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


High Court can’t make Groser provide TPPA information faster

High Court says it can’t make Groser provide TPPA information faster ‘for now’

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case.

The Minister took a month to respond to the court’s decision, despite the urgency of the request and the imminence of the signing of the TPPA. He then set out a process for reviewing the request, rather than an actual response. The ministry had so far located just one category of information: New Zealand’s negotiating mandates dating back to the start of the negotiations. However, the officials were too busy and the Minister was overseas, so no response could be provided until 5 February 2016, conveniently the day after the expected signing of the agreement.

The applicants asked the court to order the Minister to provide the information by mid-December.

In a decision released yesterday, Justice Collins acknowledged the return to court reflected ‘intense frustration’ at the ongoing delays. However, said he was unable ‘at this juncture’ to make orders that could realistically speed up the process for release of the negotiating mandate documents.

The Minister was expected to respond within the next week to an interim refinement of the other categories of information requested. Justice Collins said it would not be appropriate to make any order until that was done.

The judge cautioned the Minister and his advisers that ‘there should be no further delays in responding fully and properly to Professor Kelsey’s request’.

‘Given the Minister’s behaviour to date, however, I fully expect further stonewalling to avoid the release of any substantive information before the Agreement is signed or while it is before the Parliament’, Professor Kelsey said.

The court also noted that the Chief Ombudsman has still not concluded her review of two remaining aspects of the Minister’s refusal to release the information in February that was referred to her as ‘urgent’ in March.

The applicants retain the right to return to court again to seek further orders and directions in relation to the November judgement.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Coronavirus: On The Addiction To Chinese Student Fees, And A Possible Future For RNZ Concert

Last week, Australian PM Scott Morrison extended its ban on foreign visitors from or passing through from mainland China – including Chinese students - for a third week. New Zealand has dutifully followed suit, with our travel ban extending until next Monday at least, presumably dependent to some extent on what Morrison decides to do later this week.
Our universities are now asking for an exemption to the travel ban for their Chinese students, who would still, the universities assure us, be subjected to strict quarantine procedures upon arrival. Given how the inability of the university system to care for its own students on campus made world news last year, that promise may not do much to reduce the coronavirus fears among the wider New Zealand public. More>>


Abortion Legislation Committee: Abortion Bill Report Presented To The House

The Abortion Legislation Committee has presented its report on the Abortion Legislation Bill to the House. A copy of the report is available here. The bill seeks to have abortion services provided like other health services... More>>


Local Government NZ: New Report A Pathfinder For Affordable Housing

A report released today by LGNZ provides a roadmap for councils finding their way through the complex policy, regulatory and market tools available to help enable more affordable housing developments for New Zealanders. With demand soaring, rents ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Concert Being Bled To Enable RNZ’s Youth Station

Release the frequencies! If only all political crises could be resolved with such (suspicious) ease. In December, the RNZ board signed off on the idea for a new youth music channel on FM. More>>


“Can Do Better”: Sallies Election Year Report Card

This year’s State of the Nation report by The Salvation Army offers a mixed bag of outcomes, with some significant headline progress - but also an ambitious list of “can do better”. Government action is delivering limited improvements... More>>


Waitangi 2020: Bridge Between Two People

More than 2,500 people gathered this morning at Waitangi to commemorate the 180th anniversary of the Treaty. People started flooding into the grounds from about 4.30am. Jacinda Ardern spoke of the bridge between two people. More from RNZ here>>






InfoPages News Channels