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Government exposed to secret international tribunals


Government exposed to secret international tribunals
under Capital Markets Task Force asset sales agenda


The New Zealand Government will be exposed to being sued by international investors if the Government continues to follow the Capital Markets Task Force agenda on partial state asset sales.

Under the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) currently being negotiated, foreign investors in partially privatised energy companies would be able to seek damages against the Government for implementing any law or regulation that was claimed by foreign investors to be detrimental to their interests.

For example the New Zealand Government could be sued for introducing energy efficiency policies which foreign investors could argue threaten their profit stream or share value. International investors could see any government regulations to protect or improve water quality as a threat to their profits.

New Zealand investors would not have the same right to act to protect their investment.

Already Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Mexico are among countries adversely affected by large international corporations using the disputes provisions of so-called free trade agreements.

The Investor State Disputes Settlement (ISDS) provision of the TPP which provides for the governments to be sued has been rejected by the Australian Government. There is no information that the New Zealand Government has also opposed such an attack on its national sovereignty.

The New Zealand sharemarket has suffered from a loss of confidence following the collapse of crooked finance companies, unscrupulous financial advisors, company amalgamations and overseas takeovers.

The Capital Markets Task Force report of December 2009 called for more quality stocks to be listed – identifying state assets as their target to fill the gaps in the stock market.

The Capital Markets Task Force is driving an agenda of self interest in wanting to have more tickets to clip through increased share trading.

Up to 80% of New Zealanders polled have stated their opposition to state asset sales.

Any partial sale of state assets under the TPP ‘charter of international corporations’ rights’ is a further undermining of New Zealand sovereignty and ability to control its own energy policies – and economy.

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