NZ-US Council scores ‘own goal’ with laughable TPP Survey
“When cheerleaders commission a survey to support their pet project you can pretty-well guarantee the questions will be skewed to produce a favourable result. But the survey commissioned by the NZ-US Council to show that Kiwi’s support the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement takes the cake”, says University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, a critic of the agreement.
“According to the survey 57% of New Zealanders support the proposed TPP, yet 51% of them have never heard of the TPP!”
The methodology of the survey is so laughable it does not even warrant a serious rebuttal.
“The Council should be shamefaced about trying to present the results as indicating anything of value. A first year student who presented this as a piece of academic work would fail with an E.”
Professor Kelsey says the survey has “an air of desperation”.
New Zealand will host the next round of TPPA talks in Auckland from 3 to 12 December and its champions are on the back foot.
“Many Kiwis are affronted simply by the secrecy that engulfs the TPP negotiations and prevents them knowing what is being done in their name”, said Professor Kelsey.
“Others are aware from leaked documents and informed speculation that US-led demands would have a huge negative impact on a wide raft of policies that affect New Zealanders’ daily lives.”
“These impacts include affordable medicines, Internet access, parallel imports, and the government’s ability to re-regulate areas like mining, leaky buildings or the banking sector.”
“Then there is the right of foreign investors to sue the government directly in the offshore tribunals. Philip Morris and British American Tobacco have put the spotlight on that effect all on their own”.
Professor Kelsey observes that “what New Zealanders really need to assess the true implications of the proposed TPP is the release of the draft text and background documentation, open and informed public debate, and parliamentary hearings, which the government has vetoed.”
“If the NZ-US Council asked New Zealanders whether they supported those fundamentals of democratic government, its survey might have claimed some credibility. But then, of course, it wouldn’t have provided the results they wanted.”
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