TPPWatch Action Bulletin #5 – 4 March 2012

Action against the TPPA in Melbourne

Outside the Occupy movement has done a series of great actions – locking on to the Convention Centre, harassing the US intellectual property negotiator having lunch, a teach-in where they had their camp, with more to come …

Inside Sina Brown-Davis of Ngati Whatua Kaipara started the ‘stakeholder’ presentations to negotiators on Sunday 4 March with a great presentation and slide show of actions against free trade agreements and TPPA, challenging the neoliberal paradigm and the systematic suppression of indigenous rights. Susan Chalmers from Internet NZ, Bill Rosenberg from NZCTU, and Jane Kelsey from Auckland University also injected some alternative perspectives into the sterility of the negotiations. Why bother? It is an essential part of the inside/outside pressure on the TPPA.

Send Sina’s korero to others and think about how to up the ante. The next round will be in Dallas in May and in NZ in either July or September.

Letters to Ministers get fobbed off

The CTU has sent a letter to the Minister of Trade, Tim Groser, urging support for a enforceable and effective labour chapter in the agreement.

The Society of Authors sought an assurance from Groser that a TPPA would not detract from their ability to protect and encourage the production of New Zealand literature. As of last week they had not even received an acknowledgement.

Education Minister Hekia Parata responded to the PPTA letter that raised the risks to New Zealand’s sovereignty and education policy and regulation regulate under a TPPA saying it wasn’t her ministerial responsibility and she was forwarding it to Tim Groser!

Write to a minister seeking an explanation of how a TPPA could affect core policies of concern within their portfolio and seek a follow up meeting so they have to get briefed rather than fobbing it off to the trade minister.

Mike Moore sups with the devil at lobbying bash in Washington

NZ’s Ambassador to Washington Mike Moore took his free trade evangelism to new heights on 27 February when he co-hosted a lobbying event sponsored by Philip Morris International, Chevron, PhRMA, and Target. Australia’s Ambassador refused to go because PMI is suing them over the plain packaging tobacco law. US activists handed out a spoof menu of what’s being served up on the TPPA table. Many individuals and organisations responded to a last minute call to email or fax the government to instruct Moore not to attend and issued press releases. Groser replied that Moore’s attendance had his full support and is doing a fantastic job to promote NZ’s best interests.

It’s not too late to write to the PM calling for him to sack Mike Moore.

Mythbusting on Investment and the TPPA

A short paper debunking 12 myths about foreign investment and the TPPA was released during the Melbourne round.

People’s Power Ohariu Action Phase 2

People’s Power Ohariu held a meeting at the Johnsonville Community Centre on 1 March to set up the Ohariu Citizens Select Committee. Watch this space.

Is there something innovative you can do to bring the TPP issues into your community?

Maori Affairs Select Committee Briefing on TPP and Tobacco 9 March

There will be an official briefing on the public health implications for Maori of possible changes to regulatory options on tobacco control as a result of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiation talks at Parliament on Wednesday 9 March 2012. We are hoping there will be follow-up briefings from work that various organisations have been doing.

Go along to the select committee to show your concern and hear what is being said.

New Facebook Page

Last week saw the launch of a new Facebook page, Stop Stealing New Zealand. This page is intended to be a catch‐all for information from the various TPPA sources and hopefully will allow for broader reach beyond those already actively involved. We’re looking for factual information that can be posted here as short snippets, or as pointers to other related sites. So if you have something useful, please post it on our Facebook wall. If you can keep personal rants to a minimum that would be great. Maybe save those for your own sites. We’re planning other activity around Stop Stealing New Zealand,

So make sure you bookmark us, Like us, Tweet us, blog us… anything to keep activity rolling.

Media & Blogs

Neil Reid, ‘Moore roasted over Tobacco-backed bash’, Sunday Star Times 26 February 2012

‘New Zealand’s ambassador to America, former prime minister Mike Moore, is under fire after hosting a glitzy gathering co-funded by tobacco giant Philip Morris. The Governors and Ambassadors World Trade Reception – held at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington DC on Friday night – included discussions over the contentious Trans-pacific Partnership, a trade agreement which critics claim will see New Zealand forgo intellectual property rights in return for trade with the US. … ‘

John Rawson, Letter to editor, Northern Advocate, 27 February 2012. ‘The proposed Trans Pacific “free” trade agreement, being negotiated in secret, could do much more to harm New Zealand’s sovereignty that the sale of a few farms to Chinese interests. The Chinese can’t take our land away; this agreement could take away our rights to regulate our booze trade, our tobacco industry, our tendering of works and many other aspects ….’

‘What (else) have we got to lose?’ NZ Not for Sale, March 2012 http://www.nznotforsale.org/

Follow John’s lead and send letters, articles and blogs to the local media.

Please update us on news and local activities

Please share TPP activities or good articles: contact Mary Ellen oconstance@gmail.com (the bulletin) and/or Hannah tppwatch@gmail.com (the website);

Find out more about the issues and campaign on www.tppwatch.org and follow the links.

Thanks! Mary-Ellen O’Connor and Jane Kelsey on behalf of TPPWatch

Download this bulletin in Word or PDF formats.

View previous bulletins here:

Bulletin 4, Bulletin 3, Bulletin 2, Bulletin 1

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