Labour say no to TPPA



It’s been finally confirmed, Labour will say no to the TPPA.

They have avoided getting sucked into Matthew Hooton spin that siding with Jane Kelsey is akin to fringe politics like mass surveillance that no one supposedly cares about.

In part it was  the hundreds of arguments that have been put up showing how destructive the TPPA is, but the biggest component was a combination of a titanic idelogical battle behind the scenes and deep seated public opinion turning against the TPPA.

The real deal of getting Labour to this point was a behind the scenes fight with the right wing of the Party inside Caucus. They feared waking the sleeping dogs of free market arguments that had torn the party in two in the 80s. The real turn around came after Little went to America and spoke privately with many Democrats who were deeply against TPPA. Hearing their points of view and speaking to experts outside the Government PR spin drs created a resolution within Little that was cemented into place at their recent private retreat at the beginning of the week.

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Even the Right within Labour acknowledged that this deal was unlike any ‘free trade’ deal before it and would absolutely stump any future Government from passing legislation based on their own policies.

Goff is making his stand, but he needs Labour backing to win the Mayoralty so crossing the floor might be a bit too far, and there are plenty of new young up and comers who could stand in Mt Albert.

The other reason Labour have solidified their position is because of the private polling. Key is talking up conflict and spoiling for a fight on the 4th and at Waitangi because polling is telling him that the country is deeply set against the TPPA. What National are attempting to manufacture is the same game plan they used with mass surveillance and dirty politics.

Most NZers were completely against the GCSB gaining mass surveillance powers and dirty politics, but by playing to the nations anti-intellectualism and need to be part of the flock, Key was able to paint those asking questions as agitators and communist conspirators. He used the same tactic against Labour by screaming they supported rapists and murderers when they asked questions about NZers human rights.

When caught abusing political power, Key’s response is always to bellow abuse at his enemies and paint them as extreme. That’s what Key is doing now with the protest against the TPPA and Key is having to stoop once again to these tactics because their polling is telling them most NZers are completely against the this forced trade deal.

Labour may have been late to the fight, but they are here. Little will rob Key of any symbolism in a Parliamentary vote, this is Key’s turd sandwich and Labour don’t want a bite of it.


      • That doesn’t answer my question. They will oppose ratification but will they actually commit to leaving if they gain power
        The two are very different things.

        • The TPPA is not ratified and may not be ratified so Gossman this is a hypothetical question. The current question is do you support the TPPA or not.

          These are the following answers

          Greens: no
          NZ First: no
          Maori Party:no
          Labour: no

          National: yes
          ACT: yes
          United Future: yes

        • Wouldn’t your questions be better directed at Andrew Little You seem to have a lot of questions for him
          Are you sure your in the right website

        • “P”off gosman you are just an irritating mosquito whining around the same ignorant questions,you sound just like your brain washer Key.

    • Mr Little has indicated that Labour supports trade, but when in power will retain the sovereignty of the country and the supremacy of our parliament to pass laws to stop or restrict acquisition of land/houses by non resident foreigners, if the parliament so decides.

      It is an inalienable right of any sovereign nation to enable such laws. No foreign country or capitalist corporate can be allowed to have the audacity to demand otherwise. Even in this TPPA agreement, the negotiators of Malaysia, Australia and Singapore made sure that they retained that right, unlike our idiot negotiators from New Zealand who did not even ask for it!

      So, to answer your question:

      (1) As far as I know, this far reaching so called ‘trade’ deal will be stupidly agreed to and ratified by the CABINET (arrogantly all alone) irrespective of whether our parliament agrees or rejects the deal! So Labour supporting or rejecting the deal is only a moot point at this stage. (In the USA, the deal NEEDS it being passed by Congress. But not so in New Zealand! Go figure!)

      (2) Whether the deal will be approved by all the 12 nations is still uncertain.

      (3) When in power Labour could try to persuade and renegotiate with partner countries certain laws affecting our land sovereignty and will retain the right of parliament to change such laws. What the consequences of such an action will be is up in the air. We will need to cross that bridge then, including getting out or being kicked out. If that happens, perhaps we go back to individual FTAs with different nations as we have been doing so far anyway.

        • Pity that Clem’s analysis is factually wrong.

          NZ still needs to pass enabling legislation to amend its laws to incorporate the provisions of the TPPA. And, because the provisions are so far reaching, that will mean a lot of legislation to be amended (likely in a big chunk or chunks to minimise chances of MPs breaking ranks).

          The fact of the signing of the TPPA does nothing to change NZ law domestically until that legislation is ratified.

          (I am utterly against the TPPA in its entirety, I just think there’s enough mis/disinformation out there without the left being responsible for more.)

            • When any enabling legislation is passed through Parliament there will be plenty of opportunity to keep the debate alive and to educate the public.

              Although it is true that the deal itself can effectively be ratified by executive decree in New Zealand, failure to pass enabling statute will presumably create structural contradictions.

              Can those changed statutes be repealed on the election of another government unless they are treated as some kind of special legislation which is above the bog-standard repeal mechanisms?

              I am a bit more optimistic than many that renegotiation to put us in line with Australian and Malaysian dispensation will eventually be achievable. I am also of the opinion that the first time some corporate kangaroo court seeks to impose on a sovereign nation, under the provisions of the TPPA, all hell will break loose among other countries who fear the same thing happening to themselves.

              No agreement is final. But it is also true that we will perhaps have to take care in selecting the right battles if the fight to stop the deal is lost, as it is likely to be.

      • ‘In the USA, the deal NEEDS it being passed by Congress. But not so in New Zealand! Go figure!’

        The classifications ‘Banana Republic’ and ‘Dictatorship’ spring to mind.

  1. Shearer and Goff have broken ranks and won’t rule out crossing the floor.

    It’s well overdue for a purge.

    • Technically, there is no “crossing of the floor” parliament doesn’t get the democratic right to vote on it, John Key has made sure of that. It’s National’s executive alone who does that.

    • Everyone write to Goff and Shearer ,tell them they are no longer Labour mps but turncoats. put up their addresses someone please.

        • David Shearer was parachuted into a safe seat….and then jettisoned into leadership of the Labour Party ( which he was incompetent at) and he always seemed to be in cahoots with jonkey nact

          ….who was responsible?

        • It is a shame and a disgrace that Shearer did not adhere to the caucus decision. As a past leader and a mature person he should have known better. If he simply can not agree with the collective decision of the party caucus, he should have shown the courage of his conviction and resigned rather than back stab the party as he has done here. Dumb. What a disgrace.

          I was a supporter of his when he was the leader. Now I am glad he is no longer the leader.

          I think most people support trade deals with some give and take. But this particular TPPA deal is less about trade and more about passing control of our parliament and sovereignty to foreign entities and big corporations. Even a fool can see that.

          • “It is a shame and a disgrace that Shearer did not adhere to the caucus decision.” and not for the first time either.
            Remember his disgraceful behaviour after the election? I wasn’t the only one to lay a formal complaint against him that day. Shearer was so incredibly petty and stupid to have a go this time, Little obviously has the numbers and Shearer stands alone, he deserves to be punished, and like you, I too think he should resign.

    • Little should reshuffle to show who is boss. He let Nash off the hook and undermined Labour, what will he do with Shearer and Goff.

      If this is true about Goff, don’t think I can vote for him for major.

      Can any recommend a left wing candidate standing for major?

  2. ***MB – Sorry to post same comment here, but tipline and contact us both ‘failed’ to send***

    Some “highlights” from the TPPA Don’t Sign Tour Wellington meeting:

    • By the Government’s own best-scenario projection – an extra $2.7b by 2030. This is equivalent to a 0.9% pay rise, discounted back to the present day. Without TPPA economy will grow by 47% anyway. Disregards inflation and ignores the financial costs (such as dearer medicine etc). Ignores potential costs of lawsuits, administration, sovereignty, etc.

    • The amount of a single ISDS dispute between Canada and the US is $US15b. The TPPA will enable a further 1600 US corporations (9500 total from all countries) to be able to pursue ISDS cases against NZ for any reason. Many have previously initiated spurious cases, or threatened to, just to discourage Governments from acting outside their financial interests. – Lori Wallach

    • If a country refuses to honour an ISDS case against it, that litigant Corporation will have right to seize Government assets to recoup losses, under the New York Honoring of Agreements Treaty, to which NZ will be subject. – Lori Wallach

    • The text of the TPPA on Feb 4 is not the final draft. There are clauses present that the US and Japan will not have to sign until the text is acceptable in their eyes, and have the right to redraft the text before ratification. – Lori Wallach

    • The six richest countries that make up 85% of the GDP of the 12 signatories are the ONLY ones required to agree for the deal to be ratified. If these 6 can agree, the other countries must accept the terms. (NZ is not one of the 6.) – Jane Kelsey

    • Given that the National (and other) Governments are not stupid, and must know what the academics know, what is their reason for signing such a patently bad deal? After much discussion, entire panel couldn’t provide a sure answer. – All panellists.

    • NZ Government requires Treaty of Waitangi negotiators to prove that they have the mandate of the Maori people before they engage in negotiations with the Crown. No such mandate from the NZ Citizenry is required by the Government with respect to the TPPA. – Carwyn Jones, VUW Senior Law Scholar and ToW negotiator.

    • No financial modelling has been done for a case of the TPPA going ahead but NZ not being party to it. Suspiciaon that this is the worst of the three scenarios (TPPA doesn’t go ahead; TPPA goes ahead WITH NZ; TPPA goes ahead WITHOUT NZ).

    • Goff and Shearer do NOT get to vote. John Key has ensured Parliament does not have that right to vote on the TPPA. It’s only National’s executive that has that right. Goff, who is leaving and Shearer who doesn’t really matter, voicing their support doesn’t change a thing. But what IS important is that Andrew Little and his Labour caucus have publicly come out opposing the TPPA, even though it won’t stop National treasonously signing away our sovereignty.

  3. Glad to see that Labour has shaken off its lethargy regarding the TPPA. Any Labour members or MPs that don’t like it – close the door when you leave, please!
    Expect the John Key dirty tricks machine to be cranked up a few notches from today.

    • The unsuccessful Labour Leader candidate Shane Jones was financially backed and supported by Wira Gardiner (Mr Hekia Parata), then handed a lovely Pacific sinecure by National. Exit stage right, one wolf in sheep’s clothing.

      Now that Goff and Shearer have shown they would cross the floor to vote National and TPPA, time for Labour to oust them from the party. Gone two lone wolves in blue rinsed sheep’s clothing.

      But the only issue with this, is that Key, CrosbyTextor and Farrar, will make the TPPA issue about disunity in Labour, rather than a shonkey deal about TPPA-shafting-every-New-Zealander. A gilt-edged opportunity for strong leadership from Andrew Little. Bye bye Phil to Auckland Mayoralty; Bye Bye David Shearer to sing Kumbaya around the UN campfire with Helen. Kelvin Davis might be bound for glory with a rejuvenated Maori Party in 2021 and Stuart Nash for Deputy Leader of National, with Judith Collins as PM in 2024.


  4. Well done on finally coming out against the TPPA. At last Labour is, albeit belatedly, standing up for the people of NZ and showing a united front of opposition parties to this appalling government.

    I am however disgusted at the position that Phil Goff and David Shearer have taken and I strongly believe that, in all conscience – if they have on, they can no longer be members of the Labour Party since they support an agreement that will so severely affect the people the Labour Party is supposed to represent. If they cross the House on this issue, they must resign. If they, and any others within the party, continue to undermine the Labour Party, they must resign.

  5. when even some car enthusiasts start organising 10pm cruises in main centres on Jan 30 against the TPPA you know things are moving beyond activist circles

    as was obvious at the 10,000 “Its our future NZ” march in Auckland and 5000 in Wellington, I saw ordinary Westies with homemade cardboard signs getting the bus into “town” for the Auck rally

    the 4th Feb rally and march needs to be handled carefully as the difference over tactics has been reflected in a seperate “Blockade” militant minority action, when really the main march should at least stop at Sky City rev up the ministers and move on rather than skirt around it

    symbolically the leaders of the parliamentary parties opposed to TPPA should be near the front to send the message for 2017–we are coming for you Keyreepy and the rest of the Nats

  6. New TPPA study at odds with Govt report
    by Andrew Little on January 28, 2016

    A new US study on the impacts of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement casts doubt on the Government’s analysis of its impact and highlights the need for a truly open debate on the controversial deal, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.

    “A Tufts University analysis written by two senior UN economists shows the likely loss of 6000 jobs over the next decade and a transfer of wealth from working families to corporates under the TPPA.

    “It is completely at odds with the Government’s own report which was based on information from before the agreement was completed and which fails to ask one of the most important questions about the deal – how will it affect employment?

    “This has been left out of the Government’s analysis or it was never examined. Either way it is a serious omission.

    “John Key has shut down any debate about the merits or otherwise of the deal when an open and transparent debate is in the country’s best interests, both on the economics of the TPPA and its erosion of our democratic rights.

    “The TPPA allows other countries and big business to have a say on how laws are made in New Zealand. We lost the ability to restrict sales of our homes to overseas speculators even as Australia and other signatories carved this right out.

    “Labour supports free trade but this agreement goes beyond trade and is an attack on our democracy. That is why we cannot support it in its current form.

    “There can be no trade off between citizens’ rights and economic interests. We don’t put a price on our democracy. It is not for sale,” Andrew Little says.

    • Excellent work there WORDS, 1000% good work indeed, this should be displayed on the MSM every day.

      I have sent it to John Campbell to raise hopefully, and you should send it to the new Asia Pacific news channel just opened this week.

      • And indeed John Campbell was quite forceful with Little this evening, demanding to know why Little didn’t take this stand a long time ago, a question a lot of us have.

  7. Differing view on TPPA agreed
    by Andrew Little on January 28, 2016

    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has given dispensation to MP Phil Goff to take his own position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement due to his historic involvement in negotiating its predecessor, the P4.

    “Phil has had a longstanding involvement and public commitment to this agreement which differs with the Labour Caucus’ decision that it cannot support the deal in its current form due to its compromise of New Zealand’s sovereignty.

    “When the Caucus met recently to finalise its position on the TPP I met with Phil and decided that his longstanding public position was such that he would be allowed to hold a differing view.

    “This was discussed by the Caucus as a whole and Phil has made his position known,” says Andrew Little.

    Phil Goff said he appreciated his leader’s dispensation in this case.

    “I respect Andrew’s and Labour’s views on the issue and their agreement to acknowledge that I came from a different perspective. My position is well known and there is no need for me to elaborate further on it,” Phil Goff says.

  8. John key signing his treasonous “blank” deal, that can be modified after, and as yet to be ratified, by the big 6, technically, he is just ticking a box for his foreign US corporate mates, and to do this at National’s crony Skycity HQ, John key is giving all of New Zealand the F you finger as well.

    • We have now signed the petition and am incensed that any Labour MP like Goff & Shearer would see it as acceptable now to stab all us in the back and the Party we pay to keep them in!!!

      Then hurting labour by breaking ranks and backing corrupt Key and his clan to back his undemocratic method of signing a policy that will kill our Government effectiveness to protect us against corrupt corporations coming here to rape this country.

      Go and leave us Goff & Shearer you backstabbers.

  9. Tonight the Waiheke Local Board has declared Waiheke to be a TPPA free zone. Board member, Shirin Brown (who has guest blogged on TDB), proposed that the island refuse to accept the dictates of the TPPA and the motion was carried unanimously. Waiheke was the first place to declare itself nuclear free and is sometimes like a litmus test of how the rest of the country will go.

    • Will I need a passport to travel to Waiheke Island from Epsom? Last time I looked on the map, Waiheke is part of New Zealand, you can’t just put your tinfoil hats on and leave New Zealand. New Zealand is a democracy.

    • You don’t get it. We are not against fair trade agreements which gave with fair and reasonable concessions but we are against this particularly dangerous TPPA agreement because it has several bery treacherous and harmful provisions in it.

      • Oops, let me type that again…

        You don’t get it. We are not against fair trade agreements which have fair and reasonable concessions and conditions, but we are against this particularly dangerous TPPA agreement because it has several very treacherous and harmful provisions in it in its current form.

  10. Andrew Little during his state of the nation speech will be also be teaching people who attend (if any) how to make there own tin foil hats.

    The man is lost. Stating his position on something now at the last hour is a copout. If he had a pair he would of stood up a long time ago. Respect gone. Goff and Shearer to go. Along with Andrew Little hopefully.

  11. “Goff is making his stand, but he needs Labour backing to win the Mayoralty so crossing the floor might be a bit too far, and there are plenty of new young up and comers who could stand in Mt Albert.”

    We need to back him for the mayoralty to get him out of Parliament, don’t we? Bite the bullet, Auckland lefties, and help the country!

  12. The question still needs to be answered that was asked by Lawrie at the Auckland Town Hall meeting …
    Why is John Key bending over backwards to sign this thing, why would a small country like New Zealand want to be first?
    She said this was a topic of great interest and question in the USA

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