TPPWatch Action Bulletin # 8 – 15 April 2012

Aotearoa Not for Sale 24 April to 10 May

This Hikoi from Te Rerenga Wairua to Wellington is a non-political event providing an opportunity for all people across all sectors to demonstrate public opposition to privatisation, asset sales, welfare reforms, deep water oil drilling, coal mining, fracking and the TPPA.  Timetable and marches (please check the website for any changes):

Tues 24 April             Kaitaia march 11am

Wed 25 April             Kawakawa 1pm, Whangarei 3 pm

Thur 26 April             Wellsford 11 am

Fri 27 April             Harbour Bridge 3 pm

Sat 28 April              Auckland 3 pm at Britomart

Sun 29 April             Rotorua 3pm

Mon 30 April             Turangi 3 pm

Tues 1 May             Taihape 3 pm

Wed 2 May             Palmerston North 11 am

Thurs 3 May             Porirua 12 noon

Fri 4 May             Te Papa to Parliament

Sat 5 May             Rally and Free Concern in Wellington

Sunday 6 May             Constitutional wananga

After the hikoi arrives in Wellington there will be a week of events, activities and demonstrations in and around Wellington. Accommodation will be provided for those from out of town. The TPPA will be centre stage. It’s a great chance to be visible with placards, educate with leaflets (on TPPWatch website & facebook soon) and spread the word. Keep track of developments on https://www.facebook.com/events/170682386382094/

Submissions linking Partial Privatisation & TPPA

Submissions on the partial privatisation (‘mixed ownership’ sic) bill closed last Friday. A number of people and organisations, including the NZCTU, Geoff Bertram and Jane Kelsey, have said that foreign investors will exploit the TPPA for lobbying purposes and deter re-regulation and new policies that could impact on their profits. Hearings are expected to begin in a couple of weeks in several major centres. If you made a submission and didn’t include the TPPA it’s a good opportunity to do so when you give your oral submission. If not,  just turn up at the hearings with leaflets.

Peter Dunne’s Pathetic Cop-out

On 2 April John Maynard wrote to Peter Dunne on behalf off People’s Power Ohariu:

“ I am writing to ask about the possible impact on the partial sale of state assets by the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement currently being negotiated by nine countries including New Zealand.

1.        During last year’s election campaign did you have any knowledge of the proposed investor/state disputes procedure in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement?

2.        Do you have any information now about what rights the TPPA investor/state disputes procedure could give to international investors from TPPA countries with investments in any of the “mixed ownership model”  power companies?

3.        Were you aware of the TPPA investor/state disputes procedure when you signed your confidence and supply agreement with the National Party Government after the last election?

As the Mixed Ownership Model Bill has now been introduced into Parliament and the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is nearing its final stages I ask that these questions are answered with urgency.”

Dunne immediately replied:

“Dear John, The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations have not yet been concluded, let alone any agreement having been confirmed by the New Zealand Government. Until and unless that happens it is utterly premature to speculate about the import of any of its yet to be finalised provisions, and I am not going to waste yours and my time doing so.”

And by the time it is finalised, it is utterly too late. …

Last Fig-Leaf of Democracy Goes in TPPA Talks

Now the US has taken control of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations it has removed the only pretense of transparency – the daylong ‘stakeholder’ programme where critics can present information and analysis directly to negotiators. The US has announced that stakeholders can register and be allocated a ‘table’, but not make any presentations, at the next round of negotiations in Dallas from 8 to 18 May. The US says it consulted all the other countries – but most negotiators spoken too so far didn’t know about and they weren’t happy! They rely on the activists to create the environment where they can say no to the US – which of course is why the US has canned the event.

More Secret Shenanigans in Santiago

at the latest ‘inter-sessional’ negotiations on intellectual property in Chicago last week. Those who were there report: ”Cozy relationships with government aren’t the only way corporations are influencing these talks. This week, American University and the University of Chile arranged to host an event to present analyses critical of particular proposals in the TPP. These include leaked provisions that would greatly favour Big Phrma, expand drug monopolies and raise medicine prices. The keynote speaker was to be Senator Ricardo Lagos, a major political figure in Chile considered to be a possible candidate for the presidency. Nevertheless, the public University of Chile law school cancelled the event with less than two days’ notice, evidently on the advice of a member of the faculty who is a paid advisor of the multinational pharmaceutical companies’ association in Chile. The cancellation sent organizers scrambling for a new venue at Chile’s Catholic University.

Media & Blogs

‘NZ Asset Sales Policy Began On Wall Street’ Op ed from the Clutha River Forum

The Key government’s asset sales agenda is derived from the Washington Consensus – a set of Wall Street-driven policies that were pronounced dead after the global financial meltdown in 2008. The New Zealand government, however, remains loyal to this failed ideology. … The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) signals yet another secretive free trade deal intended to free-up access to foreign assets. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1201/S00050/nz-asset-sales-policy-began-on-wall-street.htm

US concern at NZ patent rejig: ‘The United States Government has taken aim at a planned overhaul of New Zealand patent law that would prevent the patenting of computer software. … Computer Society chief executive Paul Matthews said he feared the Patents Bill had been put on ice by the Government because concessions might be made to the US on the issue of software patents during trade negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership. … http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/business/6722191/US-concern-at-NZ-patent-rejig

Please share TPP activities or good articles: contact Mary Ellen oconstance@gmail.com (the bulletin) and/or Hannah tppwatch@gmail.com (the website); Facebook page, Stop Stealing New Zealand and website www.tppwatch.org

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 7, Bulletin 6, Bulletin 5, Bulletin 4, Bulletin 3, Bulletin 2, Bulletin 1

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