zealand’s dairy industry, which is unhappy with the amount of access they’ve gotten. The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand thanked Groser for making “every effort”, but said it was  “disappointed that the agreement has not delivered a more significant opening of TPP dairy markets”.

Surely, no-one really expected otherwise?

Claims the final package will be worth $2.7 billion a year for New Zealand by 2030 reflect another well-honed strategy. The MFAT figures expand concrete gains from tariff cuts by the time the agreement comes fully into force (at least another 15 years) through modelling and assumptions about intangible economic benefits. These figures rapidly gained traction, but cannot be authoritatively contested without the text and the studies or cost-benefit analyses that it relies on (the Minister has previously refused my Official Information Act requests for such analyses).

Minister Groser has continually sought to justify the government’s participation in the TPPA by insisting he would accept nothing less than a ‘high quality, commercially meaningful deal’ for dairy.  For example, 20 June 2012 – Tim Groser’s Address to the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council: TPP and New Zealand’s export future:

TPP Leaders agreed in Honolulu in November … on a set of very high benchmarks, including elimination of all tariffs….This is going to challenge a number of the participants, especially on their most sensitive agriculture sectors, but if this is not to end as a farce, it is something they are going to have to do.’

Indeed, he promised to walk away from a deal if the TPPA failed to deliver those benefits. That was never going to happen, as Groser made clear at the end of the failed Maui ministerial. What we get instead at yesterday’s ministerial press briefing was yet more promises for the future and ‘trust us’ politics:

Look, long after the details of this negotiation on things like tons of butter have been regarded as a footnote in history, the bigger picture of what we’ve achieved today will be what remains.  It is inconceivable that the TPP bus will stop at Atlanta.  The TPP bus will move on … Our industry structures will change in response to the opportunities of this agreement, and in future years, we can be absolutely certain that the depth of achievement we’ve been able to reach at this point in our collective history will be deepened and broadened and other people will join this agreement.  Don’t ask me to be precise because I would then be forecasting the future, but I just want to tell you that while the difficult negotiations on things like dairy products, which in my country’s case ended at 5 o’clock this morning, we have always to deal with these realities in a trade negotiation, but the bigger picture is the reason we’re sitting here and that bigger picture will be profoundly important and beneficial to the generations of the people in our respective countries. 

Echoes of the conveniently timed primer from Helen Clark: it would be unthinkable for New Zealand not to part of such a deal.

What do we know about the details? Let’s stay with dairy for now. The chess game said US concessions to NZ depended on new US exports to Canada and Japan. Canada granted new quotas phased in over 5 years: a 3.25% share of annual dairy production, with most directed to value-added processing (not what New Zealand produces). That is for all 11 members; we don’t know how much of that NZ got.

Japan will continue to regulate dairy imports through its state owned trading company. There will be a quota for imports of powdered skim milk and butter, raising from 60,000 tons to 70,000 in six years. Again, it’s not clear if NZ gets any of that. Tariffs will go from cheddar in 16 years.

Groser foreshadowed his sales pitch, now downplaying the significance of dairy, during the Atlanta press conference:

‘this establishes, in the long run, complete elimination of all tariffs on everything New Zealand exports with two exceptions.  One is the beef tariff in Japan and the other are some dairy products, some of which will achieve tariff elimination and others have proven to be too difficult.’

There do appear to be more significant gains for beef, fruit, seafood, wine, forstry products, lamb – but, as the Australia Japan FTA showed, the devil will be in the detail. Most of these concessions will have (very) long phase out periods and ‘safeguards’ that allow claw-backs if they impact severely on the domestic industry. Some will have ‘special safeguards’ as well.  

What are the downsides? Again, we need to see the details of the text, but the following is a start.

Affordable medicines was potentially affected by four elements: longer effective patent protections; new rules for drug companies’ monopolies over the data for new generation biologics medicines; and a ‘transparency’ annex gives Pharma more influence during Pharmac’s decisions.

The latest information I have confirms what Groser has said (contrary to Key’s earlier concessions that medicines will cost more). Australia’s hard won provision on biologics will protect New Zealand as well, subject to kickback in the US Congress and during the SU certification process.  New Zealand’s patent laws currently meet the final TPPA threshold.

The transparency annex, although unenforceable, is still a problem as it is likely to include oversight mechanisms and could inform the fourth remaining, serious element – the potential for investor-state disputes over the  refusal patents (as in Canada’s Eli lilly case) or Pharmac’s decisions not to subsidise medicines.

The weak general exception that applies to public health apparently does not apply to the investment chapter. There is a tobacco exception but that only applies to ISDS, whereas Malaysia proposed a carveout from the entire agreement. The government could choose to block an investment arbitration over a tobacco control measure, but that appears to be a case by case election by a government that is already under pressure from Big Tobacco. But it seems they could still bring a case if they allege discrimination. States can still enforce the entire agreement, including the investment chapter. Tobacco policies are also still captured by the chapter on services (eg. advertising, retail) or labelling rules in the chapter on technical barriers to trade.

The investment chapter is based on the US model bilateral investment treaty, which is more pro-investor than New Zealand’s existing FTAs, including with China, Taiwan and South Korea. Investors are also expected to be able to use ISDS to enforce their contracts in the case of a dispute (eg Sky City or PPPs), even if that’s not provided for in their contract. The ‘most-favoured nation’ clause in those agreements means their investors now get these stronger protections. There are some procedural improvements to the old ISDS model but apparently still no appeals, no code of conduct, and no effective constraints on tribunals going rogue.

The governent continues to play down the risks from this, saying New Zealand has never been sued. Australia, Germany, and many other OECD countries had the same false sense of complacency until they faced massive damages claim for adoption health, environmental and anti-nuclear policies. The global backlash against ISDS, including by governments, cannot simply be ignored.

The cross-border services chapter has largely gone unremarked and needs to be viewed in tandem with current 24-party negotiations for a Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). The chapter will require governments to maintain the current failed risk-tolerant light handed approach to regulation of services. Current levels of liberalisation will be locked in for many services, with a ratchet that automatically locks in any new liberalisation. Similar annexes will apply to the investment chapter. We don’t have the annexes to see which services and investments they apply to, but the Prime Minister has already conceded it would be impossible to strengthen restrictions on foreign investors in the residential property market.

Future governments may not be able to establish new state-owned enterprises (eg insurance, broadcasting, research) that require state support which foreign competitors say has an adverse effect on their activities. Again, we need to see the details on this and other impacts of the chapter.

Twenty years longer for copyright will impact on libraries and researchers, depending on the exceptions. New provisions are expected to allow ISPs to block websites if infringements are alleged (not proved) and new criminal penalties would apply for circumventing digital locks. The global tech companies claim to have succeded in stopping ‘localisation’ rules, where countries require data to be stored within the territory (localisation).

There are numerous provisions and a whole chapter dedicated to ensuring that commercial interests have rights to influence government decisions on policy and regulation.

This is just a start. New Zealanders therefore need to ask a simple question: who gave the Prime Minister and Trade Minister the right to sacrifice our rights to regulate foreign investment, to decide our own copyright laws, to set up new SOEs, and whatever else they have agreed to in this secret deal and present it to us as a fait accompli?

The campaign against the TPPA now moves into a new phase in each country: educating people about what the text means for nations, communities and sectors, countering the spin that is already at full tilt, and then stopping governments from adopting it.

That is crucial not just to save individual countries from the toxic deal. If enough governments hold back they cannot get the critical mass needed to bring the TPPA into force. This happened with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement  (ACTA) – thanks to opposition within Europe it has still not been ratified by the minimum number of countries required. It is not clear how many and what size signatories will be required for the TPPA.

Clearly the US remains pivotal. Opposition is already welling up inside the Congress from both parties on a wide range of issues. Memories of Obama’s failure to secure Fast Track first time around in a bruising political contest that alienated his own supporters potend ill in an election year.
In my next blog I will explain in detail the political processes that will be used here, and in the US, and what opportunities they present to derail the TPPA.


    • i think you could take better cheer from the facts that bernie sanders..hillary clinton..and donald trump..all oppose the tpp..

      (another interesting (vote-garnering?) trump-factoid is that both he and bernie sanders favour a model of universal healthcare for americans..

      ..trumps model is free for those who can’t afford it..and competing private companies above that..)

      ..and you could colour me surprised when trump said that on 60 minutes..he was quite passionate about the poorest people in the richest country in the world..unable to afford/get healthcare..he also noted this was ‘against republican party policy’..)

      ..also..when the detail of the deal is released..clear pictures will then be able to be drawn..

      ..and key deserves a special long-bow-award..for his main praise being a figure of $2.5 billion..’in 2030’…15 fucken yrs away..!..he must think we are all really as thick as pig-shit..that key..we are getting s.f.a..and giving away heaps..(literally our anyone with $200 mill will be able to buy whatever they like..’tenants in our own country’

      ..and key and groser are fucken traitors..end of story..

      ..also interesting to note how much of the opposition within america echoes opposition here..’cos of course ..given american corporate behaviour ‘abroad’..they are even more likely to be slammed with lawsuits from aggrieved corporates..from elsewhere..

      ..the above are all the reasons it is clear that echoing that call to continue the the right plan of action.. ain’t over yet..

  1. The ability of foreigners to buy our houses, farms and some strategic businesses has been the one issue that has crossed the left/right divide and united the people of NZ in their concern about it.
    This is, therefore, the real Achilles Heel in whether there is general support or not.
    I believe this is the one issue that will affect more NZers the most, more than the few shekels to be gained by a few directly involved in those industries that do stand to gain.
    Becoming tenants in our own land will be far, far more damaging than whatever benefits we might gain.
    I want to find out for sure, what it is meant by we still have taxation as a means to control this, because it is my understanding that under this thing, we cannot treat foreigners any different to locals, so any taxation applied will applied to all, even mum and dad who might have one investment property. Now can you see anything getting any traction.
    We must get all of the correct information about this out there, and we must get people up in arms about it as they have in the past.

  2. Well done Jane Kelsy you have fought long and hard for cancelling this false trade agreement.
    Jane if American congress does not ratify it , where does NZ stand, I presume if one country dosnt ratify it the whole thing collapses,or is it just the one country that leaves the TPP.Can you explain .

  3. Future governments may not be able to establish new state-owned enterprises (eg insurance, broadcasting, research) that require state support which foreign competitors say has an adverse effect on their activities. Again, we need to see the details on this and other impacts of the chapter.

    This is a direct attack on democracy and right to self-determination, and along with the ability for multi-national corporations to sue states, are to me the most dangerous aspects of the agreement. The tariffs and access concerns are trivial in comparison.

  4. “Meanwhile, members of the US Congress and the corporate lobbyists who are ‘cleared advisers’ will get to see the deal. They will be all over it, seeking to change what they don’t like and making new demands. That will be the first of many opportunities for them to seek to rewrite the ‘final’ deal.”

    Check the facts. They can’t. That was the point of the fast track

    They can just say yes or no

    Your hysteria over pharmac was wrong

    We all knew we would not gain much in dairy

    Big Tobacco can’t sue us

    • Chris, National raied the cost of prescriptions from $3 to $5. Can you guarantee they won’t do it again?

      Can you guarantee that the extra costs imposed on Pharmac because of the TPPA will be reimbursed by National?

      When Key sez that “consumers won’t pay more”, but taxpayers will have to pay more to Pharmac – what is the difference?

    • Before you get too carried away slagging me off, take as deep breath …

      The US Congress does still have power and has exercised in that way before. It still have to vote yes or no and if the numbers aren’t there for a yes without changes then they seek to make changes. That is the debate now happening in the US. The certification process gives them another go right at the end (

      Re the meds – it was the backbone of the Aussies that saved NZ on the last day, not Minister Groser, and there are still problems for meds and health care generally with ISDS.

      Re tobacco – actually if you read what i wrote you will see that it is far from watertight, only applies to the investment chapter not other chapters where tobacco policies are also attacked, and the state (rather than investor) can still enforce the TPPA rules. Moreover any other health policies do not have the same moderate protection as tobacco policies under the health chapter.

      If you always knew there would be noting on dairy why did Groser keep claiming that was his bottom line and he would walk away if he didn’t get it?

      • The above agreement appears to favour USA multi-national companies and the anti-Chinese movement, in drag. If and when ratified are individual state in the USA forced to follow this agreement 100%, or is it as vague and weak as the Japanese portion?

    • Chris, you call public concerns “hysteria”?? Considering that secrecy has shrouded the whole negotiations, I think we were right to be concerned. Or do you have total faith in politicians? And if you do , does that extend to all politicians, or just the ones you vote for?

    • Jane Kelsey…
      “This is just a start. New Zealanders therefore need to ask a simple question: who gave the Prime Minister and Trade Minister the right to sacrifice our rights to regulate foreign investment, to decide our own copyright laws, to set up new SOEs, and whatever else they have agreed to in this secret deal and present it to us as a fait accompli?”


    • And the other one is the foie gras on dead rats analogy. Foie gras is made by force feeding geese till their livers nearly expose, then we kill them so we can eat that diseased liver. Perfect

        • They are force til they explode – not nearly. Their livers actually explode. It’s the most barbaric abuse condoned by the Elite. Tim Groser deliberately excludes people from his lofty egotistical realms. Tim Groser enjoys eating his foie gras probably with a vintage Champagne or a Sauterne. I hope he flipping well bursts. I think the fact he uses such a ridiculous metaphor demonstrates how hopelessly stuck in his deluded psychopathic fantasy world he really is. See this deluded fairy tale article in the Listener. The first two paragraphs say alot. Espiner creates an accurate portrait of a man who actually can’t stand people and is an elitist snob who prides himself as being a cut above every other bloke. But then, according to Espiner (and Tim) in this Listener article, in the second paragraph, this is what makes him such a ‘very good Minister of Trade’. It seems that a good politician is better when they’re completely bereft of compassion or any sense of reality and lives of real people. The rest of the article has large amounts of mythmaking, tragic fairytelling and exaggerations and delusions such as the claim he’d been some sort of competent musician and played in forgotten pub bands or could have chosen if he wished, a life on the stage like his parents. What a lot of bollox. He’s smoked his last fag but I bet he still smokes the poshest cigars with his flipping cognac.

  5. My name for TPP is= “Toilet Paper Protocol”

    It is a Global Elitists plan to take over the globe by buying the assets without any resistance or any war to fight as we did before.

    End result is PM John Key has prepared the way to finally “make us all tenants in our own land.”


    The costs of Australia’s ‘free trade’ agreement with America
    8 February 2015
    Author: Shiro Armstrong, ANU
    The critics were right. Ten years after the Australia–United States free trade agreement (AUSFTA) came into force, new analysis of the data shows that the agreement diverted trade away from the lowest cost sources. Australia and the United States have reduced their trade by US$53 billion with rest of the world and are worse off than they would have been without the agreement.

    • Thanks Jane.

      Can someone please answer these questions for me as I am a relative newcomer to NZ:

      1 Do we have a glut of products right now that we cannot export?
      2 What and how do we as a country gain by tariffs being removed except that it creates potentially more competetiveness for our products?
      3 What is our current income from import tariffs and how will this be offset and influenced by possible gains from this agreement?
      4 Do we have the capacity or potential to increase current capacity to take advantage of the bigger export opportunities that this agreement might create?
      5 How is it possible that parliament can be by-passed in the signing of this agreement and that future parliaments can be held to it?



      • Happy to help Hennie?

        1 Do we have a glut of products right now that we cannot export? New Zealand exporters currently face tariffs when exporting to certain countries. These barriers prevent New Zealand businesses from maximising their sales. It also tends to put a damper on investment in exporting countries.

        2 What and how do we as a country gain by tariffs being removed except that it creates potentially more competetiveness for our products? Because New Zealand currently imposes few tariffs as it is. The things we still impose tariffs on tend to be things we don’t make anyway (like mass produced clothing). In any event, the removal of tariffs means that New Zealand consumers will be afforded more choice and cheaper prices.

        3 What is our current income from import tariffs and how will this be offset and influenced by possible gains from this agreement? Around one half of one percent of government revenue. Economic growth from increased trade will probably offset this in the longrun.

        4 Do we have the capacity or potential to increase current capacity to take advantage of the bigger export opportunities that this agreement might create? Yes – if the incentives are there.

        5 How is it possible that parliament can be by-passed in the signing of this agreement and that future parliaments can be held to it? It’s not possible. Despite the scaremongering by people who ought to know better about misleading the public, Parliament is the supreme law making body in this country. Much of the reforms needed to become TPP compliant will need to go through Parliament and, as it’s a package deal, that means that in effect Parliament needs to approve it. In any event, no Parliament can bind a future Parliament so if the deal works out as bad as the Cassandras say, a future government could withdraw from it.

  7. And famously , ….. now that the job is done , – suprise , suprise , – Key will either stand down or appoint a new leader in 2017 and fly off to greener pastures – most probably Hawaii for around 6 months before he pops up somewhere else around the globe pulling on someones else’s ponytail….

    New Zealanders – you’ve been duped royally.

    It would almost be laughable how gullible you’ve been over this mans public con job … if it wasn’t so serious.

  8. Thanks for all of your work on this. One of the greatest obstacles now to those who have opposed this agreement is discouragement and weariness. A great number of people have organised, met, lobbied, written letters and blogs, marched and protested, and now that an agreement has been reached, there is a temptation to say, “well, we gave it our best shot, but it didn’t work. End of story.” Because we are tired.
    Yesterday when i heard the news, and all the gushing from various sectors, I felt depressed all day, and I bet I am not the only one. But we have to keep fighting.
    So it is vital that we find some way of re-engaging first the 25,000 people who marched in opposition in July, and get the message across that it aint over yet. And then try to gain more media traction, as details emerge slowly, as to what it is exactly that we have signed up to.
    Kia kaha nga tangata o Aotearoa.

  9. Actually the dairy deal is great for New Zealand, although maybe less so for dairy farmers.

    Instead of Fonterra just exporting more shiploads of low value milk solids, they now have greater ability to export finished goods like yogurt and cheese. So they’ll have to build factories and employ more people locally.

  10. Thank you Jane for a concise report of the result, we can believe your account, whereas I have difficulty believing what I am hearing from most reports .
    the spin that is being used to try and sell this deal is outrageous.
    you are a true warrior queen for New Zealand Jane, without your honest and continue ual assessment we would have little idea what the truth is.
    I say we go to the streets again 20,000 this time we will have the dairy farmers

  11. Today and yesterday has seen a very noticeable leap in pro TPPA feedback through the comment approval mechanisms. Quite unprecedented.

    Orders must have gone out from Farrar Central to bomb left leaning blogs with troll comments and negative feedback to opinion questioning TPPA.

    So it begins. No doubt we’ll have a month of pro agreement propaganda from the Govt and its mouthpieces, Mediaworks and NZ Herald, before the text is released.

  12. For TPPA to go into effect, the ” deal must be ratified by the NZ Parliament and other legislatures in Canada; US and Australia etc. ” If just one
    country does not ratify, the TPPA deal could be further delayed and could even die.

    So the fight goes on and we need to really pump up the actions against
    TPPA now. Don’t let the media give the impression that this horrific
    greedy corporate controlled Trade Agreement is a done deal. It is not ! !

  13. This is just a start. New Zealanders therefore need to ask a simple question: who gave the Prime Minister and Trade Minister the right to sacrifice our rights to regulate foreign investment, to decide our own copyright laws, to set up new SOEs, and whatever else they have agreed to in this secret deal and present it to us as a fait accompli?

    The voters at the last election.

    Parliament is sovereign. The next government could pull us out of it.

    But they won’t because it is likely that this free trade agreement, like every free trade agreement we have ever entered into, will be enormously beneficial for New Zealand.

  14. @ Prof’ Jane Kelsey. You ask …. ” who gave the Prime Minister and Trade Minister the right to sacrifice our rights… etc. ? ”

    Well, we did. All of us. By our lamentable lack of direct action we green lighted jonky to do what ever he likes to us, with us, and with, or without , our permissions .

    I flew to Wellington from the lower south island to the ‘ Show us your Text ‘ rally? ( My friend said it looked more like political science students conducting an end of degree experiment of some kind. If I find that to be the case, I will sue Show us your text for travel expenses. I ain’t kidding. )

    So, my question is, assuming it was a bona fide attempt to gain access to The Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, where were you? And the rest of you?

    I expected thousands but instead I saw a few motley hippies thumping drums in bare feet sporting man-buns. And they got arrested and thank God for that because all that infernal drumming and kumbaya shit was driving me crazy.

    When NZ goes down the shitter we’re to blame. Not jonky. He’s just doing what his species does. Takes advantage of ignorance for giggles and money and if there’s not enough ignorance to enable his plans of attack , then create ignorance. Hello ? MSM anyone?

    When are you guys finally going to work out that seeing a problem developing is different to doing something to stop it getting worse/bigger/unstoppable/irreversible/inevitable. A stitch in time, nipping it in the bud etc.

    My suggestion would be that the next time there’s an opportunity to show your distaste with any jonky initiative , please , leave the fucking drums at home, show some respect for your cause and bare feet? WTF ?

    • I thought exactly the same countryboy, well done those people for turning up and trying to make a difference,but…….. you could have dressed in a respectable way,people don’t take scruffs seriously.

    • You are 100% Country Boy, we are in this dangerous situation because we didn’t care enough about our future generations – we just sat back and let it happen.
      Like that saying “For evil to exist – good people do nothing”.

  15. Comment lost in cyber space…trying again….

    Thanks Jane for all your hard work in helping us to understand just what this is about.
    A major challenge for those who have opposed this deal now is fatigue and discouragement. After hearing the news yesterday, I felt depressed all day, worried about the future, and I’m sure I’m not alone.
    So many people have worked really hard organising, meeting, writing letters and blogs, educating and motivating, marching and protesting, and it is disheartening to see the government signing us up to this after such strong opposition.
    So, we need to stay engaged with the 25,000 who marched in July, let them know that it ain’t over yet, and that their are excellent reasons for the fight to continue. And we need to have hope that even at this late stage, it can still be blocked.

  16. Thanks again, Jane.
    In few words it’s a takeover of the assets of New Zealand by the global corporate cabal. Their minions will move in, buy land with rubbish US dollars and dictate to whatever government in power the policy for the day.

    Interesting is that the NZ Amb in Rome has been invited to attend meeting on 16 October 2015 with Dr M T Keshe of Keshe Foundation. Dr Keshe is offering to All Ambassadors of All Countries the blueprints for FREE ENERGY in the form of Magrav-Power Universal System.
    Just think, no oil, gas, coal, hydro needed.
    Dr Keshe will roll out his energy worldwide following this meeting. Units already being manufactured in Philippines and China.

    Little wonder the TPPA was pushed thru.


    Ah grasshoppas ,…Its a clever move by the Pro TPP lobby/ PR/ media to have 30 days to spin the benefits of the deal to the public of all 12 nations ,while opposition hands are tied without the detail to respond .

    But there is an even bigger problem for all opposition groups, that of access to mainstream media once the details are available.

    Mike Hoskings,Sean Plunket,and Paul Henry (the 3 Johnocchio muppets ) all have a head start in forming public opinion , being on radio,tv,prime time and internet.

    RNZ still has balanced coverage (particularly Morning Report) but the editorial neutrality of both the RNZ and TVNZ boards are under threat long term , from National majority controlled boards .

    TV 3 and TV 1 6 pm News coverage of the worlds biggest trade deal has been embarrassingly nonexistent.

    With no Campbell live to champion the alternative view point on prime time TV, and with ownership of NZ media dominated by 4 major companies its still going to be a really hard job to get the message out to ordinary New Zealanders, once the detail is summarized.

    I have spoken with several center- left MPs’ who all are concerned about NZ media balance and letting the public make up its mind from two opposing views rather than having only one view presented to them , as fact.

    Does John Key really care if 300 people attend a university seminar on the constitutional threats of TPPA, 500 people listen to a community radio show on threats to Pharmac, or 1000 people regularly visit left wing blogs and social media on TPP ?.No, because there are just not enough people who get to hear, to significantly change public opinion.

    With his media puppets ready to roll and a 10 sec sound bite everybody knows the TPPA is a great deal by smoko.

    At some point we need to build an Alternative Media Network (including a new TV7 ) to counter mainstream propaganda.

    Pineapple lumps is brilliant.Well done savenz !

  18. I’m what would be considered for the most part an average New Zealander, I have some higher qualifications as well as a trade certificate and I come from a working class back ground – What I have found over the years is that for the most part in New Zealand, unless you have a degree, come from academia or are considered a professional in some high profile area of Government or business, your opinions really don’t seem to matter, even when you are able to qualify them – Put simply, there is a club and unless you’re in that club, you have no business having opinions or any sway on issues that most of these people consider their personal territory.

    I admire Jane for her intellect and the work she has been doing on this issue, I’m disgusted at the professional main stream media for not allowing her and others to have a greater voice in this vital debate, I’m disgusted by the Politicians from more than one party for using this issue as an opportunity to promote themselves and their own parties interests above what is morally right for new Zealand and it’s citizens in a supposedly free democratic society.

    Average New Zealander’s are not unintelligent, they are not imbeciles, they are capable of reading and researching subjects and issues that affect them and this nation, they are coming together and collectively gaining more and more knowledge on this issue and others facing the nation and the global community. Times have changed, one does not need to simply regurgitate information through years of institutional study to claim they have the intellect to be taken seriously by others.

    People are becoming aware, they are beginning to voice their concerns and opinions and outrage, they are sick and tired of being taken for granted, being condescendingly dismissed, being completely ignored by those that somehow think they are the only rightful gatekeepers of information,knowledge and power in the world.

    Many many people globally have just about had enough of this, they are sick of main stream media that only seems interested in playing spin games with serious issue facing all of us, of corporate interests of these media outlets being the main hidden agenda that pushes their coverage of world and local issues and events.

    TPP showed us that main stream media did little in the way of serious investigative journalism on this issue, one could get far more in depth and relevant information on this issue from simply googling it, or watching utube clips, or down loading wiki leaks documents. It has simply been a bad joke watching the coverage of the TPP issue in New Zealand and even worse listening to the never ending spin from politicians and talking heads in the national media.

    I don’t know Jane Kelsy, more than likely she comes from a very different world than I do – But what I do know from researching and watching Jane kelsy is that she is eminently qualified to be fighting and representing the New Zealand public’s views concerning the TPP issue, and that sadly she has so far not been allowed to honestly voice the real TPP facts enough or without ridiculous lies and false criticism from the likes of right wing media commentators like mike hoskings – The interview he did with her on Seven Sharp a month ago was a utter disgrace to any supposed professionalism that show thought it held, and I’ve seen not much better from all other main stream media in New Zealand.

    I’ve been emailing all the nations politicians for months, sending them video clips, wiki leaks information, reasonable requests for comments and responses – I have received in return for the most part
    dismissive generic out of office replies, or no reply, or from Labour, half hearted sitting on the fence rhetoric clearly designed to pander to all with an eye on voters for the next election.

    Yes they can’t reply to everyone, but that exactly the real problem, they don’t really reply to anyone ! Average people simply aren’t worthy of being replied to in an type of an honest open fashion, not personally or through the main stream media. It’ simply lie’s, lie’s and more lie’s, or spin and generic crafted bullshit were all supposed to swallow and then thank them for !.

    Time is coming when not listening to the Jane Kelsy’s of this world will seem insane to these people, time is coming that average people will demand to have their say and that the manner in which say it will no longer be with words or civility – If you decide not to give average people the right to speak or to be hear, then you will leave them no option but to make you listen, and sadly I fear the only way these people will do that is by one day waking up with an angry mob at their door step!

    I hope Jane succeeds, we the average people are behind her and with her, but the day may come when Jane will have to stand aside and the average people will be heard in the only way that these elitist types of people have really seemed to understand throughout history.

    • Agree with you 100% and hope we see true democracy at work. Sadly I doubt it ( the Elites are wayyyyyy to arrogant to take any notice) and the angry mob is waking up. Whilst I oppose violence, I wouldn’t raise a finger to help any CEO or politician or bureaucrat. Think I’ll find a nice place to watch Rome burn 🙂

  19. I apologise for putting the below paragraphs up twice (I originally put it up on Chris Trotters article) but Jane can you tell me what would happen if a Member of Parliament announced that the TTPA like say the Treaty of Waitangi is a product of Parliament and that ultimately Parliament is sovereign.

    The most concerning aspect of the TTPA is the Investor State Dispute Settlement process.

    The concern is this un-elected and foreign three man panel will dictate how NZ is run. That policies for the public good will not be enacted or will be overturned due to the fear or actuality of being sued by foreign capital.

    Right from the start our politicians should announce that Parliament is sovereign and it reserves the right to overturn any decision made by the Investor State Dispute Process. That Parliament is the final arbiter of the public good not the ISDS. That the ISDS decision making power for New Zealand is a creation of Parliament, gets its authority from Parliament and ultimately is answerable to Parliament. That kiwis have fought for democracy, that women and workers have campaigned long and hard for representation, that Maori with the spirit of Treaty of Waitangi has its place in Parliament. That at the end of the day these are more important than some three man panel.

    My wife and young kids are Finnish and we could live in Finland but we choose to live in New Zealand. It is the place I feel I belong and in part due to the lack of sovereignty in Finland, I believe New Zealand gives more opportunity to my wife and kids.

    You see Finland is a proud and successful country -in WW2 it had to fight off both Stalin and Hitler to keep its sovereignty. But for the last 20 years it has walked down the path of giving away chunks of sovereignty to the EU in exchange for ‘trade’. Politicians and civil servants have made lifelong careers creating new structures for this ‘trade’. But they were not democratic structures and when tested by the GFC they were found to be inadequate. Now there is no way for Finland to walk back up the path to full sovereignty and there is no electoral ‘reset’ button.

    I challenge our MPs to announce that Parliament is always sovereign and it reserves the right to overturn any decisions made by the Investor State Dispute Process. That Parliament is the final arbiter of the public good not the ISDS. And let us see if any Member of Parliament or even Prime Minister -current or former will announce that actually there is now a higher power.

  20. Kia Ora and many thanks Jane,

    The tireless efforts of you and many others can be attributed to Groser putting some effort into it. And do you agree that there is at least some silver lining in that there isn’t as much incentive for ever more dairy conversions to produce commodity products and further pollute our rivers?

    I’d like to get a clear set of talking points to pull out when the need arises, here’s my starter, keen to see others improve on it, though be good to remain reasonably brief.

    1. Groser and Key have traded away a lot on behalf of the public for very meagre returns that will in any case only benefit a few. (Socialise the losses, Privatise the profits, AGAIN! And don’t dare try to bring up the trickle down bullshit.)

    They told us we would get a much better quality deal and they fell far short.

    And because the Public have not been trusted to see the full text there is so much we don’t know.

    2. The rights we seem to have lost include;
    – controlling sale of land to foreigners,
    – legislating for public policy in many areas in the future, and even position with Tobacco is unclear (maybe it’s the sacrifice they were prepared to give away?)
    – increased cost of drugs,
    – sovereignty risked via ISDS in ways we just won’t know until it happens, and then we can’t appeal the decisions of some odd tribunal or other,
    – commercial interests have new rights to influence Govt policy and regulation. Can they sue if they don’t think their views have been reasonably considered?

    3. What we gain includes;
    – at best $2.7b by 2030 (although the real number might be much lower, can’t tell yet, and most of this will only go to very few),
    – better access for a small number of products with tariffs lowering over a long time, and potentially lots of tricky conditions
    – maybe some other stuff somewhere in the future?


  21. Are we allowed to remain nuclear free? Or can we be sued for restricitve trade practices because our refusal to use nuclear power plants is not “sciene based”?

  22. Surely anyone who conspires to strip Parliament of its sovreign powers, now and for the future, is committing a treason? Should we let Mrs Winsor know?

  23. Tautoko Jane Kelsey, continuing to keep us informed, educate more people to counter the spin so we continue to fight. I hope Congress implodes. Tim Groser claims that despite a ‘few dead rats’ there is plenty of ”foie gras” in the TPP to make for a tasty trade package. There are so many things wrong with his use of this metaphor on so many levels. Foie gras? Made from the livers of ducks or geese suffered force feeding until they literally BURST. It is consumed by very very very posh people like Tim with lots and lots of filthy lucre and absolutely no compassion or morals. The Elite. Tim Groser enjoys eating his foie gras probably with a vintage Champagne or a Sauterne. I hope he flipping well bursts. I think the fact he uses such a ridiculous metaphor demonstrates how hopelessly stuck in his deluded psychopathic fantasy world he really is.

  24. Here is a thought. Not too long ago NZ created a Consul General position in Hawaii.That overpaid and underworked free-loader(probably a National Party supporter by the way)received a nice $6.2(if not more)million dollar ‘home’ that the NZ taxpayers paid for. And so over $6million of our money went to a place in Hawaii to accommodate ONLY 2 people i.e the Consul General and his wife.And yet this government reneged on giving the families of the Pike River 29 a mere $3million in compensation?!I get the feeling the creation of the Consul General job in Hawaii was because Key well knew a long, long time ago the TPPA would go ahead.He claims everything was secret but it is obvious he knew and most likely Groser and the rest of the National government MPs knew the TPPA would go ahead. Any delays were just tactics to give the illusion democracy existed. I still get the impression that the official explanation for the creation of the NZ Consul General job in Hawaii was ‘for military reasons’ and indication that since the signing of the TPPA we are now likely to see US nuclear armed or powered vessels in NZ waters with their ‘neither confirm nor deny’ policy and on the pretext that their visits are due to TPPA terms.
    We have been told that the TPPA will be discused in parliament etc,etc,etc. Now considering the National government has what appears to be a ‘majority rule’ in parkiament I am sure any voices within that government that are against the TPPA will be ignored.In fact it seems the whole National government are all for the TPPA but then most National government MPs are mult-millionaires who don’t really give a toss about NZers outside of election year. There will be not one voice of reason within the National government that opposes the TPPA. Even the Moari Party will obey their master because all the Maori Party MPs care about is their very OWN pay packets and perks of the job. ACT and United Future may as well be another form of the National Party because they too ONLY look after Number One i.e themselves.
    Sir Ed once made a correct observation and that is he never knew or met an honest politician. The elusiveness of this government to avoid hard hitting questions etc shows how dishonest it has been ever since becoming government in 2008.
    To date this governments’ track record on many matters whether it’s conservation of NZ land,ecology, environment, it’s gross neglect on matters like NZers languishing in Aussie detention centres,etc,etc,etc leaves alot to be desired. It’s absolute contempt of those even seeking compensation like what happened at Pike River shows something that is rotten to the core of the Key government. Their, this governments’, obsession for money from whomever/where-ever and it’s eagerness to spend money that has not even come from within the coffers of the very National Party shows it is unacceptable to even rational thinking NZers of a true government.
    I wish we could be rid of this lot as they do not merit respect or recognition in any way for their antics. But I am sure somewhere down the line we will be hearing of Sir Tim Groser or even Sir John Key. Two rats who feathered their own nests because ego reigns supreme with such person.

  25. I guess my question is, is this government acting in the interests of New Zealanders and if not is their some legal grounds to have them removed from office?

    Maybe have the Govenor General dismiss them as happened to the Whitlam government in Australia?

  26. Thanks for an informative article considering how little has been released of the text of the deal.
    I look forward to your excellent analysis in plain English.

  27. Jane,
    I dont do letters to the editor etc, as they have never been published.
    There are many things about this TPPA that alarm me.
    The fact that it is secret to the NZ public I believe places this government
    in a treasonous position,right alongside every editor,talking head,blogger,
    and public figure,that sides with them.
    I note that of late, articles extolling the virtues of genetic modification, are
    showing up,this could be the onset of a horror scenario where one, (or more) of the multi-nationals, could be pedaling death.
    This is not purely emotive talk, as the wheels are falling off GM in many
    countries around the world already… we actually want to talk to these
    Should this be the case and we find to our disgust, that what I’ve just
    written is indeed the case,then we’re stuck with it it’s over.
    Maybe what we’re allowed to discuss is just the most acceptable stuff!!!!!
    How about milk from GM planted farms? China’s position on this is?..
    I don’t write well. I’d like a few minutes of your precious time one day.
    I can’t thank you enough for caring about the future of NZ.

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