TPPA Bulletin #70




Maui ministerial – TPPA stalled but not yet defeated

Ministers couldn’t reach a deal in Maui this week. That’s a great win, but no room for complacency. They are very close and the pressure is huge to solve the remaining big issues – dairy (NZ v Japan, US and Canada), automobiles (Mexico v Japan), and biologics medicines (US v rest, led by Australia). There will be frenetic meetings in the next few weeks. Expect another ministerial meeting before the end of August as they aim to meet the informal September deadline.

Media coverage:

Government fesses up to costs of TPPA
In one week Key admitted more taxpayers’ money will go direct into big pharma’s pockets to pay for meds, and new limits won’t be possible on foreign buyers of residential property, while Groser admitted an investor-state dispute could happen and NZ could lose before a rogue tribunal. Seems like a drip feed of confessions in expectation the text would become public and show they had been lying.
A court challenge to secrecy
Next week a case will be lodged in the High Court in Wellington to challenge the secrecy of the TPPA negotiations. Formally it seeks an urgent judicial review of Minister Groser’s refusal to release any documents under the Official Information Act that Jane Kelsey requested back in January. It’s taken so long because the Ombudsman took over 4 months to review the minister’s decision. Other applicants are Consumer NZ, Ngati Kahungunu, Oxfam, Greenpeace, Tertiary Education Union, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, and NZ Nurses Organisation.
Crown rejects Waitangi Tribunal
Last week, the Waitangi Tribunal considered an urgent hearing on the claim that the TPPA breaches te Tiriti. Given the short time to the ministerial it was proposed that an independent legal expert should review whether the proposed Treaty of Waitangi exception was adequate. The Crown thought about it, then said no - because revisiting the exception could mean other parties want to reopen things important to NZ. As former Nat Minister, now Tribunal member, Doug Kidd said ‘so poor old rangatiratanga goes down the gurgler again’.
Labour finally takes a stand
Bipartisan support for the TPPA is no longer guaranteed. The Labour caucus (not the party) announced five ‘principles’ would decide its position on the TPPA. All but the one about foreign investment in residential property was woolly. But when Key admitted meds would cost more and TPPA would stop Labour restricting foreign buyers of Auckland housing, Andrew Little showed some backbone. Even Annette King spoke out against the meds costs. Labour has a sign-on letter asking Key to protect NZ’s sovereignty and release the text.
Government blocks Fighting Corporate Control Bill
On 22 July NZ First's Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill got its first reading. Unfortunately the Bill missed out on getting to the Select Committee by one vote, as expected Peter Dunne and David Seymour voted against the Bill. Speeches from the Government MPs (like David Bennett, Mark Mitchell and Shane Reti) demonstrated their poor understanding of ISDS provisions and what they mean for our democracy.


Get Your Submissions In To

The Independent Review of Intelligence and Security

Submissions deadline: 5.00pm 14 August

and don't forget that  Nicky Hager is speaking on the issue 


Monday August 3rd 

D-Day for real starting 28 July

Ministers aim for final deal on 28-31 July

Now Fast Track is through the Ministers have called a meeting in Maui from 28-31 July. They are saying this is it. But it still depends on a final deal between the US and Japan. Everyone knows time is running out, so they will pull out all the stops.

It’s Our Future have labeled 8-15 August ‘TPPA Action Week’, and a current list of actions is available at the bottom of this page (these details are set to change, and over the coming weeks we will continue to update you).

Groser will cave …
Dairy access to Japan, Canada and US is all that Groser cares about. He and Key admit there’s currently nothing worthwhile on the table, but the hard negotiations are just beginning. The problem for us is that no-one owes NZ anything. So our guess is he will say this is the best deal available and give everything else away.

Unless we stop him … . How?

  •   Ring (not email) Labour MPs and Andrew Little with a simple message: ‘are you opposed to the TPPA, and if not do you realise it will cost you at the election’. Nats need to know Labour opposes the deal. So does Labour!

  • Pressure Peter Dunne to publicly reject the deal, as the Nats will rely on him for the fig leaf of support in parliament. 

  • Press releases from your organization warning about costs of a deal 

  • Maximum profile, Letters to editor, calls to radio
  •  Flash Mobs

Waitangi Tribunal claim
6 applications and 9 interested parties are seeking an urgent hearing in the Waitangi Tribunal arguing the TPPA would breach the Treaty of Waitangi. The Tribunal will decide on Thursday whether to give the claim urgency. The Crown says it’s too late to stop it, and refused to give an undertaking no to make final commitments until the claim is heard. See Crown Fights TPPA Hearing, Iwi groups join Tribunal'sTPP claim, Maori TV, Radio NZ

Groser losing it under pressure, says Labour matters
The pressure is getting to Groser. A speech attacking opponents played divide and rule and confirmed that Labour’s position matters: “Here in New Zealand we have anti-trade activists who are relentlessly consistent: they have never supported a single Trade Agreement and they never will. They are politically irrelevant to my political party. However, they get an enormous amount of airplay and are not politically irrelevant to other important elements in our democracy. For reasons I explained earlier, I believe broad bipartisan support for open trade strategies is vital to avoid your country being marginalised.”

Doctors: Why we are not politically irrelevant!
The Doctors for Healthy Trade bit back at Groser’s dismissal of their concerns as politically irrelevant in a brilliant op ed in the Dom Post.

Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill
 The Bill is still waiting for a hearing, although it is getting closer. Our sources tell us it is possible that it will come up tonight, however it is very unlikely there will be a debate tonight. On the day we think it will go to its first reading we will send a message out to this list with directions on how to put further pressure on Dunne.

Local Government Campaign

TPPA Action Week

8-15 August 2015

These details are subject to change and events may be added to this list, so make sure you check in on for the latest updates ahead of TPPA Action Week. If you want to organise something in your area, please contact

15 August protest, details to come along with other actions.

15 August protest, details to come.

15 August protest, details to come.

15 August protest, details to come.

15 August protest, details to come

Protest planned, details to come

New Plymouth
Protest planned, details to come

Palmerston North
(Before Action Week) – At 7pm on July 29th Palmerston North City Library is hosting a panel discussion on the TPPA, featuring Assoc Prof Jeff Sluka, Dr Deborak Russell and Dr Shamin Shukur (compere: Assoc Prof Bill Fish).

Art and photo exhibition planned with accompanying information, concert and talks

14 August will be a concert in the library at 5pm, then documentary maker and investigative journalist Bryan Bruce will speak at 6pm on Poverty, Inequality & the TPPA.

Many committed P North activists will also be heading to Wellington on 15 August.

7-13 August – The People Speak #STOPTPPA. NZ Photo exhibition (10am-5pm)

12 August – Lunchtime rally outside Parliament with politicians and speakers.

15 August – TPPA Walk Away! Protest action to stop the TPPA. Assemble at Midland Park and march to Parliament for speakers and music. 

More details to come.

Protest planned, details to come.

15 August protest at 12:30pm. Location: South Hagley Park (corner Deans Ave and Riccarton Rd) marching down Riccarton Rd.

15 August protest planned, details to come.

Protest planned, details to come.

Public Forum

Guest Speaker: Nicky Hager


Submission to the Independent Review of Intelligence and Security close on the 14th of August. 


What are the key issues? 


Is democratic control of spy agencies with a record of spying on those they are specifically excluded from spying on even feasible?


Come and talk it over with Nicky on

Monday August 3rd
The Atrium  
Christchurch Netball Centre
455 Hagley Avenue.