Labour lose-lose on TPPA

Andrew Little and Labour have got themselves in a potentially tricky position over the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, which may be lose-lose for them.

NZ Herald reported:

Mr Little said it would also be inappropriate to hold a signing ceremony for the deal two days before New Zealand’s .

“Our national day is a day that we celebrate our national identity and national sovereignty, and this is an agreement that potentially compromises our sovereignty.”

David Farrar headlined this as Stupid quote of the week  and called it “pretty pathetic, and just desperate”.

The first comment, by NK, quoted someone on Facebook:

“So initially they complained about the content.

Then, when the content turned out to be good, they complained that it didn’t go far enough for Dairy.

Now, that they realise it’s better than before, they complain about not knowing when it will be signed and on what desk and who will hold what pen.

Man, this is pathetic. Just be a man and stand up and congratulate your own former Leader Helen Clark for having started the TPPA. That would be statesmanlike.”

That is currently on 45 up ticks, 0 down ticks.

In more favourable blog territory for Labour Te Reo Putake posted Little: Labour to Defy TPPA.

Andrew Little has made it clear that the Labour Party in Government will defy provisions in the Trans Pacific parrtnership agreement that weaken NZ’s sovereignty.

Interviewed on Radio NZ this morning, the Labour leader spoke out about the pisspoor negotation that has led to the current National Party Government meekly accepting clauses that limit our right to determine who buys our land. Little revealed that three countries, including Australia, succesfully fought for exemptions to this onerous and oppressive clause. Australia will retain it’s ability to control its own borders, NZ … not so much.

It’s great to see Labour making it’s opposition to this secret sellout so very clear. This lines them up with both the Greens and NZ First, making the formation of an alternative Government a lot easier. Certainly, if Kiwi voters want to retain our country’s independence, a vote for any of those three parties is now a sensible option.

One last thing. Little has said that it’s understood the agreement will be signed here in NZ, just before we celebrate our nationhood on Waitangi Day. The cynicism of the Key Government apparently knows no bounds.

There were some supporting comments, like from Anne:

Labour and Little initially took a cautious approach because nobody knew what was in the agreement but they did make it very clear from around mid-year that any attempt to tamper with our sovereign rights would be vigorously opposed and they would not abide by any provisions in the agreement that endangered that sovereignty. I see Little’s latest comments as confirmation of this commitment. His tone of voice came through as determined – no ifs or buts.

And Heather:

The insult to New Zealanders is obvious with the choice of February 4th. Someone must be telling porkies – Chile and Peru would not have suddenly made up the date they were coming to New Zealand.

I am very pleased that Andrew Little has spoken out strongly, there is no no doubt in people’s minds what he is thinking. I hope that NZ First and the Greens can all reach common ground.

I like the idea that some have mentioned of referring to the National Government, they are the people responsible for the so many fronts we are failing in New Zealand. It is not Key alone.

But The Standard isn’t dominated by loyal Labourites. There was also quite a bit of dissing.


I’ve lost hope in Labour – I cannot see how there could ever be any coalition on the “left” at this stage.


The thing with Labour saying the right things is that they have a track record of flip-flopping. So while we might welcome what Little’s saying we need to take it with a grain of salt until Labour starts repairing the damage it’s done to its credibility. And that’s likely to take longer than the time it took to destroy it in the first place.


Concur. We’ll have to watch Labour’s actions very carefully before we can trust them again. FWIW, I’d rather have a strong and principled Labour-led opposiiton than a flaccid, National-lite government. Right now we don’t even have that.


Way too late for anybody to be “defying” a trade agreement. Defiance needed to be before it was negotiated. And I believe it will take longer than 4 Feb for countries to be ready to sign it.


Certainly clear from the interview that Andrew Little opposes at least some provisions of the TTPA. But remember Helen Clark being rolled out to take the wind from the sails of opposition to the whole shebang? Not saying the NZ Labour Party had a hand in that, but still…

And I wouldn’t call Little’s answer to the question about Goff and Shearer at the end of the interview unequivocal. Seemed to be saying his position was ‘a’ and there would be ongoing discussions with others.

Last thing. If defied, what penalty through those ISD settlements? And will Labour defy no matter what? Or will Labour defy and then back down if onerous financial penalties are handed down?

Actually things are looking up at The Standard because there are many comments and some good discussions with personal pissiness.

Paulm tried to diss off alternative views:

These threads will become a lot more interesting to read if everyone does not feed trolls like acrophobic.

Can everyone stop responding to acrophobic’s bait please?

Murray Simmonds supported that wityh “Well said, Paulm” But ropata responded…

you don’t have to read it … personally i find the arguments interesting

Unfortunately the thread then turned to flaming custard, but the discussions had been worthwhile they lasted.

It seems apparent that Labour has a hard job on the TPPA when they get such a mixed response from what should be one of their most supportive forums.

Little is running some precarious lines trying to be seen to be standing up to National on the TPPA but not doing enough for the left. They risk isolating themselves in a lose-lose position.


  1. Once again, the point should be made that Annex h 9 of the TPPA makes it clear that New Zealand does retain the right to decide who may buy land from overseas, it is the same Annex in which Canada, Australia and Mexico also state their reservations. Para 4 is the New Zealand exemption. Hello, is there anyone there? Are you reading the TPPA or just making it up?

    • Goldie

       /  9th January 2016

      And someone downticked you for stating a fact.
      It is depressing that so many willingly allow their beliefs to overrule reality.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  9th January 2016

        The quality of the down-ticking on this site is so subhuman it makes the cockroaches look like Einstein in comparison. No-one except their politicians has much to fear from the combined intelligence of the loony Left.

        • kittycatkin

           /  9th January 2016

          Some of the downs are deserved, but some of them…it’s an absolute mystery. Some harmless post that couldn’t offend anyone will have a solitary down-tick. Maybe some people confuse the up and down thumbs.

          • kittycatkin

             /  9th January 2016

            I can’t see any relevance in the date of the signing; it has to be some time. If it had been the 23rd of December, I suppose that that would be wrong, too. I can’t see what it has to do with Waitangi Day in either a good or bad way.

          • Brown

             /  9th January 2016

            Sorry kc but I had to down tick that because you inferred I shouldn’t. My apologies.

            • kittycatkin

               /  10th January 2016

              Infer ? I didn’t infer anything, or imply anything. Infer means to deduce or take a meaning from something, and I certainly didn’t do that; nor did I imply anything about anyone here; I certainly wasn’t thinking about you, Brown. I chose that date because Christmas Day is celebrated by almost everyone. Infer and imply have completely different meanings, and it’s a mystery to me that anyone should think that that post did either.

  2. Moonie01

     /  9th January 2016

    I find the quality of debate at The Standard is improving while the fading star of Whaleoil is wallowing in over moderated sycophantic dribble.

  3. Goldie

     /  9th January 2016

    Have a look at the latest TPP shenanigans at

    Little made a statement that was BS, and Phil Quinn called him on it. Watch Little’s nasty response.

    • This sort of gross prevatication and play the man/woman rather that the issue. Little et al are all trying to invent a problem that doesn’t exist as far as land sale control is concerned. The problem is that he wasn’t in Parliament when Labour passed the 2005 Overseas Investment Act which is specifically referred to as the guiding legislation for New Zealand in the TPPA and will apply when the TPPA is signed. The 2005 Act was passed by Labour and National and the Greens dissented at the 3rd reading stage. This act defines what is sensitive land in NZ and outlines the right of the NZ Government to control sales of land to foreigners. I am totally gob-smacked tHat the loony Left is continuing to lie about the situation. It is time for the main stream edia to call the Left to account and stop trying to sey up a confrontation. Those Kiwis who do their homework about the situation are laughing themselves silly at Labour’s abject failure. Little should be sacked for leadership failure.

    • Blazer

       /  9th January 2016

      does the proposed law only apply to signatories?

      • The TPPA expressely provides the protection of the 2005 Foreign Investment Act which applies to ALL foreign investment including land. It males no distinction as to nationality at all. It was a Labour initiative in 2005 supported at the final vote by National, so should be rated as bi-partisan Act. I have read it and consider the protections it provides are excellent and I consider the wailing about land sales by Labour to be without merit or logic.

  4. More stupidity on Labour’s part, no doubt. They are like a political “cold” seeking missile!

    Tell you what though, and I am way off topic here, I reckon if there was a way of measuring, scaling and scoring political “transgressions” – large and small – John Key would lead Andrew Little by a cuntry mile and, had Key been kicked around for his many like Little gets “the boot put in” for his fewer ones, John Key would be an ancient, long ago, vague, distant, misty, barely discernible political memory …

    He already is in my mind …