Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


PM urged to ensure New Zealanders’ health not signed away

Prime Minister urged to ensure New Zealanders’ health not signed away

Public Health Association media release, 4 October 2013

The Public Health Association (PHA) has written an open letter to Prime Minister John Key amid health sector fears the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) could seriously jeopardise public health in New Zealand.

The letter outlines four broad areas of concern:

1.       that intellectual property, patent law and investment clauses in the TPPA may empower international companies, such as big tobacco, to challenge laws and policies the Government has put in place to protect the health of New Zealanders

2.       that the definition of State Owned Enterprises may include our public hospitals, thus exposing them to takeover by multi-national interests

3.       that the agreement does not do enough to protect PHARMAC from predatory behaviour by pharmaceutical companies, thus threatening New Zealanders’ access to subsidised medicine

4.       that the US and other foreign interests have an unfair advantage because negotiations take place in secret and New Zealanders have no way of knowing what the Government may be signing away.  

PHA President Dr Jean Simpson said New Zealand’s public health system is the envy of many countries, and to keep it that way we must be able to make our own decisions over access to medicines and the regulation of food safety and potentially harmful products like alcohol and tobacco.

“We certainly see the value in international trade agreements, but we need to ensure that whatever we agree to doesn't risk our Government being over-ruled, doesn't put New Zealanders’ health at risk and doesn't place new burdens on our already-stretched health budget.”

The letter acknowledges assurances from Trade Minister Hon Tim Groser that provisions will be included protecting the Government’s right to regulate for public health, but Dr Simpson said such provisions and how they define things like ‘necessary to protect human life and health’ would be open to challenge.

“The TPPA will make it much easier for larger economies and multi-national corporations to bring litigation which could easily result in a ‘chilling effect’ where smaller countries like New Zealand face pressure to sacrifice healthy policy. We have a relatively small economy and it’s financially risky for us to defend policies and regulations at that high level,” Dr Simpson said

The letter urges the Government to:

1.       ensure protections for public health in all 29 chapters of the TPPA

2.       insist on total exclusion of tobacco interests from all negotiations and the exclusion of the rights of tobacco industries to protect their investments and intellectual property

3.       release the text of the TPPA for analysis by independent experts and the public.

The PHA works to provide a collective voice for the diverse public health workforce and Dr Simpson said it was the organisation’s duty to express the sector’s concerns that the TPPA may have unintended negative consequences for the health and welfare of New Zealanders.

“Our public health legislation and policy must be based on solid scientific evidence about what is best for New Zealanders’ health, and not on the commercial interests of other countries or multi-national conglomerates,” she said.

The open letter is available on the PHA website at: www.pha.org.nz/documents/PHA-letter-to-the-PM-on-TPPA-Oct-2013.pdf.   

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

  • Govt Probed Over Health & Safety
  • Questions and Answers 28-05-15
  • Week in Parliament 22-05-15
  • Saturday Sitting
  • House Rises At Midnight
  • Telco Levy Bill Passes
  • Telco Levy Bill Completes First Reading
  • Social Housing Bill Passes Under Urgency

  • Labour Party: McCully Doesn’t Deny Bribe In Saudi Sheep Scandal

    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Welfare: Closure Of Relationships Aotearoa

    The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) Chief Executive Lucy Sandford-Reed is concerned about the closure of a national service which provides a wide range of services to rural and urban communities throughout New Zealand. More>>

    ALSO:

    TPPA: University Of Auckland Warns Of Negative TPP Impact

    The University of Auckland May 20, 2015 University of Auckland Warns of Negative TPP Impact With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation drawing to a close, the University of Auckland has expressed serious concerns about its potential implications. ... More>>

    NZ Flag: Flag Referendum Gets Hit Hard In New Poll

    The latest Campbell Live text poll confirms it is time for the Prime Minister to listen to the public and shelve his flag referendum, says the New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: The Government’s Belated Moves On Property Speculation

    Is it a property tax on capital gains or a capital gains tax on property? The Jesuitical distinctions in the government’s spin about its latest moves on property speculators are all about whether the government can claim that it jumped, or confess that it ... More>>

    Grant Robertson:
    Key Can’t Just Be Prime Minister For Parnell

    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In a ... More>>


    Labour Party: More Regional Jobs Go In Corrections Reshape

    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • NZ First - Prison Job Losses to Send Money Offshore
  • TPPA: ‘Team Obama’ Regroups On Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable

    ‘After yesterday’s stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administration’s attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage’, according to Auckland ... More>>

    NZ Government: 5,500 More Doctors And Nurses In Our Hospitals

    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a record number of doctors and nurses are working in District Health Boards across the country. More>>

    Controller and Auditor General: Katherine Rich Conflict of Interest Decision

    We are writing to you about a matter that has been raised with us by members of the public. More>>

    ALSO:

    Budget 2015: Andrew Little On The 2015 Budget

    Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, the Labour opposition leader attacked the government’s approach to economic issues facing New Zealand. He said they have been “more than reckless in their complacency” and “the next week’s budget will do nothing ... More>>

    Defence Force: NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel In Iraq

    NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel in Iraq The New Zealand Defence Force Building Partner Capacity training mission contingent is in place at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating says the ... More>>

    PM Press Conference: ACC Levy Cuts Announced

    In a press conference this afternoon in Wellington, ACC Minister Nikki Kaye proposed $500 million worth of ACC levy cuts. More>>

    Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news