Well first of all it has not even been through our parliament for debate, as the full and final text really only became available once the last parliamentary year finished. Before that it was all leaks and conjectures about what the TPPA contained. But those leaks and conjectures were a worry... and not too far from the truth as it turns out.
A couple of nights ago, I asked on a page operated by NZEI if there was an organised group attending the march in Auckland tomorrow. I wanted to be with like minded friends to participate.
One of the responses was this: Is there a depth of understanding about the TPPA ??? What about advantages?
And I responded with this:
Tariff reductions are a great advantage. Opening up new markets is a great advantage.
- It was negotiated in secret. Unlike previous FTAs, there was no bipartisan consultation with other political parties, no consultation with Tangata Whenua and little consultation with our own business leaders and academics.
- The Treaty of Waitangi is not mentioned in it. This is a defining piece of NZ law. There is precedence for it to be included. It was part of the FTA Phil Goff negotiated with China.
- Unlike Australia or Singapore or a few other nations, we have no rights to invoke protections as to who can come in and buy land and houses from overseas. Even implementing something as simple as requiring a foreigner to build a new home rather than buy an existing house would not be allowed.
- The increased lengths of patents on biomedications and the like will blow our health budget out of the water and continue delays and denials of access to the best treatments for people suffering from health conditions.
- Copyright law changes will makes books more expensive - not great for public libraries and schools and the like.
- The fact that when our government wants to change a law, they will have to allow foreign nationals and corporates to make submissions. Stop and think about how that will likely have a negative effect on environmental or employment law for example. If you think I'm not realistic, did you know the company that runs Auckland's trains, Veolia, has sued Egypt for raising the minimum wage? Now think about how Peter Jackson and Warner Bros has already influenced employment law for actors and film workers in NZ.
- Tim Groser promised us a gold plated deal and that he wouldn't bow down to continued tariffs and restrictions on our dairy trade. Then he made us eat dead rats over that, and American and Canadian dairy farmers breathed a Collective sigh of relief when Groser rolled over. The benefits to the dairy industry are minimal, as they are over all. Tufts University predicts without the TPPA NZ would have a 46% increase in GPD by 2030; with it the increase would be 47% - consequently, business wise, the TPPA is negligible.
- And this is the complete deal breaker for me: the impact on our quality public education system in NZ. Let's say a company from the US arrives called XYZ Ed. They can demand that the NZ government give them money to set up a charter school in NZ. Despite the fact that where they set it up doesn't need a new school. With our tax payer dollars. And we all know NZ charter schools aren't subjected to the scrutiny that state schools are. And why? Because the TPPA allows it. Singapore's negotiators didn't agree to that one and had it written out of their part of the agreement.
The TPPA hardly embodies these: no Maori have been partners in the negotiation; there are severe concerns that our assets and sovereignty will not be protected; and there has been no participation in what has been an entirely secret set of dealing and wheeling. smile emoticon
If we value the Treaty of Waitangi, we need to value it every day of the year. It seems to me that John Key has ignored it 364 days of the year and then wants to be valued and honoured on the one day that is Waitangi Day.
Sorry - that doesn't wash with me.
And when you look at this tweet in the context of those before an after, it speaks volumes about the position that Congress is taking.
- For a link to the full TPPA text released by MFAT on January 26 2016 click here. It is interesting to note that the Spanish and French versions were only released yesterday, February 2 2016.
- For the official government propaganda... opps.... cough, cough.... official analysis of the benefits of the TPPA, click here.
- To view the full Auckland Town Hall meeting held on Tuesday 26 January 2016, click here.
- And to view the academic analysis of the TPPA, click here for links to each one.
- Government silent over TPPA threat to public education – NZEI - by Save Our Schools NZ
- The dangers of TPPA to the New Zealand school system - by Save Our Schools NZ
- Paul Goulter: TPP puts profit ahead of quality education - Paul Goulter is the NZEI National Secretary and pretty much everything I've heard Paul say about GERM (Global Education Reform Movement) has come to pass in one form or another.
- And, in a late edit, a video from NZ Stop TPPA's Facebook page that simply explains about the TPPA.