TPPA process corrects claims of lying

Some people are jumping up and down prematurely over the claimed planned signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement on February 4.

The signing, whenever it happens, is just another step in the process prior to countries ratifying the agreement.

Frank Macskasy has claimed the John Key has lied (again) about consultation over the TPPA.

The Mendacities of Mr Key # 15: John Key lies to NZ on consultation and ratification of TPPA 

At every opportunity, our esteemed Dear Leader and other National MPs and Ministers have been eager to assure New Zealanders that the text of the  TPPA would be submitted to a select committee; scrutinised, and ratified by Parliament before it was signed.

Key’s assurances were seemingly air-tight.  (Though I, for one, am always skeptical of any assertion made by our esteemed Dear Leader.)

Macskasy then quotes a media statement from Chile’s General Directorate of International Economic Relations head and the Mexican financial periodical, El Financiero along with Google translations (that’s risky).

And he also says “according to Bloomberg  the impending signing-ceremony is confirmed by the Peruvians”:

Peru’s Trade and Tourism Ministry (Mincetur) confirmed that Deputy Trade Minister Edgar Vasquez, the country’s TPP negotiator, will be on hand for the signing ceremony in New Zealand.

Macskasy then claims:

The fourth of February is five days before Parliament resumes sitting, on 9 February.

Which makes a lie out of Key’s promises that the TPPA would be put before the House for Select Committee scrutiny and Parliamentary over-sight. By the time Parliament resumes, the TPPA will have been ratified by all participants according to the Chileans, Mexicans,  and Peruvians.

It is clear that National was planning on “pulling a swiftie” by keeping the ratification date secret from the public.

National has (again)  been caught attempting to deceive the public.

It beggars belief that they really thought no one would notice.

Any government that has to employ deception to enact policy is afraid of it’s own people. National is not fit to govern.

But Jane Kelsey explains in comments that the signing, whenever it happens (it sounds like some countries have confirmed they are ok for February but not all have confirmed yet so it can’t be officially announced), is a step prior to the TPPA being considered by New Zealand’s Parliament and possible at least parts of it being voted on.

OK, it is REALLY important that people start to understand the process here. If you can’t spend the time to read the 28 page version on here is the ABC

  1. The 12 countries have AGREED THE CONTENT of the deal (although there are still arguments about it especially in the US Congress and they want changes).
  2. Obama had to give 90 days NOTICE BEFORE HE COULD SIGN the TPPA.
  3. That notice expires on 3 February 2016 and they will SIGN the deal.
  4. After it is signed each country will begin its PROCESS FOR RATIFICATION. In NZ THE EXECUTIVE (CABINET) HAS THE POWER TO RATIFY, ie make it binding on NZ.
  5.  Here that involves TABLING THE TPPA and National Interest analysis in the House.
  6. They will be REFERRED TO THE SELECT COMMITTEE for submissions but even if the select committee recommended changes the Cabinet could ignore them.
  7. The HOUSE MAY OR MAY NOT GET TO VOTE on the agreement; that will depend on whether the government thinks Labour will support it. but it can make it a confidence vote if it needs to. And even if the House voted against it the Executive (Cabinet) can still ratify it.
  8. The only thing the Parliament really has a say on is PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION THAT IS NEEDED FOR NZ TO MEET ITS OBLIGATIONS.
  9. Proposed legislation WILL GO TO A SELECT COMMITTEE. it is likely to involve only 4 things: tariffs, trade remedies, copyright and maybe patents, and foreign investment threshold.
  10. PARLIAMENT WILL GET TO VOTE AND CAN REJECT THE LEGISLATION. But government can make it a confidence vote to make sure it passes.
  11. Even IF THE BILL FAILS IT DOES NOT CHANGE THE TPPA. It just means if the government ratifies it NZ will be in breach.
  12. The US CONGRESS & PRESIDENT CAN REQUIRE NZ to do more or it won’t bring the TPPA into force.

There is a much more detailed explanation please read

That’s quite a Government-skeptical view but at least it details the processes involved.

Leave a comment


  1. That’s quite a Government-skeptical view but at least it details the processes involved.

    It isn’t government sceptical at all. It is an EXACT description of the process, pointing out the parts of the process that are optional for the Executive Council.

    I have no idea why you think it is government sceptical. Simple wishful thinking? Depending too much on the propagandist bullshit from people like Wayne Mapp?

    There is no requirement for the Executive Council (roughly the full members of Cabinet) to bring anything in front of parliament.

    There is a convention that treaties are put in front of the relevant select committee. It is not even a requirement.

    Apart from that, neither parliament nor even the governing coalition MPs out of the Executive Council have to be involved at all. Except for any enabling legislation required by the treaty that is usually done after the ratification of the treaty.

    Even if those bits of legislation are rejected by parliament, it makes absolutely no difference to the ratification of the treaty.

    You want to take a bet that this stupid government will want bypass this restraint of trade treaty completely around parliament? My guess is that they will ratify after a cursory run through select committee intending to completely ignore whatever that body says.

    Then they will bulldoze only the minimum required legislation required immediately (if any – remember many things require years to come into effect) through parliament. They will lean on their coalition colleagues and give them presents (ie bribes) to make that happen.

    Then the next government will have to repudiate or renegotiate this useless treaty to remove the restraint of politics and trade components, wearing whatever legal costs that Tim Groser’s ego has cost us.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  9th January 2016

      If Parliament doesn’t like it it can remove the Executive from power. Failing that, we can assume the Government has the votes necessary to support it. We can also assume the Government is less stupid than its vocal critics whom it will have defeated yet again.

      Your last paragraph is away with the fairies and its prediction will certainly not happen if the TPPA is widely ratified.

  2. ringdry

     /  9th January 2016

    It is rather ironic that lprent comments here with impunity, but the site host is not allowed to comment at the Standard

    • TheContrarian

       /  9th January 2016

      Prentice runs his own little fiefdom. Dare not speak ill of the grand overseer.

    • Yeh, I have decided that regardless of the facts, Loony Left will keep their ignorant fixed mind. I shan’t be giving them any more of my precious store of oxygen. Laughter at their position is a much better way to go!!

    • Kevin

       /  10th January 2016

      If I was PG I’d cut out all of Prentice’s reply leaving just the first one or two sentences and then write something about about Prentice being wrong about the Legislature being part of the Executive and how it’s all irrelevant to the topic. And for good measure I’d throw in a penis meme or two.

      Of course PG won’t because this is a reasonable centrist blog where people with differing opinions are allowed to post.

  3. I snuck over to that other site (WO) and despite me not giving the Left any more oxygen I note yesterday WO posted a full summary of what I said days ago, We can certainly claim to have said it first!! See “Is Andrew Little dumb or being set up?” on WO.


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