A three-paragraph statement issued at the end of the ministerial summit was appropriately bland, given the complete void of any official information during the four-day meeting. Reading between the lines, it reveals four points about the current state of play.
First, ministers say they identified ‘potential landing zones’ for ‘the majority of key outstanding issues in the text’. Some of these decisions are hugely significant. New Zealand, Australia and Canada appear to have surrendered to an as-yet-undisclosed version of US-based demands on intellectual property that they have consistently deemed unacceptable.
Second, ministers were unable to reach even ‘potential’ outcomes for other key issues in the text...
Third, the US made no significant offers on market access for agriculture in Singapore. Japanese media reported a breakdown in the US-Japan talks on agriculture...
A final piece of hypocrisy in the statement is the promise to ‘further our consultation with stakeholders and engage in our respective political processes’. More>>
The Government majority on the Select Committee continues to support the removal of the lunch and tea break, the ability of employers to refuse to conclude a collective agreement in bargaining, and to not offer new workers coverage and has even extended the plans to remove employment security from the country’s cleaning and catering staff further than originally proposed. More>>
A report by the Auditor-General has found Government cuts to the Defence Force caused substantial damage the Defence Force Chief said will take seven years to repair, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. More>>
The 2013 Monitor shows that one in four Kiwi kids are growing up in income poverty and one in six are going without the basic essentials… Ten percent of children are at the hardest end of poverty and three out of five kids living in poverty will live this way for much of their childhood. More>>
Yesterday, the government unveiled the latest round of oil permits. Five of them are located onshore in Taranaki and the East Coast, but five are located offshore, in the Reinga-Northland, Taranaki, and Great South Canterbury Basins... Anadarko has just gone back to court in the US to challenge the prior court ruling that found it jointly liable (with BP) for the consequences of the fatal 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. More>>
Labour's Darien Fenton “It has been revealed today that 27 per cent of the 69,000 employers who took on new staff under the fire at will trial during 2012 sacked at least one worker during or at the end of the 90-day period." More>>
The Government has received the Constitutional Advisory Panel’s final report which recommends that the conversation about New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements should continue, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples say. More>>
Members of the Mana, Māori, Labour, Green, and NZ First Party are highly critical of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) which could be agreed upon in a meeting of trade ministers in Singapore this weekend. More>>
It is hard to feel sorry for John Banks. Sorry, I’ll start that again. It would be easy to feel sorry for John Banks in his current sorry plight…unless and until one re-reads the passage in David Fisher’s excellent book The Secret Life of Kim Dotcom about his abandonment of a friend in need... More>>
Scoop Amplifier paid a 3-day visit to Westport and the Buller District to begin to gain some on-the-spot perspectives into just how steep a battle the majority of Coasters are facing to find ways to tell the story of their intertwined environmental and economic prospects.