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Māori launch Waitangi Tribunal claim against TPPA today


New PictureA group of esteemed Māori leaders and academics, including Dr Papaarangi Reid, Moana Jackson, Rikirangi Gage, Angeline Greensill, Hone Harawira and Moana Maniapoto have filed a claim and application for urgent hearing today in the Waitangi Tribunal.

The claim alleges that the government’s actions in negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPPA) are a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.

The claimants say that the TPPA procedurally and substantively prejudices them and undermines the guarantees to Māori under the Treaty to the exercise of their tino rangatiratanga in governance decisions that affect them.

The meeting of ministers to make final decisions on the TPPA is imminent. Adoption of the agreement by New Zealand will not require consent of Parliament, there is no mandatory involvement of Māori nor any obligation to assess the implications for the Treaty of Waitangi.

IMG_0912The TPPA negotiations have been conducted in secret and our government has not released the text.

Leaked documents have revealed a number of provisions that will allow multi-national corporations to sue governments for loss of anticipated profits resulting from legislation or regulation for protection of the environment, health and other legitimate government concerns. This is of grave concern to the claimants given their ongoing disputes over mining, forestry and water, and the failure of the government to implement effective smoke free policies. These cases are brought in Tribunals outside New Zealand which do not follow existing case law and in which Māori have no right to participate.

The government has also failed to protect Māori intellectual property rights in its negotiation of the TPPA; there is no consideration of the Waitangi Tribunal’s report on the Wai 262 report, Ko Aotearoa Tenei.

“Māori have been struggling to protect our culture in the face of an IP system that has never been a good fit for our people and culture. The experience of having my name trademarked by a company in Germany brought it home in a very personal way how much our language, culture and music is being appropriated left, right and center by companies. The WAI262 Claim reiterated that. There’s been no movement by the government to undo existing agreements or legislation that fail to protect our culture. Yet the government wants to haul us all into a hefty – and very secret – international agreement that will disempower Māori even more? I am very concerned about this – especially given the track record of the key player, the US.” says musician and documentary maker, Moana Maniapoto.

Māori health will also be jeopardised by intellectual property rules proposals to increase pharmaceutical monopoly rights and profits and make medicines less affordable. Māori are the most vulnerable to these changes.

The next steps in the Waitangi Tribunal process will involve a response by the Crown and other interested parties.

Media Statment
For more enquiries please contact Moana Maniapoto 0274714991 or Angeline Greensill 027 894 3361


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TPPA Ministerial Reported Cancelled, Time to Put the Deal Out of its Misery


‘The reported cNew Picture (13)cancellation of the planned meeting of the twelve trade ministers in Guam, billed as an “endgame” for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), is another nail in the coffin of a deal that has been on life support for several years’, says University of Auckland Professor Jane Kelsey.

Japanese media have quoted government officials saying the meeting scheduled for 26 to 28 May will not proceed and their delegation has cancelled its reservation, although there has been no formal statement to that effect.

Professor Kelsey called for Trade Minister Tim Groser to confirm the situation and what will now happen to the troubled negotiations.

‘The two massive obstacles to the conclusion of this deal have become inter-twined.’

‘Until recently, the talks had been stalled because the two elephants in the room, the US and Japan, could not reach their own special deal on agriculture and automobiles.’

In the last few months several governments have also made it clear that they will not make political trade offs unless President Obama has Fast Track authority, curtailing the powers of Congress over the deal.

The long delay in even putting the Fast Track Bill before Congress showed Obama did not believe he had the numbers. Despite stop-start attempts to advance the Bill in the US Senate over the past two weeks, the vast majority of Democrats, especially in the House, and many Republicans are vehemently opposed.

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‘New Zealand’s Trade Minister Groser said, for some unfathomable reason, that New Zealand would be prepared to make a political deal without Fast Track’, Professor Kelsey noted.

‘But the Japanese have point blank refused to do so. Their Economy Minister Akira Amari said two days ago that there will no final TPPA without Fast Track, making it “extremely difficulty” to proceed with the ministerial.’

‘The talks have now reached stalemate. TPPA ministers are bound to meet on the margins of APEC in the Philippines this weekend. Hopefully they will do a hard-nosed reality check’ Kelsey said.

‘After five years of vast expense of taxpayers’ money, and wasted energies of negotiators and ministers, it is time to stop pouring good money after bad and put the TPPA out of its misery.’


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Help us stop the Foolishness

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The Christchurch City Council is running a scare campaign saying that we, Christchurch citizens, have to sell our city assets and pay huge rate increases.

There are however many viable alternatives to the financial  issues facing our city as a result of the earthquake that do not include a returned to the failed policies of the 1980’s

Please help us defend and retain OUR children’s heritage by signing this petition and help spread the message.

More information on Keep Our Assets – Canterbury


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The situation is serious.
TPPA Ministers are due to meet from 13-15 March 2015 – somewhere!

The officials met in New York in late January to prepare the ground.

The only things that can stop them are –
no deal between the US and Japan on agriculture or US!

URGENT: The political end game has begun …
The technical part of the TPPA is now largely over. There is a short list of controversial decisions that ministers needs to make involving issues like patents medicines, copyright and state-owned enterprises.  It’s is crunch time.

Things that matter to New Zealanders may have already been agreed.
There is some good news – the international campaign has fought off some of the worst of the US demands. But the bad news is the governments may have agreed to other demands, including the right of foreign investors to sue governments through the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) process. The best chance to stop the TPPA is before ministers make their decisions.

That’s why there is a nationwide day of action the week before they meet.

Send a message, loud and clear,

to Trade Minister Tim Groser:  

What you can do!
Actions are currently planned in 14 towns and cities on Saturday 7 March. We need to get even more people out than in November, which was massive. Spread the word, bring your whanau, and get involved with the local organisation. For details go to

Or contact Chantelle Campbell, who is coordinating the national activities for March  at>

TPPA meetings around the country before 7 March:

  • 17 Febuary, 6:30pm Auckland in the St Paul Street Gallery Three (Symonds Street)
  • 17 February, 7:30 Christchurch - “TPPA & Investor-State Dispute Settlement: What is it, what does it mean for NZ, and how do we voice our concerns” at the A3 Lecture Theatre at University of Canterbury - 
  • 4 March, Wellington Fabian Society on TPPA, 5:30pm at Connolly Hall, more details to come
  • 5 March, 6:30pm Auckland Fabian Society will be organising an event at the University of Auckland on TPPA , OGGB Lecture Theatre 260-098

We are planning more of these meetings in the next little while, so keep your eyes peeled!

If EU can release texts for TTIP why can’t NZ release them for TPPA?
The EU has agreed to release its negotiating documents on the mega-deal with the US called TTIP, and will release the text before it is signed and ratified. The comparison of secrecy in TTIP and TPPA is stunning and puts paid to any claims from Groser that you can never negotiate such deals in public. The EU Ombudsman went further, saying the negotiating texts should be released NOW to enable fully informed participation. Watch this space ….

Select Committee hears TPPA petition for release of text - 4 years late!
Today (12 Feb) Parliament’s committee that deals with treaties like the TPPA (Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee) has heard a submission from 16 groups that was presented in 2011! It has been postponed three times before! Speakers from NZCTU, Public Health Association, and Oxfam called for release of all documents, including draft text.

See press releases from Professor Jane Kelsey, the Council of Trade Unions, the Public Health Association, NZ First, and coverage from Radio NZ.

Heads-up: submissions to stop Investors rights to sue
Are you incensed that foreign investors will get special rights in the TPPA and can enforce them in secretive offshore tribunals! You will soon have a chance to tell the government that we should never agree to that in any agreement. It is included in the NZ-Korea FTA that is about to get tabled in Parliament. There will be a whole new weblink dedicated to the investment issue shortly to help you make a submission and do more. Again, watch this space ….

How the US screwed Australia in their FTA
More about the dirty trick called ‘certification’, where the US holds off making the deal effective until the other country does what the US demands – this time how the US made Australia pass new copyright laws with just 24 hours notice at the select committee. The Hobbit law shows how easily that could happen here.

Japanese lawyers launch constitutional challenge
Japanese lawyers have launched a constitutional challenge to the TPPA, claiming it breaches the legislature’s supreme lawmaking powers, the role of the courts, and various human rights, and compensation for any harm it causes.


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TPPA Bulletin #60

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All go for 2015

Kia ora koutou! Hopefully everyone is rested after a sunny start to 2015 because the next few months are full on for the campaign to stop the TPPA. 


Next planned national day of action 7 March 2015 – (to be confirmed)
This is a heads-up, with dates and details on whether it is a mobilisation or some other action to be confirmed shortly. Consultations with the regions and likely sponsors are underway.

Why 7 March? The final round of technical talks is scheduled for New York from 26 January. Ministers are scheduled to meet in the 2nd or 3rd week of March to do the deal. That still depends on the US and Japan. But Obama has to get a deal by May if he is to claim credit for it during his presidency, so they are pulling out all the stops to make that happen.

We need to send Key & Groser another clear message – TPPA – No Way!!

Campaign against foreign investors’ right to sue starts early February
Despite the unmistakable message from tens of thousands of kiwis the government is clearly planning to give foreign investors the right to sue in the TPPA. Just before Xmas they signed a free trade deal with South Korea that has the same powers. This gives us a prime chance to tell the government we totally reject investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in every deal, and increase the heat over the TPPA

The NZ Korea FTA will go through the façade of a select committee process (that can’t change anything) from around mid-February. We will make a summary of main points so you can write your own submission, or send a standard form, and ask to be heard.

We want thousands of submissions opposing ISDS

EU releases text in US negotiations – NZ must do the same
Tim Groser’s lie that governments can’t release texts of agreements under negotiation has been proved wrong yet again – on 7 January the EU released a raft of documents it has tabled in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US. NZ can and must do the same. The EU also promised to release the text before it is signed. If that can happen with TTIP, it can also happen with the TPPA! Plans are underway for another assault on the secrecy of the TPPA. A memo on this will be on the website later next week, along with ideas for action.

Secret TPPA – it’s not democracy and its not right!

TPPA  & TISA anti-privacy & pro-spying
Just before Xmas the US proposals for another of the mega-deals – the Trade in Services Agreement – was leaked. The US TPPA negotiator said they wanted the same for TPPA. The text aims to stop governments imposing tighter protections for privacy of data, eg by requiring it is stored in NZ or limiting its transfer offshore. That’s a bonanza for the US with minimal privacy protections and maximum spy laws. See Jane Kelsey’s analysis of the leaked text, and security issues.

If you have campaign ideas on this, let us know!


Australian Senate inquiry into treaty-making process
The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee of the Australian Senate has launched an inquiry into the treaty making process. That’s possible because the Liberals have lost control of the Senate. The terms of reference include the role of Parliament its committees to review the proposed text, scope for independent assessment, greater openness and transparency.

Sadly the government control’s NZ’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, and Labour’s members (at least on the website) have been pro-TPPA.  A petition signed by 16 major NZ organisations in 2010 is still waiting to be heard at the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee. NZCTU President Helen Kelly has yet another tentative date to speak to the petition, on 12 February, but 3 previous dates have been cancelled!

US Congress Dogfight Brewing on TPPA
There are new moves to get the ‘fast track’ law passed by US Congress in the next few months. The Chamber of Commerce has made ‘fast track’ authority to get the TPPA through Congress a top priority for 2015. But the Republican tea party call Obama an ‘imperial president’ and refuse to give him more powers.

US politics is now caught up in the Nov 2016 presidential election. Two progressive Democrats have staked out strongly critical positions on TPPA, pushing Obama with specific demands:

  • Sen Elizabeth Warren is strong on financial reforms. On 17 Dec she demanded all US proposals and current negotiating texts on a series of chapters that affect financial regulation by 6 January 2015.
  • Sen Bernard Sanders has demanded full access by members of Congress and their staff to analyse the draft text by 16 January 2015. If not he threatened to table a Bill requiring the full text to be made public if any member of Congress demanded it.

Watch this space …

EU Ombudsman challenges secrecy of TTIP
The EU’s release of documents was thanks to the EU ombudsman, who conducted two inquiries in 2014. Her final report was released on 6 January 2015.

EU ducks for cover on ISDS in TTIP
The EU held a consultation over the right of foreign investors to sue in the deal with the US, because of the massive backlash against ISDS throughout Europe. Around 97% of people who sent submissions, and many organisations, opposed ISDS. The EU opted to pay more attention to the less than 3% who suggested reforms to make it better. The EU says it won’t make a final decision on ISDS until the end of the negotiations. So the battle will continue.

Robert Reich, ‘Why the Trans-Pacific partnership agreement is pending disaster’, Christian Science Monitor, 6 January 2015
PSA Journal: Protests at secret agreement, December 2014
Regan Shoultz, Opinion: Concern over cost of ‘free trade’ deal’, Wanganui Chronicle, 9 January 2015
Julie Hirschfeld, ‘Democrats Step up Efforts to Bloc Obama’s Trade Agenda’, New York Times, 8 January 2015
George Monbiot, ‘Trade Secrets: Why will no one in answer the obvious, massive question about TTIP?’
Video on TTIP by War on Want

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TPPA Bulletin #59 ~> 10,000 NZers march against TPPA

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On November 8 10,000 New Zealanders across the country came out and said loudly and proudly #TPPANoWay! These are the biggest rallies that have taken place against the TPPA anywhere in the world, and we got a huge amount of media coverage (see breakdown at the end of this bulletin)! On that day the #TPPANoWay hashtag trended No 1 in New Zealand and No 2 worldwide! Congratulations everybody, this is a genuine grassroots movement gaining steam by the day!

On 8-9 November negotiators met in Beijing on the sidelines of the APEC meeting to try and make further progress on the TPPA. Prime Minister John Key stated afterwards that the TPPA faces a crucial “window of opportunity” that will close in mid 2015 if no deal is done. The Wall Street Journal reported that Trade Minister Groser said that politicians had ‘informally “closed out” all but two major areas’ of negotiations (state-owned enterprises and investment). University of Auckland Law Professor Jane Kelsey suggested that if this was the case then “Key and Groser appear to have made these concessions without any substantial final offer on agriculture.”

Across town, Chinese President Xi Jinping presented a competing vision for Asia to counter the TPPA, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, along with his plan for two new “Silk Roads” (referring to two new energy corridors, one by land and one by sea. The race is on between the US and China to conclude their competing deals and make their mark on the Asia-Pacific region. Days later world leaders met at the G20 in Brisbane,

Groser defends secrecy
Following negotiations in Beijing Tim Groser appeared on 3 News defending the secrecy in the deal as a normal part of trade negotiations. What do you think about this?

NZ businesses signal fighting fund
A few days after our protests ANZCO meat exporters chairman Sir Graeme Harrison revealed that NZ businesses are planning a “fighting fund” to sell the benefits of the TPPA once the deal is done. This means that our actions are making an impact. Read more here.

Lori Wallach on US midterm elections
The US midterm elections on November 4 saw sweeping gains being made by the Republican Party in the Senate and House. While the Republicans have traditionally been seen as the “pro-business” party, Lori Wallach explains in this NZHerald opinion piece that this will not necessarily allow the TPPA to be “fast-tracked” through Congress, as many Republicans see this as an executive power grab.

NZ-South Korea FTA
NZ was forced to compromise to get its FTA with South Korea over the line, failing to eliminate tariffs on milk powders. The deal was announced on the fringes of the G20 Summit in Brisbane. The text is not yet available, and critics highlight some similar concerns to TPPA. University of Auckland Law Professor Jane Kelsey has said that the deal’s investment chapter could “involve potentially major incursions on New Zealand governments’ right to regulate in the national interest.”

Australia-China FTA
Australia and China have completed negotiations on a free trade agreement, a deal which Australian government sources have been saying secures better access for Australian dairy exports than New Zealand’s FTA with China. Minster Groser has said that the NZ deal signed in 2008 states that if China made a better agreement with another country it had to match that with New Zealand.

ITUC calls on governments to stop TPPA talks
The world’s largest democratic organisation, the International Trade Union Congress, has called on governments to stop TPPA negotations. The ITUC represents 176 million workers worldwide. ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrows said, “This secretive trade deal is good for some multinational corporations, but deeply damaging to ordinary people and the very role of governments. Corporate interests are at the negotiating table, but national parliaments and other democratic actors are being kept in the dark. What we do know, much of it through leaks, is that this proposed deal is not about ensuring better livelihoods for people, but about giving multinational companies a big boost to profits. Governments should shut down the negotiations, and not re-open them unless they get genuine and transparent public mandates at home that put people’s interest in the centre.”

Other items of interest:
Peasant farmers organisation GRAIN has written a brilliant piece on how trade and investment deals like TPPA criminalise traditional seed saving practices.

The Economist (of all places) has a great article on how Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses restrict policy space and the changing attitudes towards these agreements.

Here is an excellent video interview with Brendan Vickers discussing South Africa’s decision to terminate and renegotiate investment treaties that affecting their post-apartheid economic development plans.

The day received some very impressive mainstream and regional media coverage, including lead stories on both major free-to-air news networks. Thanks Sam for this exellent media breakdown:

Broadcast and online 




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TPPA Bulletin #58


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Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, GisborneNew Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill.


Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu (lawyer, Whanau-a-Apanui), Brian Mannering (Medical Students Association), with music from Don McGlashan, Moana Maniapoto, and Roger Fowler.

Hamilton (1:00 pm at Garden Place). TBA

Raglan (10:00 am Raglan Jetty at the end of Bow Street). Speeches and live music from Cornerstone Roots.

Tauranga (1:00pm at Red Square). TBA

Rotorua (1:00pm at Kuirau Park Courts): speakers include Te Ururoa Flavell (Maori Party), Fletcher Tabuteau (NZ First), Annette Sykes (Mana Party), Potaua Baisiny-Tule (, Catherine Delahunty (Green Party) and Chanz Mikaere.

Gisborne (1:00 pm at Derby Street) TBA

Napier (1:00pm at Napier Council Steps on 231 Hastings Rd): Speakers and music by Ngatai Huata, march through town.

New Plymouth (1:00pm at Puke Ariki)  TBA

Palmerston North (1:00pm at PN Square, opposite the library) Speakers: Dr. Thomas Owen, Dr Rachel Keedwell (Horizons RC), Assoc Prof Jeff Sluker (Massey), Sarah Roberts (Greens), Darroch Ball (ex-NZ First), Jill White (ex-MP, Councillor and Mayor), Bruce Wilson (ex-Councillor), Lew Findlay (PNCC), Tangi Utikere (PNCC), Teanau Tuiono & Te Ao Pritchard (Palmy Panthers) and Sue Pugmire (organiser extraordinaire). Funeral theme symbolizing the death of democracy, dress-up optional!

Levin (11:00am at Te Takere Library/Community Centre) A morning of community engagement at the Community Centre with speakers, music, film and info packs.

Wellington (1:00pm at Cuba Street Bucket Fountain) A family friendly march to the Civic Square for speeches and music, with a focus on local government and communities as well as broader national concerns. Speakers include Sandra Grey (MC), Todd Rippon (Actors Equity), Greg Rzenosweicki (Renewables), Sue Kedgley (GWR Councillor), Gay Keating (OraTaiao: NZ Climate & Health Council)

Nelson (1:00pm at Millers Acre i-SITE): Speakers include Graeme O’Brien, Rachel Boyack (FIRST Union) and others.

Christchurch (1:00pm at Shands Crescent Reserve) March to Hagley Park where we’ll stay until 4pm with live music, speeches, kids entertainment, food stalls and a learning space where people can find out more about what’s at stake.

Timaru (1:00pm at Bay Hill Piazza) TBA

Dunedin (1:00pm at the Dental school for a march along George Street and then rally in the Octagon): Speakers include Metiria Turei (Green Party), Aaron Hawkins (Councillor) and Bob Lloyd (University of Otago).

Invercargill (1:00pm at Wachner Place).


Excellent overview on The Nation
Torben Akel did a really good overview on TPPA on last Saturday’s The Nation. The interview with the CEO of Fonterra is also worth watching.

Ministers’ Double Speak in Sydney
The latest secret round of talks in Sydney has come and gone. TPPA ministers again more claimed they were near the finish line – but that line seems to be moving further away! For assessments of the state of play see RadioNZ: Lori Wallach, Tim Groser, Jane Kelsey; Gordon Campbell on Scoop; and Jane Kelsey in NZ Herald on 30 Oct.

TPPA Leaders meeting downgraded
Remember when Obama and Key met, and Obama said he wanted to announce a deal by the time the 12 leaders meet at APEC in November? Well, he can’t. It seems likely they’ll have a quiet meeting, possibly in the US embassy in Beijing.

Statements in the past week show Groser fears a deal between the US and Japan that is then presented to the rest of them as take it or leave it. Groser says NZ would leave it – and watch for the flock of pigs flying over the sky tower!

Panic stations for NZ ag industry
First, Federated Farmers expressed the fear that TPPA may give NZ less than other countries (ie the US). The Fonterra boss Theo Spierings told TV3 The Nation he thought TPPA might not happen. Then the dairy industry warned ‘the agreement was too important to compromise by a rushed outcome’ (4+ years?). They can see any outcome hanging NZ out to dry on dairy – something that was obvious to others from the start!

NZ medicos call for health check of TPPA
NZ health professionals have rebutted the reassurances from Groser after their letter to him back in May. An article in NZ Doctor, endorsed by seven major public health groups, calls for a comprehensive and independent health impact assessment before any agreement is signed. This article was written in response to comments from Trade Minster Groser and then-Health Minister Ryall, which you can read here.

Action in Canberra & Sydney
Activists in Canberra (officials meeting) and Sydney (ministers) took the message to team-TPPA, with protests and lots of great publicity.

Heaps of commentary in Oz:
Challenge to democracy: Pat Ranald from AFTINET spelt out the challenge to Australia’s democracy
Corporate power: senior journalist Ross Gittens says TPPA is about increasing monopoly rights, not free trade
Copyright: Kimberley Weatherall analyses the most recent leaked IP text and warns that lessons on copyright in the Australia US FTA have not been learned.
Crikey: the TPP undermines the national interest.

Australian Consumer Watchdog: ‘release the details’!
Australia’s Consumer watchdog Choice has called on the federal government to reveal the details of the TPPA discussions, warning the final outcome could lead to a spike in the cost of life-saving medicines.

Consumer voices join force in US & Japan
An op-ed in Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, co-signed by Ralph Nader from Public Citizen and Koa Tasaka from Consumers Union of Japan, rebutted unsubstantiated claims that Japan’s consumers would benefit from the TPPA.

Bangkok Post Editorial: TPPA no good for Thailand
“The government and civil society owe it to the country to make it crystal clear that neither the TPP itself nor its core elements are attractive to Thailand. Taking a stand now will make it easier to resist pressure in the future.”

Sign the new Petition now!
Sign the new petition that tells John Key and his government to defend our sovereignty and not to sign any TPPA. We know there have been petitions before, but it is one way for people to have a voice alongside hitting the streets on 8 November. We know there were some glitches with it at first, so please try again.

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Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, GisborneNew Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin, Invercargill.

Need a reason to march on 8 November? Check out Professor Jane Kelsey’s latest blog.

Updates on what is on where:

Auckland – speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu (lawyer, Whanau-a-Apanui), Brian Mannering (Medical Students Association), music from Don McGlashan, Moana Maniapoto, and Roger Fowler.

Advertising will be starting this week, so keep you eyes open!

Sign the new Petition now!
Sign the new petition that tells John Key and his government to defend our sovereignty and not to sign any TPPA. We know there have been petitions before, but it is one way for people to have a voice alongside hitting the streets on 8 November. We know there were some glitches with it at first, so please try again.

New secretive round starts in Australia 
Officials are meeting in Canberra from 17 to 24 November to provide a basis for a TPPA ministers’ meeting in Sydney from 25 to 27 November, which in turn is meant to feed into the meetings of TPP leaders meeting several weeks later. Obama restated last week that he wants to announce something close to a deal then.

Stalemate between US and Japan continues
Everything currently hangs on a deal between the two big players on agriculture and autos. They are stuck and there have been some nasty name calling between the two sides recently. That’s good news in holding off a deal; if it continues it won’t happen. The downside is that it goes underground and people relax, then they make a deal with minimal pressure. That’s why we need to pressure them to stop it now.

New leak of IP text confirms costs
The mid-year text of the intellectual property chapter has been posted by Wikileaks. See analyses by the Association of Research Libraries, Medicines Sans Frontier, Public Citizen Global Access to Medicines programme, Australian Matt Rimmer in Crikey, an article in Stuff, “Australians may pay more for medicines under trade deal” Sydney Morning Herald, “Leaked TPP text shows delays in essential cheaper medicines”, AFTINET Australia; Forbes Magazine, “Secrecy-Shrouded TPP Leaks Alarm Internet Freedom Advocates”, and again “Latest leaks reveal even harsher copyright rules”.

Local government campaigners in the Hutt
The local government team made a presentation to the City Development Committee of Hutt City Council on 16 October, but one member raised a procedural point that quashed the agenda item that the Committee discuss the presentation.

The tobacco debate
Tobacco is one outstanding issue. Malaysia proposed a total carveout from the TPPA. Despite their commitment to smokefree policies, Australia and NZ have not supported Malaysia. The US has floated an alternative that might prevent investor-state disputes on tobacco. Friends of tobacco in the US Congress and states like Kentucky and North Carolina are fighting back.

Criminalising journalism?

It has also been suggested that the leaked intellectual property chapter may introduce criminal penalties for unauthorised access to, misappropriation or disclosure of trade secrets, which could also apply to journalist working for commercial media organisations where the leak is harmful to a country’s economic interests. Experts are still unclear of the scope and potential impact of these provisions.


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TPPA – Kiwi’s Fight Back!

Political leaders from the 12 TPPA countries, including John Key and Barack Obama, want to finalise a political deal when they meet around 13-14 November. We are joining the campaigns in several other countries in an International Day of Action to Stop the TPPA.

Current list of events (sorry to those people who don’t do facebook, we will be setting up webpages for these soon but you can visit the facebook pages for info anyway):







  • (FB Event Page)






What can you do?

Last time we had activities (marches, rallies, stalls) in 17 towns and cities throughout the country. This time we want more people in more places – we’ve already got 11 and a few more are in the works. For information watch the website and facebook. Want to help organising in your home town? Contact Jonathan King (, who will be helping with the nation-wide coordination.

Poster required!

We haven’t yet designed a poster for our day of action, and we thought we’d call upon all you talented artists to lend us a hand. We need something that is of sufficient quality that it can be used in media straight away, and we need it by 8 October. The theme is: “TPPA, Kiwis Fight back.” Get your creative juices flowing! Send to:

Big push for a final deal in November

The last secret round of ‘informal negotiations’ in Hanoi finished with a renewed push for a political deal in November. There are rumours of wall-to-wall meetings throughout October, some may be in Australia, no mention yet of NZ. Can they pull it off? That still depends on a deal between the US and Japan on agriculture, but there are political reasons why Japan also wants a deal before the US mid-term Congressional elections in November.

Brilliant new TPPA education tool on YouTube

A Trans Pacific Partnership infographic is up on YouTube. Share it far and wide!

Have you told John Key ‘TPPA? No Way!’ …

If not, then join the surge since the election and send or adapt the letter on the itsourfuture website, then pass the link on to others.

Opposition parties must oppose the TPPA

The time for pussyfooting by opposition parties is over. They must stake out the high ground, and put the feet of Key and Groser to the fire about plans to sign a secret deal. Jane Kelsey warns sitting on the sidelines will mean that, in three years time they won’t be able to implement the policies they stood for this election. Whenever you are talking to someone from NZ First, Labour, Greens and Maori Party, make sure the TPPA is high on the agenda. We will have some action suggestions shortly.

More success for local government campaign

The great work of the local government team, led by Greg, continues with a presentation to the Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Hutt City Council forthcoming. For more information, and to organize something for your local council, check out our local government page.

Oz/NZ miner OceanaGold uses ISDS

OceanaGold, the mining company which owns the Reefton, Macraes and Frasers gold mines in the South Island is suing the country of El Salvador after it was refused a mining permit to dig for gold there. Hear RNZ story on how that could happen with the TPPA in Aotearoa … Access information and sign an online petition to get Oceana to drop the suit. See the photo gallery of a Sydney rally against OceanaGold’s actions on September 5.

Quotable speeches

Robert Amsterdam’s Town Hall speech on TPPA

Hear international lawyer Robert Amsterdam on the TPPA on RadioLive and read his speech ‘Trading Away NZ’s Independence’ at the Auckland Town Hall meeting on 15 September.

Leading arbitrator pans ISDS 

George Kahale, one of the most experienced lawyers representing clients in investor-state disputes, describes the system as seriously flawed and in need of a complete overhaul. His speech is worth reading and quoting. Listen to ABC Radio in Australia on the issue.

Economist Jeffrey Sachs says No to TPPA

At a speech in Washington Sachs set out 5 reasons to reject the TPPA: 1. These are not trade treaties, but aim to protect investors; 2. They ignore great challenges of the environment and growing inequality; 3. ISDS gives absolutely unjustified and dangerous powers to investors vis-à-vis the state; 4. The entire process is not transparent, and this secrecy alone is reason enough to reject it; 5. Finally, the Obama administration has not presented one analysis of the cost and benefits with regard to jobs, different industries, income distribution, economic growth and trade.

International solidarity

600 US groups oppose Fast Track for TPPA

600 US organisations representing tens of millions of Americans released an open letter calling for a new model of trade and opposing Fast Track authority that would allow President Obama to expedite passage of the TPPA through Congress.

US Farmers Union opposes TPPA

UK TUC declares ‘outright opposition’ to TTIP (US-EU companion to TPPA)

US Centre for Economic & Policy Research assesses negative impact of NAFTA on Mexico

Naomi Klein’s new book ‘This Changes Everything’ on climate change and capitalism, discusses international trade rules



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