Let’s Not Lose Our Tempers: If John Key wants a riot outside Sky City – don’t give him one



ON THE FACE OF IT John Key has made a serious tactical blunder. By insisting on hosting the signing of the Trans-pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) in New Zealand, just two days before Waitangi Day, at the country’s most notorious beneficiary of crony capitalism, he would appear to have given his opponents an unparalleled opportunity to rally their forces and reinvigorate their campaign.

Frankly, I’m suspicious. Because John Key is not prone to making tactical blunders. Which raises the worrying possibility that the readily predictable consequences of his decision – mass protest action outside Sky City, with a high probability of violence and property damage – may be exactly what he wants to happen.

The Chinese philosopher-general, Sun Tzu, wrote: “If your enemy is of choleric temper – irritate him.”

Few would argue that, at present, the opponents of the TPPA are in a very bad mood indeed. Even fewer would suggest that they have not been extremely irritated by the National Government’s decision to host the official signing of the TPPA at Sky City in Auckland on 4 February.

Is John Key setting them up?

That might be the case if it was within John Key’s power to refuse to host (or, at least, delay) the signing ceremony. To decline this honour (as the NZ Herald describes it) would, however, involve a tremendous loss of face by Key’s government. It was, after all, New Zealand that set the whole process in motion more than a decade ago. It would be an unthinkable humiliation for its government to ask another signatory to host the signing ceremony.

But if Key has no option but to host the signing of the TPPA, he most certainly does have a choice as to where it takes place. Which raises the question: Why Sky City? The ceremony could just as easily have been staged at the exclusive Millbrook Resort outside Queenstown. This was where President Clinton stayed in 1999, and where the Intelligence Directors of the “Five Eyes” nations gathered just a few years ago. Far away from New Zealand’s major cities, and easily defensible by a relatively small number of police and security personnel, the Millbrook Resort would not only have offered splendid “visuals” but also the smallest chance of disruption.

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Which brings us back to Sun Tzu.

What does the Prime Minister know, that the people he is goading into besieging the Sky City complex do not know?

My best guess is that over the summer, Key and his pollster, David Farrar, have been drilling down deep into New Zealanders’ thoughts and feelings about the TPPA. Judging by the Government’s actions, this is what they have discovered.

That most New Zealanders are quite relaxed about the TPPA. Any fears Kiwis may have had about it in 2015 were allayed by a combination of Helen Clark’s pre-Christmas endorsement of the agreement, and the mainstream media’s generally positive coverage of the final draft. The media has painted the TPPA as being nowhere near as bad as even some of its supporters feared it would be, and that, overall, it will be of considerable benefit to New Zealand Inc.

It is also highly likely that the polling data has revealed the opponents of the TPPA to also be dyed-in-the-wool opponents of John Key and the National Government. Such people can be used, as they were used in the 2014 “Dirty Politics” furore, to reinforce the prejudices of National supporters, and shift the views of those who describe themselves as being undecided. This is especially likely if they can be manoeuvred into behaving in ways that cause “mainstream New Zealanders” to view them as irrational and potentially dangerous “nutters”.

Something John Key is reported as saying in this morning’s (22/1/16NZ Herald also makes me think that Farrar’s polling may have revealed that Prof Jane Kelsey is viewed by a majority of New Zealanders as being akin, politically, to Nicky Hager. That is to say, as a left-wing “stirrer” hell-bent on embarrassing the Government. How else should we interpret this morning’s thrust from the Prime Minister:

“I suspect people who are vehemently opposed are, broadly speaking, opposed to free trade agreements because the arguments they have put up have been proven to be incorrect. It doesn’t matter how many times we say Jane Kelsey is actually wrong, in the end she doesn’t want to believe she is wrong, and the people that follow her don’t want to believe that.”

When I read those words, my instant reaction was “uh-oh”. A politician doesn’t dismiss someone of Jane Kelsey’s standing in those terms unless he is pretty damn sure that a majority of the electorate already shares his views.

If that is the case, then an angry protest, or, worse, a violent riot, outside the Sky City complex will rebound, almost entirely, to the Government’s advantage. Not only it will reinforce the prejudices of Key’s supporters, but it will also alienate those who are still making up their mind on the TPPA.

It is, therefore, vitally important that any protest against the signing of the TPPA be absolutely non-violent. Every effort must be made to persuade anyone planning on forming, or joining, some sort of “Black Block”, to refrain from doing so. Masked militants are a gift to agent provocateurs from the security services. The experience of mass, anti-capitalist protests overseas is that Black Blocks are easily infiltrated and used to supply the mainstream media with the most provocative and violent footage from the protests.

The fight against the TPPA must not be waged on the streets – where John Key wants it to be waged – but in the hearts and minds of those New Zealanders who are still not sure that the agreement will, in the end, be good for their country.

If John Key wants a riot at Sky City, then that’s the very last thing the anti-TPPA movement should give him.



  1. Anyone with any sense will stay well clear of Sky City on 4 February. I will be very surprised if there is not a major riot.

  2. Once again, as the crucible of fire approaches brave Sir Chris chickens out, runs away and counsels that fear guides every action. Dont you bemoan in at least half your posts the abject failure of the unions to call a general strike to oppose the employment contracts act? Turn your argument around. Key understands that his base doesnt care about the substance of his policies along as they feel they are aligned to their values. His base is driven by prejudice and emotion, no rational argument will prevail. So why not underline the cost of his poll driven politics by trashing Queen street in front of the worlds media? Key cant control the foreign press. Sure, to fight would be to lose. But havent we been losing for years now? So why not give him his fight, but make sure it is such a fight that his “victory” is Phyric?

    • During Lyndon-Johnson’s visit I decided I was opposed to the Vietnam war. I looked at the portrayal of the earnest demonstrators in the Herald and on our black and white TV, and concluded that however much those earnest demonstrators believed that they would change the world, the unfavourable photos and publicity spewed out by our media would always turn the vast majority of the unaware public against them, and so it happened. Futile.

      Why do you now believe that if the violence is extreme enough the outcome will be any different? Sorry, Sanctuary, but I think Chris is right, and if the violence is even greater, the likelihood is that JK will exploit it even more, rather than the demonstrators suddenly achieving a breakthrough.

      A losing game is bloody hard to change.

    • I’m kind of in two minds about the whole “let’s throw a bucketful of dog turds at the PM” school of thought. I wholly understand the anger and frustration over being ignored, lied to and treated with contempt by a government that obviously has no interest in governing for the majority. I frequently feel it myself, (especially when I’m masochistic enough to read the Herald). But I’m also aware that Key is both cunning and manipulative; and I harbour a bone-deep suspicion that he’ll use any civil unrest to shrilly claim, “Look! The ferals, the beneficiaries and the communists are all domestic terrorists! They’re burning down the Four Square and sitting on your late model European car! I told you we needed the SIS and GSCB to keep an eye on them, and I was right!”

      Don’t let this become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and don’t give Key the ammunition he needs to shoot you in the face. Because he will.

  3. The fight against the TPPA must not be waged on the streets – where John Key wants it to be waged – but in the hearts and minds of those New Zealanders who are still not sure that the agreement will, in the end, be good for their country.

    Nearly impossible to do the new New Zealand landscape without cameras upon you.

      • It’s good that a petition is being filed, I’ve even signed it myself. My concern is that Gregory Baughen, Official Secretary to our Governor-General, will block the petition going to Mateparae, unless the stipulated address is directly to our GG. Baughen has blocked my letter from the Queen to Mateparae. I also believe that Baughen has a finger in security to parliament.

        • If I were Jerry Mateparae, I’d be pretty incensed that this Gregory Baughen person presumes to act as an intercept between the people of New Zealand and the role of Governor-General. In fact, I’d be inclined to invite him into my office for a “conversation” about just that.

          • @ Wensleydale –

            I agree with the sentiments of your comments.

            However, if you look at the way GG Jerry Mateparae was put into the vice regal position by the PM, I feel he is part of FJK’s game of power, to enable the sell off to foreign corporates.

            In other words and while I’m saying the GG is probably not dishonest, he is nevertheless being used as a tool to sanctify corruption and treason!

  4. I disagree with your assumption that most NZ’rs are relaxed about the TPPA, taking MSM as your point of reference. That is certainly the message being played on repeat, but the reality is somewhat different I predict. If Duncan Garner’s Radio Live Poll taken 2 days ago is anything to go by – and we are talking RADIO LIVE – 80% against TPPA! There is ample expert analysis being released currently which certainly does NOT allay fears that the agreement is better than predicted. I urge EVERYONE interested in finding out more to come along to the the ‘Don’t Sign’ Tour – a series of public meetings on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) from 26 to 31st January. Lori Wallach, Director of US consumer group Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and the foremost critical commentator on TPPA in Washington DC.

    ‘Lori Wallach knows more about the troubled politics of the TPPA in Washington than probably even the White House’, said Professor Jane Kelsey who will be accompanying Ms Wallach on the speaking tour.


    Regarding the potential of a riot…everyone involved in the
    ‘It’s Our Future’ rally being organised on the 4th Feb in Queen Street, is explicitly against violence at the event, and is clearly stating that in all advertising of the event. Violent action will not be tolerated, and the event organisers have a very good relationship with the Police stemming from successful past TPPA rallies.

    As for peaceful civil disobedience – that is the right of every citizen who feels that their Government has firmly shut the door on democratic discourse and representation for 6 years – they have point blank refused to engage with our professionals, industry representatives and the public. This is not the functioning of a Democracy and many New Zealander’s have quite understandably had enough!!

    • Exactly. If The John Key is so confident about NZers acceptance of the TPPA then why didn’t he put it to a referendum? Is there any pro-TPPAers here that are willing to answer that simple question? It could have been included either as part of the last general election and currently on the flag referendum for ZERO additional cost. Oh I know, it’s because “we don’t know what’s good for us”. In that case, why do we even have general elections in the first place?

      • Nitrium – thats what makes me so livid! The “left” have bothered to research and educate themselves about the TPPA. The “right” are satisfied with casual statements from their PM which attack the man and not the ball.

        Most National supporters appear to be complete fucking morons.

        • The “Right” are just like Donald Trump supporters, remember the Exclusive Bretheren Don Brash’s Orewa Speech, National Support jumped 17%, that is the intellect we are dealing with here in NZ for those on the rabid right. Key likes playing the fear card, hence the threat of Police Riot Squads, National playing the fear card, will have been briefed by Crosby Textor.

        • The mentality appears to be Daddy voted National therefore Mummy voted National therefore I must vote National regardless of facts or policy……..yes in a nutshell complete fucking morons

  5. ” Opponents of the tppa are in a bad mood” well given that nearly every poll I’ve seen puts opposition at at least 85% I’d say the majority of the country is pretty pissed off at the moment!

  6. It has taken years to bring the skulker Key out into the open. This must be his Gaugamela – the moment his vile satrapy is broken.

  7. Objection to the TPP is not the sole turf of the looney left wing rent-a-crowd, as our PM insulted us after the last protest. There are many traditional National supporters who are totally against this treaty and for good reason who attend these protests and are very vocal online. Expect there to be a cross section of NZ at Sky City (if that is the venue as no one has confirmed this). Peaceful protest has netted absolutely zero success so far.

  8. For all we know Key may want a riot so he can bring his mates the Americans in to atamp out any opposition. Meaning bring in American troops because the natives(NZers)are getting restless and argumentative and we all know Key doesn’t want to listen to NZers.
    To date John Key has built up an abysmal track record of failing to listen or even consider NZers. He sleeps with the wealthy and to Hades with NZers.The ONLY usefulness NZers have for Key and co’s scheme of things is at election time.

  9. Now we are considering Chinese strategy and warfare, do we?

    Well, of course a riot or serious unrest would somehow suit John Key, and it would possibly motivate the “silent majority” in public to stand behind their government (just to defend the law and order, sort of). It may even motivate Andrew Little, having public sentiment on his mind, to stand by John Key, to stand up for maintenance of “the peace”, kind of.

    I would not promote violence, but would also not be surprised, if some smart protestors start right at Auckland Airport, confronting the signatory country delegates and representatives with banners and loud speakers. They may climb up the Sky Tower and bungy jump with large banners against the TPPA signing here, at Sky City Convention Centre.

    There may be occupations of the streets, there may be protests and pickets outside the hotels where the “dignitaries” stay, and there may be action across a number of places, over the days the various governmental diplomats are here, so that the media get enough opportunity to report.

    Yes, the MSM, and of course those that dare question anyway, may be informed on a continual basis, by press releases and messages, where certain organisations will take action, ensuring cameras, microphones and reporters are on site.

    I can imagine some people having many ideas, as Sky City is just one place, and who knows, they may have smarter ideas than simply inviting police and security to crack down with force. They may outsmart them this time, and have running “battles”, that is without smashing things, down the streets, teasing them.

    So let us see, what may happen, something will happen, I won’t be surprised about anything, and they may as well include Parliament and Waitangi in the protest program, that should run over a week or more.

    Kia Kaha All!

  10. Looks like MSM are winding this up already, certainly not very democratic the whole process, however we voted him in and the people who did not vote technically endorsed the National Party.

    Hopefully the NZ Police and the Protesters don’t get silly like the Springbok Tour Debacle?

    • For those people who did not vote, it doesn’t mean it’s an endorsement for the National Party, it’s quite the opposite, in fact.

    • You’ve got quite a good satiric sense of humor – which I’m thinking you’re using now – but if not I suspect you were not around during the Tour. The big thing was how the protests were all over the country and that most of them were peaceful, with more violence directed towards protesters than the other way around. And also that they were full of people from all ages and stages and group. So I hope the protests are the same – that everyone who can goes along and encourages others to also because the more diversity the harder it is for MSM to go “rent a crowd”, “same old lot” etc.

      • Interesting one our most revered All Black Captains Wilson Whineray
        was against the Springbok Tour and went skiing instead.

  11. “The fight against the TPPA must not be waged on the streets – where John Key wants it to be waged – but in the hearts and minds of those New Zealanders who are still not sure that the agreement will, in the end, be good for their country.”

    The question is though, how can you convince the “hearts and minds” of those that are not so sure? When the MSM have already made their own assessment, and when this means the public hear damned little that is different, and when most “ordinary” New Zealanders cannot bother reading complex agreements and clauses, you will not succeed to get any change at all.

    We are simply stuck in a catch 22, it seems, so let us do the same with the election next year, just try to appeal to the “hearts and minds” of people, with a media that largely does not really inform them much.

    You cannot have a functioning democracy without informed voters!

    RIP democracy, I say.

    • Notice the pro govt. propaganda plug for the TPP in the final paragraph.

      The NZ Herald always delivers for its paymasters.

    • While we’re doing Sun Tzu “If you would be eternally victorious, attack where there is no defence”.

    • You may mean St Stephens Ave, do you, or not?

      Parnell is full of people who dislike protests, there will be massive police present there too, should any pickets be set up and banners suddenly appear.

      In that case there will be firm lines in front of one mansion with a large pool in the area, rest assured.

  12. Sage words from Mr Trotter.

    As this is a time for cool heads and registering opposition in tangible terms that the media cannot manipulate … not a time for firebrands who appear to have no emotional control over themselves …as that is all the undecideds will see…

    And if Key wants to justify his over the top powers hes given to the GSCB , SIS and Police , – a violent protest would be just the ticket for him.

    Therefore , ( as Im sure most will be peaceable ) we need to do exactly what he least expects – not falling like raging bulls into the trap he wishes the demonstration to degenerate into.

    Your MSM media would have a field day with Police footage of offenders and the ‘ ongoing ‘ viewing of the footage day after day – long after the leaders have all gone home. And all we would have left is that issue – completely diverting attention away from what the demonstration was really all about.

    And adding a ‘criminal ‘ element to the whole affair instead.

    Just right up Keys ally.

    The very act of filling the downtown CBD would be more than enough. Yes , be loud, be vocal , and of one accord… and that will be seen globally… stimulating even more discussion.

    So don’t play into Keys hand and no violence.

    That evil little manipulator has had more than enough time playing politics with us in the balance. Don’t give him the opportunity. And that’s playing it smart.

    • The police will definitely be provocative to achieve the required outcome. Potentially most maybe still locked up to give JK a smooth run into Waitangi day.

  13. This is a battle that John Key has already won, mainly thanks for having the media on his side. Everyone knows that a riot will take place. No matter how small it’s going to be, even if it’s just a couple of idiots scuffling with the cops – the media will focus on it, and on it alone. So whether you turn up or you don’t, the battle for the hearts and minds is lost.

    Therefore it’s not at all about the hearts and minds. It’s only about yourself. Stay home and say I’m not going to be part of it. Or turn up, and be part of the non-violent protest. Just so that you can look your kids in the eyes in 20 years time and say – I tried to prevent it.

  14. Bravo Chris Trotter. I agree with everything that you’ve said.
    John Key knows he has a serious fight in his hands because of the respectability and credibility of anti-TPPA protesters: teachers, nurses, doctors,mothers,fathers, scholars, students, builders, artists retirees, etc. I have been to almost every TPPA protest there has been in Christchurch. The quality and range of people attending is incredibly impressive. Also impressive is the high quality of letters and op-eds submitted to The Press. John Key has a problem and he knows it. The world will be watching us on Feb 4th. Let us show them what the country that first gave women the democratic right to vote has to say about TPPA’s attack on our democracy and sovereignty.Let us show the world what the country that stood up against the ‘club’ to win the right to stay nuclear-free has to say about joining the TPPA club of greedy multinationals who care about nothing else but their profits.

  15. If Key is so goddamn sure Jane Kelsey is wrong, then let him debate her on national TV and prove it.Put up or shut up Johnny.

    • Good thought, but it will never happen, or only, if Mike Hosking “hosts” the debate (ensuring Key gets it his way).

      Forget the MSM on this and many other topics, they are themselves now largely staffed by desperate mercenaries, all worried about the few jobs that there still are in “media” these days.

      They will report as their bosses and owners expect them to, in suit and tie, with neat dresses, and made up faces under a flash hair-do.

  16. If Key is so goddamn sure Jane Kelsey is wrong, then let him debate her on national TV and prove it.Put up or shut up Johnny.

    • Key wouldn’t have a clue what he is signing his paymasters will be giving him and Groser instructions.

  17. Then fight against TPPA shold be waged everywhere! Online, on the streets, personally, and covert. It’s just not fair, period!

  18. Not only is Sky City, as you put it, “the country’s most notorious beneficiary of crony capitalism”, it’s about as central as it could get. He can hardly make it more convenient for demonstrators to surround if he holds the signing in Britomart Station.

    At the same time it’s a completely unappealing place for limosines to pull up to, or photo ops, but I guess he can take selected cronies up the Hypodermic.

    The obvious place if not Millbrook for scenery, as you suggest, would have been the Old Legislative Chamber, followed by nibbles and drinkies in the Great Hall, and Parliament is well used to large demonstrations.

    So yes, I think you may be right, and if some foreign poohbah literally gets egg on his face, followed by teargas and taserinng overkill, so much the better for him.

    • Kiss the Treaty of Waitangi goodbye which is what most of the National Party and their supporters will be wishing for?

      I get the feeling this is all orchestrated by Crosby Textor and the National Party strategists to coincide with Waitangi Day, New Zealands founding document.

      The problem is we have these new immigrants Key and Groser who work on Corporate Ideology, learn’t in the Neo Liberal Universities and on Wall St, these people do not actually care about the average New Zealander, they are working to US Corporate Manual.

  19. What particularly dismay’s me about this TPPA deal are two things:

    [1] That our crap negotiators did not even bother to protect the sovereign right of our future parliaments to be able to change the overseas investment laws if they so wished, as regards the non resident foreign entities buying our lands without us incurring punitive measures in return. The negotiators from Singapore, Australia and Malaysia were better clued on and did not permit such a situation to occur for their own countries.

    [2] As for as I know, this trade deal will be ratified by Key and his CABINET, rather than by a parliamentary majority vote! That is total treachery, a complete disgrace and a huge disrespect to our parliament, our democracy and to ALL the people of this country.

    I think every MP, of every party, including National and ACT, whether they support or oppose the TPPA, should oppose that cabinet supremacy and insist on a parliamentary vote for ratification because the issue is too important and has lasting consequences.

  20. I do agree with Trotter that the most effective protest would be a peaceful protest.

    In fact a multitude of a huge gathering with their mouths covered would be symbolic, stunning and more effective than shouting, swearing, slogans and riots. Those are counter productive and weakens our case against TPPA in my opinion.

    Of course, the main speakers could still give their analysis and speeches.

    • An adequate protest will be one in which the foreign press go home with the knowledge that Key is an unpopular tin pot dictator – burning in effigy is one way this can be made clear to them, as is disruption of the meeting.

      Peaceful protest can be powerful but it must still express unequivocal resistance to oppression. And be really careful people – Key is the kind of brutal thug who will cheerfully send police to club peaceful protestors. If you are effective, you can expect to get hurt.

  21. It’s good that a petition is being filed, I’ve even signed it myself. My concern is that Gregory Baughen, Official Secretary to our Governor-General, will block the petition going to Mateparae, unless the stipulated address is directly to our GG. Baughen has blocked my letter from the Queen to Mateparae. I also believe that Baughen has a finger in security to parliament.

    • @ Trevor Mills –

      I can tell you why Baughen will be blocking communication to the GG. Up until recently (approximately a year), he was working as part of the PM’s office team! That tells you something doesn’t it? Key has a henchman as part of the GG’s staff now!

  22. “The fight against the TPPA must not be waged on the streets – where John Key wants it to be waged – but in the hearts and minds of those New Zealanders who are still not sure that the agreement will, in the end, be good for their country.”

    That’s utter madness, Chris. I don’t want a riot as much as the next reasonable citizen, but you are NOT going to defeat the TPPA by simply THINKING about it, if protesting doesn’t work and petitions won’t work, and a referendum isn’t made available. All we the public can do is not vote for those that agree to it in the House upon ratification, and if that happens to be the only recourse of any real consequence we have, then I’m afraid that pretty bloody poor, isn’t it?

  23. You might think Key is more important Chris, but it’s our sovereignty, our futures and the future of our country that we are fighting for. Soon John key will be long gone, swanning the corridors of the Fed Reserve to some cushy obscenely overpaid job in an obscenely plush office for his role in the sell out hatchet job on NZ, while we will be left with his shambolic damage of monumental proportions for generations to come. We don’t have to be violent, but let’s show John key how angry we are at his lies and treasonous betrayals and then lets ensure that he and his band of thieves called ministers get kicked out of office.

  24. A silent vigil at every war memorial in New Zealand in honour of those who sacrificed themselves for our sovereignty, now cruelly ceded at the stroke of a pen.

  25. I have just finished watching on you tube ;

    ‘Into the fire ‘… about the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto Canada , and if this is anything to go by with Key and his lies…. THIS is the scenario that could easily happen here.

    1100 people were arrested on an archaic 71 year old law …


    Press For Truth Presents Into The Fire

    World leaders and activists from around the world gathered for the G20 Summit. With over 19,000 police officers and security personnel on hand, the results lead to over 1100 arrests, martial law in downtown Toronto, and the most massive violation of civil liberties in Canadian history.


    It was appalling. The Police there were nothing short of absolute maggots.

    The film is a good two hours long but I STRONGLY advise you to view it. As this is the sort of length and breadth taken by these world ‘leaders’…

    You will see them in their true light .

    This is also why it is imperative that demonstrations are peaceful giving no leeway at all for Keys justifications for giving excessive powers to the Police .

    • Just finished watching it. Wow. Just… wow.

      If this is the sort of thing we can expect in downtown Auckland come February the 4th, we’re in for a master-class in sabotage, covert thuggery and outright abuse of power. I’d like to think that the New Zealand Police wouldn’t debase themselves in this fashion, but “uniforms” and “orders” have a way of turning the most benign public servant into a baton-wielding menace — more so when they’re marching in lock-step and confronted with mouthy hippies disturbing the peace.

    • I agree wild kapito, as usual, – non violent civil disobedience is our right but violence only flames the fuel of the military style police and our idiot OUT OF TOUCH P.M. who only thinks he knows the motives and truths behind Kelsey and Hager. Those two have more intellect and integrity and morals under their baby finger nail than Jonkey Donkey has in his whole body. His stupidity and lies continue to shine light on his many flaws and many faults and greedy alliances. Most thinking people know that TPPA is wrong and is not about what is best for people; the environment or any country BUT ONLY TO BENEFIT THE GREEDY CORPORATIONS AND PROTECT THEIR INVESTMENTS.

      The military style police are just following the U.S. lead regarding riot control and not respecting the will and freedom of speech of the masses. Of course John Key is fearful of the masses and of course many do not welcome him to Waitangi Day. He and his elitist govt. – owned and dictated to by the NWO upper 1 % ers and the corporate gangsters and bankster criminals are partly , if not massively, responsible for instigating this kind of civil unrest. They knew long ago that the masses would rise up and as we all know – THE PEOPLE UNITED – WILL NOT BE DEFEATED, as long as it remains non violent.
      Lets hope that many thousands come out and show their disgust for this horrendous TPPA.
      It still has a long ways to go and almost a year of Congressional work so it will not be implemented very soon even if our govt. signs it, which they will. We have idiots at the helm, unfortunately.

  26. I think Chris has badly underestimated how much JK has trashed his perception of honesty among voters.

    Two readers polls had voters believing key was not telling the truth by very large margins
    Fairfax-Ipsos August 2013
    Leader Trust —- Fully believe John Key ? Yes 24%, No 59%

    And a poll regarding Nicky Hagars revelations that the GCSB was spying on our pacific neighbors/friends…….

    “An online unscientific Herald poll of up to 11,600 people showed more than 50 per cent of people said they were “fine with it”. Some 42 per cent replied to say they were “incensed – this is unacceptable”. Six per cent did not believe the claims were true.” ….. John Key said the claims were not true …… six percent believed him. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11412551

    So although Keys personal support ratings do not match his abysmal honesty ones it will bite him eventually …… when the issue is important to enough New Zealanders ……………

    I think Keys embarrassing flop when wheeled into the Northland Sabin by-election against Winston showed this ………… from voters who had been tricked and lied to by Key and Co in a particularly foul way ….

    And Northland partially showed the way of how to sweep the corrupt nats from power …………. mmp stylz 🙂

  27. Really? You really believe the majority of New Zealanders oppose the TPPA? Hate to say it brothers but you lot are a bunch of hairy smelly extremists who really have no voice because you have pushed yourselves so wide that your playing on a different pitch. You will never be taken seriously while you talk about civil unrest and disruption… Sure you may win a bit of coverage in the papers but is that a strategic win? Or is all you want a bit of front page imagery to stoke your flaccid egos… You will never achieve any change being idiots….

    • An early election may very well see John key relinquish his power, you mean. Don’t think key can rig the next election so easily like he did with the last 2, after this.

        • Labour have more of their act together than no clues National, but their media friends won’t tell you that, and Labour are not lost as some people like to think.

  28. We could all just turn our back when he and his dignitaries arrive.

    Simply turn around and show your backs.

  29. While some of us will view Chris’ position expressed in his post above as being “defeatist”, it is not really so.

    We must stay a step ahead of Key and his cronies and the mercenaries like police that they use. Indeed, this appears to have been a well thought out strategy by John Key, probably planned late last year.

    Having the signing take place here, and directly in the centre of Auckland, where many protesters will be expected, is the ideal opportunity for Key and associates to set us all up, and use the opportunity to firmly crack down on remaining dissent among the population, and to then consolidate hold on power.

    A well staged scenario, where pictures show police battling with violent or abusive protestors, or both, and using pepper spray, perhaps batons and more, that will get more doubters on Key’s side, as Key will claim, law and order, peace is under threat.

    That will be used to crack down, and those being cracked down will lose yet more credit in the eyes of the so-called “silent majority”, who know little, follow the herd and prefer to just work, consume and pursue careers and home ownership dreams.

    So it pays to be very mindful of this, and to prepare all protests and actions well, and to not let yourselves be provoked. Be there, be firm, hold the lines, be vocal and be seen, but don’t let them exploit over-reaction and situations called “breaking the peace”.

    Those that may opt to non violent action, civil disobedience, make sure you have support right around you, stay in groups, and do not hit back, unless it is in justified self defence.

    This is Key’s attempt to consolidate his power, by using the protests, to get a fourth term in government.

  30. Why not block off sky city with people walking around the block? A solid wall of people who are just walking around the block. It’s non violent, and nobody is breaking the law, just a group of people who are walking around the block.

  31. >> Masked militants are a gift to agent provocateurs from the security services. The experience of mass, anti-capitalist protests overseas is that Black Blocks are easily infiltrated and used to supply the mainstream media with the most provocative and violent footage from the protests. <<

    Chris's argument essentially boils down a suggestion that the TPP signing at Sky City is Key's mousetrap, see the doco 'Berlusconi's Mousetrap' about the 2001 G8 protests in Genoa (https://vimeo.com/8672001). If those overseas experiences are anything to do by, even if every single anti-TPP protester is totally non-violent, the cops will supply their own masked "black blockers" to carry out violent acts, at places and times that the cops are ready to use them as an excuse for their own violence against non-violent demonstrators.

    Since we're quoting Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War' also says:
    "…the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him."

    As Bomber says elsewhere on this site, if the establishment want a riot for propaganda purposes, they'll attempt to engineer one. The problem is that staying home gives the impression of supporting the TPPA, which is a propaganda win too. What other options do we have for imposing our democratic will on our elected representatives?

    'The Art of Wars goes on to say:
    "Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly to places where you are not expected."

    If the cops are gathered en masse at Sky City in full riot gear, they will be stretch this everywhere else. What about making a list of protest targets that stand to benefit from the TPP at the public expense, and have large flying pickets, moving randomly from one to another all day, by picking targets out of hat? Each decent size organisation that wants to join the protest could run its own flying picket, organising transportation, snacks etc for its picketers. A media liason in each picket could inform the media when their picket arrives at each target, keeping them scrambling and competing for coverage, instead of the easy riot porn they expect to make at Sky City.

    This way we avoid going where Key, his enforcers, and his pet propoganda agencies expect us. We create more opportunities to connect with the general public and discuss the TPP with them as they go about their day. Also, we demonstrate the range of corporate welfare beneficiaries the TPP is designed to benefit, and how the different clauses in the TPP text do that at public expense.

    • A couple of other ideas.

      What about day long Occupations of public parks, ‘anti-TPP picnics’? This would provide an accessible, sociable way to express their opposition to the TPP, and meet others who are liked-minded, and would be very hard to spin as a “riot”.

      Another thing to consider is, how do we hold the corporate “news” media responsible for failing to ask politicians the rights questions and demand answers, and for working with the NatACTs to misrepresent the anti-TPP movement. News organisations have offices, and studios, and retail outlets, and various other potential protest targets. I like the idea of using protests against biased media as a vehicle for putting forward corrections of the spin they uncritically broadcast.

      • All of these are good and tactical.

        It would be how a prolonged and sustained resistance should always be planned.

        Loud drums with not a word announcing the arrival…others with the bagpipes, yet others at night holding a candlelight vigil…the creative methods are endless.

        A children’s day out with rides and face painting… you are then making protest family friendly and are NORMALIZING resistance and thus discussion.

        And not one time can the sickness of John Key be used against anybody . And the other benefit is this:

        It makes a total mockery and sham of John Key and his lies about needing the XKEYSCORE and CORTEX programs to spy on a peaceful populace.

        AND ALSO his paranoiac World Govt deference which was never about our security – only about controlling US.

      • I really like your idea of confronting the corporate style, largely biased media, I thought of this myself many times.

    • The brown shirts will march, no matter what, I think you have a point, the brown shirts may at this occasion wear blue uniforms, always in their vast majority loyal to Nats, I know what I am talking about.

  32. Just some random thoughts…
    Kelsey et al are digging in for a long drawn out fight against the TPPA, especially any and all incorporation of it into domestic law. The townhall meeting/national roadshow suggests their strategy is to keep this issue boiling away, if they can add an element of uncertainty to whether a future govt will abide its terms they also encourage oppositional tendencies in the US, etc where the TPPA being ratified is by no means certain.

    I doubt very much Key wants a riot; the riot training is just a precautionary approach to what could become a volatile afternoon. However if Kelsey et al’s strategy is to fan mainstream disaffection; the mere suggestion of a riot may keep the families away; exactly the sort of photoops the opposition wants – kids and mums with signs etc…

    • I do not think that Jane had that kind of approach on mind, to provoke anything that will bring about tensions and violence. But also consider, do we want protests limited to conditions where you should not hold too large a sign, because it may block the view of others, where you are not allowed to shout as it may offend others, where you are not allowed to slow traffic or even march down a street or road for too long, as it may block traffic, where you are not allowed to insult or do anything that may discredit any public figure like the PM, where you are not allowed to spend too much time in a public place, thus obstructing movements of others, where you are not allowed this that and the other, and are rather expected to stand in a dark, quiet, not easily seen corner, and keep your mouth shut, then we may as well abolish all rights to protest right now.

      We would have a real dictatorship, but I tell you, we are in fact already half way there, just most do not realise it, as they are too ignorant of what goes on, or are too indifferent as they only care about themselves and not others, nor the future of their country.

  33. I am confused is the Riot Squad being deployed for Jane Kelsey’s meetings
    or for the Official signing of the TPPA at Sky City, seems odd the Herald has come out with this threat from the National Party?

  34. Why doesn’t NZ go on strike on the 1st Feb, to take a strong nation-wide stand against TPPA! May be more effective than a protest on the actual day of the signing, by then it’s too late!

  35. how about this: – everyone who is opposed to the TPP could support a political party that is opposed to it – it’s called democracy, last time I looked that was the system we have in this country

    • Wouldn’t work – the Gnatzis have turned the media into their personal propaganda ministry – we’re gonna have to do this the hard way.

        • With corporate donations and intelligence support from abroad? The people will get nothing but oppression from those sources.

          Key has raped our democracy – he certainly doesn’t represent our interests – he’s a traitor. So fuck him.

          • That’s the spirit, at least.

            But it is very easy to type angry – and quite frankly, ludicrous and defeatist – accusations on a message-board, but difficult to get out there and convince people you are right and true.

              • What does “rap*d our democracy” mean?

                Gr*w up.

                The reality is National are a mirror image of Clarks Labour.

                • A small example is the shelving of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into MMP.
                  The current make-up of the house gives the Nat/Act/Maori/UF bloc 64 seats out of 121 yet that bloc received only 49.27% of the party vote. That’s undemocratic.

    • >> how about this: – everyone who is opposed to the TPP could support a political party that is opposed to it – it’s called democracy, last time I looked that was the system we have in this country <<

      1) whether democracy is being practiced goes far deeper than whether or not majority-rules elections are being held. The USSR held elections. Hitler was elected.

      2) Being elected as the government is not a mandate for any particular policy. If it was, the same proportion of voters that voted National would have voted for asset sales. In fact, the vast majority voted against them.

      3) Only a third of registered voters cast a vote for the parties that are supporting the TPP. Unless you count Labour, whose caucus is carefully sitting on the fence, while the bulk of their membership clearly oppose the TPP. So "democracy", even in the limited definition of majority-rules elections has failed us.
      4) The TPP is signing away our right to make our own laws, according to our own democratic processes, without risking legal action from corporate investors.

      These are some of the reasons we are now considering other options for restoring the full range of democratic participation and civil liberties that have been whittled away under every government since Muldoon. If not us, then who? If not now, then when?

  36. National Party Supporters are all wanabe John Keys, and Andrew Do Little is following Aunty Helens instructions, Labour are a lightweight version of National, Winston is the only one with b***s.

    He tried to expose Corporate and Government Fraud in the Wine Box Enquiry, and was made out to be a mad, hence his departure from the National Party. New Zealanders are incredibly naive and not very worldly?

    Most listen to the likes of Paul Henry and Mike Hoskins, and what they hear from friends and relatives. I have given up on meaningful political discussions with people, as New Zealanders are basically thick!!!

  37. Don’t listen to Chris.

    Lots of ugly, spitting fat left drama lamas please. With Union flags.

    Thanks guys. Don’t fail us now.


  38. The Police will attempt to fuel emotion by cunning provocative strategies to achieve their desired result. Ultimately Waitangi will be more peaceful with those locked up having to meet trespass requirements. Perhaps the strategy is about having a good cross section of diverse cultures there. But im not sure having children there would be a good idea considering the potential risks. Thoughts?

    • A broad cross section is the way to go – I would say yes take your kids and your granny too. The likely hood of bad behaviour from the authorities will be less likely faced with a large group of representative kiwis and it looks bloody bad for police if violence is directed across the screens of nz towards “people like us”. The violence protest really started with the Red Squad starting directing it at people during the 81 tour. It’s just really important for the organizer to have good control and make sure – as they have actually stated – that it is to be a NON VIOLENT PROTEST.

    • Indeed, this is world stage stuff, the TPP will be signed in in the style of the “business” it represents.

  39. Oh get your head out of your arse and take a look at the damage he’s doing you stupid tory piece of filth.

    • Nothing like rational debate, then.

      It’s a trade deal. The reaction is the typical Pavolvian response we get when anyone mentions America.

      The hysterics have been comical.

      • Dont people go to university to be exposed to ideas they would never experience in their previous insulated lives ?

        We evolve or die

      • So how many pages of this “trade deal” are actually about “trade” again? What’s that? Fuck all? That’s what I thought.

      • The time for rational debate was a year ago – but the tyrant Key wanted to hide the TPPA because even a louse like him was SO ASHAMED.

        Now he pays the price.

  40. National are using the “divide and rule principle”, unfortunately I have lost faith in NZ Government, the Police and the Justice Department here in NZ.

    Although I have not read Ross Meurants book I believe he was critical of the behaviour of the Red Squad and the NZ Police. I was not in NZ at the time so I did not witness what went on here in NZ, and I did not get involved in the hype.

    However I believe this issue is bigger than the Springbok Tour, I just hope the Governor General Jerry Mataparere and Superindendent Mike Bush advises the National Party and John Key to quell the rhetoric.

  41. Its not a trade deal …………. it’s a 6000 page lawyer written corporate charter.

    Hysterics is how the Nats acted when they realized they were doomed in the safe national seat of northland ……………

    “We won’t build your bribe bridges if you don’t vote for us” ….. Now that was a laugh

    Watching Key get slaughtered by Winston put a smile on my face.

    But I digress ……………… back on topic I would rather believe health professionals, respected economists, IT experts and others that the TPPA is a shit deal.

    The majority of people obviously feel the same and do not believe JK or the low grade nats tr0lls ………..

    Less than a quarter of New Zealanders rate john Key as honest Fairfax-Ipsos August 2013 Leader Trust
    Fully believe John Key ? Yes 24%,

    Its just a question of time and what issue this will bite him on.

    Look at how the Northland voters responded to the lies they were told and being tricked into doing something they would never normally do at the last election …………….

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