Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Dunne Speaks - I agree with Labour on the TPP

Dunne Speaks - I agree with Labour on the TPP

11 February 2016

I agree with the Labour Party on the TPP.

Well, some of what it is saying anyway. Actually, to be more accurate, some of what Andrew Little is saying, because everyone else in his Caucus seems to be trying to cover all sides of the argument, all of the time.

No, I agree with Andrew Little when he says it would be crazy for New Zealand to pull out of the TPP once it takes effect. He is absolutely right.

Over the summer period, I took the opportunity to listen quietly to what real New Zealanders, not the vocal protestors, were saying. Their message is mixed. They hear the government’s story about the trade opportunities arising from the TPP, and while, on balance, they are a little sceptical, they tend to see that as positive. They do worry about sovereignty issues, but note that every agreement we have signed up to, including membership of the United Nations under Peter Fraser and the World Health Organisation, has involved sovereignty issues, and there has never been a problem. In any case, they tend to accept the view that New Zealand will make its own mind up if any clashes arise.

Some have seen it as ironic that when it came to issues like sending troops to Iraq, New Zealand did not do so, because there was no United Nations mandate in place, and we believed in collective action, and the Labour government of the time was insisting – correctly in my view – on there being such a mandate as a condition of its participation. Others have wanted to know how come it was acceptable for New Zealand to take Australia to the World Trade Organisation over its restrictions on our apple exports, but not acceptable for similar provisions to apply here.

A lot of scorn has been heaped upon academics like Jane Kelsey for their role in the debate. Part of that seems to me to be the narrow anti-intellectual bias of some New Zealanders, which is a pity, but I did hear one comment to the effect that never has someone said so much, for so little impact! (It is fun what one hears when sitting quietly in a café.)

People quite like Andrew Little’s line that we are a country built on free trade. They snigger a bit though at the verbal gymnastics that have seen him go through saying that on the one hand, while saying he opposes TPP on the other, but would not stop it if he won office.

But the common point all the discussions I have heard seemed to end up on was what happens if the TPP proceeds, and New Zealand is not part of it. How does that help our exporters, and what will it do to the cost of imports? The xeonophobes – who certainly do not like the TPP – splutter that not being part of it might make even us more reliant on China.

To me, it all sounds a little like the 1980s restructuring. No-one at the time particularly liked it, but most people knew in their heart of hearts that it had to happen. The then Labour government got grudging support for staying the course. Only when it flip-flopped, did it lose public goodwill. That is the lesson for the current government on the TPP. Stay the course, capitalise on the hard yards already made, and lock in the benefits. After all, as Andrew Little has made very clear, the TPP is here to stay.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The M Bovis Outbreak

As the public keeps on being told, there is no risk at all to human health from cows infected with Mycoplasma bovis. In that respect, it is not at all like mad cow disease.

Even so, the M bovis outbreak is still doing the head in of Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, who will be announcing on Monday whether the government intends going down the ‘eradication’ or the ‘management’ path with respect to the outbreak. More>>

 

RNZ: Fishing Industry Lies Revealed In Leaked Report

Some of the country's biggest fishing companies have been under-reporting their hoki catch by hundreds of tonnes, according to a leaked fisheries report. The report has been kept secret from the public for seven years and environmentalists say it casts doubt on industry claims that lucrative hoki is being fished sustainably. More>>

ALSO:

Uni Cuts: VCs At Risk Of Opting Out Of Government’s Vision

Vice-Chancellors need to accept that cutting jobs to meet narrow performance metrics will do nothing to help rebuild an inclusive tertiary education sector that meets the needs of all New Zealanders, the Tertiary Education Union said today. More>>

ALSO:

DBHs v Nurses: Independent Panel Reports On Collective Agreement

The Independent Panel, which was set up to help reach a Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) between the New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation and the 20 District Health Boards, has made a series of recommendations to address issues impacting settlement. More>>

ALSO:

Cannabis: Legalisation Referendum Could Happen Sooner

The Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association of Aotearoa New Zealand says any decision to hold a referendum on legalising cannabis use in 2019, rather than in an election year, would be a welcome one because the issue is too important to be treated like a political football. More>>

ALSO:

Decile Changes Kicked For Touch: Focusing School Funding On Equity For Kids

The Government is expanding work done on replacing school deciles to look more broadly at what’s needed to ensure all children, including learners from socio economically disadvantaged backgrounds, get the support they need to learn. More>>

ALSO:

Kevin Short New CDF: Defence Deployments Online

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the release today of further information on where NZDF personnel are deployed overseas... “Defence will also be proactively releasing their advice to Cabinet following future decisions on deployments and mandate.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages