TPPA Bulletin #79

Aotearoa NZ Peoples’ TPPA Demands

In this Bulletin:
  • Updates on Nationwide marches
  • Aotearoa NZ Peoples' Demand
  • Media Coverage
  • Take Action Now
  • Key Issues from the text
  • Legal Action
  • Message from our friends at Real Choice 
Thanks to all for amazing rallies, marches, picnics and other events across the country last weekend. This was a crucial step in countering the media spin that the TPPA isn’t so bad and to suggesting that it’s too late. We got our message out there instead:

 It ain’t over. Don’t sign! 

We have kicked the pressure back up, our job is now to make the political cost too high for the government to sign this monstrous agreement.

Analysis of more than 6000 pages to look at the real dangers that are hidden behind the legal text, and we will produce hard-hitting fact sheets on the crucial ways that the TPPA will affect our environment, our people, our rights and our sovereignty.

It ain’t over in New Zealand and opposition to the TPPA is mobilising in other countries. We need to keep up the pressure. This is a fight that we can still win!

Aotearoa NZ Peoples’ TPPA Demands

The following demands were read out at each of the rallies and were widely supported by attendees.

The Government has no democratic mandate to sign away our democratic powers in the TPPA. Before it takes any steps towards signing the agreement, the Government shall:
  1. Undertake independent human rights, health, environmental and climate change impact assessments of the potential effects of the TPPA on the people and land of New Zealand, and make this information publicly available.
  2. Support Local Government New Zealand to undertake an independent assessment of the impacts on local government of the TPPA, and consult fully with local government.
  3. Fully engage with its Treaty of Waitangi partners to hear and address their concerns about the TPPA and refer the text and any proposed legislation to the Waitangi Tribunal to conduct a full risk assessment of impacts on tangata whenua; iwi and hapū.
  4. Withdraw its consent to the secrecy pact among the twelve TPPA countries and release all background documentation relating to the negotiations.
  5. Initiate a full public and parliamentary debate on the TPPA, including Select Committee hearings with public consultation, and put the TPPA to a public referendum, before formal signing. 
We will continue to mobilise New Zealand citizens in opposition to the TPPA until our demands have been met.

These demands, plus some basic info on TPPA, are available as an A4 pdf here and an A5 pdf here.

Media Coverage

Media coverage over the weekend was dominated by the tragedy in Paris, but we still managed to get quite a few stories in different publications.

Before Rally
10/11/15          Northern Advocate 
11/11/15          Bay of Plenty Times 
13/11/15          Gisborne Herald 
14/11/15          Newstalk ZB 
14/11/15          3 News
Rally Coverage
14/11/15          3 News 
14/11/15          Manawatu Standard 
14/11/15          Gisborne Herald 
15/11/15          3 News 
15/11/15          The Press 
16/11/15          Nelson Mail 
16/11/15          Rotorua Daily Post 
16/11/15          Otago DailyTimes

Take Action Now!
  • Make a ‘Real Choice’ – the folks behind “Show us ya text’ have now launched an awesome campaign to call on the government to hold a referendum on the TPPA. If we’re holding two referendums on a flag that hardly anyone wants, what about a real referendum on protecting our sovereignty? Sign up to demand a referendum at Real Choice, and check out the message from them at the bottom of this message.
  • TPPA Free Zones – declare your home a TPPA Free Zone, or get your workplace to do so, your community centre, marae, youth centre, sports club, or wherever. Download the logo here.
  • Get active on the media – Use your influence with local and national media, and social media to get the word out, using the ‘Key Issues’ briefing below. We need to tell them that it’s not over and the we must not sign.
  • Message to Labour: Come down off that fence – A strong opposition to the TPPA needs the largest opposition party to be active and consistent. See Jane Kelsey’s open letter to Andrew Little here explaining how the TPPA abjectly fails ALL of Labour’s five tests and click here for information on how to contact your Labour MP.
  • Build our support base – Get more of your friends, whanau, neighbours, work colleagues and community to wake up to this very real danger to our democracy. We are planning a roadshow in February/March to educate and mobilise more people to support our struggle. We will be putting a callout to see who can help organise a local meeting.
Key Issues emerging from the analysis of the text
The final text of the TPPA was released on 5 November 2015. Initial analysis of the text shows the NZ government has misled the public through spin, inflated claims and self-serving omissions. The economic benefits have been exaggerated, the economic and social costs understated and future risks ignored.
Read a three page analysis document here.
Support the Legal Case against Government secrecy
Please donate to the case the Dr. Jane Kelsey has brought against the government. The action has already been supported by a Court ruling that will strengthen access to OIAs in future. Help end the secrecy so that we can hold the government to account. Donate here.

A Message From Our Friends at Real Choice

Please share this message with your groups and networks.

Hi, it’s Ben here from Real Choice, asking for the help of you and your organisation.

We believe the government has acted undemocratically in its TPPA negotiation. This is too important to be left up to a small group of MPs to decide, and should be put to a binding referendum vote. So Real Choice is giving Kiwi’s a voice by running a nationwide peoples' referendum on whether or not we ratify the TPPA, beginning next week.

>From Monday 23rd till Monday the 30th of November, we’ll be holding our own referendum online (you can see the live referendum website here) asking whether the NZ government should ratify the TPP. We have set up a secure online voting platform and need volunteers to set up ‘polling stations’ around the country to collect votes during polling week.

We’ll need as many people as possible to vote in our referendum. That’s why we’re asking you to post links to the referendum (at in your own communications during the voting period. Whether it’s being included in your newspaper or being posted on Facebook, we’re looking for your support to enable us to get more voters.

On Monday, will you send a notification to your email list and invite them to participate in the referendum?

This is not actually a vote on the TPPA, nor is it a petition for a Citizens Initiated Referendum. It is us attempting to reach the widest possible group of voters, in a step back from direct action to allow us to build a bigger support group before the next phase, which we’ll announce with the referendum results. With our mandate and support base as wide as possible, we’re hoping to be able to do something awesome next.

Thanks for your support,
Ben and the rest of the Real Choice Crew

TPPA Exposed: Don’t Sign

It’s Worse Than We Thought

The government today released the almost final text of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The lengthy delay has raised questions about whether the Ministers really knew what it was they were signing. It is already 30 days since Trade Ministers concluded the agreement, and there are still further adjustments to be made.

“The belated release of this TPPA document agreed by Trade Ministers a month ago is a shameful reminder of the secrecy, spin and corporate deal-making that has characterised this shabby deal,” said It’s our Future spokesperson coalition, Barry Coates.

After six years of secrecy, the government is still refusing to release the analysis and background documents.

“The Minister for Trade tried to justify the secrecy by saying that trade negotiations are always secret. But the TPPA negotiations have been undemocratic in the extreme and the standard of transparency is far below the usual practice in other negotiations, including the World Trade Organisation. The EU has already proposed far greater transparency in a new agreement,” said Barry Coates.

“The government has used the past month since the TPPA was concluded to desperately spin the deal as a saviour of the New Zealand economy, using half-truths and exaggeration to try to paint a rosy picture. It hasn’t worked,” Coates commented.

“The TPPA devil will be in the detail, especially since large corporations and their legal experts have been given privileged access throughout the negotiations. It is time to show the public what’s really in the TPPA, instead of the spin. We need an objective and thorough analysis of the costs and benefits, the risks to New Zealand and the threats to our sovereign decision-making.”

“The TPPA isn’t over. It is unlikely to be signed by governments until February next year at the earliest. It’s our Future coalition, and hundreds of thousands of supporters across New Zealand, have brought unprecedented scrutiny to this complex agreement. We will not go away. We aim to build a massive public outcry to stop the TPPA from being signed. It’s not too late. Don’t sign!”

Saturday 14 November will be the next Day of Action to stop the TPPA, as concerned citizens around New Zealand tell the government not to sign the agreement. Marches and rallies are planned in at least 14 cities across the country.

Full Text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership


  • Secret TPP Text Unveiled here 

  • Initial Analyses - Secret TPP Text Unveiled: It’s Worse than We Thought here
Radio NZ Interviews

  • Lori Wallach, Director Public Citizen here 

  • RNZ correspondent Patrick O'Meara here


Peace Researcher Number 50


Grab your FREE copy !

In this Issue

  • The Government’s SIS And GCSB
  • Stop The Spies! by Stop The Spies
  • Spooky Bits
  • Cops Pay Out Spy & Agent Provocateur
  •  New Zealand’s Homegrown Military-Industrial Complex 
  • Militarist Market Strategy And Tactics. - Global Capitalist Ideology And Growing Crisis 
  • Reviews
    ~ “Kill Chain: Drones And The Rise Of High-Tech Assassins”
    ~ “We Kill Because We Can: From Soldiering To Assassination In The Drone Age”

Peace Researcher is published by Anti-Bases Campaign (ABC) and yep it is free to download but it would be cool if you would support our work by joining 

Grab it here

Nationwide Day of Action

It's time for NZ to unite and take the biggest stand that we
 have seen in our history! 

It's time to STAND UP against the TPPA!

Stand Up for our Sovereignty

Stand Up for Democracy!

Stand Up for Human Rights!

Stand Up for the Environment!

Stand Up against Corporate Control!

Save the date of Saturday 14 November!

TPPA Bulletin #76

The Fight Continues

No doubt many of you are dismayed at the outcome of the Atlanta TPPA talks, which saw a poor deal concluded, with only marginal market access for NZ dairy exports and confirmation of many of the worst fears of campaigns: investor-state dispute settlement provisions, costly copyright restrictions, increased costs for Pharmac, restrictions on the operation of SOEs and an array of other measures that amplify the influence of foreign investors and multinational corporations.

The NZ Government may be trumpeting its achievements, but the reality is far from rosy. As Bryan Gould notes in the NZ Herald:
The TPPA is a blueprint for extending the operation of those corporations without their having to bother with the restrictions that might be placed on them by national governments in the interests of their domestic populations.

It represents, in other words, a further, large, and largely irreversible step towards the absorption of a small economy like New Zealand into a much larger economy - an economy that is increasingly directed from overseas, not by politicians or even officials, but by self-interested and unaccountable business leaders.

Action continues! 

On conclusion of the deal, It's Our Future called on the NZ Government to release the text and all other relevant decision-making material immediately. In the Auckland Council a resolution has just been passed calling on the government to release the final agreed text of the agreement and consult with the Council before further decisions are made.

Activists around the country are currently consulting on what next steps to take, and we will keep you informed of any actions that are coming up and how you can play your part.

International Treaties Bill

NZ First MP Fletcher Tabuteau (the man who brought you the Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill) now has a new Bill, the International Treaties Bill, which would shift the decision-making power to ratify to agreements like the TPPA from Cabinet to Parliament.

Professor Jane Kelsey's Latest Blog: 

Sober reflections on the TPPA deal – and why we need to keep fighting
(We have reprinted Professor Jane Kelsey's latest blog on the TPPA from The Daily Blog below in full.)

After five and a half years Tim Groser and co finally did the deal. This was the worst possible day to be flying for 26 hours, trying to catch up with the details and unable to respond to media calls and the inevitable character assassination of those of us opposed to the TPPA.

There was no way the twelve governments were going to end the TPPA ministerial meeting in Atlanta without an agreement, especially after they got so close in Maui. They were out of time and too much political capital was at stake for any of the governments and ministers to have ‘failed’.

Instead, they failed us. New Zealand, along with Vietnam and Malaysia, are the biggest losers. We were always one of the most vulnerable players: no bargaining leverage, unrealistic demands pressed by an aggressive trade minister, and facing potentially more radical adjustments to satisfy US demands than participating countries that already have a USFTA.

We can take some solace in knowing that the battles fought nationally and internationally over the years, and the determination of staunch and courageous negotiators from some countries, stripped out some extreme proposals that became known through leaks. The final deal is still toxic, but it could have been even worse.

Without the text it’s impossible to precisely assess its implications, and we won’t get to see that for another month. Under the US Fast Track law, President Obama has to give 90 days notice to Congress before he can sign the TPPA, and must make the text public 30 days into that period. That gives the participating governments and their fellow travellers a month to spin the benefits, knowing that we don’t have the details.

Meanwhile, members of the US Congress and the corporate lobbyists who are ‘cleared advisers’ will get to see the deal. They will be all over it, seeking to change what they don’t like and making new demands. That will be the first of many opportunities for them to seek to rewrite the ‘final’ deal.

We do have some information. The USTR immediately released a 15 page summary of the 30 chapters. The Japanese government’s chapter by chapter account is more detailed and runs to 36 pages, but in Japanese; so, frustratingly for us, is the Ministry of Agriculture’s detailed explanation of Japan’s market access commitments. Canada has produced its own account . In New Zealand, MFAT has released a Q&A which says the only costs will be a 20 year extension to copyright law.

The spin has already begun. Fran O’Sullivan praised Groser’s ‘brinkmanship in the final brutal hours’ for securing New Zealand a deal on dairy that provided more than enough foie gras to compensate for any dead rats. What bollocks! It is true that Groser held out, arguing with USTR Froman until 5am. But he came out of it with bugger all.

In the assessment of US blog Politico:
‘Losers: New Zealand’s dairy industry, which is unhappy with the amount of access they’ve gotten. The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand thanked Groser for making “every effort”, but said it was “disappointed that the agreement has not delivered a more significant opening of TPP dairy markets”. Surely, no-one really expected otherwise?

Claims the final package will be worth $2.7 billion a year for New Zealand by 2030 reflect another well-honed strategy. The MFAT figures expand concrete gains from tariff cuts by the time the agreement comes fully into force (at least another 15 years) through modelling and assumptions about intangible economic benefits. These figures rapidly gained traction, but cannot be authoritatively contested without the text and the studies or cost-benefit analyses that it relies on (the Minister has previously refused my Official Information Act requests for such analyses).

Minister Groser has continually sought to justify the government’s participation in the TPPA by insisting he would accept nothing less than a ‘high quality, commercially meaningful deal’ for dairy. For example, 20 June 2012 – Tim Groser’s Address to the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council: TPP and New Zealand’s export future:
‘TPP Leaders agreed in Honolulu in November … on a set of very high benchmarks, including elimination of all tariffs….This is going to challenge a number of the participants, especially on their most sensitive agriculture sectors, but if this is not to end as a farce, it is something they are going to have to do.’

Indeed, he promised to walk away from a deal if the TPPA failed to deliver those benefits. That was never going to happen, as Groser made clear at the end of the failed Maui ministerial. What we get instead at yesterday’s ministerial press briefing was yet more promises for the future and ‘trust us’ politics:

“Look, long after the details of this negotiation on things like tons of butter have been regarded as a footnote in history, the bigger picture of what we’ve achieved today will be what remains. It is inconceivable that the TPP bus will stop at Atlanta. The TPP bus will move on … Our industry structures will change in response to the opportunities of this agreement, and in future years, we can be absolutely certain that the depth of achievement we’ve been able to reach at this point in our collective history will be deepened and broadened and other people will join this agreement. Don’t ask me to be precise because I would then be forecasting the future, but I just want to tell you that while the difficult negotiations on things like dairy products, which in my country’s case ended at 5 o’clock this morning, we have always to deal with these realities in a trade negotiation, but the bigger picture is the reason we’re sitting here and that bigger picture will be profoundly important and beneficial to the generations of the people in our respective countries."

Echoes of the conveniently timed primer from Helen Clark: it would be unthinkable for New Zealand not to part of such a deal.

What do we know about the details? Let’s stay with dairy for now. The chess game said US concessions to NZ depended on new US exports to Canada and Japan. Canada granted new quotas phased in over 5 years: a 3.25% share of annual dairy production, with most directed to value-added processing (not what New Zealand produces). That is for all 11 members; we don’t know how much of that NZ got.

Japan will continue to regulate dairy imports through its state owned trading company. There will be a quota for imports of powdered skim milk and butter, raising from 60,000 tons to 70,000 in six years. Again, it’s not clear if NZ gets any of that. Tariffs will go from cheddar in 16 years.

Groser foreshadowed his sales pitch, now downplaying the significance of dairy, during the Atlanta press conference:
‘this establishes, in the long run, complete elimination of all tariffs on everything New Zealand exports with two exceptions. One is the beef tariff in Japan and the other are some dairy products, some of which will achieve tariff elimination and others have proven to be too difficult.’

There do appear to be more significant gains for beef, fruit, seafood, wine, forstry products, lamb – but, as the Australia Japan FTA showed, the devil will be in the detail. Most of these concessions will have (very) long phase out periods and ‘safeguards’ that allow claw-backs if they impact severely on the domestic industry. Some will have ‘special safeguards’ as well.

What are the downsides? Again, we need to see the details of the text, but the following is a start.

Affordable medicines was potentially affected by four elements: longer effective patent protections; new rules for drug companies’ monopolies over the data for new generation biologics medicines; and a ‘transparency’ annex gives Pharma more influence during Pharmac’s decisions.

The latest information I have confirms what Groser has said (contrary to Key’s earlier concessions that medicines will cost more). Australia’s hard won provision on biologics will protect New Zealand as well, subject to kickback in the US Congress and during the SU certification process. New Zealand’s patent laws currently meet the final TPPA threshold.

The transparency annex, although unenforceable, is still a provlem as it is likely to include oversight mechanisms and could inform the fourth remaining, serious element – the potential for investor-state disputes over the refusal patents (as in Canada’s Eli lilly case) or Pharmac’s decisions not to subsidise medicines.

The weak general exception that applies to public health apparently does not apply to the investment chapter. There is a tobacco exception but that only applies to ISDS, whereas Malaysia proposed a carveout from the entire agreement. The government could choose to block an investment arbitration over a tobacco control measure, but that appears to be a case by case election by a government that is already under pressure from Big Tobacco. But it seems they could still bring a case if they allege discrimination. States can still enforce the entire agreement, including the investment chapter. Tobacco policies are also still captured by the chapter on services (eg. advertising, retail) or labelling rules in the chapter on technical barriers to trade.

The investment chapter is based on the US model bilateral investment treaty, which is more pro-investor than New Zealand’s existing FTAs, including with China, Taiwan and South Korea. Investors are also expected to be able to use ISDS to enforce their contracts in the case of a dispute (eg Sky City or PPPs), even if that’s not provided for in their contract. The ‘most-favoured nation’ clause in those agreements means their investors now get these stronger protections. There are some procedural improvements to the old ISDS model but apparently still no appeals, no code of conduct, and no effective constraints on tribunals going rogue.

The governent continues to play down the risks from this, saying New Zealand has never been sued. Australia, Germany, and many other OECD countries had the same false sense of complacency until they faced massive damages claim for adoption health, environmental and anti-nuclear policies. The global backlash against ISDS, including by governments, cannot simply be ignored.

The cross-border services chapter has largely gone unremarked and needs to be viewed in tandem with current 24-party negotiations for a Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). The chapter will require governments to maintain the current failed risk-tolerant light handed approach to regulation of services. Current levels of liberalisation will be locked in for many services, with a ratchet that automatically locks in any new liberalisation. Similar annexes will apply to the investment chapter. We don’t have the annexes to see which services and investments they apply to, but the Prime Minister has already conceded it would be impossible to strengthen restrictions on foreign investors in the residential property market.

Future governments may not be able to establish new state-owned enterprises (eg insurance, broadcasting, research) that require state support which foreign competitors say has an adverse effect on their activities. Again, we need to see the details on this and other impacts of the chapter.

Twenty years longer for copyright will impact on libraries and researchers, depending on the exceptions. New provisions are expected to allow ISPs to block websites if infringements are alleged (not proved) and new criminal penalties would apply for circumventing digital locks. The global tech companies claim to have succeded in stopping ‘localisation’ rules, where countries require data to be stored within the territory (localisation).

There are numerous provisions and a whole chapter dedicated to ensuring that commercial interests have rights to influence government decisions on policy and regulation.

This is just a start. New Zealanders therefore need to ask a simple question: who gave the Prime Minister and Trade Minister the right to sacrifice our rights to regulate foreign investment, to decide our own copyright laws, to set up new SOEs, and whatever else they have agreed to in this secret deal and present it to us as a fait accompli?

The campaign against the TPPA now moves into a new phase in each country: educating people about what the text means for nations, communities and sectors, countering the spin that is already at full tilt, and then stopping governments from adopting it.

That is crucial not just to save individual countries from the toxic deal. If enough governments hold back they cannot get the critical mass needed to bring the TPPA into force. This happened with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) – thanks to opposition within Europe it has still not been ratified by the minimum number of countries required. It is not clear how many and what size signatories will be required for the TPPA.

Clearly the US remains pivotal. Opposition is already welling up inside the Congress from both parties on a wide range of issues. Memories of Obama’s failure to secure Fast Track first time around in a bruising political contest that alienated his own supporters potend ill in an election year.

In my next blog I will explain in detail the political processes that will be used here, and in the US, and what opportunities they present to derail the TPPA.

TPPA Bulletin #75


Ministers are meeting in Atlanta on 30 September (US time) with a view to concluding talks on the agreement. Groser has been attempting to play it cool (anybody fooled?) and pretend he might not go, but we fully expect he will not only go, but also agree to whatever is required of him.
We need you to call the parliamentary offices of John Key (04 817 6800) and Tim Groser (04 817 6811) office on 30 September and tell them it is time to walk away from this toxic deal.

Legal Challenge to Secrecy
On Monday Professor Jane Kelsey and seven other applicants had a hearing in the Wellington High Court challenging TPPA secrecy. They are seeking a declaration that Minister Groser acted unlawfully when he issued a blanket refusal to release information on TPPA negotiations. Dr Matthew Palmer QC has said that they are simply seeking a standard reading of the Official Information Act.

Atlanta Ministerial
Stakes are high in Atlanta as Ministers hurry to conclude the final agreement. Chief negotiators have been meeting since Monday, and the main points of focus will be around automotive access (Canada and Mexico are upset over a US-Japan bilateral arrangement), biologics, and dairy market access. See Jane Kelsey's op-ed in the NZ Herald for further info.

Gordon Campbell on Dairy
Gordon Campbell has an interesting piece on Scoop trying to decode what's going on with the government currently downplaying expectations around TPPA, particularly on dairy market access.  He concludes that it is likely that the dairy deal has already been done. Not everyone supports Campbell's view, but his piece is thought-provoking and stacked with information, definitely worth a read.

It's Our Future NZ

~> TPPA Bulletin #74

On 15 August 2015 the People spoke!
Over 25,000 people took to the streets in more than 20 towns and cities across the country – magnificent! See media coverage of the protests here.

The government’s responded with insults
PM Key and senior politicians dismissed concerns and belittled critics of the TPPA. Key told TVNZ’s Breakfast that protesters were ‘misinformed’: 1/3 were ‘genuine’, 1/3 were ‘rent-a-crowd’, and the rest were Labour and Green supporter. Groser was even more abrasive, telling Morning Report that people were being misled by a few hardcore activists, and describing opposition to the agreement as “completely extreme”.

Attack politics backfired
Even the mainstream media attacked that: a Dom Post editorial called the government arrogant, saying concerns are now ‘shared not just by know-nothing lefties and extremist ideologues, but respectable economists of various sorts’. A Herald DigiPoll showed more TPPA opponents than supporters, despite the veil of secrecy. ActionStation supporters challenged government to agree to a live TV debate over the deal.

TPPA remains on life support
TPPA ministers failed to pull off the deal in late July, but they just don’t give up! Now Groser and the lead official have told the court they expect a deal late September or soon after. The US is trying to get other ministers to agree to meet in New York for late September. Others are saying November when the APEC Summit is on. Key says the deal should be done by Christmas. They’ll just keep rolling out the dates, so we need to remain vigilant. As soon as we know more we’ll be in touch.

28 September for court challenge to secrecy
The High Court in Wellington has set down 28 September to hear the challenge to the secrecy surrounding the TPPA. The hearing will probably take one day. You can help pay the costs here  The Waitangi Tribunal has been asked to reconsider the request for urgency to consider the claim that the TPPA process and content breaches the Treaty. Meanwhile, in Japan a legal challenge to the TPPA based on their constitution is getting underway (that’s not possible here).

Nats caught lying about Parliament’s role
The latest National MP caught misleading to constituents over Parliament’s ability to change the final TPPA deal is Shane Reti, who worryingly sits on the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee. The Greens gave Groser’s understudy Todd McClay hell at Parliament’s question time and he wouldn’t give a straight answer.

Ongoing action around the Country
Kiwis around the country have kept up the actions. Activists in Dunedin linked arms, blocking entry to a National Party fundraiser. On 2 September John Key was met by TPPA activists in both Katikati and Waihi! Auckland activists have located Groser’s new office. Whanganui protestors took to the city roundabout when Bill English visited.

Show Us Ya Text
The ‘Show Us Ya Text’ group are planning on undertaking a non-violent citizens’ search and seizure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade office in Wellington on 15 September. Find out how you can get involved here, or support them financially here.

More local government victories
The local government campaign continues its amazing run, with the South Wairarapa District Council supporting the 12-point TPP Policy Solution. Work continues with the Wairarapa and Greater Wellington Region councils. In Auckland, which passed the policy in late-2015, local board members are now moving motions that “seek clarification from the Minister of Trade on how their recommendations are being addressed in current negotiations…”, and it has passed in the Waitemata local board already.

Final debate on Korea FTA 
Great inputs from Greens’ Russel Norman and from NZ First’s Fletcher Tabuteau. Almost no other MPS were in the House! Labour basically reverted to its old position. 

Tobacco troubles
Dr Philip Pattemore’s op ed in the Dominion Post argues that a “carve out” of tobacco from the TPPA  (particularly from ISDS provisions) would help NZ reach its aim of Smokefree 2025. Powerful US Senators, like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from tobacco-producing Kentucky state, have dug in their heels, with one blog suggesting this could derail negotiations in the short-term.

TPPA and Human Rights
Former head of the Human Rights Commission Margaret Bedggood a good piece on the Human Right’s Foundation’s blog looking at TPPA’s impacts on NZ’s domestic human rights obligations - including the right to health and right to life, the right to work and other workplace rights, the right to an adequate standard of living and access to housing, food and water, and democratic rights to information, consultation and participation.

Dairy Declarations
Dairy worker unions from 9 of the 12 countries represented in TPPA negotiations met in San Francisco on 26 August, releasing a statement focusing on democracy, investor rights, wages and conditions and the rights to health and food.