Jane Kelsey sent the message below to the ministers today (click here for pdf version). You might like to fax or email your own message to both ministers (M.McCully@ministers.govt.nz and T.Groser@ministers.govt.nz) before midday Saturday NZ time, demanding the government makes Mike Moore pull out.
Hon Tim Groser
Minister for Trade
Fax (04)817 6511
Hon Murray McCully
Minister of Foreign Affairs
I have just learned that this Friday US time in Washington DC the New Zealand Ambassador to the United States, Mike Moore, is co-hosting on behalf of the Ambassadors to the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations a corporate lobbying event, which is sponsored jointly by PhRMA, Philip Morris International, Chevron and Target.
The event is promoted as an ‘exclusive reception is a unique gathering of Governors and other top state officials, select US trade officials, Ambassadors and key embassy personnelfrom large US trading partners, and businesses reliant on the expansion of international trade. This reception is designed to establish and strengthen the critical personal connections at the highest levels of stategovernment with embassy and industry representatives to lay the foundations for growth in two-way trade, foreign direct investment, and strengthened economic ties.’
As you will be aware, PhRMA has launched a concerted attack on New Zealand’s Pharmac scheme through the TPP negotiations and New Zealand’s negotiators have taken a very strong position in resisting the industry-driven text that has been tabled by the USTR on intellectual property, transparency and technical barriers to trade.
You will also be aware that New Zealand is a signatory to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Article 5.3 of that Convention obliges the government ‘in setting and implementing their public health policies with respect to tobacco control, Parties shall act to protect these policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordancewith national law’. Co-hosting a lobbying event in which a tobacco company that operates in New Zealand clearly violates the intention of the Article.
I have just been informed that the Australian ambassador has declined the invitation to attend the event as being inappropriate, especially given the investor-dispute launched by Philip Morris against Australia’s law on plain packaging of tobacco.
I urge you to instruct New Zealand’s ambassador that his participation is equally inappropriate and to withdraw his agreement to co-sponsor the event and not to attend.
Professor Jane Kelsey