Hikoi for Homes

November 21st

LNew Picture (27)

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


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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TPPA Bulletin #78:


National Day of Action


New Picture (5)

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!

New Picture (1) New Picture New Picture (2) New Picture (3) New Picture (4)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hihoi For Homes

LNew Picture (27)

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!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Government’s snow job on TPPA now exposed

New Picture (27)
‘As expected, access to the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement reveals major holes in the government’s “fact sheets”’, says Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey.

An initial review of the most controversial chapters confirms that New Zealand will have to comply with onerous new obligations and lose the future capacity to regulate in ways that an elected government thinks appropriate.

The investment chapter goes beyond New Zealand’s existing agreements in numerous ways. For example, a foreign investor from a TPP country that is party to a contract for oil exploration, a PPP contract for water, sewage or toll roads, or a mining or forestry concession with central government or an SOE exercising a delegated power, can use the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) process if it wants to claim its rights are breached, even if the contract requires them to use NZ courts or some other dispute mechanism.

Foreign investors, notably from the US and Japan, gain special rights not available to New Zealand investors, which are commonly used to challenge new regulations that adversely affect their business. In New Zealand, where risk-tolerant light handed regulation is the norm, that poses major problems for a future government wanting to regulate in the public interest.

As the government conceded, the categories of investment where the rules can be tightened have been constrained, and existing regulation of various services and investments are locked in so they can’t be made more restrictive in the future.

Some of the so-called protections for environment, health and regulatory objectives in the investment chapter are a nonsense – they allow the government to do what the chapter allows the government to do. The wording of the annex on expropriation, which supposedly restricts the scope of indirect or regulatory expropriation – where regulations are challenged for eroding the value of an investment – is weaker than other New Zealand agreements.

The general exception provision, which provides only weak protection for public health or environment measures at best, does not apply to the investment chapter. Instead, there are highly contestable rights to adopt rules for ‘legitimate public policy’ reasons, but those apply only to some rules and will be interpreted by ad hoc investment arbitrators.

There are some attempts to rein in the ISDS process, but they do not address the major concerns. The arbitrators are still likely to be drawn from a small club (often referred to as the mafia) who are also investment lawyers; there are no conflict of interest rules, merely that they must be developed before the agreement comes into force; there is no appeal; compound interest can still be awarded; and the kinds of damages that be claimed are still extensive.

A further, fundamental problem is that investment tribunals have proved adept at reading down or circumventing attempts to constrain the adventurism of the tribunals, including provisions on which parties to the TPPA claim the right to make binding interpretations that the tribunals must follow.

The tobacco-specific exception applies only to disputes brought by investors under the investment chapter, where a country opts to exclude it. Unlike the proposed Malaysian carveout for tobacco control measures from the entire agreement, it does not apply to other chapters, such as labelling rules, intellectual property, or the investment chapter itself. (Australia’s plain packaging law is currently facing a dispute over labelling and intellectual property in the WTO).

There is at least some provision for countries to impose capital controls, which does not exist in standard US FTAs. But it is circumscribed by almost impossible conditions.

There are serious new constraints on financial regulation, including of cross-border financial transactions and data flows, which require further careful study.

The unprecedented State-owned Enterprises chapter has three complex principal rules, which will create major problems for SOEs that provide integrated services both within and outside the country or produce a mixture of goods and services. The procedural requirements are commercially intrusive and provide scope for harassment by other TPPA parties on behalf of their corporations.

The chapter will create particular problems for the creation of new SOEs that require a capital injection and subsidisation or other special treatment or the provision of guarantees – for example, the proposal to establish a new state-owned insurance company.

The intellectual property chapter has already been leaked and analysed. Copyright is extended by 20 years in two tranches; New Zealand is the only country that has to make changes immediately.

The highly sensitive area of biologics is far from secure. New Zealand’s negotiators say they consider our current process satisfies the obligation. But there is a very high risk that the US will demand that we adopt its interpretation of what is required and refuse to ‘certify’ our compliance (a pre-requisite for the agreement to come into force with the US) until we provider a longer effective monopoly on those new generation pharmaceuticals. In addition, the rule comes up for renegotiation in 10 years, by which time biologics will be a much more dominant part of the medicines budget.

The transparency annex that affects Pharmac’s processes will increase its administrative burden and a new review procedure provides Big Pharma with a new opportunity to challenge Pharmac’s decisions.

These comments confirm the predicted problems in the text. Full analysis of the different chapters will follow, with expert peer reviewed papers being released over the next few weeks.

Full Details here

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TPPA~> National 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!

New Picture (3)


  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! More details to come!

More regions to come!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Christchurch Speaks

The Unacceptable Asset Strip

A wide range of community speakers will explain why the Christchurch City Council’s plan to sell $750 million of our assets is unacceptable


 Facebook Event Page 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

New Picture (11)

‘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.’


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Help us stop the Foolishness

New Picture (2)

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


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


New Picture (7)



New Picture (6)

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 www.itsourfuture.org.nz/th_event/7-march/

Or contact Chantelle Campbell, who is coordinating the national activities for March  at chantellec@xtra.co.nz>

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 - https://www.facebook.com/events/1539489286319991/?ref=4 
  • 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.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment