Tag Archives: Treaty of Waitangi

TPPA EXCLUSIVE: An open invitation from Professor Jane Kelsey

maxresdefault-768x576(The Daily Blog) Ever heard Lori Wallach talk about the stark realities of US politics on the TPPA? If you have, you won’t want to miss her again! If you haven’t, this is a once in a lifetime chance to hear her on how the US and its corporate lobby stitched us up, and sold out ordinary Americans as well. (for Lori’s bio – see here)

Can the US Congress stop the deal? Will the US Congress stop the deal?

What happens if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency? Or Donald Trump (assuming that is worse … which it has to be)

Are US politicians serious that they will rewrite the deal after it is signed by setting rules for ‘implementation’? What would that mean for Kiwis?

Lori is arriving Tuesday morning for a speaking tour starting Tuesday night 7pm at the Auckland Town Hall in the lead-up to the planned signing in Auckland on 4 February. Then off around the country to Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin in a whirlwind tour. Sponsors (so far) are Its Our Future, ActionStation, and New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, as well as great local anti-TPPA groups.

– See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/01/23/exclusive-an-open-invitation-from-professor-jane-kelsey/#sthash.pOtZciOo.dpuf

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TPPA – ItsOurFuture latest updates for Kiwis

 Updates from itsourfuture.org.nz : this is the site’s newsletter

 

It’s Our Future: TPPA News Bulletin #81

11 January 2016

In this Bulletin:

TPPA signing Auckland, 4 February
Auckland Actions for 4 February
Other actions around Aotearoa NZ
Lori Wallach & Jane Kelsey speaking tour 26-29 January
‘Don’t sign’ Petition to PM to be launched tomorrow
Fact Sheets
Expert Papers
Labour Party position
Media Articles

TPPA Latest

TPPA signing Auckland, 4 February

Rumours that TPPA ministers will sign the deal in NZ on 4 Feb were confirmed by Chile’s officials, although the government still says it’s not settled. Other reports confirm it will be in Auckland (as Fran O’Sullivan said back on 9 Dec), but MFAT hasn’t told people where. It’s NOT likely to be Sky City, which hosted the big meetings. This will be a small select ‘celebration’, probably somewhere with tight security.

The 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).

Rumours in the media that “US President Barack Obama lines up NZ visit” in order to thank the New Zealand government for pushing the TPPA deal look like a classic case of PR spin. Latest is that the Government denies the report saying “there are no plans in place for that to happen at this stage”.

Auckland Actions for 4 February

Auckland people will meet on Tuesday 12 January to talk about actions around the signing. The signing will be on a weekday, with Anniversary weekend before and Waitangi Day weekend after. We know people are anxious to get things moving, but please coordinate with others so that we don’t create confusion with multiple Auckland events. We will put out another Bulletin next week with more specific plans.

Other actions around Aotearoa NZ

Groups are already planning for activities leading up to 4 February. Chantelle Campbell will provide support and coordination for regional activity coordinators chantellec@xtra.co.nz

Lori Wallach & Jane Kelsey 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 be doing a short speaking tour. Advertising will be available shortly. Lori and Jane Kelsey will speak at:

  • Auckland Town Hall on 26th January at 7pm
  • Wellington St Andrews on the Terrace on 27th (time TBA)
  • Christchurch on 28th at Cardboard Cathedral at 7pm
  • Dunedin 29th (time and venue TBA).

These events will be free, with a donation requested. A Give a Little page is being set up to support the costs of these events and ongoing campaign actions over the next few weeks and the months. In the meantime, if you have fundraising suggestions, contact Barry Coates barrycoatesnz@yahoo.com

‘Don’t sign’ Petition to PM to be launched tomorrow

Action Station is hosting a simple petition to the PM to tell the government not to sell us out and not to sign. That will be launched on 12th January. A separate communication will come out through email, Facebook and twitter tomorrow. Please circulate it everywhere.

Fact sheets
Simple fact sheets with updated information on the text will be available shortly. Apologies that the current fact sheets on the website are out of date – we will let you know when the new fact sheets are posted. The updating will be part of a website update and re-vamp taking place soon. The latest information on the TPPA text is in the Key Issues paper on the website.

Expert papers
For people wanting to understand the details of the TPPA text, there are New Zealand specific expert peer reviewed papers now available. These cover the Process (including what happens after the signing in NZ) and Investment rules. Papers on the Treaty of Waitangi, Environment and the Economics of the TPPA will be posted shortly.

Other expert analyses from offshore can be accessed on the TPPLegal website.

Labour Party position
Andrew Little has stated that a Labour Government would “defy the TPPA” if it conflicted with national sovereignty. He referred specifically to overseas ownership of residential property, so it is not clear whether this means that Labour would vote against the TPPA is there is a vote in Parliament. His Radio New Zealand interview is at http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/summerreport/audio/201785059/labour-says-it-will-defy-tpp
The Green Party, New Zealand First and the Maori Party have reiterated their opposition to the TPPA.

Media Articles:
Dr Joshua Freeman, Dr Hayley Bennet: TPPA could trump climate accord
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11567925

A huge US$15 billion ISDS claim has been lodged by TransCanada against the US over Obama’s decision to refuse permission for construction of the KeystoneXL pipeline from the Albert tar sands projects: This case is a real test for whether governments can take action on climate change, Press coverage includes:
NZ Herald http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11571180 and http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11570574

The Corporation Behind Keystone XL Just Laid Bare the TPP’s Threats to Our Climate: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ben-beachy/the-corporation-behind-ke_b_8931802.html

TransCanada, This is What Democracy Looks Like: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtenay-lewis/transcanada-this-is-what_b_8940640.html

Keystone XL rejection leads TransCanada to sue Obama administration: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/transcanada-lawsuit-keystone-xl-pipeline-1.3392446

An interview with Lori Wallach on this case and on country of origin labelling, repealed due to WTO rulings: http://www.democracynow.org/2016/1/7/transcanada_sues_the_us_for_15b

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Water Wars in ‘Clean Green’ NZ?

Most people who subscribe to truth sites similar to this one will be aware that water is becoming the new ‘gold’. This was ‘prophesied’ in a sense by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke in their book called ‘Blue Gold the Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World’s Water’ (2001), a very interesting and informative read. (The documentary of the same name is on YouTube.)

Here in NZ recent news items have questioned ‘who owns our water?’  ‘Nobody’, says the current PM John Key …  and yet a Hawkes Bay bottling plant (Chinese owned) has been sold pretty cheap rights to bottle and export 900 million liters per year. While locals who wish to water their orchards are required to pay for it.  Read the explanations for this and to the average citizen they sound like gobbledy gook … citing the Resource Management Act (RMA) and spun in legal rhetoric most of us can’t understand. This is the way of big business.

NZ’s Maori King, King Tuheitia says Maori “have always owned the water.”  In August 2012, the Waitangi Tribunal found that Māori still have residual proprietary rights in water and the Crown would breach the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi if it went ahead with the sale of State owned power company share sales. Maori customary title, according to the 2003 “Ngati Apa” decision of the Court of Appeal, must be lawfully extinguished before it can be regarded as ceasing to exist. Customary rights, although not ownership in a Lockean sense, says the NZ Herald, still represent more than the relegation of Maori to being non-owners of non-ownable water. Indeed, when acquiring the land for the Crown, the Queen solemnly agreed for Maori to retain “full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess…”

Still it appears perfectly legal in the case of Hawke’s Bay, for the local council there to sell an offshore corporation the rights to extract large quantities, even though, as John Key argues, nobody owns it.

For the purposes of introduction here, water and one’s right to it is becoming somewhat complicated.  There are places on the planet where the powers that be have integrated into law the prohibition of collecting it for personal consumption. As insane as this may sound it is factually true. As always, follow the money trail.

Corporations are seeking to privatise our water commons for a profit (and yes it was always considered one’s right to water is sacrosanct). Exemplifying their typical avarice for more and more profits, they seek to gobble up all the water resources and rights to them it seems, and sell them back to us at exorbitant prices.

The company Nestlé is guilty of this. Whilst its chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe  proclaims water is a human right, the company is busily selling off drought-stricken California’s water. Nestle owns 70% of the world’s bottled water brands.

This is the way of corporations. They are seldom for the people and always for their shareholders. Separate entities with legal personhood they manage to do just about anything their shareholders wish for them to do whilst escaping accountability for any damage they incur.

A few years back in Cochabamba Bolivia, a large corporation had privatised the water and was charging around half the income of the poor to buy it off them. So oppressive did this become it ended up with riots and even loss of life to oust the corporation and return to the previous status quo.  If there is anything you should learn on this site it is that corporations are not generally kindly companies that wish to help people. (Please watch ‘The Corporation’ movie).  Any intimation from them that they wish you well is generally just rhetoric to appease you or persuade you you to buy.  This attack on the rights of people to drink the essence of life, (and it is well established that water is essential to life itself) is a huge attack on our ultimate freedoms. Fifty years ago this line of thinking would be unheard of … unthinkable. As I’ve pointed out often here, fifty years ago most households had their own water tanks to collect rainwater. That was standard practice. And yet, today it is being put to us as being right and proper that we should not be collecting it at all. We have been seriously duped by little increments that corporations can, but not we the people. Lest I be misunderstood here, I am not against water conservation. I simply believe, like most ordinary folks, that water should not be virtually given to corporations to profiteer with, at the expense of locals who need it for day to day survival.

Welcome then to the water wars. And I’ve not even touched on water pollution and our health. In the meantime, be sure to stand up for water rights wherever they are being quietly, or not so quietly, whittled away. Next we will be charged for the air we breathe. Such is life in the twenty first century. If the water wars are new to you begin by watching the documentary Blue Gold.