Jane Kelsey: TPPA ministerial fails – time for Key and Groser to cut their losses

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New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser is currently taking part, in his capacity of Climate Change Minister, in the COP21 climate change conference being hosted in Paris.

Source: Professor Jane Kelsey.

Professor Jane Kelsey.
Professor Jane Kelsey.

‘The “final” ministerial meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) in Maui has failed. Not opting to stay another day shows the gridlock is serious and potentially intractable’, according to University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey.

‘Everyone is blaming each other in Maui’, Kelsey said. ‘But the underlying reason for the gridlock is the domestic opposition in almost all the TPPA countries.’

‘People simply don’t believe a deal that raises the price of medicines and handcuffs the right of governments to regulate is in their national interests’.

‘Despite erecting a shroud of secrecy around the negotiations, politicians know they can’t sign a final deal that they can’t sell at home.’

Professor Kelsey notes that Minister Groser’s sales job got much harder this week.

After years of denial, he and the Prime Minister have now confessed that medicines will indeed cost more, that the TPPA will prevent tighter restrictions foreign investments, and that foreign investors might indeed sue New Zealand and win under the TPPA.

‘Those confessions raised the political price of the TPPA and meant the Minister couldn’t accept a cosmetic deal. Despite downgrading his ambitions from the initial “full liberalisation” to something “commercially meaningful” for dairy, even that was not achievable.’

Time has now almost run out.The US Fast Track law sets out a complicated process the US must follow. US consumer organisation Public Citizen calculates the absolute minimum amount of time is about 3 months.[1] 

Under the more likely timeframe, if negotiations do not conclude until September the earliest Congress would vote on the TPP is January 2016, when the path to passage will be more politically fraught. That is US election year. The last thing Hilary Clinton, other Democrats and many Republicans want is a vote on a politically toxic deal mid-campaign.

‘Hopefully the groundswell of media coverage and discussion in New Zealand this week, along with a stronger position from Labour and the Waitangi Tribunal claim, have created enough pressure on the government to cut its losses and walk away’, Kelsey said.

‘At the very least, before the negotiations resume we need to see the text and the options clearly laid out, and have an independent and comprehensive cost benefit analysis that can be debated in an open and democratic way’.

‘I and others will seek to advance that openness with the judicial review proceedings of the Minister’s refusal to release documents under the Official Information Act, to be filed early next week’.

[1] http://www.citizen.org/documents/TPP-vote-calendar.pdf

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

53 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you so much Jane for the work you are doing to protect New Zealand for its people. I wrote on Seven Sharps FB Page disgusted at the way you were attacked by Mike Hosking’s, the feedback and further comments were the same as mine. We the people need someone and a Professor of Law in New Zealand with free information is good by me. Thank you

  2. Clearly Tim Groser is to close to the TPPA, admitting today that he is ’emotionally attached” and that he wrote the first chapter. Tim is not going to let this baby lay to rest. He has invested to much time and energy to walkaway. Thanks Jane for your tireless effort in bringing the TPPA to public attention.

  3. Well done Jane Kelsey for your tireless efforts to bring this to the publics attention and get some accountability from the government. Key was in my home town of Pukekohe today amid a swarm of police. Since when did the police start protecting criminals? Key needs to be given his marching orders – back to the US from whence he came. NZ is not for sale. It is so sad that someone of his background should have learnt compassion, empathy and understanding. Instead he learnt how to prosper while he sold other people out. That is a testament to a failed life. You’ve totally missed what it is all about Key.

  4. I agree with John, thank you for working so tirelessly to save our right to freedom, essentially. I wish this would have come out before the election but now that it is, John Keys needs to finally think like a kiwi, release the TPPA before signing and let NZ decide.

  5. I second that John! Don’t stop there Prof. Kelsey! Take them to court, dont let them brush this off and look all good and perfect for the next election, get them to release that which the NZ public has a right to know. We’re with you 100%!

  6. Kia ora Jane. Mike Hosking is a puppet for John Key. Surely they can see secrets aren’t the right direction.
    Thank you for your hard work. Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui.

  7. Thank you Prof. Kelsey for your tireless work keeping this issue alive in the media and protected the NZ population as a whole. I don’t know how you manage interviews will dullards like Hosking so gracefully.

  8. My sentiments entirely John. Jane, there is a vital role for a person of your calibre to empower voters to have a say in decisions affecting our lives despite the powers of corporate interests. This TPPA
    over rides the rights of the indigenous people of this country, in breach of a treaty operating under the protectorate of the Queen of England. It could be interpreted as a declaration of war upon Maori in terms of denial of Treaty rights on so many levels, and is at least a serious threat to the wellbeing of all New Zealanders. By definition, that is also a declaration of war against the Queen of England as the legally binding protectorate of New Zealand. This situation could invoke a somewhat primal and militant reaction from the general public, especially Maori, if the continued denial of democratic rights of the voting public is not dealt with soon, and politicians bought back into line as the public servants that they really are.
    Keep up the good work Jane.
    Cheers
    Gary

  9. I think it is fair to also thank J Assange and wikileaks for the TPP sneak preview they gave us, the public.
    Those leaks look now very credible.
    Well done keep up the good job.
    #ThanksWikileaks.

  10. I think it is fair to also thank J Assange and wikileaks for the TPP sneak preview they gave us, the public.
    Those leaks look now very credible.
    Well done keep up the good job.
    #ThanksWikileaks.

  11. I’m relieved that the TPPA has not been signed today, and grateful to Jane Kelsey and others who’ve worked strenuously to inform the public about the very harmful content of it. Let’s keep increasing the opposition to it and other current follies of the present Government, notably fracking, and generally not listening to the public.

  12. I’m relieved that the TPPA has not been signed today, and grateful to Jane Kelsey and others who’ve worked strenuously to inform the public about the very harmful content of it. Let’s keep increasing the opposition to it and other current follies of the present Government, notably fracking, and generally not listening to the public.

  13. Thank you Jane for your voice of sanity in this debacle. I can’t help but think what the pay off is for those selling us into slavery.

  14. Thank you Jane for your voice of sanity in this debacle. I can’t help but think what the pay off is for those selling us into slavery.

  15. Yes, fantastic result although not over yet! Much thanks to Professor Kelsey and the many supporters of “NO WAY TPPA”.

  16. Yes, fantastic result although not over yet! Much thanks to Professor Kelsey and the many supporters of “NO WAY TPPA”.

  17. You’ve done a fantastic job keeping the heat on this Jane. Thank you so much on behalf of all New Zealanders.

  18. You’ve done a fantastic job keeping the heat on this Jane. Thank you so much on behalf of all New Zealanders.

  19. Big thanks and praise to The Daily Blog for bringing us all into the fight for democracy,and having Jane Kelsy”s articles in print for us all see ,keep up the good fight .

  20. Ha ha “since when did police start protecting criminals ” “, love it!! re Key…. the arrogant piece of garbage.
    yes..Jane you should def be crowned N.Zr of the year ..every year in my book for all the years of your hard work +dedication.

  21. Ha ha “since when did police start protecting criminals ” “, love it!! re Key…. the arrogant piece of garbage.
    yes..Jane you should def be crowned N.Zr of the year ..every year in my book for all the years of your hard work +dedication.

  22. What mean mahi you do your just the bomb thank you for the all the hard work you do you are an inspiration Kia kaha.

  23. What mean mahi you do your just the bomb thank you for the all the hard work you do you are an inspiration Kia kaha.

  24. So everything some of us have been saying for some time has proven correct. How can it be a “Free Trade” agreement when the big players get to select what is included and what isn’t??? THANK YOU JANE!!!! We need people like you in Parliament!! Give it some thought please!! Andrew Little, give her a call!!

  25. So everything some of us have been saying for some time has proven correct. How can it be a “Free Trade” agreement when the big players get to select what is included and what isn’t??? THANK YOU JANE!!!! We need people like you in Parliament!! Give it some thought please!! Andrew Little, give her a call!!

  26. Well done Jane. Keep up the great work.
    To the rest of us, we need to find the 2% above who say they don’t know enough and show them why we are concerned. Hopefully we’ll get them marching with us on the 15th August.

  27. Well done Jane. Keep up the great work.
    To the rest of us, we need to find the 2% above who say they don’t know enough and show them why we are concerned. Hopefully we’ll get them marching with us on the 15th August.

  28. Thanx to all that voiced their opinion of the falsehood and deception the govt’s were trying to bring about with the TPPA and that you Jane for being a prominent person in this but also a big thanx to all NZers for listening and showing the govt we are a nation of thinkers and the sheep are on our farms not the towns

  29. Thanx to all that voiced their opinion of the falsehood and deception the govt’s were trying to bring about with the TPPA and that you Jane for being a prominent person in this but also a big thanx to all NZers for listening and showing the govt we are a nation of thinkers and the sheep are on our farms not the towns

  30. Thank you for your tireless work for Aotearoa Jane.Thank god this country has someone like you to fight for the people.Kia kaha

  31. Many thanks Jane for your huge efforts in keeping this at the forefront of public attention and for what you’ve done in analysing the true import of the TPP.

  32. Many thanks Jane for your huge efforts in keeping this at the forefront of public attention and for what you’ve done in analysing the true import of the TPP.

  33. Thank you Jane. Your actions and your talk has credibility.I salute you. Of course Tim Groser is emotionally attached – he’s making sure to pave the way for his new job as US Ambassador when Mike Moore steps down. National’s first value is Loyalty to the Country. Should read more like Loyalty to the US Dollar.

  34. Thank you Jane. Your actions and your talk has credibility.I salute you. Of course Tim Groser is emotionally attached – he’s making sure to pave the way for his new job as US Ambassador when Mike Moore steps down. National’s first value is Loyalty to the Country. Should read more like Loyalty to the US Dollar.

  35. Thank you so much, Jane for speaking out on this issue! You are awesome! We will keep the pressure on the govt by doing what we are doing and getting out the message that TPPA will kill NZ as we know it. We shall keep arming the people of NZ with knowledge and facts! Stay strong NZ! Cheers, Grant

  36. Thank you so much, Jane for speaking out on this issue! You are awesome! We will keep the pressure on the govt by doing what we are doing and getting out the message that TPPA will kill NZ as we know it. We shall keep arming the people of NZ with knowledge and facts! Stay strong NZ! Cheers, Grant

  37. I agree. If giant corporates punish this country with unjust fines then it could financially cripple this country hurting many NZers. This would make me militant. If selfish politicians screw us just so they can get better job prospects in the UN or the U.S or wherever then it may come down to the point where we have to destroy the government before they destroy us. The result would be anarchy and rioting something I don’t want in this country. With the rising cost of living especially in housing I know many people who are upset bordering on anger feeling powerless about being unable to do anything about it. The TPPA would just add petrol to the fire.

  38. I agree. If giant corporates punish this country with unjust fines then it could financially cripple this country hurting many NZers. This would make me militant. If selfish politicians screw us just so they can get better job prospects in the UN or the U.S or wherever then it may come down to the point where we have to destroy the government before they destroy us. The result would be anarchy and rioting something I don’t want in this country. With the rising cost of living especially in housing I know many people who are upset bordering on anger feeling powerless about being unable to do anything about it. The TPPA would just add petrol to the fire.

  39. Good on you Jane! I still believe that we’ve got a fight on our hands, as the corporate lawyers will want this deal done before Obama leaves the White House. Look at utube talks by senators Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders who lead the American public against the TPPA. Alternate news media like that of Thom Hartmann and many others also have more information, which the mainstream media don’t report. I’ll be at the protest in Nelson!

  40. Good on you Jane! I still believe that we’ve got a fight on our hands, as the corporate lawyers will want this deal done before Obama leaves the White House. Look at utube talks by senators Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders who lead the American public against the TPPA. Alternate news media like that of Thom Hartmann and many others also have more information, which the mainstream media don’t report. I’ll be at the protest in Nelson!

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