TPPA poll

One News/Colmar Brunton included a TPP question in their latest poll, and it doesn’t support what some anti-TPPA activists have claimed about public opposition.

“Some say the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement gives too much power to overseas companies, because they can use the Investor State Disputes System to challenge the Government. Some argue this will restrict New Zealand’s sovereignty, which is our ability to make our own laws and govern ourselves.

Others say the agreement has very little impact on our sovereignty because other countries can’t write our laws, and because the agreement goes both ways, and also protects New Zealand companies when investing in overseas markets.

Which of these best describe your view on the TPPA?”

  • It may impact our sovereignty and I’m concerned about it 42%
  • It may impact our sovereignty but it’s not a big concern 22%
  • It won’t have much impact on our sovereignty 24%
  • Don’t know 12%

So reasonably evenly split but less than a majority think the sovereignty  is a concern and also less than a majority who aren’t concerned, with a sizeable ‘don’t know’.

And even those who have concerns about it may or may not oppose the TPPA.

The preferences are fairly party aligned, with the following percent more likely than average to believe the TPP will have an impact on our sovereignty:

  • Māori 82%
  • Labour Party supporters 62%
  • New Zealand First supporters 73%
  • Green Party supporters 67%

Source ONE News Colmar Brunton Poll 13 – 17 February 2016 (PDF)

Meanwhile last week the Upper Hutt City Council has adopted a TPPA Free Zone policy.

Upper Hutt City Council adopts a TPPA Free Zone policy as a precaution to the imposition of the Trans Pacific Partnership.1

The Upper Hutt City Council in a close vote at its 24 February Council meeting adopted an 8 point policy resolution in respect to the TPP.

2. Reviews the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) text against the TPP Policy Solution adopted by councils representing a majority (60%) of the NZ population.

“Representing a majority (60%) of the NZ population” in this context is meaningless and misleading.

3. Asks that Central Government initiates a full public and parliamentary debate before proceeding with formal consideration of the TPP, including any further binding treaty action.

4. Asks that Central Government carry out independent human rights, health and environmental impact assessments of the potential effects of the TPP on the people and the land of New Zealand, as urged by the United Nations independent expert Alfred de Zayas, and make this information publicly available.

5. Asks that Central Government consults with local government prior to any further  action taken that might compromise the ability of local government to make decisions in the interests of our region, the people and their environment.

So a city council is trying to tell central Government how they should be running the country. If I was an Upper Hutt ratepayer I’d be pissed off that the council wasted time on matters that aren’t their business, especially with no mandate from the voters to do so.

This is a waste of time stunt.

Leave a comment


  1. No one but Punters and shooters would care if we fenced Upper Hutt off and only let them out for good behaviour ; )

    But seriously Upper Hutt City Councillors think they no better than our professional Trade Negotiators at MFAT….. Okkkkkaaaayyyy

  2. @ PG – Spun like a web any spider would be proud of sir. You give new meaning to “positive reframing”! I fail to see how you equate, “It may impact our sovereignty and I’m concerned about it = 42%” with “It [the poll result] doesn’t support what some anti-TPPA activists have claimed about public opposition”? How extraordinary! Ever heard of a thing called a “significant minority”?

    I guess you can argue only “some” anti-TPPA activists have claimed a majority of the population are opposed to it, to which I will counter that only some of the people and organisations concerned about or questioning TPPA are activitsts; and only some of them are anti-TPPA (and even if they are they may not be anti-Trade).

    Neither “impact our sovereignty” nor “concerned about it” actually constitutes “anti”.

    “a city council is trying to tell central Government how they should be running the country”

    “They!? They!? How “they” should be running the country!? Oh yes, now we see the inherent unrepresentativeness of the system!” (Monty Python)

    This is unacceptable. A City Council usurping the role of the citizen-voter!

    • kittycatkin

       /  28th February 2016

      The people who say that it will have an effect on our sovereignty never seem to define what they mean by this.

      • Dougal

         /  28th February 2016


        That’s because there are no negative effects in the same way the China FTA negotiated by labour behind closed doors has no negative effects on sovereignty but that won’t stop those in Labour lying in a pathetic attempt to score political points. Fortunately most people in NZ see right through their shield of hypocrisy.

        • @ Kitty – read, “won’t stop many perfectly reasonable, intelligent, trade-oriented New Zealand citizens harbouring concerns”. ‘Concerns’, that is all. Not necessarily anti-TPPA. Almost certainly not anti-trade. Just many sensible Kiwis who can equally recognise a shield of hyprocrisy and a Sword of Absurdity.

      • @ Miss Kitty – I have speculated on this several times, possibly at some length (tehehe!)

        Here’s a quick, off-the-cuff example: Broadspectrum (formerly Transfield) are firmly entrenched in the infrastructure market now. They have the advantage of ‘establishment’. A Kiwi start-up company cannot compete (Infant Industry argument) and BS can seek ISDS arbitration if such a Kiwi company receives government funding or assistance. Kiwi companies are deterred, but BS’s size advantage also allows it the option to buy them up.

        Therefore, the only potential competitors to BS are other large, trans-national corporations who can leverage size advantage or other competitive edge. With all other costs already reduced to ‘rock bottom’ – eg, you can’t get a cheaper rubbish truck than a worn-out Jap import one – the competition will be based on BS’s and its competitors’ ability to a) reduce labour costs (shed staff) or possibly b) influence government policy to reduce minimum wages or c) influence government to allow temporary overseas labour to work in NZ at source country rates?

        Here’s Alan ….

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  28th February 2016

          I think your views are filtered through the Left’s blinkers that can only see Government as the creator of jobs. There has always been a problem with bureaucrats preferring to go with the biggest supplier as being the safest option for butt protection and that will never change, TPP or not. The solution to that problem is to privatise more and restrict government to regulation rather than operation.

          • @ Alan – Do you mind pointing out the words I used to describe government as “creator of jobs”? Was it “government funding or assistance”? Please note the word “if”?

            I guess one answer is to “hide” government subsidy, or what might be called “derivative” government funding, as one might consider the Contact Energy ‘Launchpad’ style social-enterprises advertised widely last summer. I’m being harsh but not entirely unrealistic I think? (Don’t get me wrong, I hope they succeed. I’m pretty sure one didn’t)

            The fact is, and it is a fact, you couldn’t start a company to do FNDC’s North Hokianga or Hokianga-wide rubbish contract because they’re only ever going to let the contract district-wide, regardless of what social or community outcomes might be garnered from a more local approach. If money is the only bottom line that’s what you get, the cheapest service (which precludes a private rubbish service in competition with FNDC)

            Oh, another outcome, rubbish bags scattered around public places all over the area.

            Privatising more is only going to increase BS’s advantage, surely?

            I don’t have answers, but stuff like this really does smack of “race to the bottom” to me.

            • The polls are out National remains top dog despite your heroic dildo thrower. Time to move on PZ.

            • It’s late in the day not to have woken up yet artcroft … We’re discussing a new TPPA poll, not the last general election or “politicians day”, the day before Waitangi Day.

              “It [TPPA] may impact our sovereignty and I’m concerned about it = 42%” That’s 42 out of every 100 people man! Not that far off 1 in every 2 people FFS.

              If 42% of people were concerned about raw sewage going into the bay where you grew up, would you be concerned? The experts say e-coli levels will only get 1 – 3% above normal healthy levels?

              Or doesn’t it matter because the concerned, not the anti, are not a majority?

            • artcroft

               /  28th February 2016

              The only poll that matter PZ is the GE, and on recent evidence the next GE belongs firmly to National, despite these minor TPPA protests.

            • You’re not artcroft at all, are you? You’re a recording of artcroft’s favourite sayings since 1984, which somehow get auto-updates to vaguely incorporate recent news items.

              National, many will agree, have made themselves almost entirely dependent on polls, which they are using to make instant John Key “change of face” policy. Red Peak?

              You thought the “injuns” were all happily confined to reservations where they could drink and gamble, right? And dag-nam-it Pa they’re back protesting again!!!

            • John Schmidt

               /  28th February 2016

              Or you could say 42 out of every 100 are not exactly sure why they oppose, relying on the extensive media coverage supporting those who oppose to form their opinion, and therefore are needlessly concerned at soverignity given the best anyone else can do to our soverignity is make submissions to a parliamentary committe like what Andrew Little did in Australia recently. NZ Law is determineded by NZ parlament before and after TPPA.
              Even if there appears to be unexpected consequences we can bail from the deal or alternatively those that oppose could become government and bail on principle and let NZ Zealand take the financial hit of being exposed to tariffs so what exactly is the big deal in opposing.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  28th February 2016

            It was your infrastructure example to illustrate your issue which is a sector so dominated by government procurement. Big corporates will always have the advantage there. Privatised means competition. In fact that’s exactly what we have in Russell. There is no FNDC-funded rubbish collection service, so there are various private companies doing it – from big ones to local single operators. The customers choose, and spread their custom around depending on their needs and values. Stop government involvement in business and the problem goes away.

            • Fair enough Alan. Checked on FNDC website. I didn’t know this. I still think the change in Kaitaia away from CBEC was a great shame.

        • Dougal

           /  28th February 2016

          Ramblings of non examples and what if’s…No actual data just speculation. Pretty lazy of you PZ if all you can muster is a childish two word put down in response to my comment below. By all means go ahead and beat away aimlessly on your keyboard and humour me with some hard evidence.

          • Dougal – I have written two comments with educated speculation based on my understanding of Govt Procurement + Finance & Investment provisions of TPPA. I’m no expert. You clearly aren’t either. Ramblings, lazy, childish, beat away … these are the tools of a superior debater.

            It’s up to you to refute me with speculation based on the TPPA as you understand it. One thing is certain, it will all be speculation.

            Mine are a good deal more “hard evidence” than yours and enough time wasted on you … The ball is actually in your court.

            • Rob

               /  28th February 2016

              That’s exactly it. Speculation is all they have. 15 years from now is a long time. They keep calling for ‘facts’ from the opposers and yet are unable to present ‘facts’ of their own. I put a list in last week naming 605 different corporations whose representatives all had input in the TPPA. Input? Greasing palms? Who knows, they won’t say.

  3. Dougal

     /  28th February 2016

    So based on the Feb 17th Colmar brunt poll a combined total of those who think it might impact on sovereignty would be approximately 33% with the remaining balance of 67% who think it won’t. If you remove the lies and misinformation put about by rent-a-mob and their mates in Labour the against number would be far less. What is heartening to see is that by far the majority of people are in general financially literate and commercially aware, a lot more than I can say about the remaining bludgers and layabouts.

    • Plop!! Flush!!!!

      • @ Dougal – That is to say, the usual invective about the usual suspects. You’ll hook a few dedicated followers of friction. Red wash, “mob” wash, derision, slur and incitement is no wash at all. Well, perhaps it is, perhaps it’s “White” wash? WASP wash? To your credit you managed it without using “Leftie” or “Socialist”.

        I’m happy to just deal with this poll, thanks. Bit surprised you didn’t toss in the last general election results and have a gloat about your upcoming 4th term?

        • Dougla

           /  28th February 2016

          I’m not in the habit of resorting to childish put downs or being derogitary to satisfy my own mood about those of a particular political persuasion. Those people do a good enough job on their own attracting negativity amongst the majority 😉

          • @ Dougla – You are metamorphizing! It was “Dougal”?

            “I’m not in the habit of resorting to childish put downs or being derogitary”

            But Dougal, that is exactly what you’ve done with “rent-a-mob”, “bludgers” and “layabouts” etc above …. Umm, hello … 😉

    • Oliver

       /  28th February 2016

      Tell that to upper hutt.

      • I left my heart in Orongomai Oliver, the area of Upper Hutt City Council who 3. Asks, 4. Asks & 5. Asks (top) only to be described by PG as “a city council trying to tell central Government how it should be running the country.”

        Like they say though, “You can only ask”?

  4. @ John Schmidt – “Or you could say 42 out of every 100 are not exactly sure why they oppose,” Fair enough I guess, you could say that. Then, “relying on the extensive media coverage supporting those who oppose to form their opinion, and therefore are needlessly concerned” and all the rest IMHO is either pure speculation or going over the same old ground.

    “What’s the problem”? Look, if you haven’t got it by now there’s really no point and I’m actually not saying you’re wrong or anything. I’m saying, you are not going to understand the concerns ever, so let’s just leave it. I understand the projected benefits AND I have some concerns. I have some concerns IN ADDITION to understanding the projected benefits. That is the difference between us. I do not want or expect TPPA not to be ratified. It might warrant some alteration, I’m not sure. Back to the Poll in question –

    – It may impact our sovereignty and I’m concerned about it 42%
    – It may impact our sovereignty but it’s not a big concern 22%
    – It won’t have much impact on our sovereignty 24%
    – Don’t know 12%

    This is fascinating language isn’t it? Hardly the language of professional polling and certainly not scientific insomuch as polling can be scientific. This is f&#king slack-arse polling language! Who threw this crap together?

    So, by your own reasoning John, 22 in 100 people may not be exactly sure why it may impact sovereignty and for them it either is or might be a concern but not a big one? The implication is it is a concern, right? Same applies if, by an awfully long stretch, they can be said to support TPPA.

    24 in 100 people may not be sure exactly why it won’t have much impact on sovereignty, but perhaps still some impact implied by the word “much”? And 12 in 100 don’t know. As above re “support”. I don’t see “support” anywhere?

    In other words, if “impact on sovereignty” and “concern” constitutes “opposition” – this is Sword of Absurdity stuff I hope you realise – no-one polled here definitely, absolutely, unequivocally supports TPPA?

    Even if the poll DID SAY 58% supported TPPA and 42% didn’t – which it ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT SAY – is there one single reason, based on that result (or any of these other results) to think that people who support it (of which there are technically none) are any more sure or better informed as to why, than people who oppose?

    There is an absolute factual answer this time and the answer is “no”.

    You’re going to assume I’m arguing against TPPA, aren’t you?

    • Edit, I do not “necessarily” want TPPA not to be ratified …
      I haven’t finally decided on that yet for myself.
      I have a book to read called “The Fire Economy” first …


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