Tuesday 28 July 2015


From this country’s #1 traitor

And all the rest that he’s NOT talking about.

This government is getting close to selling off this country's sovereignty.

TPP could allow foreigners to buy large assets without formal approval - John Key

Prime Minster John Key insists that on balance, Kiwis will benefit from signing up to TPP.

27 July, 2015

The Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal could allow foreign entities to buy large assets without Crown approval, Prime Minister John Key has signalled.

Key was asked on Monday whether the TPP agreement, the proposed Pacific Rim trade deal being negotiated between 12 countries, would make it easier for buyers to acquire large land holdings in New Zealand.

He said negotiations were ongoing so he could not give a definitive answer, but he signalled that the matter under consideration was not "sensitive land" which includes farmland, but the size of other investments which would trigger an approval process.

"The question is not so much about sensitive land, I think, from memory, I'm pretty sure it's about whether it triggers the threshold, and how much that increases."

Currently those who are not citizens or do not normally reside in New Zealand need Overseas Investment Office approval if they are buying large assets, classified as those costing more than $100 million.

Residents of some countries, including Australia, have a higher threshold because of clauses in free trade agreements.

Last week Labour announced a series of "non-negotiable" conditions before it would support the TPP, including New Zealand maintaining the right to restrict the sales of farmland and housing to non-resident foreigners.

Key described Labour's position as "crazy" and "schizophrenic", claiming that if it wanted to restrict sales to foreigners it should not have included a "most favoured nation" clause in the China free trade agreement.

"[Labour leader] Andrew Little's desperate to find a way to keep the left flank of his caucus in check," Key said.

While negotiations were still continuing, Key said he believed that overall New Zealand would benefit from signing the TPP.

"I'm pretty darn confident that on the balance of benefits New Zealand is going to do a lot better if they sign a free trade agreement with the United States than if they don't."

Jane Kelsey responds to Labour’s TPPA announcement
Labour’s attempt to spin this announcement to appear to take a principled position that meets its members’ concernsm is disingenuous at best. There is only one red line in this list. The rest you can drive a bus through

25 July, 2015

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Labour’s attempt to spin this announcement to appear to take a principled position that meets its members’ concernsm is disingenuous at best. There is only one red line in this list. The rest you can drive a bus through.
That one red line reflects David Parker’s obsession with the right to regulate foreign investment in land – a crucially important right of governments, but it has already been given away in relation to China through the recent Korea FTA, because China is entitled to the same treatment as NZ gives Korea. True, not including it in the TPPA would mean the US and Japanese investors don’t get it, but investors can re-locate themselves easily enough to take advantage of the existing FTAs.
Is Labour not equally concerned about protecting the right to introduce a capital gains tax (a question not answered by officials in relation to the Korea FTA and not mentioned by Labour)? Or not pouring more of the health budget down the trough of Big Phrma or its local offshoot (not some vague promise that ‘Pharmac must be protected” – what does that mean????)? Or ensuring the SOE chapter will allow Labour to establish their state-owned KiwiAssure or rebuild a genuine public broadcaster?
As for balancing the economic gains, they know the economics don’t stand up.
Moreover, Labour seems to be sticking to the ‘we can’t reach a final decision until we see the fine print’ – by which time they know they can’t change anything.
What really matters to National is to legitimise the TPPA by claiming bi-partisan support. Labour’s leader Andrew LIttle needs to have the guts to say to Phil Goff, Mike Moore protogĂ© Clayton Cosgrove, health minister Annette King (who has been super silent on the health impacts) and David Parker that this deal will place unacceptable handcuffs on future Labour governments and that Labour is going to oppose it – and he needs to do so before the TPPA ministers meet in Maui on Tuesday.

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