Open letter to Trade Minister David Parker


Thank you for your invitation to join you in Chile on 8th March, at my own expense, for the signing of the resurrected Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement that your own party in Opposition said was seriously flawed.

I’m afraid that is not my idea of inclusion. I want and expect people to be engaged with and listened to during the entire decision-making process and for negotiations to be based on a genuinely progressive mandate and conducted in a democratically transparent way.

Instead, I will be spending 8th March in Colombo, where I hope to contribute to more positive outcomes by presenting at an UNCTAD High-Level Policymakers Workshop on digital trade and e-commerce – an issue of major concern in the TPPA that you are about to sign and with which your government has still not come to grips.

Perhaps former trade minister Todd McClay, who says he was not invited to the signing, would like to take my place?


Yours sincerely


TDB Recommends

Professor Jane Kelsey


(Meanwhile, Daily Bloggers, make sure you sign the petition opposing the TPPA-11 at


Prof Jane Kelsey

Faculty of Law

The University of Auckland


  1. ‘I want and expect people to be engaged with and listened to during the entire decision-making process;

    Government has never not been of that form (well not in my lifetime). In over half a century I have only ever experienced a top-down system, in which incompetent fools with power slowly and subtly sabotage the lives of the populace, and totally ignore all evidence that challenges their absurd and deceitful narratives.

    • Exactly, agree with you yet again.
      Jacinda and Helen Clark are cut from very similar material and both have been a disappointment to many of us. People continue to live in the illusion that a Labour/Green led government will be much better than any other govt.

      ” . . . . . . . . . ABSURD AND DECEITFUL NARRATIVES ” – well written Afewknowthetruth – you always nail it.

      Most all worldwide govt.’s were bought and controlled long ago by the corporate criminal elite and N.W.O maniacs — as are most media and people still live the illusion that their vote counts for something
      good and ethical and hopeful of positive changes. Wake up folks.

  2. Thank YOU for becoming such a one-trick pony; perhaps your masters in the Chinese mega-dictatorship can pay for your ticket?

    • @ CASTRO.
      Why would you say that? Prof Kelsey is warning us off allowing our ‘politicians’ striking deals with mega corporates who will go on to own and run NZ as if it’s just a moderate portfolio?
      Please expand?
      I’m either missing something or you’re trying to tarnish Prof Kelsey’s reputation.
      And you know what they say about reputations. Once they’re tarnished, they’re gone.

    • Your remarks are becoming more and more deranged Castro. You wouldn’t belong to Dave Brownz Marxist Leninist- Trotsky Party would you? That would explain it !!!

      • Good letter Jane,

        We were “shafted by Labour” here to read this.

        I am shocked Jacinda did not invite you to a meeting with Cabinet at least to show some type of inclusion, but we have now seen the same lack of “inclusion” with our efforts to save the rail service to Gisborne but Jacinda has got several emails from our community groups here to ask her to get her ‘Minister of Regional development’ to meet with us.

        But she has not even attempted to get Shane Jones to arrange a meeting with us all as representing the HB/Gisborne community, so we are similarly disappointed in the lack of “real inclusion with our community before Jacinda witnessed Shane Jones cuddling up with the anti-rail business lobbyists

        Here is the press statement of the sad affair that took place up in Gisboorne last week it was Labour’s worst week as this has shocked Gisborne people that labour is luke warm about restoring our rail at all now, so we are seeing thhis same change of action with TPP11 as we had with rail first they are hot then cold in reserve with rail.

        February 27, 2018
        COLUMN – Shafted by Eastland Group lobbyists
        by Gillian Ward Published: February 27, 2018 2:14PM
        Gillian Ward is Chairwoman of the Gisborne Rail Action Group
        Re: Mixed Signals — Minister yet to receive strong case for Wairoa to Gisborne rail line, February 24 story.
        The Minister actually has received a strong business case for reinstating the rail line between Wairoa and Gisborne. In response to his request in November, a proposal was delivered to him two weeks ago. So, it is very disappointing that in the national launch of the Provincial Growth Fund on Friday neither restoration, nor a feasibility study, was announced for the Wairoa-Gisborne railway line.
        Rather than being let down because of the lack of a “strong case”, the Gisborne residents who have marched and signed a petition requesting that the government restore the rail line, and businesses who need rail to move their fresh produce to Napier’s export container port, have been shafted by a small handful of Gisborne business leaders.
        These few people who should be representing the best interests of the region are instead conflicted. They are focused solely on the expansion plans of Eastland Port, and planning for large profits, and they have the ear of the politicians.
        Rail freight of containers of fresh chilled produce destined for export from Napier’s container port will provide flexibility, be competitive, and offer security of freight transport with an additional land transport option for our isolated region. Huge container ships and multiple container cranes handle enormous stacks of containers at Napier Port’s deep-water port.
        Eastland Port on the other hand has a totally different situation, being located in a silty river mouth, which is carefully dredged to attain the depth required for log ships, while minimising disturbance of sensitive marine habitats. There is much less capacity to handle containers.
        Hon Shane Jones is aware of this conflict of interest, and although he has stated that, “There’s political will to back rail”, he would prefer that the community sort out our priorities, rather than the government imposing decisions.
        Mayor Foon has stated that Gisborne needs all the transport modes — roads, rail, coastal shipping and air transport. The residents and business community have indicated, with a march of 2000 people led by Mayor Foon along Grey Street to the Railway Station in April 2012, a petition of 10,480 signatures presented by Mayor Foon to Hon Anne Tolley at Parliament in May 2012, fundraising $11,000 for BERL Economics to review KiwiRail’s May 2012 analysis of the economics of the railway line, public meetings, letters to the Gisborne Herald editor, articles in The Gisborne Herald, presentations to the District Council, as well as business case analyses of the commercial viability of the line, that reopening the railway line would be well-supported by the community and businesses.
        It is a small city characteristic that influential leaders can be conflicted, wearing more than one “hat”, and the aspirations of the Gisborne community to restore our other land transport option have been well and truly undermined by a few people determined to scuttle these aspirations.
        Gisborne had to campaign hard to be included in the Government’s national rail-building effort in the late 1920s. It was a hard-won battle and a challenging line to complete, but the rail line was opened in 1942 amid jubilation from the Gisborne community.
        Now that we have the line, it is a gift from an earlier generation. The cost to repair the storm damage is minimal compared to the value of the asset. Imagine the cost to build a railway line through the Wharerata hills now!
        Please Minister Jones, hear the voice of the Gisborne community and filter out the noise from the Eastland Group lobbyists!

    • She’s not going Castro. People often think it’s governments spying on every one, and it is some what. They outsource it to private companies. Could you imagine a private company spying on you and then having a legal writ that says they can keep your digital DNA and use it how ever they like. No what I mean?

  3. Jane, ALL of New Zealand needed to hear your speech yesterday at the Auckland CP TPP rally in Aotea square. It was fantastic.
    Maybe, like you, I was sad and frustrated at the numbers that showed.
    People forget there is power in numbers. I too am not impressed with Labour/NZF back tracking on this deal. Makes you clearly realise – money talks!
    I hope Bryan Bruce’s cptpp documentary opens kiwis eyes before it is pushed through parliament.
    Thank you for your passion, and all the best in Columbo.

  4. I have started referring to Labour as National lite.
    They are continuing with a trade deal.
    Nothing is being done to help those stuck in the nazi boot camp style that WINZ has become.
    Screwed over medicinal cannabis users trying to find a cheaper solution.
    still just talking about doing something about housing.
    Doing nothing about immigration.
    Think I will stop voting, whats the point? Labour is no longer a people’s party.

    • Ha !! National lite.
      Good one.
      Still sad though that we’re living out the U.S.A reality we used to tsk at from afar.

      The reality of ideological irrelevance, and power usurped from the electorate, and the government.

      Proxy power now wielded by Kiwis with enough net worth, unelected foreign officials, extortionate yet incompetent consultants.

      Government of the people, by who the fuck knows, for the rich and powerful.

      SAD !!

  5. Clearly Labour aren’t going to back down on this.

    But the Greens are clearly against it, thus why wasn’t more pressure put on them?

    The Greens threatening to take a genuine stand (forcing Labour to choose between remaining the Government or maintaining their support for the TPP) is the only thing left that has a real chance of stopping the TPP.

    After nine long years in opposition, I don’t see Labour (or NZF) opting for another election and risk losing their newly attained power.

  6. Thanks for speaking at yesterday’s CTPPA Rally in Aotea Square in Auckland!
    Appreciate your insight and continued commitment to transparency! Lets not get our hopes up that the government will be so forthcoming!


  7. David Parker the behind the scenes neo-liberal Black Prince of the Labour Party.

    This Machiavellian neoliberal Labour Party, right winger, behind the scenes policy maker’s, half hearted attempt to co-opt Professor Kelsey, is not out of character.

    He once made a similar approach to me.

    Knowing that I am an activist opposed to opening of new coal mines, Parker approached me and asked if I would support a huge expansion of the gas exploration and extraction sector as a replacement for coal. I was gob-smacked at his pitch to me. It was such a stunningly brazen attempt to co-opt me to his fossil fuel agenda that I was at a loss for words.

    David Parker is a willing tool of the fossil fuel lobby….*

    New Zealand’s new coalition government has committed to introducing zero-carbon legislation that would set the country on a course to be carbon neutral by 2050.

    At the same time, it is not ruling out new permits for coal mining, offshore oil drilling and fracking during a transition away from fossil fuels.

    Wherever does this guy ever get off?

    David Parker is the architect of New Zealand’s Green Washing Emissions Trading Scheme which far from cutting greenhouse gas emissions has overseen a steady increase.

    (Embraced by both National and Labour parties, while New Zealand’s leading environmental party, the Green Party are committed to abolishing the ETS.)

    David Parker’s ETS and other similar emissions trading schemes around the world, were a creation of the oil companies.
    BP CEO John Browne, known in the oil industry as the “Sun King”, not for his green credentials but for his lavish lifestyle that mirrored that of Louis the XIV of France. Was the first to champion the concept of carbon trading as a way to maintain and grow the oil industry in the shadow of climate change.

    During John Browne’s leadership, BP turned Green Washing into an art.

    John Browne was the man who came up with the green washing name “Beyond Petroleum” to describe his company and who ordered the placing of solar cells on the roof of BP gas stations, in an effort to rebrand BP as an environmentally friendly oil company.

    An example of Parker’s duplicity comes from a time when he was addressing a business breakfast of corporate leaders, where he wouldn’t have expected his comments to be recorded.

    Labour’s finance spokesman, David Parker, says his party’s policies on oil, gas and mineral extraction are close to those of the Government.

    “I don’t think we are much different from National,” Parker said. “They’ve continued on with the programme that we started in respect to oil and gas,” he said yesterday after a breakfast for the Mood of the Boardroom survey in which chief executives expressed strong support for mining.

    *(…..and every other right wing corporate lobby group)

  8. A sell-out disgrace by this government. Bravo for standing up to be counted, Professor Kelsey. I don’t think this government and the sleeping population realize what life will be like under the coming regime. Are people aware that you tube is closing down all channels it doesn’t agree with? Thousands of truth channels gone. Free speech gone with a flick.
    Infowars is prone to drama but Alex Jones tells what happening right now:

  9. “We told ya so” just isn’t worth it, cos the sad fact is the neoliberal airheads who currently run NZLabour simply don’t have the wit to do anything else.
    Not signing the TPPA by putting forward an alternative to not becoming a peon of the US next time a demopublican rather than a republocrat is prez of amerika would stress out Parker and Ardern to the point their heads would hurt.
    I expect a similar climbdown on foreigners buying kiwi homes and farms.
    The ineptitude and cowardice with which this crew of drongos has approached the awful reality that kiwi families live in cars despite holding down several mcjobs indicates they intend nothing truly meaningful on that front either.
    The only point of interest about the mob allegedly holding the reins of power in Aotearoa, is whether Ardern’s continual playing to the overseas neoliberal gallery via the despicable warmongering Guardian will cure kiwis of their hideous cultural cringe.

    Right now anything no matter how poorly informed, written about Aotearoa is deemed more important than any expert commentary from within the nation cos “It puts us on the map”.
    In 1971 the uni arts festival was held in Palmerston North and while walking from the town centre up to Massey we were picked up by a middle aged hausfrau in the ubiquitous morris 1100.
    Miss Manawatu 1954 regaled us with how wonderful the arts festival was while my friend and I wondered how she could know since she would plainly be disgusted by the tamest of events on ‘the calendar’. When we gently suggested this to our chauffeur, she said to us “I just know that this has really put Parmie on the map”.

    Nothing has changed, kiwis can live and work in third world conditions but for the cringeingly low self-esteemed bourgeoisie so what? Jacinta has put us on the map, up there with Justin Trudeau. eeewww I can taste the vomit in the back of my throat.

  10. If I were you, I would definitely join the contingent, attempt to sway and convince the decision makers to look at the matter from your reasoned viewpoint. The travel cost considerations should be secondary if you are serious about influencing and changing their minds. In this case, it’s perhaps better to be in the tent than out …

  11. He has held out an invitation; you could have used that time to talk his ear off. It still needs to be ?ratified, even though signed. Not sure if side letters can still be written and agreed to with your input?

    Also, there will be other trade agreements, Professor Jane Kelsey. Now is your chance to be seen and be talked with. Huge chance there for you to make change, even if not this time.

    I’m sure many would financially support you to make that trip.

    And remember the gov’t has to try and please ALL New Zealanders.

    With me it’s the lack of information re our ownership of water in relation to the other trade relationships. Nobody will tell me.

    • If Prof Kelsey had made that trip it would have been twisted by Labour to look as though she somehow endorsed the stupid deal. You did the right thing Jane Kelsey, I wouldn’t want to have to pretend to smile and nod with that moron either.

  12. Those signing it rightly called it ‘a dog’ pre-election and it will come and bite NZ in the a***, if ratified.

  13. Vinney Eastwood claims Jacinda Aderne is a Globalist and a Fabian.

    Adherne is a friend of Helen Clarke ,Clarke met with George Sorus a top Globalist.Clarke is said to be a Globalist and a Fabian.
    Eastwood claims Aderne is a plant as was John Key.NZ has been cheated again.
    Aderne will do what her puppet masters tell her to do, surprised at Winston Peters agreeing to the signing,suppose the money was good .
    Greens should back out of coalition.
    NZ didnt have much choice,crooked National or Labour coalition,both sides of the same coin it seems.

    • Vinney is being silly.

      Of course Ardern and the rest of them are Fabian’s this is their little club.

      Both the major parties are shits, I am not sure why anybody expected anything different from the labour party who lost their roots so long again now.

      Ardern listens to and takes advice from those who have been in this TPPA cook up from the beginning – the officials, gee aren’t they clever.

      Parker did say they were still negotiating side letters. They should remove the ISDS clauses fullstop. When the yanks get back in anything they want they will get I expect.

      What gets to me more than anything is the fact that 600 global companies are in on it all whereas we the people of this country know far less than we should as of right of being citizens here.

    • To claim she is a plant is silly. Who does Vinny really think planted her, nutty idea. she is the person who it suited Labour to put at the head in order to gain the government benches.

      Greens would never back out of the coalition – for the first time they have ministerial roles – after 17 years of being in parliament.

      The important thing is surely that they do not support the TPP.

      • And what good are those ministerial roles? Apart from whimpering and hand wringing the Greens have achieved nothing.
        They should walk away from this treacherous arrangement.

  14. Meanwhile – Donald Trump is again complaining about NAFTA. It was a bad deal. The Canadians should be kind to American farmers. The Mexicans have been taking American jobs – with the help of American corporations looking for cheap labour. What the Mexicans can do about the hell unleashed using American guns and American buyers of narcotics, we don’t know.

    If Mexico began to actively look south. If we looked west and east more often. The Pacific and rim are plump markets yet – South American and African nations have such potential as trading partners. The African Commonwealth members particularly.

    Why aren’t we prospering the Commonwealth? Why aren’t we influencing with integrity?

  15. Thanks ! Jane for your great work and this letter and for continuing the fight against insane trade deals that mostly only benefit the corporate criminal elite. Labour/Greens have been a major disappointment on this issue.
    It is truly embarrassing that our country remains gutless on so many important matters that involve ethics and caring for humanity.

  16. If Labour have to abandon their ban on foreign buyers which is looking more likely every day, then TPPA is right back to what it was minus the clauses that were suspened because of the withdrawl of USA and they could be back within months going by the way Trump is talking.

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