It’s Our Future – Kiwis against the TPPA

TPPA Bulletin #86

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Current Situation

Even though the TPPA is in deep trouble in the US, the New Zealand government is rushing ahead with ratification regardless. The leading US presidential candidates are against the TPPA, and US ratification may be delayed for years or rejected altogether. If the US or Japan doesn’t ratify, or if two medium sized countries reject it (eg. Australia and Canada) the TPPA will not go ahead.

Yet our government seems determined to push the TPPA through Parliament quickly, ignoring proper democratic process, whether or not the TPPA will ever come into force. The deadline for Select Committee submissions did not allow enough time for many citizens and organisation to make submissions, and closed before most roadshows had been held. Select Committee hearings have started and will continue in different cities.

This Bulletin calls for protest against the TPPA at the hearings and support for those giving evidence.

After the Select Committee report by 31 May, the government will introduce a bill with at least eight changes to legislation required for New Zealand to conform to the TPPA. The Select Committee will then hold an inquiry on the legislative proposals as a single package and call for submissions. They will then pass the legislation (which might have a trigger, so that it only comes into force if and when the TPPA comes into force). This will take probably place later this year.

Prepare for a major action to take place in Wellington around the passing of the TPPA legislation.

Even if it is ratified, the TPPA will not come into force until early 2018 at the earliest. There will be a New Zealand election in late 2017, and an opportunity to reject the TPPA before it comes into force.

We need to keep up pressure on all political parties so that the TPPA will be rejected in the election.

Take Action Now!

  • Take action at the iwi Roadshows and Select Committee hearings. Let them know that your community does not want the TPPA, and support those giving evidence.
  •         Sign the petition to the Governor-General. Following the handover of initial signatures on a petition to the Governor-General, calling for him to withhold his assent for ratification of the TPPA, the petition has been re-launched. Please download the petition here and build pressure for him to act.
  •         Sign the petition calling on the government not to ratify the TPPA. The petition, hosted by our partner ActionStation, is up to 54,000. Please Sign Now!
  • Declare your space a TPPA Free Zone. You can declare your home, neighbourhood, community centre, school, workplace, bike or car as a TPPA Free Zone. Download signs and materials, stickers and T-shirts, and join Facebook for ideas for action.
  • Congratulations to Upper Hutt Council for becoming a TPPA Free Zone. Get involved with your Council or Local Board to declare a TPPA Free Zone. See the helpful guide for persuading your Local Board to go TPPA free, drawn from the Waiheke experience.
  • Target the media. The mainstream media is giving the impression that the TPPA is a done deal. That’s not true. It is in trouble in the US, under threat in Canada and we will stop the TPPA before it comes into force in New Zealand, at the General Election if not before. It ain’t over, and we are winning the hearts and minds of Kiwis. Let the media know!

Gearing up the campaign
When the legislation is getting close to being signed later this year, we will gear up for a major day of action, focused on Wellington. Kiwis concerned about the TPPA will be encouraged to converge on Wellington from across the country, by hikoi, relays, buses, trains, bikes and even by car. We want this to be a massive protest against this attempt to give away our democratic rights to foreign corporations. We will set a date when we know more about the timing of the legislation.

There is ongoing discussion within TPPA networks about other actions during the year. There will be a focus on raising the TPPA as a key issue in Local Government elections, and actions focused on strengthening opposition to the TPPA amongst political parties. More to come in the next Bulletin. Suggestions welcome to itsourfuturenz@gmail.com.

Government Roadshows
The Roadshows in Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington were marked by an alarming lack of understanding from the Ministers, evasion from government officials and rudeness from Sean Plunkett as facilitator – see the Christchurch video and RNZ report. According to the MFAT website https://www.tpp.mfat.govt.nz/events “more roadshows will be held in other regional centres in the coming months. Locations are likely to include Hamilton, Napier, New Plymouth, Nelson, Palmerston North, Tauranga, and Whangarei.”
Iwi Roadshows (MFAT calls them ‘Hui’) have been held in Christchurch and Wellington and are scheduled to take place in:
Rotorua 6 April Millennium Hotel
Auckland 13 April Stamford Hotel
Northland 20 April Distinction Hotel

Select Committee Inquiry on the TPPA
The Select Committee has said that there will be over 330 people giving evidence in three cities:
·        Christchurch: On 31 March & 1 April at Christchurch City Council chambers, 53 Hereford St
·        Auckland: On 7 & 8 April at Holiday Inn, 2 Ascot Road, Mangere
·        Wellington: On 14, 19, 20, 27 & 28 April at Select Committee rooms, Parliament
People in other centres will be given an opportunity to present evidence by teleconference. A guide to giving evidence is on It’s Our Future website here.
Evidence that has already been presented to the Select Committee is here (other evidence will be added when oral evidence has been given), It’s Our Future’s submission is here, and some submitters have put theirs on FB here.

Research and Fact Sheets
Expert, peer-reviewed research papers are available on the TPP Legal website, unpacking the legal text of the TPPA and pointing out why it is not in New Zealand’s interests:
·        TPPA process and democracy
·        Investment chapter
·        te Tiriti o Waitangi
·        Environment
·        Economics of the TPPA
·        Local Government
·        Intellectual Property and Information Technology
A simple flyer with a summary of the key facts on a double side A4 is on the It’s Our Future website here (copy it and spread it far and wide to the public), along with a Key Issues briefing and information sheets. And see the ActionStation series of Fact Sheets on different aspects of the TPPA.

Funding the campaign
We have launched a Give a Little page to fund the speaker tour that was held in February and to build up a fund for a big event later in the year. Please donate generously.

Media
In New Zealand, the media undermining Labour’s opposition to TPPA:
·        Tracy Watkins
·        Audrey Young
TPPA threats to affordable medicines
Visiting academic Harley Shaiken on workers’ rights under TPPA
TPPA would undermine action on climate change 

From the Waitangi Tribunal:
·        TPPA threatens treaty settlements
·        Shamefully, the government’s lawyers attacked Dr Jane Kelsey

The TPPA is in trouble in the US:
·        The politics don’t stack up (and almost 2/3 of small businesses oppose the TPPA)
·        Public opposition is growing

The campaign continues…

 

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It’s Our Future – Bulletin #84

Kiwis against the TPPA

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What an amazing protest!
Thanks to all who supported the protests, in Auckland and across the country, on 4th February 2016. More than 15,000 people (some estimates put it as high as 30,000) marched down Queen St in one of the biggest protests in a decade. During the day, activists undertook rolling blockades of traffic across the city centre around the Sky City casino where the TPPA was signed. It has shaken the government and they are on the back foot. Despite the barrage of media spin in favour of the TPPA (especially in the Herald) we are winning the battle for public opinion.

What happens next?
In terms of the official process, the National Interest Analysis (a biased sell job, prepared by MFAT) has been tabled in Parliament. It’s Our Future responded calling for evidence not spin.

MFAT is holding TPP Roadshows
MFAT says: “The roadshows will present the outcomes of the TPP negotiations. Members of the public are welcome. The roadshows will also help businesses prepare to take advantage of new opportunities presented by TPP’s entry into force.

The morning session of each roadshow will provide an overview of TPP, and afternoon workshop sessions will have a more technical focus.

  • Auckland, 7 March, Rendezvous Hotel, corner Mayoral Drive and Vincent St, Auckland Central
  • Christchurch, 11 March, Rydges Hotel, 30 Latimer Square, Christchurch City
  •  Dunedin, 14 March, The Dunedin Centre, 1 Harrop Street, Dunedin
  • Wellington, 18 March, Westpac Stadium, 105 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington

Registrations close on 1 March 2016.

More roadshows will be held in other regional centres in the coming months. Locations are likely to include Hamilton, Napier, New Plymouth, Nelson, Palmerston North, Tauranga, and Whangarei. Updates will be published on this website, or you can contact tpp@mfat.govt.nz if you would like to register to be updated.”

It’s Our Future will provide fact sheets and questions for those who want to attend the meetings.

Waitangi Tribunal TPPA Urgency Hearings
The hearings will be held on 14-18 March in Wellington. Register here.

Select Committee hearings
The Foreign Affairs Trade and Defence Committee of Parliament is expected to hold hearings on the TPPA in the March-April timeframe (we don’t yet know the timetable or locations for the hearings, but hopefully there will be a number of them across NZ). We are planning actions around those hearings:

  • Hold meetings in each city before the Select Committee hearings to give everyone the latest update on research and analysis
  • Debates and events are being organised in several cities
  • There may be protests linked to the hearings in some cities
  • ActionStation will be organising standard on-line submissions

Parliamentary Debate
After the Select Committee report and the government response, a combined bill covering eight pieces of legislation will be introduced to Parliament. This will need to be voted on by Parliament, but at present it looks as if the government has a majority (even without the threat of Labour MP Phil Goff voting for it). We will look at the potential for holding some big rallies around the Parliamentary vote.
 
General Election in 2017
The TPPA will not come into force before 2018. This means there will be a general election in New Zealand before it is actually implemented. We need opposition parties to stand firm in rejecting the TPPA, and, if we are not able to stop it, to commit to withdrawing from it in future. We will run a campaign to let political parties know that voters want a clear NO to the TPPA!

TPPA Ratifications
Even if the TPPA goes through the ratification process in New Zealand, it won’t come into force until it is ratified by countries making up 85% of the combined GDP of TPPA countries. There is opposition from almost all leading candidates for the US Presidency and the TPPA is looking shaky in Congress. The new Trudeau government in Canada has undertaken to consult properly on the TPPA and warned that they may not ratify. It is possible that the TPPA will be significantly delayed, or even never implemented.

For more details on the TPPA process, see the research paper authored by Jane Kelsey.

Take Action against the TPPA
In addition to the above actions, there are a number of campaign actions that you can take.

A summary of those is on the It’s Our Future Take Action page:

  • Sign the petition to the Governor-General. Following the handover of initial signatures on a petition to the Governor-General, calling for him to withhold his assent for ratification of the TPPA, the petition has been re-launched. Please download the petition here and build pressure for him to act.
  • Sign the petition calling on the government not to ratify the TPPA. We only launched the petition a few weeks ago and it’s now up to 53,000. Please Sign Now!
  • Declare your space a TPPA Free Zone. You can declare your home, neighbourhood, community centre, school, workplace, bike or car as a TPPA Free Zone. Download signs and materials and join Facebook for ideas for action. TPPA Free Zone stickers (13cm X 10cm) are available at $35 per 100. Tony Hartnett (thartnett@ihug.co.nz) has offered to collect up orders to send to the printer.
  • Congratulations to Waiheke Local Board for becoming a TPPA Free Zone. Get involved with your Council or Local Board to declare a TPPA Free Zone. Motueka protester Greg Rzesniowiecki has been doing an amazing job in supporting Council actions, on his two year anti-TPPA roadtrip. Greg will write to all Councils in the next few days inviting them to declare their territory or region a TPPA Free Zone. There will be a new kit developed to assist activists, using the resources developed in the lobby on Waiheke, Upper Hutt and Christchurch Councils. Contact him at gregfullmoon013@gmail.com to discuss Council resolutions.
  • Target the media. The mainstream media have got away with biased reporting that has under-stated the numbers on our protests, ignored our message and disrespected protesters. Meanwhile there has been a constant barrage of government PR spin echoed by journalists. We need to build our movement on social media and through our own networks, but we also need to respond to the media with articles, letters and, where necessary, complaints.

Protest events around New Zealand

This is a partial list. Events have also taken place in many other centres including Nelson, Blenheim, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Rotorua, Tauranga, Hastings, Whangarei and the hikoi, cars against the TPPA and many others. Please let me know at itsourfuturenz@gmail.com if you have news and footage of events against the TPPA in your community. Information will be updated on www.itsourfuture.org.nz.

Dunedin

There was a lunchtime protest outside MP Michael Woodhouse’s office, which is on a prominent intersection. Lots of tooting in support! Workers stand to lose.

Christchurch

Catchy youtube video on the Christchurch Council action. The action resulted in the Council agreeing to hold a workshop on a  TPPA Free Zone. And Christchurch’s Josie Butler grabbed headlines in New Zealand and internationally with her well-aimed dildo thrown at Steven Joyce! In her words.

Wellington

The rally for democracy and sovereignty at the Governor General Gates on 30th January delivered 4300 signatures to the Governor General’s Official Secretary, Gregory Baughen in a solemn ceremony. There was an earlier hikoi from Waitangi Park to the Governor’s gates.

News reports on the fantastic Te Papa banner drop: here

A ‘not-a-rent-a-crowd’ protest of around 600 gathered at Wellington’s cenotaph beside Parliament for a rally and speeches, joining the calls against TPPA signing.

Raglan

Hundreds (about 20% of the population) jumped from Raglan footbridge in a chain bomb, or watched, and when many signed the petition to the Governor-General.

Auckland

The march organised by It’s Our Future was HUGE! It was led by kapa haka groups, followed by elders and leaders from trade unions, NGOs and political parties, with a colourful array of placards and banners.

The march was load, passionate and a strong signal to the government that a majority of Kiwis are against the TPPA. Check out the analysis of on-line TPPA protest activity.

Earlier on, protesters organised by Real Choice surrounded Sky City where the TPPA was signed, with chanting and drums. There was a rolling blockade of intersections around Sky City and onto the motorway, joined in the afternoon by the Hikoi against the TPPA.

Images from these events are posted at TPPA Images. Please add your photos and videos to the page. For more photos of the event, check out these great albums:

With the exception of John Campbell’s interviews and possibly TVNZ’s reporting , the mainstream media coverage was insulting and patronising, trawling through hours of footage to give the impression the protesters were ill-informed.

As the Trade Ministers arrived on the preceding day, they were met with banners and an LCD screen as an ‘Unwelcome Committee’, with a Don’t Sign the TPPA message. ActionStation (New Zealand), Leadnow.ca (Canada) and SumofUs covertly projected visual protest images near the Auckland Sky Tower. The Artists Collective put on a music event, the protestival in the weekend before the signing.
Waitangi

Strong opposition convinced the Prime Minister not to attend Waitangi Day events, but other political parties took the opportunity to send a strong anti-TPPA message.

International
Our New Zealand protests were part of a global protest with events taking place across most of the 12 TPPA countries (eg. Chile takes to the streets), and 250,000 people in Germany against the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Research and Fact Sheets
Five research papers have now been published on the TPP Legal website, on Parliamentary process, Investment, te Tiriti, Environment, and the Economics of the TPPA. Others on Internet/IP and Local Government will follow soon.

A simple flyer with a summary of the key facts on a double side A4 is here. Copy it and share it far and wide.

ActionStation has launched a new series of Fact Sheets on different aspects of the TPPA.

Funding the campaign
We launched a Give a Little page to fund the speaker tour and ongoing campaigning. Please donate generously.  

Thanks for your amazing campaigning. The past few weeks have changed politics in our country. Now it’s time for us to ramp up the pressure! Kia kaha!

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It’s Our Future Bulletin #82

The campaign is building

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The campaign is building and the government is sounding more and more desperate. Across New Zealand members of the public are waking up to the dangers of the TPPA. The Don’t Sign speakers tour and campaign actions have mobilised and informed supporters. Now, with a few days before signing, we need to ramp up the pressure.

Events coming up soon

Up to date information is on www.itsourfuture.org.nz. Please let me know if there are any events to add at itsourfuturenz@gmail.com.

Auckland

3 February: We welcome visitors from outside Auckland and will hold a meeting on Wednesday evening. Meeting place to be advised. Please let us know if you are involved in organising TPPA actions in your community and you are coming to Auckland at itsourfuturenz@gmail.com.

3 February: There will be an Unwelcome to Auckland protest at Auckland airport for the Trade Ministers and their entourages arriving in Auckland, with banners, chants and a message that we don’t want them to sign the TPPA. Details will be posted on our website closer to the time. Let us know if you want to participate.

4 February at 12pm: Assemble at Aotea Square (Queen St side). Join the TPPA Don’t Sign march down Queen St. We invite the people of Aotearoa to join us in protest against the TPPA. This will be a family friendly event! Children and elderly will be present on the day and their safety is paramount. This will be BIG. Now is the time to unite and take a STAND!

4 February: The Trade Ministers will meet at Sky City (although they might not sign the TPPA there). There will be civil disobedience happening around Sky City. We request that any group who does so respects the principles of non-violence and does not damage the property of citizens. We have huge support from the public for the campaign and the media will be looking for photos and stories to discredit our movement.

Hikoi

The hikoi will assemble at Te Rerenga Wairua on February 1, travel through Kaitaia, Moerewa and Whangarei and will head for Auckland to protest the signing of the TPPA at Sky City on February 4 and participate in the march down Queen St at 12 midday. The hikoi will then return to Northland for the traditional welcome on to Te Tii Marae on February 5 and the march on to the Treaty Grounds on Waitangi Day. More details at Hikoi.

Waitangi

There will be actions against the TPPA in Waitangi and it is clear that the government is not welcome at Waitangi if they sign. There will be protests against the TPPA. The message is that all people are welcomed to join on 4-6

February. Bring your tents as accommodation will be at a premium, and please bring their flags and banners.

Raglan

1 Feb at 4pm: Raglan footbridge at Raglan beach, join the ‪#TPPAfreeZoneChallenge.

Whakatane

4 Feb at 8am: Information centre, walk to the Council office.

Tauranga

Actions will be at TPPA Tauranga FB page.

Hastings

4 February at 5pm: Hastings Town Clock: Anti-TPPA rally.

Taupo

4 February at 10am: Rally at Tongariro Domain. See Facebook event.

Wellington

4 February at 12 midday: Rally for Democracy and Sovereignty – assemble at the Cenotaph outside Parliament with banners, cardboard heads of government Ministers and speeches. Lunchtime.

More info on Wellington actions at TPPA Wellington FB page.

Christchurch

4 February at 12.30pm: Declare ChCh TPP Free at Christchurch City Council, 53 Hereford St.

More info on events at TPPA Christchurch FB page.

Dunedin

Info on events at TPPA Action Dunedin FB page.

The Campaign continues

They will succeed in signing the TPPA (they could do it by Email if they had to), but we will make it clear that the New Zealand public rejects the TPPA. The campaign will continue.

Governments still need to ratify the TPPA and that is looking very shaky in the US and in Canada. It is likely to be several years before ratification (if ever). This means we will be able to make the TPPA a crucial issue in the next New Zealand election.

There will be Waitangi Tribunal hearings in March. Legal experts have mounted a strong case exposing the weakness of the so-called ‘exception’ for the Treaty in the TPPA.

We will be targeting opposition political parties to strengthen their commitments to reject the TPPA, building a strong campaign around Parliamentary process to ratify the TPPA (including Select Committee hearings), winning the arguments through research and fact sheets, doing a speakers’ tour around New Zealand and getting to over 100,000 signatures on our petition. We will raise the stakes on TPPA for the election and we will defeat the TPPA, just as we have previously defeated previous attempts to get pro-corporates rights in international treaties. The campaigning ramps up from now on!

TPPA Free Zone

Congratulations to Waiheke for becoming a TPPA Free Zone (thanks Local Board rep Shirin Brown and others), along with the Octagon, Auckland Town Hall, venues across New Zealand, homes, workplaces etc. Take action and declare your community or personal space a TPPA Free Zone. See links at Facebook and Website for downloadable materials and ideas for action.

Campaign Round up

Events have already taken place in many other centres including Dunedin, Christchurch, Nelson, Blenheim, Palmerston North, 6 events in Wellington, New Plymouth and Rotorua cars against the TPPA, Auckland and many others. Let us know at itsourfuturenz@gmail.com if you’ve had a ‘Don’t Sign TPPA’ event.

There’s no space for a full round up of the great campaigns undertaken over the past week, but here are a few highlights.

Handover of the petition to the Governor-General: one  two

Dunedin declared the Octagon TPP Free with around 400 people, music, speeches and poetry here

Christchurch mourned the death of democracy at a rally with over 1500 people here

Several hundred protestors marched down Nelson’s main street here

Lori Wallach and Jane Kelsey: Don’t sign speaking tour 26-29 January

Thanks to everyone who helped organise events for the Don’t Sign speaker tour. Auckland Town Hall had an audience of around 900, then Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin were packed out. It has helped to lick the campaign up a level. Thanks especially to Lori Wallach for making it over to New Zealand at an incredibly busy time in US political lobbying, and huge thanks to Jane Kelsey who made it happen.

Sign the petition(s)

The Don’t Sign Petition is close to 50,000. The petition will be kept open during ratification so sign now and we will push it up to 100,000. http://www.actionstation.org.nz/dontsign

After declaring itself to be opposed to the TPPA (eventually backed by all MPs except for Phil Goff), Labour launched a petition against the TPPA with a target of 50,000. It has been reached in a week! They must have been surprised. Labour petition

Funding the campaign

We launched a Give a Little page to fund the speaker tour and ongoing campaigning. Please donate generously.

We acknowledge the generous support of individuals and organisations for the speaker tour:  It’s Our Future; First Union; Public Service Association (PSA); and the Council of Trade Unions (CTU). If you have other fundraising suggestions, contact Barry Coates at itsourfuturenz@gmail.com. Now is a good time to donate!

Research

We are winning the arguments and exposing the government spin on the TPPA. If you want to find out more, visit TPPA research. There are expert, peer-reviewed research papers on:

  • The Parliamentary process

  • Investment

  • Te Tiriti

  • Environment

  • The Economics of the TPPA

Also see facts sheets at our partner ActionStation TPPA facts.

 

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2015 Roger Award

People’s Choice

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The organisers of the Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2015 invite you to have your say by voting online for the People’s Choice winner.

This is an online poll only.

The field is restricted to the six finalists for the 2015 Roger Award listed at the People’s Choice Website, along with brief information about why each of them was selected.

The People’s Choice winner will be announced at the same April 30th event in Palmerston North at which the Roger Award judges announce their winner.

The judges’ choice is the actual winner of the Roger Award and, as always, will be accompanied by a detailed Judges’ Report and Financial Analysis. There will be no equivalent reports about the People’s Choice winner.

Votes close on Friday April 29th.

Cast your vote at here

Please help to publicise the People’s Choice poll. Spread the word.

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It’s Our Future Bulletin #82

Upcoming Events

TPPA signing Auckland, 4 February

The secrecy-obsessed New Zealand government finally admitted that the signing would take place in Auckland but still hasn’t confirmed the date (although Chile and Peru governments did) or a location, although it almost certainly won’t be at Sky City as previously rumoured. Apparently the delay in confirming a date is because some governments (possibly Canada, Japan, Malaysia) haven’t fulfilled their pre-signing procedures – neither has New Zealand. The lack of a democratic mandate isn’t holding our government back. Hopefully several TPPA nations may decide not to sign.

mnThe 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). Whatever happens the campaign is not over! This is not the final step by any means. The TPPA still needs to be ratified in NZ and opposition is growing in the US. There is more campaigning coming up. See TPPA campaign overview, democracy vs TPPA blog.

Lori Wallach and Jane Kelsey: Don’t sign 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 join TPPA expert Jane Kelsey for a short speakers’ tour. See It’s Our Future website for downloadable posters. Lori and Jane Kelsey will speak at:

Auckland Town Hall on 26th January at 7pm – with a political pane including Andrew Little (Labour) tbc, Metiria Turei (Greens), Fletcher Tabuteau (NZ First) and Marama Fox (Maori Party).

Wellington, St Andrews Centre on the Terrace on 27th at 7pm

Christchurch Cardboard Cathedral on 28th at 7pm

Dunedin at Burns Hall, Moray Place on 29th at 7pm

These events will be free, with a donation requested. Arrive early, because it’s first come, first in the door, and we are going to try to fill these venues!!

Funding the campaign

Our Give a Little page to help fund the TPPA campaign page is now live. Please donate generously  because we have no money at present and we are incurring big costs for the campaign (around $10,000 for the Auckland Town Hall meeting alone). This account will support the costs of these events and ongoing campaign actions over the next few months. If you have other fundraising suggestions, contact Barry Coates at itsourfuturenz@gmail.com. We acknowledge the generous support of individuals and organisations and will include a list of those in the next Bulletin. So please let them know that now’s a good time to donate!

New PictureEvents coming up 

A round up of events over the next few weeks follows. This isn’t all of them because many are still being planned. The list will be updated in the next Bulletin.

Send details to Chantelle Campbell at itsourfuturenz@gmail.com.

Dunedin
29 January at 7pm: Don’t Sign Tour: Lori Wallach and Jane Kelsey at Burns Hall, Moray Place. Free event, donations please.

30 January at 12=2.30pm: Rally to declare the Octagon a TPP Free Zone with a range of different groups joining together in activities, speakers and music.

More info on events at TPPA Action Dunedin FB page.

Christchurch

20 January 12-1.30pm: Save City Care, Keep Our Assets Picket at City Council Building, Worcester Boulevard Entrance.

28 January at 7pm: Don’t sign tour at Christchurch cardboard cathedral.

30 January at 2pm: Reject the TPPA rally at Cathedral square.

4 February at 12.30pm: Declare ChCh TPP Free at Christchurch City Council, 53 Hereford St.

More info on events at TPPA Christchurch FB page.  

Wellington

19-28 January: There are a series of local meetings coming up:

19/1 Newtown
20/1 Johnsonville
21/1 Lower Hutt
23/1 Otaki
26/1 Wainuiomata
28/1 Upper Hutt

27 January at 7pm: Don’t sign tour – Lori Wallach and Jane Kelsey at St Andrews Centre, The Terrace. Free event, donations please.

30 January at 1pm: assemble at the Governor-General’s residence for a handover of the petition. Details to come.

4 February lunchtime: assemble at the Cenotaph outside Parliament with banners, cardboard heads of government Ministers and speeches. Details to come.

More info on Wellington actions at TPPA Wellington FB page.

New Plymouth
30 January at 1pm: Puke Ariki Landing, 1 Ariki St. TPPA picnic to launch a week of action with speakers and petitions.
 
Tauranga
See car protest below, and other actions will be at TPPA Tauranga FB page.

Raglan
1 Feb at 4pm: Raglan footbridge at Raglan beach, join the ‪#TPPAfreeZoneChallenge.

Hamilton
23 January at 12-2pm: Rally at Base Shopping Centre, Te Rapa Rd.

IMG_1355Auckland

26 January at 7pm: Don’t sign tour at Auckland Town Hall. As well as our keynote speakers there will be a political panel with Andrew Little (Labour) tbc, Metiria Turei (Greens), Fletcher Tabuteau (NZ First) and Marama Fox (Maori Party).

31 January all day (tbc): There will be a Protestival all day in an Auckland park. This will be a peaceful, family friendly event with music, speeches (not too many), stalls, workshops, NVDA training and event planning. Details to be advised in the next Bulletin. All welcome.

3 February: We welcome visitors from outside Auckland and will hold a meeting to discuss plans for the events coming up. Time and venue to be advised.

3 February: There will be an Unwelcome to Auckland protest at Auckland airport for the Trade Ministers and their entourages arriving in Auckland, with banners, chants and a message that we don’t want them to sign the TPPA.

4 February at 12pm: Join the TPPA Don’t Sign march down Queen St. Lunchtime campaigners can then peel off and the rest of us will join others at our campaign base in nearby Victoria Park for music, speeches and campaign news.

4 February: We don’t know the venue for the meeting but there may be people who will want to go there to occupy the venue or block access. There may also be other civil disobedience happening around the signing. We request that any group who does so respects the principles of non-violence and does not damage the property of citizens. We have huge support from the public for the campaign and the media will be looking for photos and stories to discredit our movement.We will try to organise billets for visitors in homes and on a marae. Please Email itsourfuturenz@gmail.com if you want accommodation.

Waitangi

There will be actions against the TPPA in Waitangi and it is clear that the government is not welcome at Waitangi if they sign.

Nationwide
30 January at 10pm: Check out the fantastic Cars against the TPPA protests that are happening in Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, Palmerston North, Hamilton, Tauranga, Auckland and Whangarei.

Local Action
Take action in your community. Declare your community or workplace a TPPA Free Zone.

Call on Councils to take action through the TPPA Policy Solution based on Auckland and Wellington District Council resolutions.

‘Don’t sign’ Petition
The Don’t sign petition is up to 33,000 signatures after one week. Thanks to our friends at ActionStation for hosting. Spread it far and wide. We need to let the government (and the media) know that the is no democratic mandate to sign the TPPA. Let’s aim for 100,000 signatures by the time of signing.

Petition to the Governor General
The petition to the Governor General to exercise his powers to prevent the government from signing the TPPA is getting out there. Please volunteer to collect signatures. The petition has gained visibility and support from a Bryan Gould article showing the tight government control of public accountability mechanisms.

Research and Fact sheets
This is going to be a big week for our research information. The expert peer-reviewed research papers are being launched this week for the Environment, te Tiriti and Economics of the TPPA. There’s lots of good info in there so please visit the TPP Legal website. The latest information across all the issues in the final TPPA text is in the Key Issues paper.

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TPPA

Nationwide Meetings

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Declare your spaces to be
TPPA Free

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With President Obama signalling the beginning of the 90 day period,  the TPPA could be signed as soon as the beginning of February. Now is the time to declare NZ TPPA FREE!

As a nation we are well known for declaring our country nuclear free, and now we need to make a stand to keep NZ TPPA Free. We encourage you all to declare your homes, work places, schools, businesses, cars, clubs and neighbourhoods as TPPA Free Zones.

Make signs, print signs and erect signs that declare your spaces to be TPPA Free. Let everyone you know to declare their spaces as TPPA Free as well.

Click to download

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Hikoi for Homes

November 21st

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Housing is a basic human need

Housing is a basic human need and access to decent quality, affordable and safe housing should be seen a human right. This means that our society and more specifically the State has an obligation to ensure that everyone living in New Zealand always has access to adequate and secure housing. We believe that this obligation means that housing needs to be considered as more than a commodity whose allocation is decided entirely by markets and the profit motive

Get Active – Support the Campaign 

The Campaign Kaupapa

The groups leading the Hikoi believe that because housing is a basic human need access to decent quality, affordable and safe housing should be seen a human right. This means that our society and more specifically the State has an obligation to ensure that everyone living in New Zealand always has access to adequate and secure housing.  The groups further believe that this obligation means that housing needs to be considered as more than a commodity whose allocation is decided entirely by markets and the profit motive.

The Hikoi will be run by CPAG with support from many other community members and organisations including AAAP, Unite Union and First Union. ‘

Campaign Asks

  • An immediate stop to the sell-off of state and council housing
  • A $1 billion annual budget for the provision more state, public and not for profit housing
  • Setting minimum standards for all rented housing
  • Greater tenure protection for tenants
  • Rent freeze for five years
  • A statutory right to be housed
  • State subsidies for modest income homeownership programmes

HIKOI FOR HOMES – Auckland 

Details Here

HIKOI FOR HOMES – Wellington

Details Here

HIKOI FOR HOMES – Christchurch

Details Here

Fundraiser concert 21 Nov – in support for the hikoi for homes

Details Here

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TPPA Bulletin #78:

DON’T SIGN!

National Day of Action

 

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14 November is another Nationwide Day of Action against the TPPA.

While negotiators were able to complete a text in Atlanta, the deal won’t be signed until mid-February at the earliest. Saturday 14 November is another Nationwide Day of Action to stop the TPPA, and we need a huge turnout of people to send a simple message that even this government can understand: DON’T SIGN!

With such a poor deal on the table, that shouldn’t seem too difficult a decision. The Government’s rosiest predictions on tariff cuts – a miserable $259 million a year by 2047 – are nothing compared to the influence that foreign investors will get over our public policy decision-making if this deal will goes through.

What we need now is for people to grab their flags and placards, join their local rallies this Saturday 14 November, and send a strong message to the Government saying DON’T SIGN this toxic deal.

Day of Action Events Saturday 14 November

Kerikeri – 2:30pm at Kerikeri Library

Auckland – 1:00pm at Myers Park

Hamilton – 1:00pm by Cock and Bull Te Rapa

Tauranga – 11:00am at Red Square

Rotorua – 1:00pm, at the Village Green – Corner of Whakaue St and Memorial Drive

Gisborne – 12.30pm, at Elgin Shops

Palmerston North – 1:00pm, The Square

Wellington – 1pm at Midland Park

Nelson – 11am at 1903 Square – near the church steps

Christchurch – 2pm, Cathedral Square

Little River – 1pm, Craft Station

Timaru – 1pm, Bay Hill Piazza

Dunedin – 11am at the Railway Station

Invercargill – 1.30pm – 3pm, Invercargill Library Meeting Room, TPPA Public Meeting

There are a bunch of posters available from the bottom of this page if you want to do some postering in your area!

TPPA Text Finally Released

On 5 November the Government finally released the TPPA text. This came a month after the negotiations were concluded, giving the government a month-long period to spin their story in the media while campaigners still had little to work with. Professor Jane Kelsey said that the released text reveals ‘major holes in the government’s “fact sheets”‘, while It’s Our Future’s spokesperson Barry Coates said it was a “shameful reminder of the secrecy, spin and corporate deal-making that has characterised this shabby deal.”

Right now a team of experts from a wide range of fields are working to provide concise analyses of the most important parts of the text. Once these are available, It’s Our Future will be converting these into short, easy-to-read documents.

Labour Party Conference

The TPPA is still a hot issue in the Labour Party, with many grassroots Labour activists and unions pushing the party to take a stronger stance. Andrew Little’s keynote speech didn’t mince words on the issue:

I’m telling you, when it comes to undermining our democracy and our sovereignty in the TPPA, I am totally opposed and I will fight with every fibre in my body to stop it, to resist it, to make sure it never happens in New Zealand.

This blog from Professor Jane Kelsey explains how the TPPA crosses all five of Labour’s Bottom Lines, not just the question of foreign ownership of housing.

Failed Safeguards in Investment Chapter

International arbitrator George Kahale (chairman of Curtis, Mallet-Provost, Colt & Mosie LLP, an international law firm), whose core business is defending states being sued under ISDS, has an article in the Guardian in which he points out the critical loopholes in TPPA’s much-maligned investment chapter. He points out that the ‘safeguards’ provision (Article 9.15), that refers to a carve-out for “matters sensitive to environmental health, or other regulatory objectives” is effectively negated by the words “unless otherwise consistent with this chapter”. Kahale sees much of the chapter’s drafting as an improvement on previous agreements, however all of that narrow drafting is undermined by the chapter’s ‘most favoured nation’ (MFN) clause (note, the article is written from an Australian perspective):

Essentially, an MFN clause is tantamount to a classic wipeout move. It would enable foreign corporations from TPP states to make a claim against Australia based on the ISDS provisions in any other trade deal Australia has signed, no matter which country it was signed with. That means it does not matter how carefully the TPP is drafted: foreign investors can cherrypick another treaty Australia has signed, and sue the Australian government based on the provisions included in that treaty. Kahale has described MFN as “a dangerous provision to be avoided by treaty drafters whenever possible” because it can turn one bad treaty into protections “never imagined for virtually an entire world of investors”.

Including an MFN clause in the TPP was a “major mistake”, Kahale argues, and another reason Australia is still wide open to being sued for legislating to protect the environment.

Shareable Media

Below are a bunch of shareable (facebook cover size) images with quotes from Joseph Stiglitz, Noam Chomsky, Dr Erik Monasterio and Professor Jane Kelsey about the TPPA. Get sharing!

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Hihoi For Homes

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This is a CALL TO ACTION. It’s time to make some collective noise about the housing crisis. We’re going make it known, from one end of Aotearoa to the other.

Come along and bring your friends, whānau, flatmates and anyone you know who is struggling with the lack of affordable housing- that should be nearly everyone you know.

Toddlers are dying in unfit homes, homelessness in Auckland city is exploding, state tenants are being evicted, emergency housing providers are full to capacity, private rents are skyrocketing. We have a Government that insists the market can provide us affordable housing, but the facts on the ground tell us different. “The market” is forcing many onto the streets.

Join us to affirm the right to housing. Everyone deserves a home.

DIARY November 21st

Check out www.hikoiforhomes.co.nz for more information on times and transport options!!

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