Ka whawhai tonu matou ake, ake ake!!
Right now we need to get in behind the Aotearoa Not For Sale Hikoi and associated events as the most visible expression of our anger and frustration with the privatisers, the globalisers, the asset sales facilitators and all their ilk, making the links to how foreign investors will use the TPPA. This is now heading from Auckland to Wellington, timed to reach Parliament on Friday 4 May. Join if and where you can.
At the Auckland March on Saturday 28 April several thousand anti-TPPA leaflets were handed out and the yellow and black placards were very visible. All these resources, and some photos, are on the website.
Ohariu Action Group on Privatisation & TPPA
The Ohariu citizens committee intend to keep the pressure on Peter Dunne who provides the 1-vote majority for the government to pass this bill. This week they challenged Dunne’s ostrich position on the TPPA with a flag raising at his Johnsonville electoral office on Friday. See John Maynard’s great interview on TV3 News.
Submissions on Privatisation & TPPA
Submissions are being heard on the “mixed ownership” (privatisation of energy companies) bill – with 5 minutes per submitter! Almost all oppose it. The submission from the NZCTU addresses the TPPA. The Select Committee asked Jane Kelsey for further written information on the right of investors to sue the government under these agreements and the Treaty clause. Hopefully that’s encouraging!
Petition for Citizen-Initiated Referendum on asset sales
The Clerk of the House has approved a proposal for a citizens initiated referendum on asset sales supported by a wide range of community groups and political parties. Keep Our Assets will be formally launched on the 10 May 2012, in Wellington. Don’t be put off because the question is positively worded. If the referendum gets up it will be a great campaigning opportunity.
Tobacco Industry Threatens Plain packaging law
The knee jerk threats from the tobacco industry to challenge the governments announcement that ‘in principle’ it will adopt Australian-style plain packaging laws, subject to a consultation starting later this year. Philip Morris, which is suing Australia under investment treaty, said the NZ law would violate numerous international law and trade treaties. So it looks like they’ll use the same bully tactics with us. The US corporate lobby groups that are behind the TPPA made their own threats, warning that adopting plain packaging laws could damage NZ’s exports – which suggests they’ll do their best to make sure that happens! All this provided great opportunities for media exposure of the TPPA. Press releases from First Union General Secretary Robert Reid and Prof Jane Kelsey led to TV3 x 2, TVNZ and radio. Let’s hope Big Tobacco keeps shooting itself in the foot in this ongoing saga!
TPPA International Campaign
In Tokyo last Wednesday around 3000 people hit the streets to oppose Japan joining the TPPA when Prime Minister Noda visits Washington next week. That followed a resolution in the Diet (Parliament) where a majority voted against Japan entering the TPPA talks now – meaning Noda would lose a vote of no confidence if he went ahead. Japanese groups even ran a wrap-around advert in the Wall St Journal calling on Americans to join them opposing the deal. No surprise that Noda is backing off …
The next formal round of talks start in Dallas on 8 May. For updates on the action there keep an eye on tppdallas.org. The International Trade Union Congress has objected to the US that dropping the stakeholder forum from the round removes one of the few opportunities for civil society to present their case to negotiators – in contrast to the much better access for corporate interests.
The Roger Award for the worst transnational operating in New Zealand was held in Christchurch on 20 April. Rio Tinto (best known in New Zealand for its sweetheart deal with the government over electricity charges for its subsidiary the Aramoana smelter) took the Roger trophy for the first time. However, RT has been waiting in the wings a long while having been nominated on numerous occasions previously.
That great patriot Michael Fay has launched a second appeal -26.April 2012-against the latest Crafar farms decision in favour of the Shanghai Pengxin. See Antony Hubbard’s article about the Crafar farms and other asset sales.
Alarming new revelations about the Hobbit negotiations show how big corporations will use the TPPA. Gordon Campbell comments
Please share TPP activities or good articles: contact Mary Ellen firstname.lastname@example.org (the bulletin) and/or Hannah email@example.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
Add your name to the list of people opposed to the TPPA here. (To receive this bulletin by email tick the box at the bottom of the form)