Launch of heralds a new campaign for a 21st century trade agenda


The website, launched this week, heralds a new forward-looking campaign for a progressive 21st century trade agenda.

The JusTrade project builds on a two-day hui in late October that debated what an alternative and progressive trade strategy for Aotearoa New Zealand should look like. The live-streaming attracted over 17,000 page views. The website carries videos and transcriptions of all ten panels.

Hui convenor, University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, says ‘for too long we’ve been told there is no alternative to the current model, epitomised in the recently adopted Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.’

‘Today, the global trade regime faces an existential crisis. Mega-negotiations are being abandoned, delayed or pared down, and the World Trade Organization is fractured and paralysed.’

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’

‘The message from the hui was very clear: we need to generate real alternatives that confront climate change and disruption, while supporting sustainable local businesses and jobs that pay a living wage, in a nation founded on te Tiriti o Waitangi.’

‘A new progressive vision would see trade as driven by relationships, within our communities and with the wider world, that enable innovation, resilience and wellbeing, instead of enabling the corporations and markets that currently dominate our trade policy.’

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‘The recent hui and the new website are a first step in the JusTrade project, bringing together experts on economics and business, geopolitics, te Tiriti, climate and environment, livelihoods, development, knowledge and health and wellbeing.’

Over the next few weeks, further media releases will highlight specific aspects of the new vision, starting with contributions on the economy and on climate change.

Two other targeted initiatives – on regulation of the digital economy and on alternatives to international investment agreements – will be launched to coincide with international forums in which the New Zealand government will be taking part.

The project will also monitor and support Stage Two of the Waitangi Tribunal claim on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (Wai-2522), and other Maori initiatives.


  1. Whether by accident or design Donald Trump is, by applying sanctions left right and centre all over the globe,demonstrating to the world the small wisdom of nations becoming dependent on trade for the vital needs of their people. For Venezuela their dependence on imported food as their own food production was allowed to atrophy while oil exports earned their living has given the US the opportunity to destroy a socialist government by starving it’s people. As in Iraq between invasions. Neither by Trump’s initiative of course , but he is carrying on the process left right and centre.
    Agains Russia however it has not been so effective. They have too many options and too many resources and the result of forcing greater self sufficiency there has resulted in a healthier more secure and independent economy than they had before the sanctions started.
    I believe most international trade would stop in it’s tracks if it were only driven by real natural advantage. It would not stop as climate and resources do vary around the globe, but I am sure that most is driven by uneven distribution of poverty in the world providing cheap labour in some countries, and perhaps even more by currency exchange rates that are overwhelmingly driven by speculation and manipulation and seldom reflect a genuine valuation of the goods and services exchanged.
    We may be at a disadvantage in manufacturing because of economies of scale, but we used to build our own locomotives for god’s sake. Long ago.
    And we were set up to make modern ones till Jonky went to China instead.
    If global trade were to advantage people in every country equally, and not wastefully and environmentally damagingly shift stuff all over the world , and for no country to be disadvantaged, there would need to be a world government. Short of that each country needs to manage it’s own housekeeping budget for the benefit of it’s own people. That means full employment being the primary goal. And importing only what we can’t sensibly produce ourselves , and exporting what other countries freely wish to buy without any pre imposed constraints.
    Every country is seeking to better it’s own position and wealth, so of course China will buy up all our farms and forests if we let them.
    But the most pervading aspect of trade as it is done and agreed to these days is that a few individuals and companies are allowed to capture the social and natural advantages of all countries, syphoning off the value of all to a tiny global elite , while nations and peoples become ever more indebted.
    Each country must manage it’s own economy for it’s own population. The market is not going to do it and neither is the other country.
    D J S

  2. What is the cost? Oh, too much, will go back to my usual retailer who exploits workers and ruins the environment, never mind, I am separated by mental and emotional walls.

    • That is why its a job for government regulation. But the government has to be pretty tough minded because its gonna have to be the rich that contribute more to the change. You can bet they will squeal like stuck pigs but if a person cant see that there is a limit to the amount that they can accumulate before it becomes obscene then let everyone hear their screams. The MSM would be one long wail but who except the very well off and politicians believes what they say anymore.

      At some point in chasing the cheap product you reach the level of the Crafar Farms. You may still be happy purchasing product cheaply that is produced with zero concern for dehydrating calves to death but it is unbelievable that we now live in a country where such a choice can be offered. Its too much to expect individual consumers to keep tabs on production. Thats what regulations are for and the bar needs to be continually raised as the needs of the environment and people and planet are identified. Jonky dropped the ball deliberately and laughing because he was always a match fixer and as such should go to jail.

  3. To do that we must cease our involvement in this farce called the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership.

    Comprehensive codswallop? YEP.
    Progressive sell out of values? YEP.
    Tyrannical? YEP.
    Poisonous? YEP.

    • We had a chance at the Copenhagen Conference on climate in 2002 to settle the status of China. It’s pulled in every U.S. President since Nixon and arguably cost to of our own Prime Ministers (Key and Clark) and basically we’ve blown any long term trade links with China. Now what has climate denial done? It has entrenched the Pentagon in the South China Sea. Now instead of sea the word “China” in the South China Sea the pentagon sees it as not China. And of course this is inflaming Chinese nationalism. In a very large measure the United a states of America created Xi Jinping. Xi is now President of China for life so he can just play the long game and wait out Trump.

      So we’ve bitten off more than we can chew, instead of taking the longer view that Russia and China can obliterate America and vis versa. We now need a policy, a policy of extremely armed neutrality, energy security, food security and water security.

  4. My personal opinion’s are many. I have many opinions. I’m multi-opinionated.
    One of my many opinions is with regard to trade.
    The people we’re ‘trading’ with will inevitably come and take our country off us. But don’t worry. It’ll be as bloodless as the last coup we had on, or about, the 1980’s. We’ll simply wake up one morning and be in someone else’s country. Sure, the new owners will keep Te Reo and a few quaint historic celebrations intact but for all that, we’ll no longer be Kiwis on New Zealand/ Aotearoa. We’ll be like Disneyland characters putting on a show for the riche global elite to amuse themselves with once they park up the Gulf Stream at ZQT. ( Don’t laugh. It’s a thing. )
    The people who’ve brokered ‘trade’ deals in the past are criminals who, not only stole our farmer’s money but they stole, then sold, those things and stuff farmer money bought and paid for.
    If NZ/AO’er farmers brains and balls were dynamite there’d not be enough to blow the wax out of their ears or the hair off their arses.
    Despite the above inarguable facts, NZ/AO’ers are entirely oblivious to our farmers out there farming. Unless blind hate and raging jealousy is so motivating that a pure essence of ignorant loathing can no longer be hidden. And as the anuses of the Lambo set twitch at the idea of a beastly fama dahlings coming to dinna! Much less, (white)God forbid, spending the money they make on themselves. Then, as instructed by the scum crims, the media will pick that up and spread it like spots on one’s cock to make sure the lies, logical fallacies and swindles are never discovered because they soooo love that Lambo and what the sound of it does to the mistress’s nipples.
    From my observations, Prof Kelsey, while awesome, has yet to strike the nail squarely upon it’s dreaded head. ( That’s so funny. I left school before I got that mythical ‘school cert’ and yet here I am, all but arguing with a law Professor.) NZ/AO is too rich and too pretty to escape being ravaged by todays foreign desperadoes and NZ/AO was too rich and too pretty to escape the ravaging’s of a cadre of the common criminals in NZ/AO’s history.
    The solution?
    I’d suggest a royal commission of inquiry into the relationships of present and past politicians and present and past money fetishists.
    Oh! What might that unearth..? I thrill at the thought of it. I can imagine they’d squirm and wriggle and pant and gasp and come out in rashes and hives. They’d sweat like horses and sleep like the guilty and I’d be there, at the gallows, to spit in their fat faces as I reminded them that their greedy pleasures had sent many innocent people to suffering while they, those crooks, stole away with money and stuff and things that never belonged to them.
    As an example…

    • School and uni are just one way to get an education CB. Not the only way. And if you have some brains and take an interest in things you get an education , just not the letters. You are obviously neither ignorant nor stupid.
      But Jane probably has constraints on how outspoken she can be when the powers that be are to be criticised, or she would loose her position and hence the establishment sanctioned authority that her formal qualifications and her profession afford her.
      We are not so constrained.
      D J S

  5. But that Free Slave Agreement with the Chinese dictatorshit is just AWESOME, eh Jane? 😉

    Or is that a verboten elephant in the living room when the University of Auckland’s academics are compromised in what they can say as a result of their incomes being dependent on the University’s strong relationship with the Chinese dictatorshit?

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