Three Labour leaders for TPP

Two of Labour’s former leaders, Phil Goff and David Shearer, who are still senior members of its caucus are quite clear that they support the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

A third former leader, Helen Clark, also supports the agreement.

Mr Goff, a former leader and former Trade Minister and now an Auckland mayoral candidate, and David Shearer, also a former Labour leader, last night told the Herald they both still supported the TPP.

Mr Goff said the deal should be signed.

Former Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark also backed the TPP among 12 countries and it was begun under her leadership. Mr Goff was Trade Minister.

Labour has decided to oppose the TPP on the grounds that it undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty.

Mr Goff did not blatantly criticise Labour’s position. But he effectively dismissed that view and the suggestion that Labour would not be able to prevent foreign investors buying New Zealand residential property.

“Every time you sign any international agreement you give away a degree of your sovereignty.” He cited the China free trade deal negotiated when he was Trade Minister.

“We gave up the sovereign right to impose tariffs against China when we signed up to the China free trade agreement. But it came with quid pro quos. China gave up its right to impose huge tariffs on us.

“That’s what an international agreement is; it’s an agreement to follow a particular course of action and a limitation on your ability to take action against the other country.

“You have the ultimate right of sovereignty that you can back out of an agreement – with all the cost that that incurs.”

The costs of not being part of such a wide trade agreement would be significant.

The TPP obliges member Governments to treat investors from member countries as though they were domestic unless exceptions are written into the agreement. Labour wanted an exception written in for investors in residential housing but National did not seek it.

Mr Goff is critical of National for choosing not to do that.

“But there is more than one way to skin that particular cat,” he said. “We retained the right to make it financially undesirable or unattractive to buy up residential property in New Zealand.

“You can still impose, as Singapore and Hong Kong do, stamp duty on foreign investors.” . . 

Labour’s biggest achievement last year was the appearance of caucus unity.

This breaking of ranks shows that the veneer of unity was thin.

That some in Labour disagree with the caucus position might entertain political tragics.

But the bigger significance is that for the first time in decades it’s walking away from the consensus it’s had with National on free trade.

Caucus disunity might hamper its chances of returning to government. But it will get there sooner or later and any failure to foster free trade progress as successive governments have, won’t be in the country’s best interests.

105 Responses to Three Labour leaders for TPP

  1. TimS says:

    And you can add Mike Moore to those former Labour leaders who support the TPP!

    Like

  2. Dave Kennedy says:

    A reasoned view…

    “Instead and for reasons they state at length, the Tufts team use a different mechanism – the UN Global Policy Model – which makes far more realistic assumptions about economic adjustment and income distribution, and which is more capable of tracing the changes in income distribution, prices and financial flows in relation to the assumed trade expansion.
    As a consequence, they find genuine – but far more modest – gains to New Zealand of 2.3 % growth in exports during the forecast period to 2025 alongside a net loss of 5,000 jobs. For New Zealand the export gains are considerably larger than for the US, Japan and Canada – for some of whom the TPP will create significant losses – and entail a smaller extent of job destruction. Even so, these gains are only relative and will be equivalent – at best – to less than what a few cents off the currency rate for the NZ dollar would deliver over the forecast period.”

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2016/01/26/gordon-campbell-why-the-tpp-is-something-we-shouldnt-sign/

    Like

  3. Will says:

    Get real. No-one can predict the outcome of these things. We have always done ok out of trade liberalisation, the cost of restrictions does not bear contemplating.

    Not that Gordon Campbell has a political bias.

    Like

  4. JC says:

    There’s also another significant risk to sovereignty not often mentioned.. the loss from non participation or exclusion.

    “Splendid isolation” has a poetic ring to it but it can be a harbinger of war or much more likely in our case an isolation from advantageous trade and educational and cultural growth that pushes us towards the hermit class.. something thats always a concern for a country so far out of the geographical loop.

    Being in the hermit class can be a pretty nice thing if you enjoy your own company and are slightly dotty but its a bit tough on the young who want more than a small cabin of clay and wattle made along with communication with the Fae… besides.. eventually such idyllic places get overrun by wealthier more out going neighbours.

    JC

    Like

  5. Dave Kennedy says:

    Except it wasn’t Gordon Campbell’s opinion it was the Global Development and Environment Institute.
    http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/policy_research/ModelingPolicyReform.html

    It also depends on how you know we have done OK by other free trade agreements. There is no evidence through research to support this.

    There is evidence of job losses, pressure on local manufacturers with increased competition and lower wages because of this. Local firms lose out when government procurement allows for cheaper overseas options, but ignoring the value of keeping the money and jobs here. All assessments show 1000s of job losses and only a slight increase in income.

    The ISDS is still the big elephant in the room. For a small economy such as ours, a couple of large cases could easily cripple us:
    http://corporateeurope.org/international-trade/2014/04/still-not-loving-isds-10-reasons-oppose-investors-super-rights-eu-trade

    I would love to be isolated from all that.

    Like

  6. Mr E says:

    “I would love to be isolated from all that.”

    NZ has been subject to ISDS for a long time. Looks like you need to move to another country. A non trading country. Probably a third world country.

    Bye!

    Like

  7. TraceyS says:

    Local firms lose out when government procurement allows for cheaper overseas options, but ignoring the value of keeping the money and jobs here.”

    When I was a kid almost everything I wore was second-hand. Even, at times, underwear. On winter nights I often shivered – too cold to sleep – for want of sufficient covers.

    These essential products were very, very expensive. For my family anyway. Most of the items available were NZ made. There was NO “cheap option”. The second-hand stuff handed on was usually cr*ppy. This was because it cost a lot to buy new and therefore a great deal of wear was needed before passing any item on to the needy.

    Maybe Dave would have argued that going without decent clothes or bedding was the price I had to pay for a future job being available for me working in a blanket or knickers factory. Yippeee!!
    (fortunately I had greater aspirations).

    Nowadays there is a range of options from which to clothe children and the cheap clothes (if you check them carefully) are not necessarily of poor style or quality. In fact, I find the quality to be improving all the time.

    I cannot be sure that the availability in New Zealand of a range of good clothing to suit a range of budgets is attributable to free trade but I strongly suspect that it is. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I could confirm or deny this?

    If I am correct, then Labour’s refusal to support the TPPA is incredible.

    Like

  8. Will says:

    “No evidence through research to support this.”

    Hell Dave, I feel like I’ve lived this issue my whole life – being told to shut-up as kids while the News announced the latest from Brian Talboys, as he came back from yet another mission to find a market we were not completely excluded from. The excitement when the Uraguay round of GATT was signed. Then the ten year wait for results that did finally deliver. And the shocks… I got caught with 500 head of steers on when the US announced VRA’s – voluntary (ha) restriction agreements. I had to use hormones to get enough away in time to not lose my shirt.

    I hate the way people like you and that Kelsey woman hold forth on these things you aren’t affected by and don’t understand.

    Like

  9. Dave Kennedy says:

    “When I was a kid almost everything I wore was second-hand.”
    Then you will know what a large % of families are experiencing now. Just look at the number of 2nd hand clothing shops and charity shops there are that are doing good business. Once rent, power and vehicle running costs etc are covered by the low waged, there is very little left, buying new (even if clothes are cheaper than they were) is not an option for many families. Food parcels provide food when a major bill has to be addressed and all clothing is second hand for many families.

    “I hate the way people like you and that Kelsey woman hold forth on these things you aren’t affected by and don’t understand.”

    Will, buy this you are implying that you do understand the TPPA. Have you read any of the documents? Or are you believing the spin?

    https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp

    http://gisborneherald.co.nz/localnews/2126659-135/public-health-body-still-has-concerns

    Like

  10. Will says:

    I understand that we finally get to belong to a major trade group, rather than scratching away at the outside. You had the security of a government job and your partner’s career is heavily subsidised. Like Kelsey, you just don’t know how vulnerable exporters are. I don’t know why you bother picking away at the details, you would oppose it anyway, you are just anti trade.

    God knows why.

    Like

  11. Dave Kennedy says:

    oops, “by this”….

    Like

  12. Dave Kennedy says:

    “you just don’t know how vulnerable exporters are…”

    So how is the TPPA going to help dairy farmers, jet boat builders and those selling computer software?

    Like

  13. JC says:

    “I would love to be isolated from all that.”

    Oof! I’ve spent most of the afternoon reading 300 entries on Google about your cite from CEO.

    I guess I can summarize by saying that as nut farmers.. they’ve cornered at least the European market in a far field.

    JC

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  14. Mr E says:

    I love that this is Daves reason to be against TPP

    “As a consequence, they find genuine – but far more modest – gains to New Zealand of 2.3 % growth in exports ”

    Blasted TPP, adding to the export sector….. Who would have it!!!

    Like

  15. TraceyS says:

    Dave, what do you mean “…even if clothes are cheaper than they were”?

    Clothes are much, much cheaper than they were.

    In 1974 we spent over three times as much on clothing and footwear as we spent in 2013:

    How do you think that happened?

    The other day (on another thread) Andrei wrote something about protecting our National Resources. Yet we are more than happy to enjoy the benefits of other countries’ resources, be it their environment or their people, aren’t we? Aren’t you? And are you not aware that other countries sometimes do this at the expense of those resources and that the price we pay for the products does not adequately reflect this cost?

    “buying new…is not an option for many families”. I bought my daughter TWO pair of leggings for $10 at the Warehouse today. I could have paid $35 for one pair at Country Road but she would not look any different in those and, unless there is a discussion about the labels, no one will notice any difference between child one dressed by the Warehouse and child two dressed by Country Road (at seven times the price).

    What this removes is some of the stigma. Stigma that I grew up with. There never used to be such choices over clothing. There are now and I value them because of my childhood experience. I can buy new cheap clothes, expensive clothes, or second hand clothes for my family. In fact, I regularly buy all three types. There are some excellent second-hand shops where you can buy quality brands that have hardly been worn so are virtually indistinguishable from new.

    Do you dispute that free trade has made a difference to people’s lives and their well-being by making it more affordable to be well-clothed and not obviously poor?

    If you do I want you to think especially about footwear. There really isn’t any excuse for little toes crammed into outgrown shoes when you can pick up a decent pair, which will last until outgrown, for seven bucks.

    Like

  16. TraceyS says:

    “She stood atop the turret, clad in clothes from The Warehouse and K&K…”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11195535

    Poster girl for free trade.

    Like

  17. Mr E says:

    Point well made Tracey,

    Trade is not a one way opportunity.
    When it comes to primary producers, the most efficient trend to be favoured by free trade. Efficiency means more product for less inputs. Efficiency means gains for the environment.

    I would have thought the Green Party would have been the biggest supporters of free trade. But sadly their extent of efficiency understandings seems to halt at fuel efficiency. To me some of their policies and attitudes condemn the environment. To me they seem the least environmentally friendly party.

    Like

  18. Dave Kennedy says:

    Free trade agreements tend to favour larger corporates that pay limited tax and drive down wages. Over the last 10-15 years we have lost much our local manufacturing businesses and the skilled jobs that they supported. There are fewer employment opportunities for well qualified New Zealanders and a growing predomination of low waged jobs.

    Free trade is about lowered tariffs and easier access to markets but it also favours economies of scale that New Zealand manufacturers can’t compete with. Promising new enterprises can be pressured out of business before they have a chance to get established, as has happened with the domination of our own monopolies and duopolies.

    Surely free trade should be tempered with fair trade and trade agreements need to also reign in the multinationals that manipulate different countries to escape tax. However much of the TPPA was constructed by those very same corporations that need to pay their way like any other business.

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/28/google-uk-staff-salary-earned-2015

    I’m afraid your enthusiasm for the TPPA is ill-informed and naive. The Green’s “Buy Kiwi Made” campaign was all about supporting local jobs and local innovation, we need to invest in our selves more to ensure we retain skills and expertise here and we don’t just become a country of consumers and lose variety and depth within our own economy.

    Like

  19. Dave Kennedy says:

    Some well informed people around the world have real concerns about the TPPA. Don’t blindly accept the spin! http://www.nzherald.co.nz/united-states/news/article.cfm?l_id=110&objectid=11580460

    Like

  20. Will says:

    You’re a bit of a fascist aren’t you Dave? You will be endorsing NZ First next. Or Kyle Wotzisname’s outfit.

    Like

  21. Paranormal says:

    DK, first lets burst the bubble on corporate tax. Do you even understand that corporate tax is only a form of withholding tax? What you should be chasing is for greater kiwi ownership of corporations. Sadly with your green policy mix you will drive NZ to greater poverty and, as a debtor nation, less opportunity for kiwis to own corporates.

    Are you referring to those manufacturing jobs that included things like reassembling cars and tvs that had been disassembled in Japan for reassembly in NZ? That’s obviously good for the environment, sustainable and those good words you bandy about.

    Over time fashion and technology changes. You may be aware we no longer require lots of blacksmiths for shoeing horses, but we do have a thriving IT sector. A number of my clients are global tech companies that started out as small NZ IT firms. What is missing in your policy prescription are the incentives to keep them here. And don’t blather on about R&D credits when you want to massively increase tax rates and compliance costs – and that’s just for a start.

    You consistently fail to understand that capital is fungible. Being part of the global community is only a start, which the TPP assists. The real issue is having policies, an economy, and culture that rewards and celebrates those that succeed in business.

    What you and your fellow travellers excel at is the politics of envy that drives capital and those that create it overseas. Then you have the temerity to wonder why we are a debtor nation slowly eating the house.

    Like

  22. TraceyS says:

    “Free trade is about lowered tariffs and easier access to markets but it also favours economies of scale that New Zealand manufacturers can’t compete with.”

    So in theory there should be no Ellis Fibre or McKinlay’s footwear should there Dave?

    “The Green’s “Buy Kiwi Made” campaign was all about supporting local jobs and local innovation…”

    Fine for those who can afford it but we need the cheap consumer products as well…for those who can’t. Because economies of scale benefit the least affluent the most – wherever in the world they are produced.

    If you’re suggesting that a greater percentage of people could afford to buy more expensive clothes or shoes if they held a job working in a NZ factory then you’d be the naive one!

    Like

  23. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    We are a country with a small populace and a huge productivity. Trade and market access is essential for us. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

    And the best model of trade, is free trade. It is a socially responsible approach.

    Under your anti trade model, we will all ride a cow to work, have lambix with milk for breakfast, chased by beef tea.

    As much as I enjoy our produce, without joining this trend toward free trade, our future is very dim.

    Like

  24. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, I am talking about manufacturing leading to exports not assembly plants for the domestic market.

    “The real issue is having policies, an economy, and culture that rewards and celebrates those that succeed in business.”

    The current environment favours existing corporates and multinationals.

    Tracey, our domestic consumers are largely low waged and that is killing many potential exporters trying to establish themselves domestically first. There is more money in high end markets for a smaller economy. We are better placed for quality rather than quantity.

    Like

  25. Mr E says:

    BusinessNZ considers trade as one of the 7 pillars of growth. This is what they say:

    “Trade is vital for New Zealand’s future. As a nation with a small population, and therefore a small domestic market for the goods and services it produces, New Zealand’s prosperity will increasingly depend on selling goods and services into larger overseas markets. New Zealand’s early experience of over-reliance on a Britain as single market for agricultural produce, and subsequent shock when Britain repudiated the trade relationship to join the EEC, gave a valuable lesson on the importance of diversity of markets. Now New Zealand operates a policy of trade with as many partners as possible, and with as few trade barriers as possible. Trade agreements, both bilateral and multilateral, and a commitment to the comprehensive multilateral objectives of the World Trade Organisation characterise New Zealand’s approach to trade.”

    Like

  26. Dave Kennedy says:

    “without joining this trend toward free trade, our future is very dim”

    Mr E, you lie again. I have never claimed to be anti-trade. I just support fair trade and most FTA’s do not produce positive results for ordinary working people in the smaller economies. Much that you claim is the result of FTA’s will have happened anyway.

    The Deputy of our Reserve Bank was asked about the benefits of our FTA with China and he stated that increased trade may have occurred just as well without it. China just wanted our protein, just as Australia did well from coal sales without an FTA. Australia’s FTA with the US has not benefited them much at all.
    http://www.bilaterals.org/?us-gains-in-one-sided-trade-deal

    Our balance of trade fluctuates and recent months have seen substantial trade deficits. Dealing in commodity markets creates greater fluctuations.

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/balance-of-trade

    I would rather deal with facts than childish emotive statements (riding cows to work…good grief).

    Like

  27. Name Withheld says:

    The Green’s “Buy Kiwi Made” campaign was all about supporting local jobs and local innovation,

    Here we go again, just one month into the new year and you are spreading malicious misinformation already.
    Once again you are taken in by the spin from your own party. A little naive I think.
    I guess you mean the ill-fated attempt by the greens to breathe life into a campaign started by a joint effort comprising The NZ Council of Trade Unions and the NZ Manufacturers Federation in 1988.
    So referring to it as “The Green’s “Buy Kiwi Made” campaign ” is just typical bs we have come to expect from you.
    Following the General Election of 2005, the greens blackmailed the Labour Government to sign a co-operation agreement that included a Buy Kiwi Made programme. An initiative based on substituting blind patriotism for thrift, to overrule our wallets and common sense. A perfect fit with the greens “we know what is best for you” philosophy.

    As with most of their wacky ideas, it was paved with good intentions and still has limited appeal, but doomed, as most people shop for a bargain. If that means buying cheaper goods made overseas, so be it. Its a human condition the greens are not acquainted with evidently.
    Like most Socialist ideas, the greens think throwing money at a problem or ideological imitative will convince people to follow.
    Launched in 2007, the advertising campaign ceased in 2009.
    Best you stop crowing about it, I think.

    Like

  28. Dave Kennedy says:

    “An initiative based on substituting blind patriotism for thrift, to overrule our wallets and common sense. A perfect fit with the greens “we know what is best for you” philosophy.”

    NW-It was actually about supporting NZ manufacturers and not supporting the importation of goods made from semi-slave labour. Greed for cheaper stuff is actually counter-productive as it causes the driving down of wages in NZ to be competitive locally and killed many good businesses. Believe it or not there is a strong market overseas for second hand older New Zealand made clothing because of the quality, especially woolen garments.

    When wages were driven down we became more dependent on cheaply produced lower cost clothing. When I used to take kids on camps we used to have an old jersey competition to encourage them to bring decent warm (woolen) clothes as most of the synthetic rubbish they usually wore would not keep them warm if the weather turned bad.

    It is really sad when we have got to the stage when supporting our businesses and skilled jobs is seen as “wacky” and importing cheap crap is seen as good. You have already become a non-discerning consumer, NW.

    The NZ Made campaign and promotion still exists but without so much Government support.
    https://www.buynz.org.nz/MainMenu

    Like

  29. TraceyS says:

    Free Trade is generally good

    The basic rule of economics is that when two people trade, they are both better off, otherwise why would they trade at all? This basic rule applies right up to the country level. Why not let people trade with as many people as they can? People can get what they want more cheaply than they could before, which means they have more money to spend on other things, which means they are better off.

    We have seen this play out on a global scale since 1820 as countries have increased international trade. According to the OECD, trade has grown the incomes of the poorest countries on the planet, particularly in the last fifty years. In other words, be wary of the anti-trade luddites that want to cut New Zealand off from the world.

    But there are winners and losers

    While trade makes us all better off collectively, it is not be all sweetness and light. Some people lose their job in the process, as we have seen in most of the Western world with manufacturing jobs moving to China and Vietnam. While people can usually find another job, it may not necessarily pay as much, particularly for people with fewer skills. As a result the less skilled workers of the western world have seen several decades where their pay packet has been growing slowly, if at all.

    How do we total up these different impacts? We all benefit from cheaper goods, skilled people can take advantage of a more productive economy to procure higher incomes, and the Chinese benefit from the extra jobs that come their way. The world is certainly better off overall, but not everyone is sharing in the gains. This is one of the causes of the current discussion on inequality.”

    https://garethsworld.com/blog/economics/why-we-havent-talked-about-the-tppa/

    For me, the above passage sums things up pretty well. The discussion should not be about whether or not we have free trade (because that’s a no brainer) but rather how to minimise the losing effect. The advantages gained by access to cheap necessities such as clothes will bottom out if that has not happened already. The more worthy challenge is to get people to maximise the advantages that they have in front of them, which are certainly greater than those of the poor souls making the cheap clothes and other products which we have ready access to.

    Like

  30. TraceyS says:

    Dave at 4:26 pm.

    I think you have lost it mate. Your comment divorces you from the needs of the people whom are the subject of your Party’s social policies.

    “When I used to take kids on camps we used to have an old jersey competition…”

    You really are just a bitter, old-fashioned, ex-school teacher harking after the past aren’t you?

    PS.

    “killed many good businesses”

    Weren’t you recently critical of Mr E for using emotive language?

    Businesses aren’t living and can’t be “killed”. They fail and the reasons are seldom due to one single factor.

    Like

  31. Will says:

    “Supporting our businesses and skilled jobs,” except our farmers eh? You would smash us with carbon taxes no other farmer in the world will ever be burdened with. Thanks for the ‘support.’

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Name Withheld says:

    importing cheap crap is seen as good. You have already become a non-discerning consumer, NW.

    Shhhhhh…Keep your voice down if you want a future in the green party. Your leader might hear you.
    She stood atop the turret, clad in clothes from The Warehouse and K&K.

    Perhaps you could invite her to one of your “old jersey competitions”
    Hypocrites all.

    Like

  33. Dave Kennedy says:

    The old jersey competition is not my idea, lots of outdoor education organisations do the same thing to encourage kids to bring something actually warm and practical rather than acrylic nonsense. The old jersey competition takes away the fashion competition and makes practicality entertainment.

    Calling me a socialist and wacky isn’t a substitute for reasoned argument.

    Brian Fellow (former Herald economics editor) has done some of his own reading and research and he doesn’t come out raving about it:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11581535

    This is one of many reasoned and well researched articles waving danger flags about the ISDS and as the number of claims are increasing exponentially, it is naive to say that because it hasn’t happened so far it won’t. A couple of successful claims could be crippling.
    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/10/obscure-legal-system-lets-corportations-sue-states-ttip-icsid

    Tracey, you still don’t understand my argument, I am not anti-trade. I flagged some of the very same things that you quoted from Gareth Morgan. He is right, most New Zealanders won’t benefit from the TPPA and it will most likely increase inequality as you appear to have acknowledged. The TPPA is largely for the big boys or the 60 corporates who were party to the writing of it.

    Will, so farming is in good shape under National? You really are in denial.

    Like

  34. TraceyS says:

    Dave

    “I flagged some of the very same things that you quoted from Gareth Morgan. He is right, most New Zealanders won’t benefit from the TPPA and it will most likely increase inequality…”

    Can you please supply direct quotes supporting your above statement.

    “I am not anti-trade”

    Then do you agree with the statement from Gareth Morgan’s website “Free Trade is generally good”?

    Yes or no will suffice.

    Like

  35. TraceyS says:

    My mother was often gifted woollen jerseys that other mothers had shrunken in their new automatic washing machines (they’d yet learned how to use properly!)

    She pulled then down and re-knitted them. But someone still had to wear the itchy scratchy things. I don’t think that the wool ever really recovered despite her efforts. I remember it being very coarse.

    When my own children came along I bought many unwanted woolens brand new in second-hand shops…knitted by some caring aunt or granny but never worn by the loved ones. I was spoiled for choice because no one wanted them.

    Most parents didn’t want woolen jerseys… sad but true. Since those days merino has taken off. Layers of merino and synthetics (eg. fine polar fleece or polyprop) keep kids warm just fine and restrict movement less than the traditional woolly jersey.

    Merino garments (made in China) can be purchased very cheaply. And these co-exist alongside the NZ-made options which perform the same function eg. Glowing Sky. How can this be?

    Obviously free-trade bringing us cheap imports does not spell the end of successful niche manufacturing in NZ. The market for NZ-made merino baby clothes seems to have boomed since my kids were babies at the same that time cheap imports have proliferated.

    A fair bit of the NZ-made stuff is probably bought online from anywhere in the world or by tourists visiting here.

    “I am not anti-trade”

    Maybe not. I never said you were. But you would prefer we traded mainly with ourselves, that much is clear.

    It’s not hard to trace that preference back to reducing CO2 and climate change. If we were self-sufficient here in NZ we wouldn’t need fossil fuels to transport goods would we Dave? We have everything we need within this country to be self-sufficient without depriving anyone…don’t we?

    Like

  36. Dave Kennedy says:

    “But you would prefer we traded mainly with ourselves, that much is clear.”

    Not at all, but businesses generally begin in the domestic market first.

    Also the mindless enthusiasm for free trade here ignores the importance of having a trade balance.
    “For the whole of 2015, trade gap increased to 3.55 NZD billion compared to 1.20 NZD billion in 2014 and hitting its highest deficit since 2008.”
    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/balance-of-trade

    Our current account deficit is growing (we spend more than we earn) and we are now $8.6 billion in deficit.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/69463026/current-account-in-86-billion-annual-deficit

    Your enthusiasm for cheap stuff and imports has meant that since 1973 we have been spending more than we earn and the deficit is increasing.

    Your collective promotion of this as a good thing is clearly nonsense and to top it all Government borrowing since 2008 has increased from $10 billion to $60 billion. Child poverty and homelessness has increased dramatically and many families can no longer live independently on their wages. Bill English has admitted that poor maintenance of essential infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and state houses will cost billions in a catch up we can’t actually afford. Good governance, I think not.
    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/english-concerned-by-state-house-deferred-maintenance-bill-6266554

    And Tracey celebrates overseas made merino garments…good grief!

    Like

  37. Name Withheld says:

    The old jersey competition takes away the fashion competition and makes practicality entertainment.

    Woweee…..!
    The fun never stops with old Uncle Dave around.

    Like

  38. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, I do notice what parts of my comments you choose to concentrate on. I guess avoiding the substantive elements is much safer and sarcasm is your best weapon.

    No comment regarding our trade and current account deficits…

    Like

  39. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    Our trade account balance tells us little about the real value of our exports.

    A better measure is Trade Terms which have been improving since 2000, and is a better measure of our buying power. The reserve bank suggests they have improved by 12% over this time. And relative to many other developed countries NZ has done comparatively well.

    But volatility has become an emerging issue. And you know well that volatility is something we need to learn to manage.

    This was displayed well when Russia froze the importation of NZ milk after US and EU sanctions were imposed.

    Trade agreements minimise the risks of such blocks, reducing this issue of volatility.

    Click to access 2014jun77_2steenkamp.pdf

    As for the jersey remarks, I well recall a school specifying the purchase of camping equipment that was more expensive and not as good as the equipment we had. We spent hundreds on unnecessary specifics that were never used again.

    Now days I would never send a kid camping with granddad’s jersey. The thought makes me cringe. They are heavy bulky and slow to dry. But I guess some teachers feel they need to control and make poor choices for some parents.

    I supposed I should be pleased you didn’t ask the kids to turn up in boring old grey vests.

    Like

  40. Dave Kennedy says:

    clothing.

    “Our trade account balance tells us little about the real value of our exports.”

    Chuckle…it does let us know if we are spending beyond our means and if our exports are not enough to cover our expenditure. Basic economics.

    If we continually suffer from the volatility of commodity markets then we have to add….(but then what would I know) 😉

    Like

  41. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oh dear the top half of my last comment disappeared. I had written that if old woolen jerseys are not practical what do you suggest instead? When i took kids to Deep Cove in Winter we still went out and did stuff in the rain and snow. A woolen jersey under a rain coat kept the kids very warm despite the conditions and as you know a wet woolen jersey can still be warm when cotton and acrylic isn’t.

    Like

  42. Mr E says:

    “Chuckle…it does let us know if we are spending beyond our means and if our exports are not enough to cover our expenditure.”

    And so we need to make more from exports and pay less for imports.
    Who would have thought you would have been a TPPA supporter?

    Like

  43. Mr E says:

    What do I suggest? I suggest you offer guidelines only and don’t pressure kids to wear old, probably ill fitting, and potentially less effective clothing.

    That aside, here is how I dress when I go bush:

    Wool against the skin is great. Wool has a characteristic (called regain) where it gives off heat when wet.

    Also wool does not get smelly like poly propylene so it can last against the skin for days and days.

    I have several sets of long johns. They are not scratchy and awful like they used to be. And common for kids now days.

    For my secondary and tertiary layer polar fleece is great. You can buy polar fleece packs top to toe, for $100. (Thankfully imported)

    Polar fleece does not get heavy when wet, it insulates very well, and dries in a very short period of time. It is light to carry in any form and makes a comfy pillow when rolled up.

    Many country kids and parents have figured out the value of polar fleece.

    Again these things are common in many kids cupboards.

    Water proof layer is interesting. Sometimes cheapest is best. My best tramping jacket is my cheapest one. It is light, water proofish, and can be folded into a bum bag.

    My $400 Parker is a heap of junk. Logically I’d give it away but I hope I will one day find a purpose for it.

    Like

  44. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you are lecturing to a past Mountain safety instructor and active tramper and climber since the early 70s. I was a member of Southland’s alpine rescue team during the 80s too.

    My wife was tidying one of our storage cupboards today and found my first generation fibrepile climbing gear I bought in 1981. I also know all about the qualities of wool over polypropylene from early first hand experience.

    Country kids tend to be more practical than city kids and are used to being out in different weathers. You wouldn’t believe what some city kids from poorer families think are suitable clothes. Cotton and acrylic, and puffer jackets for waterproofs. That is why the old woolen jersey still has value and we used to have fashion parades of the old jerseys so bringing them was entertaining as well as practical. Admittedly this was ten years ago so perhaps they don’t do it anymore.

    My first waterproofs were oilskin parkas, which actually worked fine. I had PVC for a bit, but they don’t breath and have found Gortex the best because they do. The are expensive, but can be bought for half price in sales and they last for years. My current one is still waterproof and looks good after over ten years of use.

    I also still prefer my original canvas climbing pack to new synthetic ones because they are far more waterproof, the fabric swells when wet and little water permeates through. I still have the Trapper Nelson pack that i first used in the 70s but all the weight was on the shoulders.

    Interestingly when we spent time in Mt Cook this Summer I was amused to find that most of my climbing gear featured in the visitor centre museum.

    Like

  45. TraceyS says:

    “I had written that if old woolen jerseys are not practical what do you suggest instead?”

    I remember the midwife’s advice to put four to five layers on the baby before outings in winter.

    In order:

    1. Cotton singlet/vest for comfort
    2. Finespun merino (imported is cheaper)
    3. Another layer of cotton
    4. Polar fleece or wool (doesn’t matter which)

    Wool resists moisture but hold it under the tap and water will pour straight through. This is why the layer of cotton in between is important – to act as a wick to disperse the moisture so it can evaporate before soaking through. So the cotton and wool work together. The wool doesn’t have to be chunky either. Try putting a cotton garment over a thick jersey!

    I suppose, in a way, this is like layering your compost for optimal heat generation and aeration while avoiding a soggy mess.

    Works for bigger bodies to.

    Like

  46. Dave Kennedy says:

    “And so we need to make more from exports and pay less for imports.
    Who would have thought you would have been a TPPA supporter?”

    What nonsense.

    We also need to be more self sufficient in what we can supply locally and lift wages. A healthy domestic economy provides the foundation for growing our export capability. Most new exporters begin by establishing themselves in local markets first.

    Like

  47. TraceyS says:

    “Country kids tend to be more practical than city kids and are used to being out in different weathers. You wouldn’t believe what some city kids from poorer families think are suitable clothes. Cotton and acrylic, and puffer jackets for waterproofs.”

    That’s very judgmental, Dave. What is undeniable is that body fat insulates against cold and children are getting fatter. They don’t feel the cold as much.

    “the rate of overweight and obese children has risen from 18 percent from 29 percent.”

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/245744/nz-men-getting-fatter-faster-study

    Like

  48. Dave Kennedy says:

    Not judgmental at all Tracey, but based on experience. Kids on farms learn to drive early are used to doing farm work outside in a variety of weather and can manage animals well. Do you disagree?

    Like

  49. TraceyS says:

    “…Tracey celebrates overseas made merino garments…”

    So?

    I can spend my money however I like Dave. My budget doesn’t very often stretch to buying NZ made merino garments. Should my kids go without because of your ideology that says we should not be supporting cheap imports?

    Would you be prepared to subsidise, from your own pocket, the NZ-made product so that it costs the same as the imported one?

    Why don’t you suggest that as a Green policy next year and get the citizens to vote on it!

    Like

  50. TraceyS says:

    Dave at 11:34 pm, no I don’t disagree.

    But it is rare to see country kids in Swanndris or home-knits anymore.

    Ridgeline or Hunting & Fishing micro fleeces are very common. And then there’s NZ Made Swazi (www.swazi.co.nz) for those who can afford it. They’re synthetics – would you call traitors for not using wool we can grow here?

    Anyway, I meant that you were being judmental against city parents. It’s very hard to get a child to rug up if they are not feeling the cold.

    Like

  51. Mr E says:

    “Mr E, you are lecturing”

    Umm, when someone asks a question and the other person answers it is not considered lecturing. Do you not understand basic communication?

    Regarding clothing, i also used to wear oil skin with wool under. It worked ok, but only ok. The seams around the arms used to leek regardless of oil applications. Eventually I would be soaked to the bone, with heavy, sodden, hard to dry clothing.

    There is a time where I wore swanni, and bush shirts, no water proof layer. But time rolls on and so does technology.

    But my concern is not what clothes people wear, rather the elitist controlling attitudes some teachers seem to portray.

    I have been a victim of such attitudes and you seem oblivious to the issue.

    Like

  52. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oh dear, such a lot of nonsense about outdoor educators asking kids to have warm clothing. The encouragement of bringing something actually warm rather just fashionable or not practical is just part of educating kids about being safe in the outdoors. It is the first time that i have heard of an old jersey competition being called elitist and controlling…good grief!

    But I guess it is another useful distraction from the actual TPPA thread and the lack of a proper debate as to its real merits.

    Like

  53. Name Withheld says:

    It is the first time that i have heard of an old jersey competition being called elitist and controlling…good grief!
    No?
    Consider this utterance from you then…..

    The old jersey competition takes away the fashion competition

    Can’t have one child standing out from the others because of their or their parent’s sense of fashion now can we, Mr Schoolteacher.
    Elitist..Maybe.
    Controlling…Certainly.
    Straight out of the Socialist playbook.. Must have conformity. Can’t have winners or losers.
    Of course he is oblivious to it Mr E.

    Like

  54. Mr E says:

    I think the key word in this Free Trade discussion is free .
    Authoritarian attitudes seek to control everything from the clothing we wear to the way we do business. Such attitudes are about limiting and restricting choices to their preferred ideal.

    I think the anti freedom approach takes socialism to it’s extreme.

    Largely these views are unpopular with NZers, so I think the Greens and their ilk will suffer continued defeats in embarrassing fashion.

    Dave, suggests the merits of Free trade have not been debated. Perhaps he is right. His links are largely supportive of the TPP, and so there is little to debate about.

    Like

  55. Dave Kennedy says:

    “His links are largely supportive of the TPP, and so there is little to debate about.”

    The links support trade but voice real concerns about what we are actually signing. I deliberately chose the articles from those with some economic and trade credibility and all expressed doubts about the real value of the TPPA. The economics gains will actually be minimal (as estimated from a variety of sources) and what we may give away will remove any benefits.

    The reality is that free trade is never actually free, you are supporting a simplistic view of free trade and are ignoring all my arguments about loss of jobs, the constitutional implications, the threats to education and losing control of our resources.

    New Zealand is already one of the most open economies in the world and the 2nd easiest to do business in and yet it hasn’t brought us great wealth, except to a few. Inequality is growing faster in NZ than most OECD countries and foreign ownership is growing. We have a large current account deficit and Government borrowing continues to grow. I don’t call the free trade, open economy a success, we are just opening ourselves for exploitation.

    Like

  56. TraceyS says:

    “The reality is that free trade is never actually free…”

    In the same way that nothing in life is free. Free school lunches, universal basic wage and so on – none of these deals are free. Someone is always paying, and because of this, they all come with strings attached.

    Have you ever done a deal that was all benefit to you Dave? No risks? No concessions?

    I haven’t.

    Like

  57. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    You keep confirming the positives from your own links. It is a bizarre when you condemn your own point.

    Your own arguement easily falls apart at the seams.

    You say we are one of the most open economies out. You also say free trade favours large corporates. Yet here is little old NZ performing extremely high on most OECD indices.

    But our greatest area of growth is in income and wealth. And getting paid more for our exports and paying less for imports is where this can happen. And this is forecast by the links you have provided. It is also forecast by government modelling. And businessNZ have claimed free tree is key to growth.

    I think we are now discussing free trade verses a closed market system. So let’s look at examples of where local trade has dominated.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autarky
    (Read historical examples)

    Wow Dave….. It is fair to say you model is a shocker in my eyes. It regularly coincides with communism and is synonymous with terrible economies.

    What a shocker!

    Like

  58. Mr E says:

    Perhaps I was a little unfair on Dave,

    Maybe I should have focused on fair trade instead?

    http://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_problem_with_fair_trade_coffee

    http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/sep/05/fairtrade-unjust-movement-serves-rich

    Oh – less quality for more cost. And advantages for the rich.

    Let’s go back to talking about Autarky

    Like

  59. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, very predictable, you leap to the extremes to support your argument. Fair trade means communism and badly managed free trade organisations means the whole idea is flawed.

    I’m not talking about a closed market system, you are. Adam Smith’s vision of capitalism, and the invisible hand of the market, was supposed to deliver balance and social equity, he believed in fair markets. He thought that the profits generated from a successful businesses, with growing productivity, would go to increasing wages and increased worker incomes would mean more money for buying goods. Smith did not predict the unequal outcomes of todays markets.

    You are a black and white thinker Mr E, for you free trade is good and the TPPA will support that. You also suggest that fair trade means closed markets and communism.

    It is clear that poorly managed free markets lead to increased inequality and corruption of the pure market system that Adam Smith supported. It is also obvious from your link about fair trade that ignoring important elements of free trade when managing fair trade causes problems too.

    Perhaps a competition between free and fair trade is unhelpful because in what exists at the moment there are obviously flaws in both. I support a broader philosophy that is based around the idea that economies and trade should exist to serve most people. When market forces are corrupted to protect the interests of a small faction of society and we have growing inequality then the system is flawed. If we have a growing trade and current account deficit, then interests outside our country are successfully exploiting us.

    The most stable economies in the world are those that manage their economies to limit extremes. Scandinavian countries are considered the most stable countries in the world and have survived global recessions better than most.

    Like

  60. Mr E says:

    “Mr E, very predictable, you leap to the extremes to support your argument. Fair trade means communism and badly managed free trade organisations means the whole idea is flawed.”

    Oh the irony in that statement.. I didn’t say Fair Trade means communism. In fact Fair trade and communism were not even mentioned in the same paragraph or even that same comment. Your comprehension is so bad in this case, that you have leapt an extreme conclusion. I wonder if your predictions are leading you astray? Try reading and comprehending without predicting.

    “I’m not talking about a closed market system”

    You are arguing against Free Trade, and in preference suggesting our economy moves more towards local trade. The examples of Autarky in history show how problematic economies dominated by local trade are. And that shows the fallibility of the local trade dominated systems.

    Personally I don’t have any issue with local trade, providing it exists on with at least equal principles as other trade platforms.

    I see local trade examples that are massively subsidised, and I struggle to see why such subsidise should exist. We can talk in specifics if you want, but I rather not target individuals.

    “It is clear that poorly managed free markets lead to increased inequality and corruption of the pure market system that Adam Smith supported”

    The TPPA is not unregulated free trade. You are seeing things as black and white, leaping to extremes. You mentioned ISDS, measures that are there to ensure matters are fair and as per agreement. No body is suggesting complete lack of regulation. Everybody wants to make sure free trade is completed without corruption.

    Like

  61. Dave Kennedy says:

    “You are arguing against Free Trade, and in preference suggesting our economy moves more towards local trade.”

    Mr E, here is where I need to question your own comprehension, I am not against free trade per se, but the flaws with free trade agreements and the damage they cause to our domestic economy. I even accept that fair trade is often managed poorly too.

    You appear to have forgotten the purpose of trade and be blinded by the free trade mantra. The purpose of any country’s economy should be about delivering a good quality of life for most of its citizens in a sustainable manner.

    It appears to me that you are arguing that the main purpose of our existence to export, but if we have to sacrifice control over our resources and local jobs for trade relationships where we import more than we export, then that is a flawed model (which is what has happened, as I have shown).

    The origins of trade began when communities were largely self sufficient and any surplus they produced could then be traded with other communities so that they could acquire goods that they couldn’t produce themselves. Trade has been corrupted since then to a situation where we are bullied to open our borders to allow in goods and services that we once provided for ourselves. While there may be a case for those that are produced more efficiently we have a reached a point where a company’s rights to access markets have become more important than the right of a community to manage their own domestic economies in the best interests of the people.

    Your reference to Autarky is a red herring and another example of you leaping to extremes to support your argument.

    Companies can now sue Governments if they pass laws in the interests of their people and environment that cut into their profits. Managing any business includes an element of risk and many large corporations now have taxpayers covering risks for them. Many avoid tax through shifting their bases to tax havens. Many multi-nationals such as oil companies actually receive taxpayer subsidies and special privileges which totally distorts the idea of pure trade.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/18/fossil-fuel-companies-getting-10m-a-minute-in-subsidies-says-imf

    There is more in the TPPA that isn’t about trade than is. A good portion of the agreement is around countries constitutional controls and the rights of companies. A Dunedin Lawyer gave a presentation in Invercargill on the constitutional implications of FTA’s and the TPPA in particular and we are actually giving up many elements of our ability to be self determining as a country.

    Initially the TPPA was seen as a way of opening markets to our dairy industry and this hasn’t occurred. Tim Groser himself said that we would have to swallow a number of dead rats to be part of the agreement. Any independent analysis of the agreement shows that the overall benefits to New Zealand are hard to quantify and are actually minimal. The US is supposed to see less benefits than us and there is a real possibility that Obama won’t be successful in pushing it through.

    You are inconsistent with your argument, on one hand you defend unfettered free trade with no subsidies or business protections and criticise my support of managed markets and then you defend the TPPA as a document that will manage trade. What you should be asking yourself is whose interests are really being protected by this agreement and why the ISDS does not operate in a transparent way and why no decisions can be reviewed. The biggest critic of the ISDS are from the legal community who have real concerns about process and consistency. Most legal systems are developed out of precedent and the ISDS does not have to do this.

    Like

  62. TraceyS says:

    “…we are actually giving up many elements of our ability to be self determining as a country.”

    Complimented by the fact that our ability to be self-determining as individuals is furthered and enhanced because we have greater choices.

    Like

  63. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Complimented by the fact that our ability to be self-determining as individuals is furthered and enhanced because we have greater choices.”
    Do we really? How many different kinds of apple can you buy at your local supermarket? How many options of housing does a low income family have in Auckland?

    There are two extremes on the political spectrum, one is communism where the state determines what is commercially available and the other is unfettered capitalism where multinationals and large corporations dictate the commercial environment for their own interests. As I have shown, it is the Scandinavian countries that have had the most resilient economies over the past century and have the most equitable societies and they tend to sit in the middle of the political spectrum.

    Neo-liberal economics has seen the dominance of corporate interests to the extent that poorly functioning large businesses are bailed out by the taxpayer because they are seen to be “too big to fail” (banks and General Motors etc). This is not the sort of economic management that I see as sustainable when companies take precedence over the interests of ordinary people.

    Greater choice of retail products should not be the only determiner for a FTA, you most likely find that you will end up with fewer choices regarding what is really important, Tracey. There is also the growing trade deficit that I mentioned earlier and our vulnerability to commodity markets.

    Like

  64. Mr E says:

    “I am not against free trade per se, but the flaws with free trade agreements and the damage they cause to our domestic economy”

    Dave, you don’t actually seem to understand what trade is all about. Tracey has pointed out that there is always a cost to trade. Always. However it is a case of making sure that overall there is a net gain.

    Basic economics suggest that trade can never consistently favour one economy over another. We see that in the comparative growth of China and the US. In our global economy there are swings and roundabouts. China has benefited from it’s cheap labour but that is slowing as the wealth of the nation increases and the cost of labour goes up.

    We live in global economy, and as much as you might dislike it people want things…. Things they see on the teli. Things that the Kardashians might be sporting.

    Thats life. You can fight against it all you want but you won’t win.

    To fulfil peoples wants we need international trade. And I have put forward plenty of examples to show that free trade is required for growth. And I have put forward examples to show where trade lacks – economies suck…

    As Tracey has said it is about minimising the negatives. And I hope we can agree on this point, and use it to focus the debate.

    Let’s put the the local trade, and fair trade points to bed. They are not alternatives, nor are they good examples to ensure focused discussion on the TPPA.

    I also don’t think your privacy concerns are worthy of debate. Of course negotiations are going to be held behind closed doors. Look at your local councils, and behind closed doors tactics. Would you welcome press at your Green party strategy meetings?

    Political negotiation can be a brutish and embarrassing process. And most politicians don’t like to be seen making concessions. Privacy is important for frank, speedy negotiations. Public negotiations take many many times longer. And are often less likely to achieve success.

    You must know this.

    You keep referring to “initial” trading as some sort of support for local trade. Initial trading was surely done with spears, and life threats. There really is no point in making reference to it. We live in a Global economy. It is not palatable for the people of today or tomorrow to go backwards in trading. Sure some might want to go back to spears, or sharpen spades and pitchforks, but they tend to be extremeist in their views, and not reflective of the majority.

    Now back to minimsing TPPA concerns:

    ISDS

    Click to access ISDS-and-Sovereignty.pdf

    Employment
    http://www.tradeworks.org.nz/

    “Research shows two out of three jobs in New Zealand depend in some way on trade and investment.”

    If we grow our trade benefits – were grow our jobs…. Logic yes…

    Your links show that we will grow our trade.

    That was easy…

    Like

  65. TraceyS says:

    “Do we really? How many different kinds of apple can you buy at your local supermarket?”

    Yes. You don’t have to get your apples from the supermarket. You choose to.

    Like

  66. Mr E says:

    Oh incase you were worried our largely open trading economy has not been of benefit in the last few years.

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/imports_and_exports/OverseasTradeIndexesPricesAndVolumes_HOTPSep15qtr.aspx

    Like

  67. Mr E says:

    ” As I have shown, it is the Scandinavian countries that have had the most resilient economies over the past century and have the most equitable societies and they tend to sit in the middle of the political spectrum.”

    I feel compelled to question your raising of this point. It is curious to me why you have raised Scandinavian countries. The Economist described these countries as ” “stout free-traders who resist the temptation to intervene even to protect iconic companies”

    I am curious. Do you think they reject free trade as you do?

    Like

  68. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, one of the important elements of being a sovereign nation is self determination over the management of our people and and environment. Every trade deal we sign includes apparent environment and labour protections but the authorities that will actually decide on many issues will be outside our country and many of those institutions are not subject to the normal transparent legal controls that determines good law and limits conflict of interest. You appear to have no appreciation of the constitutional implications of shifting the authority to decide on things in our national interest off shore.

    All the talk about respecting existing domestic labour and environmental laws are fine until one realises that changing or strengthening them may provide difficulty.

    Your links are meaningless unless they can be compared to our situation if our trading relationships and controls were different. In reality a resource rich country such as ours, with a small population, should be far more economically successful than we are. If you look at the subsidies we have given to overseas corporates compared to our own local enterprises it is clear that building our own economic resilience is not a priority of this Government.

    Tracey celebrates all the cheap imports that we have access to as if that is the point of trading relationships. FTAs and neo-liberal economics has not delivered the economic benefits we should expect. Over the last 30 years we have lost manufacturing capacity and a large % of skilled jobs. We have become more and more a low wage, commodity based economy and even our major banks are foreign owned.

    We struggle to support basic social infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and social housing because the wealth generated by our resources is being sucked off shore and i don’t accept that Canadian, German and Chinese interests owning our farms, houses and local businesses contribute as much as they should to Government revenue and our economy. Tax revenue actually plummeted from $44 billion in 2008 to $33 billion three years later. Australian banks own much of our debt and yet avoid masses of tax on the profits they suck from us.

    Given growing wealth of a privileged few in New Zealand and the growing poverty at the other end, we are becoming more and more like a banana republic and the TPPA is only going to support that process.

    You did watch Nigel Latta’s doco on our growing inequality?

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/ondemand/nigel-latta/nigel-latta-the-new-haves-and-have-nots/29-07-2014

    The secrecy around trade deals especially the TPPA is a nonsense. The principles of a fair trade deal that delivers value to all should be open and transparent. 60 corporates had a major role in shaping the deal and delivering something palatable to the public while protecting corporate interests was clearly their objective. As you know within our domestic law, one piece of legislation may say all the right things about environmental protections but in reality the mining act often trumps conservation protections.

    Click to access Crown%20Minerals%20(Permitting%20and%20Crown%20Land)%20Bill%20-%20Supplementary%20Submission%20-%20ECO%20fin.pdf


    Looking at the labour and environmental provisions in isolation is naive.

    Your earnest and simplistic support of the TPPA lacks the broader understanding of global economics and New Zealand’s real influence.

    Like

  69. Dave Kennedy says:

    “I feel compelled to question your raising of this point. It is curious to me why you have raised Scandinavian countries. The Economist described these countries as ” “stout free-traders who resist the temptation to intervene even to protect iconic companies”

    I am curious. Do you think they reject free trade as you do?”

    I do not reject free trade, just the mindless support of FTAs without a realistic understanding of the wider ramifications. Most FTA’s have not delivered benefits to ordinary people but have resulted in lowering pay and conditions for workers for the benefit of a few corporate interests. Sadly Scandinavian countries have absorbed more neo-liberal elements but if chose to actually read what I said it was their ability to have a mix of state control and business freedom that made them resilient. After the great depression, WW2 and the GFC, Scandinavian countries came our better than most and they are more equitable in their incomes.

    New Zealand was once similar and was called the Scandinavia of the Pacific, but we have lost that title well and truly from the 1980s as we shifted to Friedman’s neo-liberal economic model supported by Pinochet, Thatcher and Reagan. Under that model corporates have increasingly influenced government policy and globalisation allows for ever-expanding markets with fewer restrictions to corporate profits. FTA’s are part of ensuring corporate protections.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism

    Like

  70. Mr E says:

    “Every trade deal we sign includes apparent environment and labour protections but the authorities that will actually decide on many issues will be outside our country”

    It is clear that issues like labour and environment will be controlled within. Other issues that are decided outside our country are dealt with in the terms of the agreement. Are there any actual specifics that you care to raise? Or are you simply trying to “scaremonger” as NZIER put it.

    “You appear to have no appreciation of the constitutional implications of shifting the authority to decide on things in our national interest off shore.”

    Yes I do, I have read many many articles about ISDS. And put links above. Most of them suggest you need to put the tinfoil away. Have you not read any of them?

    “Your links are meaningless unless they can be compared to our situation”

    You mean our current situation where we current have multiple trade agreements, which have been in action for decades.
    You mean our current situation where we have have been honoured for our fairness and ease of doing business, and have never been sued under decades of trade agreements.
    You mean our current situation where our terms of trade have been improving for at least 14 years. Where Exports are gaining in value and imports are getting cheaper.

    If you can’t see comparisons you must be blinded by politics.

    “In reality a resource rich country such as ours, with a small population, should be far more economically successful than we are. ”

    But trade barriers have held us back. So overcoming those trade barriers will drive us forward.

    ” If you look at the subsidies we have given to overseas corporates compared to our own local enterprises it is clear that building our own economic resilience is not a priority of this Government.”

    You are heading off topic….

    “Tracey celebrates all the cheap imports that we have access to as if that is the point of trading relationships.”

    It is part of the point… Better trade means selling more for more and getting more for less. Tracey is right.
    You must know this – when you are in the super market scoping the apples and dodging your local markets, cheap often drives choices. The reality is we are not spent less, we are getting more product for less. That is what our Trade terms and trade account tells us. Peoples spending behaviours require more for less.

    FTAs and neo-liberal economics has not delivered the economic benefits we should expect.

    Yes they have – look back at the Trade terms….. Has that basic point still not sunk in?

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/imports_and_exports/OverseasTradeIndexesPricesAndVolumes_HOTPSep15qtr.aspx
    (check out the graph)

    “Over the last 30 years we have lost manufacturing capacity and a large % of skilled jobs.”

    Since 2008 our performance and manufacturing index has gone up.

    http://www.businessnz.org.nz/resources/surveys-and-statistics/pmi/2015/ending-on-a-high-note-pmi

    The glass is filling back up Dave.

    We have become more and more a low wage, commodity based economy and even our major banks are foreign owned.

    NZ wages are generally lower than the OECD average, however more of us are employed.

    “In terms of employment, 73% of people aged 15 to 64 in New-Zealand have a paid job, above the OECD employment average of 65%.”

    We have more people in part time employment. That drags our wage average down but may not be a bad thing. People in NZ want to work, they’ll go part time to enjoy a healthy work life balance. You must know that.

    “In general, New Zealanders are more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average. When asked to rate their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, New Zealanders gave it a 7.3 grade, higher than the OECD average of 6.6.”

    “commodity based economy”
    All the more reason to have trade agreements.

    “even our major banks are foreign owned.”
    Thankfully. It was great to have fit healthy banks during the GFC. Compared to the defaulting banks we had back in the 80s.

    “We struggle to support basic social infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and social housing because the wealth generated by our resources is being sucked off shore”

    ???? No we don’t. It is great to see some charter schools start up. But I do admit I am frustrated at the number of registered teachers turning up in the court news. I think the teachers council needs to tidy up their mess.

    As for hospitals and social housing. My experiences have been outstanding. And not just due to amazing staff. I have been impressed by facilities too. (but the staff are great – eh)

    “Tax revenue actually plummeted from $44 billion in 2008 to $33 billion three years later”

    Yes we are an export nation and there have been issues with supply and demand.

    “Australian banks own much of our debt and yet avoid masses of tax on the profits they suck from us.”

    Say what – Can you be more specific. I have heard of one case of tax avoidance, but the got gotten in the end.

    “You did watch Nigel Latta’s doco on our growing inequality”

    Shocking ehhhh! Nigel is gone from a respected science appraiser of psyche, to somewhat of a politician. I guess the mighty dollar and the call of fame has dragged him in. Oh well.
    You should employ him, get him here as a speaker….. He is many many thousands for an hour presentation. And he could talk to your Green supporters about inequality. What a hoot!

    “The secrecy around trade deals especially the TPPA is a nonsense”.

    So you do let media into all Green party meetings? How about ES, when they are considering rules? No public exclusion?

    “Your earnest and simplistic support of the TPPA lacks the broader understanding of global economics and New Zealand’s real influence.”

    Have you read the agreement? Doesn’t sound like it. You are non specific regarding your concerns, parroting the same rhetoric that was evident before release of the document and it’s summaries.

    “Sadly Scandinavian countries have absorbed more neo-liberal elements”

    Hey what!!!! Scandinavia is your shining light of an example. And they embrace free trade…… Oh.. Bad example, I am thinking……

    Putting that aside it is very hard to NZ to compare fairly against any European country. We are relatively young and do not have the centuries of wealth they have accumulated.

    “I do not reject free trade, just the mindless support of FTAs without a realistic understanding of the wider ramifications.”

    Can you identify one mindless supporter of FTA’s. I will join you in your condemnation.

    Whatever model you think we support, it has to be better than the Autarky model….. What a disaster of communism, dictatorships, and socialism that is.

    “FTA’s are part of ensuring corporate protections.”

    I wouldn’t say protections, I would say trading success. FTAs ensure the wee guy has the same rights. But I have no issue with our Government supporting Corporate success. I am curious that you do.

    Like

  71. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you are twisting my arguments, as usual 😉 The New Zealand economy, has underperformed for years. We have heaps of advantages in terms of resources, cheaply produced power, and a relatively educated population. Yet we have the fastest growing inequality in the OECD, a huge current account deficit and the Government has struggled to collect enough taxes to run basic services. We had to sell off state assets to balance the books.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/68600911/Income-inequality-How-NZ-is-one-of-the-worst-in-the-world

    Inequality has stunted our growth by around 10% and yet the TPPA may only deliver 3% growth by 2030 (the most optimistic forecast).
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11371860

    We pay large amounts in corporate welfare and we are rapidly becoming seen as a more corrupt country when we were once the least corrupt.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/76317907/nzs-anticorruption-record-slipping-watchdog

    When your links cover such a short duration of time it provides no perspective of long term trends and family poverty first became an issue in NZ in the early 90s when Ruth Richardson threw us fully into the neo-liberal cauldron. It also amuses me that you rely on your own experiences to judge when a system is working or not. Have you spoken to anyone working in the system to hear how hard it is to deliver the quality you were lucky to receive.

    “FTAs ensure the wee guy has the same rights.”
    I’ll believe that when i see it 😉

    So when Nigel Latta provides a message you don’t like, you dismiss him. Which part of the documentary was not true? The interview with the head of Treasury, the Salvation Army, the family struggling to survive…?

    If you are happy with the Warner Bros, the Sky City deal and the Saudi farmer then I can see there is quite a divide in our thinking.

    Like

  72. TraceyS says:

    “FTAs and neo-liberal economics has not delivered the economic benefits we should expect…”

    It’s not simply about economic benefits just as choice of apple is not simply about apple cultivars. Key factors in the equation; perhaps even more important (to most people) than variety are; availability, reliability, consistency, quality, and value for money.

    Since I was a kid these have all vastly improved. Even better, if I want a heritage apple I can readily purchase a tree and grow my own (and do). They keep terribly btw which is probably the primary reason why we don’t see them in supermarkets.

    Recently my husband pointed to an apple tree on the margins of lake Aviemore and said to me “those are the best apples I have ever tasted”. The tree was laden as cars roared past (some of them no doubt on their way to the supermarket to buy…apples).

    Do you suppose this situation would exist in New Zealand if there were issues with any of the factors above? It would only take one of them, eg. a blip in supply, or a price hike (or both) and that tree would be stripped clean in no time.

    When I see a tree like that I remind myself that we live in a country of plenty, abundant with great ‘riches’ for the wise, and options, options, options. And I love it.

    Surprisingly, Dave, you overlook some of the compelling social reasons for free trade.

    You should not.

    Like

  73. TraceyS says:

    “Mr E, you are twisting my arguments, as usual…”

    “So when Nigel Latta provides a message you don’t like, you dismiss him.”

    Isn’t that exactly what you just did to Mr E, Dave, right there?

    Why do you feel the need to defend Nigel Latta? Mr E’s summing up is unfair, but Nigel strikes me as the sort of person who doesn’t need anyone like you sticking up for him, nor would be offended by Mr E’s opinion.

    For goodness sake grow a thicker skin man. Go hunting, shoot a pig, that will do it!

    PS.

    By far the most important doco in that series was the one about sugar. Your wife’s a doctor isn’t she? Health is everything.

    Like

  74. TraceyS says:

    Disclaimer: ‘Mindless’ Nigel Latta fan here! Provocative views are no threat to me. In fact, I think that they’re healthy because they get us thinking without telling us what we should think.

    Nigel is very influential (particularly among my demographic). If Nigel doesn’t tell people WHAT to think then nor should you Dave.

    Nigel is smart, Dave
    Be like Nigel.

    Like

  75. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey…Good Grief! 😛

    Like

  76. TraceyS says:

    Good night Dave.

    Like

  77. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    “The New Zealand economy, has underperformed for years.”

    You keep saying that, then shortly after that you claim that the TPPA will improve our economy. I am still amused your don’t see the failings in your argument.

    “We have heaps of advantages in terms of resources, cheaply produced power”

    Lovin your style Dave – Undermining your solar policy.

    “the Government has struggled to collect enough taxes to run basic services”

    Say what?? The government struggled so much it reduced the tax rate. Honestly Dave – you can’t believe the nonsense you peddle.

    “We had to sell off state assets to balance the books.”

    We didn’t have too…. It just made good sense. More nonsense peddling.

    ” the TPPA may only deliver 3% growth by 2030″

    What do you mean only….. That is 3%, which is great. 3% for simply signing an agreement on trade…. Brilliant!!!! Well done National….!!!! Add that to the other improvements you hope to make and we’ll have inequality and poverty sorted in not time.

    More of that supportive commentary from you Dave… Brilliant!!!

    ” It also amuses me that you rely on your own experiences to judge when a system is working or not.”

    Errhmmmmm. Is this the same “past Mountain safety instructor” “active tramper”, “climber” “member of Southland’s alpine rescue”, and outdoor wear expert I was speaking to earlier???? When you wake in the morning, look in the mirror do you feel amused? Perhaps it is the Grandads vest, in summer? Or perhaps it is the hypocrisy?

    “Have you spoken to anyone working in the system to hear how hard it is to deliver the quality you were lucky to receive.”

    Many many many…. The feed back is surprisingly good. Many are very proud of the work they do, and the standard of care they deliver. Some are extremely proud of the money they make. But not all. Bit like most jobs I guess.

    “When your links cover such a short duration of time it provides no perspective of long term trends”

    Long term trends tell us nothing about recent policies. Spear throwing negotiations have nothing to do with modern day society. We’ve moved on. You should move on too Dave.

    “I’ll believe that when i see it”

    I somehow doubt that 😉

    “So when Nigel Latta provides a message you don’t like, you dismiss him. ”

    Nope.

    “Which part of the documentary was not true?”

    This is the problem Dave: In the series Beyond the Darklands, Nigel used science, and his training to diagnose the and explain the actions of our worst criminals. I thought it was insightful, largely because he approached the issue from a scientific perspective.

    In this latest series, whatever it is called, Nigel is there to “to sort fact from spin” only he starts with spin. For example the title is called “The New Haves And Have Nots”. In my view Nigel leans heavily on well know critics, and largely ignores the balance from the science. I think it is provocative, and stimulates thought, but disappointingly unbalanced. In my view Nigel has become the new John Campbell. That’s fine, provocative can get ratings. But unbalanced can lose them.

    Like

  78. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    In all your readings and writings regarding the TPPA have you checked out you own Party website?

    It is embarrassingly out of date.

    https://home.greens.org.nz/trade

    “According to leaked draft texts of the TPPA it contains provisions that could hinder access to safe affordable medicines, weaken local content rules for the media, stifle high-tech innovation, and restrict the ability of future governments to legislate for public health and the environment.”

    Leaked drafts….. Leaked drafts????

    What sort of Government would the Greens be, when they criticise the strength of contract documentation, but they can’t even keep their own documentation up to date.

    How many months has is been now? Sharpen up chap.

    Like

  79. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you do jump widely to all sorts of odd conclusions, like my support of our cheaply produced renewable energy undermines the Greens support of solar…what? The main reason for the huge growth of solar is the failed attempt to create an electricity supply market to reduce prices, as we all know our cheaply produced power has become overly expensive for householders and many businesses. It is cheaper for the Fonterra to use lignite to dry milk than using energy from the national grid.

    I don’t see one substantive rebuttal to any of my arguments, the fact that the Greens haven’t updated the website regarding the TPPA is just petty nonsense. There are numerous statements from our MPs sharing concerns about the final document. I did a search of the Green Party website for TPPA and got over 100 results, I did the same search of the National Party site and got zero. A little like a OIA request 😉

    Your criticisms of Latta’s documentary were also nonsense. He interviewed people across a wide spectrum from Treasury, those servicing the rich and NGO supporting the poor and supported his findings with official data. You just didn’t like the conclusions. You identified not one of his conclusions as false or found any evidence conflicting with his presentation. Please produce the “science” you claimed he ignored. I also don’t think that you understand the importance of qualitative information with regards to social science that should accompany quantitative data.

    “The feed back is surprisingly good. Many are very proud of the work they do, and the standard of care they deliver. Some are extremely proud of the money they make.”

    I’m sure most medical professionals will see that their job is important or that they are reasonably paid. Ask them about staffing levels and wider funding and you will get a different story 😉

    It is clear that addressing income inequality in New Zealand will do far more than the TPPA to increase productivity and produce a more resilient economy. It costs our country around $5 billion a year to deal with our growing child poverty issues. As I said we have lost around 10% of growth because of inequality and the most optimistic predictions claim we may achieve 0.2 % of growth per year through the TPPA and ordinary New Zealanders are unlikely to see much benefit. The economic gains could easily be wiped with one costly challenge through the ISDS. It is a bit like a major oil leak, just because it hasn’t happened up to now doesn’t mean it won’t.

    Why you don’t think that a loss of well over $11 billion in tax revenue in three years is not a concern is beyond me.

    Like

  80. Paranormal says:

    DK, merely to point out your continual proof that the generalisations about Greens are correct:

    “The origins of trade began when communities were largely self sufficient and any surplus they produced could then be traded with other communities so that they could acquire goods that they couldn’t produce themselves. Trade has been corrupted since then…” Sounds like a utopian agrarian world that was destroyed by the division of labour that evolved post the world you describe. Does that make you a flagbearer for the ongoing Luddite cause?

    “…over the management of our people…” Do ‘our people’ really need managing? Are you really that big an authoritarian?

    Just sayin.

    Like

  81. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    “The main reason for the huge growth of solar is the failed attempt to create an electricity supply market to reduce prices”

    You seem look at issues from a warped political perspective only. It seems at times you completely ignore the ‘green’ component of your party. An alternative view is that solar growth occurred because of the manufacture and oversupply of cheap solar panels. Our Trade agreement with China means we have free access to these too. Isnt free trade great?

    http://fortune.com/2015/06/18/china-is-utterly-and-totally-dominating-solar-panels/

    “It is cheaper for the Fonterra to use lignite to dry milk than using energy from the national grid.”

    Lignite is local trade, solar is international trade. Should I be surprised you are not supporting Fonterra’s lignite use?

    I am surprised you raised the Fonterra energy topic, after you made the made the unsubstantiated claim that other plants had alternative energy sources. Then backed down. Embarrassing?

    “I don’t see one substantive rebuttal to any of my argument”

    It seems there is a lot you don’t see. Of primary concern you don’t seem to realise that you have not put forward an arguement. Your links all claim economic improvements from TPPA and all of you worries regarding poverty, inequality, tax can be partly solved by a better economy. And then there is your alternatives. Toward Autarky, and Fair trade. I think they are both embarrassing suggestions. It seems certain to me that under the Greens, the economy, taxes, poverty would all be considerably worse.

    Considerably!

    “the fact that the Greens haven’t updated the website regarding the TPPA is just petty nonsense”

    Accurate, up to date communication failures are petty? You call National out on it’s communication of the TPPA, yet you are not willing to take responsibility for your own poor communication? Sharpen up chap.

    “Your criticisms of Latta’s documentary were also nonsense. He interviewed people across a wide spectrum from Treasury, those servicing the rich and NGO supporting the poor”

    And were any interviewees a counter balance to his point? Or were they all supporters of his stance?

    “It is clear that addressing income inequality in New Zealand will do far more than the TPPA to increase productivity and produce a more resilient economy.”

    You keep going on about inequality as if it was one or the other. That is where you fail. National is working on both issues/opportunities.

    “The economic gains could easily be wiped with one costly challenge through the ISDS”

    Back to scaremongering…. Despite all of the documentation describing the risks being extremely low, you’d rather chuck on your tin foil hat…

    That is the extent of your argument it seems. Unsubstantiated concerns.

    Like

  82. Mr E says:

    “Ask them about staffing levels and wider funding and you will get a different story”

    I ask about quality of service, and I nearly always get good replies. I think that means resourcing is about right.

    I meet employees who I would see as over resourced that claim they are under resourced.

    If you ask the right question you get the right answers.

    Like

  83. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, that is your biased take on it. Remember the Greens are probably the most technologically adept party, the only party to have our policies independently costed and we raised more money than Labour in the last election. Our policies support increases in R&D and encourages value added exports. We are innovative yet fiscally responsible. It is interesting that Key rejected our idea that Treasury should cost parties policies for election year, yet the idea has been widely supported. National rarely uses proper cost benefit analysis on their election promises.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11583027
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11581777
    http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/key-wont-support-greens-policy-cost-plan-2016012617#axzz3yy7SCskA

    I would say that a luddite party would be one that still supports the energy sources of the past and invests in the status quo rather than noting global trends and encouraging a presence in new and growing markets like green technology.

    After signing up to the Paris agreement National returns and claims that we don’t need to do anything new and opens up new areas for oil exploration. Also if there was ever an authoritarian in NZ then this Government deserves that title more than others. Just look at how the changes to education have been managed 😉

    Like

  84. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Back to scaremongering…. Despite all of the documentation describing the risks being extremely low, you’d rather chuck on your tin foil hat…”
    We just have National’s track record to see the outcomes of past decisions where no issues were identified.

    Changing the regulations for the construction industry, causing a $13 billion leaky building problem.

    Implementing Novopay while 147 design faults were identified, causing $100 million to rectify.

    Reducing the capacity of the mines inspectorate, resulting in Pike River.

    Transmission Gully PPP, adding $3 billion to the cost for the taxpayer.

    No scaremongering just past experience. National is fiscally irresponsible despite what they claim. $50 billion of Government borrowing and the selling of state assets and yet it has been five years since we recovered from the GFC. Our fiscal position is far far worse than it was in 2008 and our levels of homelessness and poverty has increased dramatically.

    What has been the outcome of the $12 million bribe to the Saudi Businessman again? This debacle goes on and on:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/291259/nz-to-build-saudi-businessman-an-abattoir

    “I ask about quality of service, and I nearly always get good replies. I think that means resourcing is about right.”
    I use the real evidence:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/tv-radio/70844248/TV3-documentary-spotlights-a-rural-NZ-hospital-under-financial-stress
    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/hospitals-facing-brutal-budget-squeeze-leaked-report-6206681

    Like

  85. Mr E says:

    “We just have National’s track record to see the outcomes of past decisions ”

    So you admit you are judging the TPPA on issues that are noting to do with the matter at hand.

    That is really poor politics IMO.

    “National is fiscally irresponsible despite what they claim.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10902592

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-17/budget-2014-new-zealand-hands-down-very-different-budget/5459904

    Kiwis are returning in their droves. Bill English gets praise from Australian leaders.

    Then there is you.

    I am wondering if Tracey is right. Perhaps you do need to “grow a thicker skin man”?

    “I use the real evidence”
    Where is the “real” evidence that quality service is not provided?
    (perhaps we should stick to topic)

    Like

  86. Dave Kennedy says:

    Where is the “real” evidence that quality service is not provided?

    Do you really want to go there, almost all Government services have had reductions in what is supplied:

    Throughout National’s Governance there has been an erosion of services. Housing NZ’s urgent waiting lists are now into the thousands and maintenance has been delayed.

    School buildings have suffered from lack of maintenance and many are actually unhealthy. Bill English admits an expensive catch up is needed.

    The education sector has been plagued by the poor service from Novopay and special education is severely underfunded. National sacked most school advisors too.

    CYFS has been failing under successive governments and has been overwhelmed with new cases under National.

    The postal service has been reduced to 3 days a week.

    Many regional Government offices have been closed and the personal service has been shifted to long waits for a call centre reply.

    Our conservation service (DoC) has had its budget severely cut and National is trying to get unpaid volunteers to take on a lot of its work.

    ACC had an appalling run for some time an it resulted in a Minister and the CEO resigning.

    Under National there was a whole series of privacy breaches from government departments.

    The funding for health preventative care has been cut and huge health issues such as diabetes will soon cripple the health sector with growing demand.

    $5 million has been cut from AgResearch causing the loss of 33 science jobs and 50 Technicians.

    special schools have been closed and high needs children mainstreamed into ordinary schools with the promised support not fully eventuating.

    Road maintenance has been cut from many regions as the Government introduced population based funding that didn’t recognise the importance of the roads to valuable industries.

    Hospital food has been outsourced rather than using local kitchens and meals on wheels recipients are complaining of the low quality food.

    Support for many rape victims has been cut as the Government stopped funding some groups because they went over budget with increased demand, Relationships Aotearoa’s funding was stopped for the same reason.

    If you are referring just to health, talk to Gore or Oamaru about the improvement in their services or someone who has been dumped of a waiting list: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/287913/thousands-dumped-from-hospital-waiting-lists

    Like

  87. Mr E says:

    All of that little rant was off topic.

    It seems a tactic you use when your argument lacks teeth.

    That’s that then…..

    Like

  88. Will says:

    I’m guessing the origins of trade are when some hominid paid for a roll in the hay with a drumstick or some-such. They don’t call it the ‘oldest profession’ for nothing. My point is, trade is between individuals, has nothing to do with ‘benefiting communities that are self sufficient’, or any other socialist claptrap. The gains to the community are a positive side-effect. Smith’s invisible hand.

    Dave, you have had all this explained to you before but you are incapable of learning. The proof is the 100% failure of socialism but it makes no difference. You don’t care. You are a waste of time.

    Like

  89. Name Withheld says:

    You are a waste of time.

    Please don’t encourage him. Or be prepared for screeds of drivel in return.

    Like

  90. Dave Kennedy says:

    “The proof is the 100% failure of socialism”
    I’d love to see the evidence that social democracies have failed. The seem to be the most resilient nations, have the strongest economies and have the greatest equity.
    http://www.commondreams.org/further/2009/05/11/worlds-happiest-countries-social-democracies

    I wonder what you regard as the strongest economy? The US? If so you need to read 3rd World America and see how the US is rabidly falling apart. It is well down in global comparisons for educational achievement, inequality, violence, imprisonment, and public debt per capita. Unless you have another nation you believe is more successful, the UK? Australia?

    You have no idea!

    http://www.amazon.com/Third-World-America-Politicians-Abandoning/dp/0307719960

    Like

  91. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    Can you explain the difference between socialism and social democracy?

    Like

  92. Dave Kennedy says:

    Really?

    Socialism:
    Where the major industries are controlled by the state

    Social Democracy:
    A form of Government that operates within a capitalist economy and where there are regulatory controls to ensure social justice. It supports a welfare state and representative democracy.

    Green Economics goes further through a more holistic approach to economics. It involves three elements:
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2013/06/russel-explains-green-economics.html

    Like

  93. Mr E says:

    So we have establish there is a difference between Socialism and Social democracy. And that difference is blatantly obvious. So why did you answer this question:

    “The proof is the 100% failure of socialism”

    with this answer:

    “I’d love to see the evidence that social democracies have failed”

    ????

    Do you have comprehension issues, or are you just dodging questions in typical political fashion?

    Like

  94. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Do you have comprehension issues, or are you just dodging questions in typical political fashion?”

    The simplistic political views often expressed here lump Green politics with communism and I am often called a marxist. I brought up the success of social democracies over neo-liberal economies many times but still commenters here talk about socialism as if it is the political system I support.

    It is clear that attempts at establishing pure capitalism has constantly failed as monopolies and greed destroy Adam Smith’s vision. It is also clear that Marx’s communist system has major flaws. Social democracies attempt to combine the best elements of both and New Zealand is still regarded by many as a social democracy although over the last 30 years we have increasingly shifted towards neo-liberal economic management.

    The very wealthy in New Zealand pay little tax (even compared to Australia) and most of our rich gain a good deal of their wealth from untaxed capital gain. Because income tax has been reduced for those on higher incomes it has caused a huge drop in Government revenue and the Government has had to suck dividends from SOEs to make up the difference (as one example). Housing New Zealand is supposed to pass on money that should be used for maintenance back to Government coffers and electricity supply is now a form of taxation as increasing power companies’ profits are channeled back to the Government too.

    Social democracies recognise that the state provides many essential services like health, education and infrastructure like electricity and roads more efficiently than private enterprise. New Zealand has privatised or semi-privatised many of these and has effectively increased costs and often reduced the quality of service.

    The TPPA (returning to the topic) allows for overseas providers of education services and we are in danger of shifting closer to the US model that is actually one of the most inequitable education systems in the OECD.

    Like

  95. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    You would hardly say the Greens support a capitalist economy. Capitalist economies widely support free trade.
    Here you are putting several seemingly illogical arguments against an FTA.

    That fits a socialist behaviour. Not capitalist.

    Like

  96. Mr E says:

    The TPPA (returning to the topic) allows for overseas providers of education services

    Ummm, we already have foreign providers of education services….. From the TPP countries.

    This agreement strengthens the rules under which they must abide.

    If you read the TPP and summaries you would know this.

    Like

  97. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, it is you who are confused. I have claimed pure free trade is open to corruption and have championed the principle of fair trade. You rightly pointed out how fair trade can be corrupted also, so a purest approach to trade is naive. You have also gone on to say that the TPPA does include the management and regulation of markets as if it is a positive thing and yet when i have talked about market controls I have been accused of marxist thinking.

    You are now trying to explain philosophies as either socialist or capitalist when such back and white discourse is overly simplistic. We actually both agree that market forces produce good outcomes and that over-dominance of the state into markets is problematic. I don’t believe either of us actually sits on the extremes of economic management if you support the protections within the TPPA.

    However where we differ is your view of FTAs and the TPPA in particular. Both are promoted here as if trade deals have been essential to our economic success and the TPPA will provided more benefits than otherwise. However this is not proven and our CER with Australia has actually ending up delivering very one sided results in Australia’s favour and there is no evidence that our trade growth in China wouldn’t have occurred without an FTA. If China decided that they didn’t want our milk powder the market would probably close in an instant.

    New Zealand is one of the most open economies in the world and our open door approach has seen us drop to our lowest level ever for corruption, we have been heavily used to launder money, we are losing a lot of our land and businesses to foreign owners and inequality has grown here faster than any other OECD country (all fact).
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11510931

    Trade deals should deliver benefits for most New Zealanders and most optimistic benefits of the TPPA are not that great and there are enormous constitutional implications that few people understand.

    Like

  98. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E one of the strengths of public education is that it is service driven, not profit driven. Our Kindergartens provide a much higher standard of education while private centres often rely on cheap unqualified staff to ensure profits. If foreign providers of education services are allowed to compete equally in NZ there is the danger that price rather than quality will dictate decisions.

    There is already a concern that our largely privatised early childhood system is not delivering quality. When the Government expects parents to use childcare services so that they can return to the workforce there should be an expectation of high standards, this isn’t the case in a high % of centres.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11531710

    “This agreement strengthens the rules under which they must abide.”

    Your level of trust in this document is naive when there are already expectations of quality that haven’t actually been achieved in reality.

    Remember Kidicorp’s fraudulent claims for teachers that didn’t exist that cost the ministry millions and yet the Government subsidised the same company to open centres in low decile communities. It was a little like hiring a crocodile to protect fish.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10728770

    Like

  99. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    I am beginning to feel embarrassed that I even bother communicating with you on this matter.

    It seems we need to go right back to the start for you to understand.

    NZ has low levels of corruption relative to other countries.
    NZ has low levels of market protections relative to other countries.

    The TPPA benefits NZ because other countries will be forced to lower their market protections – we don’t have similar protections.
    The TPPA benefits NZ because other countries will be forced to trade in a non corrupt fashion. We already trade in a non corrupt fashion.

    For all intense purposes this agreement opens previously closed markets to us.

    For all intense purposes this agreement ensures those trading with us do it according to rules and regulations.

    You seem concerned about corruption, but this agreement is designed to restrict corruption.

    You seem concerned about quality of foreign service provision. This agreement is designed to ensure quality can be achieved.

    Regarding education you blatantly missed a point I made, made obvious by this statement:

    “If foreign providers of education services are allowed to compete equally in NZ”

    They already are Dave. They already are. The TPP puts additional protections above what currently exists. If you disagree, how about your point out the law that restricts foreign ownership of education services.

    Can I call you out on a so called fact?

    “New Zealand is one of the most open economies in the world and our open door approach has seen us drop to our lowest level ever for corruption. ”

    Can you please qualify that so called fact?

    And this one?

    “we have been heavily used to launder money”

    Obviously to qualify “heavily” you will need a comparison. I look forward to that. So called fact.

    Like

  100. Dave Kennedy says:

    “The TPPA benefits NZ because other countries will be forced to lower their market protections – we don’t have similar protections.”
    Rubbish the Government has already admitted that it will cost us around $79 million a year through a reduction in our own tariffs and a extension of copyright.

    You are putting all your trust in the supporting spin for this agreement

    In terms of corruption we have dropped from the least corrupt in the world to fourth in three years, that is a significant trend. Since the beginning National and its Ministers have been plagued with issues of conflict of interest and possible corruption. The $11+ million being gifted to the Saudi businessman is so obviously a bribe and the government has even written into legislation that bribing officials to support business transactions overseas is acceptable.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/287662/'facilitation-payment'-does-not-condone-bribes-govt

    We have also dropped from 4th to 23rd in educational achievement under this Government.

    In terms of money laundering the official estimate is $1.5 billion a year, but $8.5 billion of fishy transactions was reported to authorities and it is likely much goes under the radar. I wouldn’t be surprised if the actual figure is over $10 billion and for an economy of our size that is a substantial figure. It doesn’t need a comparison with another country to show the extent of the problem. The argument that another is worse than us is not an excuse for supporting corrupt practices.

    Currently our Government can determine procurement policy as it sees fit and can shape a tender that encompasses the value of supporting local businesses. The fact it ignorantly hasn’t done that doesn’t mean there exists an equal playing field for overseas interests. The TPPA will restrict the ability of future Governments to value the external benefits of supporting local enterprises.

    Like

  101. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E you can always wear a disguise and meet me in Wachner Place tomorrow where I will be supporting local action and distributing this flier I have put together:

    IT’S OUR FUTURE
    Why we shouldn’t sign the TPPA

    The economic benefits are minimal:
    • Without the TPPA our GDP will grow by 47% by 2030 (based on current growth rates), the TPPA will only add around 0.9%.
    • Tariff reductions of 1.3% on average by 2030 will be dwarfed by commodity price volatility and fluctuating exchange rates.
    • The TPPA did not open agricultural markets for our dairy production, one of the key drivers for signing.
    • The Trade distortions because of agricultural subsidies have not been addressed and these will continue to disadvantage New Zealand.
    • The TPPA may reinforce our position as a commodity producer and restrict our ability to progress up the added value chain.
    • The agreement will cost New Zealand around $79 million a year through eliminated tariffs and extended copyright rules.

    Constitutional and regulatory implications:
    • The New Zealand constitution is a collection of statutes, court decisions and conventions and free trade agreements become an integrated part of that.
    • The TPPA will likely restrict the freedom of future Governments to implement regulatory and industrial policies in the public interest. It will also restrict SOEs and public owned entities from acting in the public interest.
    • The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions will become a greater concern when we become part of a multi-national agreement. The average cost of defending a case is around $8 million and there is a real risk of the taxpayer having to fund massive compensation bills.

    Impacts on ordinary New Zealanders and businesses:
    • The Government won’t be able to support Buy Kiwi preferences to encourage and protect local businesses and employment.
    • The TPPA will support a privatised model of health, education and social housing that includes PPPs. Medicine costs will rise.
    • Policies to improve housing affordability will be severely restricted, such as non-resident ownership of New Zealand property.

    Environmental consequences:
    • Climate change is the environmental crisis of our time and shifting to a low carbon, global economy is essential. The TPPA does not address this in any meaningful way, despite the importance of trade as a key mechanism to lower carbon emissions.

    Visit the website: http://itsourfuture.org.nz/ for more information and updates
    Sign the online petition: http://www.actionstation.org.nz/dontsign

    Like

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