TPPWatch Bulletin #25 15 December 2012
TPPA circus leaves town
The Auckland round of TPPA talks has come and gone. It was met by a resounding no from kiwis across the country with protests, concerts, art exhibitions, public meetings, workshops, and innumerable discussions over cups of tea. Kia kaha to everyone who made the effort to educate themselves about the TPPA and publicly voice their opposition. This bulletin gives a round-up of press coverage, media releases, and resources from the last 2 weeks. We’re saving the discussion of ‘what next’ for one more bulletin in 2012, then we’ll have a short break before launching a new campaign to stop them making a deal by October.
Magazine provides one-stop primer on TPPA
People have been asking for a primer on the TPPA, so we have prepared an online TPPA booklet that has short, easy access stories about how the agreement could impact on our everyday lives. Thanks to Leigh Cookson for design, the many contributors, and FIRST union for funding the hard copy print run.
Give a TPPA cartoon for Xmas to help us fundraise
A number of the cartoonists generously agreed to have their cartoons auctioned to raise funds for the campaign. The logistics of the auction are now a bit beyond us, so we have decided insead to sell unframed prints of the cartoons for $30. Those available are by Mike Moreu (x 2), Claire Frith (x 2), Alex Parsons, Sam Mahon, Hayden Currie (x 2), Treason seditio, Rachel Marsh, Ashley Smith, Valerie Morse, Brendan Parker, Samuel McNaughton, Dave McArthur (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6), Kesia Milne, and Dave Wolland. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested!
Protests say ‘no’ to TPPA
On December 8 an impressive 250 people gathered in Nelson express their opposition to the TPPA. In Auckland (400+) made a powerful display of people power against the TPPA, culminating in the delivery of the Avaaz petition of nearly ¾ million to the NZ host delegation at Sky City. Prominent activist Marama Davidson addressed the crowd with a Maori perspective on opposition to the TPPA and Catherine Delahunty gave a hard hitting message from the Greens. As the protest was ending, there were a number of arrests. A complaint has been laid with the police about provocation.
In Wellington 100 protesters marched to Parliament on December 12 to present an open letter to John Key and Tim Groser signed by nearly 1000 New Zealanders via www.itsourfuture.org.nz. The march was met by Catherine Delahunty and Steffan Browning of the Green Party. The Mana Party was also very visible at the Auckland and Wellington TPPA protests.
Wide-ranging New Zealand groups and sectors speak out against the TPPA
Catherine Delahunty from the Greens, the Mana Party, NZ First, the Alliance Party, and Democrats for Social Credit have all taken stands against this TPPA this last week.
Greenpeace New Zealand has launched a petition (which has already attracted nearly 10,000 signatories!) and published this excellent blog post.
From the health sector, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation and the New Zealand Medical Students Association spelt out the implications of the TPPA for access to medicines.
Unions in New Zealand and overseas banded to defend workers against the TPPA. The Maritime Union spoke out strongly, and the NZCTU, the US Teamsters Union, and Australian Manufacturing Workers Union jointly expressed their deep concerns over the direction of negotiations. Mexican unions also issued a strong statement opposing their government’s decision to join the TPPA negotiations.
The NZCTU took John Key to task for disingenuously (or at the very least, incompetently) projecting $3 billion in economic benefits for NZ. This was picked up very effectively by Russel Norman of the Green Party at question time.
President of New Zealand Actors Equity Jennifer Ward-Lealand delivered this presentation on the impact of the TPPA on the New Zealand culture sector at an Auckland event organised by It's Our Future to award the prizes in the cartoon competition and launch the exhibition.
New Zealand science blogger Peter Griffin wrote an entry on what the TPPA means for science.
Public opinion strongly against key aspects of the TPPA
In the past two weeks three ConsumerLink polls have confirmed overwhelming public opposition to key planks of the TPPA:
On secrecy, 65% of New Zealanders think the contents of the agreement should be made public before the negotiations are completed and any deal is signed; only 14% of those surveyed said they didn’t mind if the text was not disclosed.
On the environmental impacts, 61% of those surveyed reject the concept of foreign investors having any ability to sue the government offshore if is sets stronger environmental standards.
On the investors-rights to sue, 64% of respondents said New Zealand should reject treaties with these clauses, and just 13% said we should sign them. 24% were unsure. See also the AFTINET release on this poll.
TPPA on the radio
The good people at Auckland's 95bfm conducted interviews from 3-7 December focussing on different elements of the TPPA. The interviews are available online with: Maira Sutton of Electronic Frontier Foundation; Krista Cox of Knowledge Ecology International; TPPA cheerleader (of the NZ-US Council); Australian public health expert Deborah Gleeson; tobacco control advocate Mary Assunta Kolanthai; Jane Kelsey.
Assessments of, and reflections on, the Auckland negotiation round
Open Media Australian Digital Alliance TVNZ Three news Electronic Frontier Foundation Knowledge Ecology Online AFTINET Radio NZ Gordon Campbell at Scoop.co.nz (this is an excellent write-up)
Various op-eds and interviews
Rod Oram: On trade, the Prime Minister is singing off-key David Cooke: The TPPA: Corporate Control on Steroids Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser’s ‘political projectile vomiting’ about the TPP Citizen A: 3 part series with Bomber Bradbury and Jane Kelsey with Lori Wallach; Mike Dolan (US Teamsters); Selwyn Manning (video interviews) Triangle TV Interview: Lori Wallach Briar Mannering: Put NZ's health before interests of big pharma Jane Kelsey: Secret talks breed scepticism Russell Brown: You down with TPP? and Media3 Check out also these articles by Maira Sutton and Deborah Gleeson condemning the secrecy of the Auckland negotiation round.