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


Investmt treaty threat to sovereignty, environment

Investment treaty a threat to sovereignty and environmental standards

Green Media Release 5-2-08

The Green Party is calling on Labour to halt discussions on an investment treaty because of the threat the treaty poses to our sovereignty and our environmental standards.

This follows the announcement today that the United States is seriously considering joining negotiations about an investment treaty between the P4 treaty partners of New Zealand, Chile, Singapore and Brunei.

“Investment treaties are the most dangerous parts of free trade agreements. They threaten our sovereignty and our environmental standards,” says Dr. Russel Norman, Green Co-leader and Trade Spokesperson.

“Investment treaties mean that corporations can sue governments if those governments pass laws that reduce the value of a corporation’s investment or future profits.

“If, for example, the New Zealand Government were to pass a law that improved pollution emission standards, with the result that a piece of industrial plant could no longer operate because it couldn’t meet the standards, the corporation that owned that plant could sue the government for the loss of its investment.

“This has already happened in Canada and Mexico under the investment provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“Under the investment chapter of NAFTA, a US corporation, Metalclad, successfully sued the Mexican Government after Metalclad was blocked from building a toxic waste dump on a community water supply. Metalclad said their investment and future profits had been detrimentally affected.

“The Canadian Government was forced to back down on its ban on the sale of a toxic fuel additive, MMT, because the corporation that manufactured the additive, Ethyl Corp, took at US$250m case against the Canadian Government under the investment provisions of NAFTA. Ethyl claimed that by banning the additive the Canadian Government was seizing its assets – its future profits.

“The world stood up against the Multilateral Investment Agreement (MAI) and stopped it. So now neo-liberal governments around the world are trying to achieve an MAI though the backdoor of bilateral and smaller scale investment agreements.

“Investment treaties threaten our right to regulate environmental standards and should not proceed.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Compensating Afghan Civilian Casualties

Reportedly, there have been nine incidents resulting in 17 civilian deaths and injuries (seven of the dead were children) caused by ordnance left behind on what used to be the firing range of our Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamiyan province.

Given that the NZ Defence Force has needed to be hauled kicking and screaming into belatedly arranging an adequate clean-up of its old firing range… what would it take before New Zealand offers to pay compensation to the families of those who suffered death and injury from what was left behind on our watch? More>>


Fossil Fuel Investment: ACC Must Lead On Climate Change

As the largest publicly owned investor in New Zealand, the ACC board should divest from fossil fuels, demonstrating our leadership role on climate change, Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick said today. More>>


Total Officers, Up Less: Coalition's 1800 New Police Officers

The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. More>>


Predator Free: $3.5m For New Pest Controls

New Zealand First is proud to announce the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has allocated $3.5 million to develop innovative predator control approaches which will reduce the need for repeated 1080 use. More>>


Children's Day: Commissioner Calls For Govt Commitment

“Three decades on, we are able to celebrate some significant changes for children like the recent launch of a Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. But we still have a long way to go to prioritise children’s rights.” More>>


Elections: Proposed Electorate Boundaries Released

The Representation Commission is proposing changes to half of New Zealand’s electorates and establishing a new electorate in south Auckland… More>>


"Effectively A Permanent Amnesty": Final Month For Gun Ban Compensation

The firearms buy-back comes to an end a month from today, but the police say the amnesty for returning banned guns will continue into next year and beyond. More>>







InfoPages News Channels