Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Nelson is Second City to Pass Critical Resolution on TPPA

25 July 2013


Nelson is Second City to Pass Critical Resolution on TPPA

Nelson City Council passed a resolution setting a number of conditions for an acceptable Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on Thursday 18 July. There were 6 votes for, 1 against and 2 abstentions.

The Nelson motion mirrors one passed by Auckland City last December.

The Council declined the recommendation of a council researcher for a shortened, less critical version and adopted the full resolution.

Cr. Mike Ward, who moved the motion, spoke forcefully in favour of it, pointing to the risk the TPPA posed to the healthy and participatory life of local communities.

The resolution calls on the government to conclude negotiations on the TPPA and other free trade agreements in a way that provides net positive benefits for Nelson and New Zealand – and sets out a list of criteria to satisfy that test.

The conditions target areas of particular concern to the powers and responsibilities of local government.

They include retaining the right to give local preferences when spending ratepayers’ money on public procurement, and the right to choose whether particular services or facilities are provided in house by council-controlled organisations. Nor should foreign investors have greater rights than locals.

The motion also stressed the need to preserve the Council’s right to require more robust health and safety provisions, environmental protection, employment rights, community participation, animal protection or human rights standards than national or international minimum standards.

In relation to democratic decision making, the resolution urges that the text should not be signed off without full public consultation on the drafts and that ratification is conditional on a full social, environmental and economic impact assessment.

A large crowd attended the Nelson City Council public forum where the vote was taken. Graeme O’Brien, the chief petitioner spoke to the meeting. Mr O’Brien called on other councils to follow suit, flagging to central government that there is awareness and concern at local government level about the dangers of this secretly negotiated agreement.

The resolution will be forwarded to the Government.

RESOLUTION:

That the Nelson City Council encourages the government to conclude negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Free Trade Agreements in a way that provides net positive benefits for Nelson and New Zealand ie the partnership and agreements achieve the following objectives:
a) encourages the government to conclude negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Free Trade Agreements in a way that provides net positive benefits for Nelson and New Zealand.
a) …, that is, provided the Partnership and Agreements achieve the following objectives:
i. Continues to allow the Nelson Council and other councils, if they so choose, to adopt procurement policies that provide for a degree of local preference; to choose whether particular services or facilities are provided in house, by council controlled organisations (CCOs) or by contracting out; or to require higher health and safety, environmental protection, employment rights and conditions, community participation, animal protection or human rights standards than national or international minimum standards.
ii. Maintains good diplomatic and trade relations and partnerships for Nelson and New Zealand with other major trading partners not included in the agreement, including with China.
iii. Provides substantially increased access for our agriculture exports.
iv. Does not undermine PHARMAC, raise the cost of medical treatments and medicines or threaten public health measures, such as tobacco control;
v. Does not give overseas investors or suppliers any greater rights than domestic investors and suppliers, such as through introducing Investor-State Dispute Settlement, or reduce our ability to control overseas investment or finance;
vi. Does not expand intellectual property rights and enforcement in excess of current law;
vii. Does not weaken our public services, require privatisation, hinder reversal of privatisations, or increase the commercialisation of government or of Nelson Council or other local government organisations;
viii. Does not reduce our flexibility to support local economic and industry development and encourage good employment and environmental practices and initiatives like Council Cadetships, and the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs which enable marginalised young people to develop their skills and transition into meaningful employment;
ix. Contains enforceable labour clauses requiring adherence to core International Labour Organisation conventions and preventing reduction of labour rights for trade or investment advantage;
x. Contains enforceable environmental clauses preventing reduction of environmental standards for trade or investment advantage;
xi. Has general exceptions to protect human rights, the environment, the Treaty of Waitangi, and New Zealand’s economic and financial stability;
xii. Has been negotiated with real public consultation including regular public releases of drafts of the text of the agreement, and ratification being conditional on a full social, environmental and economic impact assessment including public submissions.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

ALSO:

As Govt Cuts Lobby Anti-Smoking Group Funds: On The Nation - Plain Packaging Debate

Imperial Tobacco leaves open possibility of law suit against New Zealand government if plain packaging is introduced, as planned. Says it’s a “last resort” but “of course we will defend the right to use our brands”. More>>

ALSO:

No Rail For New Harbour Crossing: National Giving Up On Rail In Auckland

The National Government’s decision to scrap two planned rail lines in Auckland shows it is giving up on a city-wide rail network in Auckland, and on thousands of commuters who sit in traffic jams every single day, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Diver's Alarums: Breach Means Training Provider Must Repay $1.47 Million

The New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies is to repay $1.47 million (GST-exclusive) to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) following an investigation which showed that some student enrolments between 2009 -2014 could not be validated and that courses were under-delivered against their agreement with the TEC. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Government Plans Suggest Bulk Funding Return

Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news