Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

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


Wikileaks TISA dump exposes NZ’s extreme position

4 June 2015

Wikileaks TISA dump makes a mockery of secrecy, exposes NZ’s extreme position

In the largest ever leak of documents from a ‘trade’ negotiation, Wikileaks has posted a raft of texts and documents tabled in the Trade in Services Agreement negotiations. The topics range from finance, post and transport to professional services and domestic regulation.

‘This leak sends a resounding message to countries that are determined to negotiate TISA in the shadows of the World Trade Organisation’, said trade in services expert Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland.

‘The 24 parties, including New Zealand, have tried to shroud this deal in even more secrecy than the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). Documents are to remain secret until 5 years after the agreement comes into force or negotiations are formally terminated. That’s clearly not going to happen.’

There is a stocktaking meeting in Geneva early July. Professor Kelsey urged the parties to revoke their secrecy pact and resolve to release all the documents, as some TISA countries have begun to do unilaterally.

Among the leaks are updates on financial services and e-commerce texts that were first posted last year. According to Professor Kelsey, they confirm that the world’s most powerful services exporters, acting on behalf of their corporations, refuse to learn any lessons from the global financial crisis and want instead to intensify the risks from barely regulated cross border finance.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

‘The e-commerce chapter remains equally worrying’, Professor Kelsey said. ‘They could limit or even prevent governments from requiring firms to hold data locally, and allow them to choose to store it offshore in countries with minimal privacy protection and intrusive spying laws’.

New Zealand’s role stands starkly exposed, most notably by the domestic regulation text. Having failed to get WTO members to agree to extreme neoliberal ‘disciplines’ that require them to adopt light-handed and risk-tolerant approaches to regulation, it is pushing this aggressively through TISA.

‘That failed model brought us finance company collapses, leaky buildings, the Pike River mining disaster, elder-abuse in our rest homes’, Kelsey said.

‘The National government recklessly locked New Zealand governments into this model through the free trade deal with South Korea. Now it wants to bind all the other TISA governments to do the same. If the government has its way, this extreme position will ultimately end up being imposed on the entire 160 members of the WTO, including some of the world’s most vulnerable countries.’

‘Just as growing numbers of New Zealanders have challenged the back door dealings in the TPPA, they need to send the same message over TISA and any other secret negotiation over which we have no say.’


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National Spreading Panic About The Economy

The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...


Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More

Labour: Grant Robertson To Retire From Parliament
Labour List MP and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will retire from Parliament next month, and later in the year take up the position of Vice Chancellor of the University of Otago... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.