Why the TPPA will be a test for the new Labour Māori Caucus more than it will be for Jacinda


Meet your resistance

I believe that Labour are playing a tactical game of pretending to support the TPPA so that the rich elite who are currently seeking a means to attack Jacinda for its failure have no chance of pinning its inevitable collapse on her.

Those rich elite who attacked Helen Clark in her early days are seeking any excuse to blame a drop in the economy on Jacinda as a clear message to the new Government that while they won, they don’t call the shots.

Winston’s talk against neoliberalism and Jacinda’s admission that capitalism has failed have the NZ elites frightened and angry that such blasphemy is still allowed to be spoken and they are hunting for a ‘closing the gaps’ style policy to generate enough economic havoc that mortgagee holders are faced with a steep jump in their weekly mortgage payments before Christmas.

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The new Government are aware of this and are trying to inoculate as many opportunities for the elites to do that.

Hence the non-committal response to their first challenge, the TPPA.

For all intents and purposes, this ridiculous ‘trade’ deal is barely alive with most nations wanting to dump the thing altogether, so Labour can hold their breath, allow it to fall over and not get the rich elites blaming Labour which could gerrymander a ‘winter of discontent’ which caught Helen Clark by surprise when she first won power.

So far so good.

My fear however is that the neoliberal establishment, with Mfat in particular, have already been proven to be duplicitous in their handling of this trade deal because they see this liberalisation as part of a grander scheme which they are prepared to subvert NZ political sovereignty over.

So what happens if Jacinda and David get snookered into having to sign the TPPA?

In that case, the real friction is going to fall on the Labour Māori Caucus.

After annihilating the Māori Party as a political voice, the Labour Māori Caucus have a mandate and obligation to protect Māori political tino rangatiratanga and signing any document that robs Māori of that sovereignty would never be accepted.

With 13 members, the Labour Māori Caucus could be crucial to stopping any TPPA deal or face a backlash that will see them gone in 2020.

The balancing act to not sign the TPPA and not get blamed for it will be far easier to pull off than signing it and face a political revolt in their own Party.

No one said governing would be easy.



  1. Those that know what kinds of highly qualified, tertiary educated, and career minded ‘experts’ and senior bureaucrats sit in the various Ministries, most having graduated from institutions supporting the neoliberal narrative and establishment, they will understand, any government that takes over, has limited powers to bring REAL change.

    Policy is not simply made within parties and their organisations or committees, policy is mostly developed within government departments. That is where the ideas of parties will clash with the establishment in the bureacracy, whether it is WINZ and MSD, whether MFAT or whatsoever, in the end, the senior ‘experts’ that advise the senior bureaucrats, they will demand, their ‘evidence based’ BS, whether useful or not, is taken note of and is taken seriously.

    Only clearing out the public service off such ‘experts’ may allow a change of sorts, but to do that, we would see a purge that our very system simply does NOT permit.

    Hence I have very little hope for real change to come, the ones that pull the final levers, they sit within the upper levels of our Ministries.

    • Not so.

      All it would take is MP’s to announce there will be a policy change , if they are met with resistance , – and all that would be needed would be a simple reference to overseas reports that prove otherwise and contradict the ‘experts’ ‘ BS’ to countermand those ‘experts’ and dismantle their arguments.

      Besides – how do you think the neo liberals under the Lange and Bolger govt did it originally?

      It didn’t happen overnight but over several years , – and those academics and those hostile to neo liberalism in the upper levels of ‘ bureaucracy ‘were edged out , – as well as told directly ‘this is how it is going to be’. And a big part of Douglas’s deliberate strategy was to introduce rapid fire changes that would leave no time for opposing forces to mobilize – thus creating a constant state of confusion ,division and destabilization.

      Among the original tactics of Blitzkrieg .

      And make no mistake , – this is a war.

      • “Besides – how do you think the neo liberals under the Lange and Bolger govt did it originally?”

        Those were very different times, we cannot compare the situation in the government ministries and bureaucracy of today with the situation in those years.

        And if change gets pushed in little ol New Zealand, it will be perceived as going against the global (neoliberal) trend, so it will be fought with all kinds of arms and tactics, whether it is right or not.

        Add the different composition of this government, made up of three parties, that have some in common, yet many differences in policy, especially when it comes to business and the environment, and the situation we have cannot be compared with the times of Lange and Bolger in any way.

        Hence this government will tread carefully.

        Douglas et al only got away with what they did, as they held hostage their own party, and as they could operate as part of a government under FFP.

        MMP forces governments to be more cautious, also towards the powers behind the scenes, the true powers with very strong commercial interests, also in view of a strong opposition that is made up of the party that got the largest share – as a party – of total votes.

        We live in an age of technocrats, ‘experts’ and of career bureaucrats, led by CEOs, which in itself his a bastion that will fight vehemently any attempts by a progressive government that may undermine their strength and their hold on the system we have.

        And ‘war’ can only be fought if you have an army of prepared, willing fighters behind you. Labour, NZ First and Greens do not have such an army of supporters, they are hardly organised and committed to walk onto the streets and fight, having been broken and weakened by the government and system over the last nine years.

        Hence you are idealistic, maybe hopeful, definitely dreaming.

  2. I know at least one of the MP’s pictured, Willow Jean Prime, understands the ramifications of the TPP in it’s current form. She was at the TPP protest in Whangarei – so there’s hope.

  3. The right wing fightback has started in the Herald. I also spotted this headline “Bill English warns Labour: ‘it’s not our job to make this place run'”. Ironically I interpreted this as simply being a continuation of Nationals strategy for the last 9 years.

  4. Kiri Allen ran seminars on ‘decolonisation’, so presumably she wouldn’t be having a bar of it either.

  5. NZ is sounding more like USA every day.
    Republicans won the election but the Democrats seem to call a lot of the shots. The Dems bought off all the people and outfits that did Clintons bidding making it difficult for a new party to run the place,its changing now. The FBI the JUSTICE dept will come into line gradually,they protected Clinton ,but now they are changing. In NZ we still have John Key as a backbencher,or backroom controller,the rest of caucus followed him and taken on his colour and methods.National like the Democrats were furious at losing power and think they can control with dirty tricks and bullying, they still “own” mfat , police dept ,Winz etc, and will use them to control power,best to purge them all,then go from there , Im not sure about Jacinda, the deep state have penchant for choosing their own people,as they did Key and Obama. We will have to wait and see.
    YEH YEH you dont like Trump,because MSM influences your thinking ,just like The Herald does in NZ, the way they will follow NATs and try to change public opinion, its a game the media play everytime.

  6. Jacinta and Parker have been SNOOKERED. I surmise that this current situation, the influence of MFAT, UNCHANGED, ( yes SACK most of the old boy network) is a concession by NZ First.

    F___K the TPP. Trump is one of the few allies on this one so CUT HIM SOME SLACK ALSO.

    I’m not pleases with the current direction.

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