It’s Our Future: TPPA News Bulletin #81

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It’s Our Future: TPPA News Bulletin #81

11 January 2016

In this Bulletin:

TPPA signing Auckland, 4 February
Auckland Actions for 4 February
Other actions around Aotearoa NZ
Lori Wallach & Jane Kelsey speaking tour 26-29 January
‘Don’t sign’ Petition to PM to be launched tomorrow
Fact Sheets
Expert Papers
Labour Party position
Media Articles

TPPA Latest

TPPA signing Auckland, 4 February

Rumours that TPPA ministers will sign the deal in NZ on 4 Feb were confirmed by Chile’s officials, although the government still says it’s not settled. Other reports confirm it will be in Auckland (as Fran O’Sullivan said back on 9 Dec), but MFAT hasn’t told people where. It’s NOT likely to be Sky City, which hosted the big meetings. This will be a small select ‘celebration’, probably somewhere with tight security.

The signing is largely symbolic but governments will try to use it as an opportunity to talk up the TPPA in the media. It will be signed by Trade Ministers (Todd McClay has replaced Tim Groser – we don’t yet know whether Groser will be there).

Rumours in the media that “US President Barack Obama lines up NZ visit” in order to thank the New Zealand government for pushing the TPPA deal look like a classic case of PR spin. Latest is that the Government denies the report saying “there are no plans in place for that to happen at this stage”.

Auckland Actions for 4 February

Auckland people will meet on Tuesday 12 January to talk about actions around the signing. The signing will be on a weekday, with Anniversary weekend before and Waitangi Day weekend after. We know people are anxious to get things moving, but please coordinate with others so that we don’t create confusion with multiple Auckland events. We will put out another Bulletin next week with more specific plans.

Other actions around Aotearoa NZ

Groups are already planning for activities leading up to 4 February. Chantelle Campbell will provide support and coordination for regional activity coordinators chantellec

Lori Wallach & Jane Kelsey speaking tour 26-29 January

In the lead-up to the signing, leading US critic of the TPPA and the most knowledgeable person about what’s happening in Washington, Lori Wallach the Director of Public Citizen Global Trade Watch, will be doing a short speaking tour. Advertising will be available shortly. Lori and Jane Kelsey will speak at:

  • Auckland Town Hall on 26th January at 7pm
  • Wellington St Andrews on the Terrace on 27th (time TBA)
  • Christchurch on 28th at Cardboard Cathedral at 7pm
  • Dunedin 29th (time and venue TBA).

These events will be free, with a donation requested. A Give a Little page is being set up to support the costs of these events and ongoing campaign actions over the next few weeks and the months. In the meantime, if you have fundraising suggestions, contact Barry Coates barrycoatesnz

‘Don’t sign’ Petition to PM to be launched tomorrow

Action Station is hosting a simple petition to the PM to tell the government not to sell us out and not to sign. That will be launched on 12th January. A separate communication will come out through email, Facebook and twitter tomorrow. Please circulate it everywhere.

Fact sheets
Simple fact sheets with updated information on the text will be available shortly. Apologies that the current fact sheets on the website are out of date – we will let you know when the new fact sheets are posted. The updating will be part of a website update and re-vamp taking place soon. The latest information on the TPPA text is in the Key Issues paper on the website.

Expert papers
For people wanting to understand the details of the TPPA text, there are New Zealand specific expert peer reviewed papers now available. These cover the Process (including what happens after the signing in NZ) and Investment rules. Papers on the Treaty of Waitangi, Environment and the Economics of the TPPA will be posted shortly.

Other expert analyses from offshore can be accessed on the TPPLegal website.

Labour Party position
Andrew Little has stated that a Labour Government would “defy the TPPA” if it conflicted with national sovereignty. He referred specifically to overseas ownership of residential property, so it is not clear whether this means that Labour would vote against the TPPA is there is a vote in Parliament. His Radio New Zealand interview is at http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/summerreport/audio/201785059/labour-says-it-will-defy-tpp
The Green Party, New Zealand First and the Maori Party have reiterated their opposition to the TPPA.

Media Articles:
Dr Joshua Freeman, Dr Hayley Bennet: TPPA could trump climate accord
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11567925

A huge US$15 billion ISDS claim has been lodged by TransCanada against the US over Obama’s decision to refuse permission for construction of the KeystoneXL pipeline from the Albert tar sands projects: This case is a real test for whether governments can take action on climate change, Press coverage includes:
NZ Herald http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11571180 and http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11570574

The Corporation Behind Keystone XL Just Laid Bare the TPP’s Threats to Our Climate: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ben-beachy/the-corporation-behind-ke_b_8931802.html

TransCanada, This is What Democracy Looks Like: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtenay-lewis/transcanada-this-is-what_b_8940640.html

Keystone XL rejection leads TransCanada to sue Obama administration: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/transcanada-lawsuit-keystone-xl-pipeline-1.3392446

An interview with Lori Wallach on this case and on country of origin labelling, repealed due to WTO rulings: http://www.democracynow.org/2016/1/7/transcanada_sues_the_us_for_15b

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