Trans-Pacific Partnership “may affect people’s health”

On climate change, health implications, and  ‘a fairer society’.

Newsroom has an article by two academics on Trade agreement may affect people’s health:

The new Trans Pacific Partnership agreement will have an undeniable influence on the future health of New Zealanders and needs the full attention of the nation’s health professionals.

The rebranded Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for TransPacific Partnership (CPTPP) pays lip service to broader social and environmental concerns, but privileges transnational and foreign investors over human and environmental health.

This article focuses on the CPTPP in the context of the global climate crisis and its potential impacts on health.

There is scientific consensus on the harmful effects of climate change on health – so much so that it is identified as the most serious threat to global public health this century. Direct impacts include death, illness and injury due to extreme weather events. Indirect impacts include shifting patterns of infectious disease, air pollution, freshwater contamination, impacts on the built environment from sea level rise, forced migration, economic collapse, conflict over scarce resources and increasing food insecurity. Mental health impacts are also significant, particularly within indigenous and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.

Fast forward to their final statement:

Such an assessment is particularly critical as climate change poses such clear risks to the health of New Zealanders, and the constraints on climate action conferred by the CPTPP (as presently formulated) would prevent important steps to protect our health and create a fairer society.

Fair enough to consider health implications, even if contentious.

But I view very subjective considerations like “create a fairer society” from academics with some suspicion.

This was from:

Associate Professor David Menkes is from the Department of Psychological Medicine and Dr Rhys Jones is from Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, both at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. The original, more extensive version of this article appeared in New Zealand Medical Journal on 9 March, co-authored by Wellington solicitor Oliver Hailes and two Christchurch-based doctors, clinical microbiologist Joshua Freeman and forensic psychiatrist Erik Monasterio.

Leave a comment


  1. adamsmith1922

     /  3rd April 2018

    This ‘report’ is academic anti-trade bias dressed up with ‘science’ so as to achieve fairness, i.e. making everyone worse off to pursue the ‘ideal’ world of ideologues living in a delusional fantasy. To them Venezuela is heaven on earth – virtually all are impoverished, but it is fair.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  3rd April 2018

      I can’t imagine many people regard Venezuela as an “ideal” world, the reality is that the elite will still be ok the middle class will be poor and the poor will be poorer. That is not my image of utopia.

      • David

         /  3rd April 2018

        “the reality is that the elite will still be ok the middle class will be poor and the poor will be poorer. ”

        Isn’t that the goal of the Socialist revolution?

        • High Flying Duck

           /  3rd April 2018

          David, the goal of the Socialist revolution is for EVERYONE to be poor, and therefore equal.
          Except for the leaders who will reluctantly take up the mantle of excess and high living in return for doling out the misery to all others in equal measure. Utopia indeed.

          • Blazer

             /  3rd April 2018

            and I suppose you will tell me then that the goal of Capitalism…is for EVERYONE to be….rich…therefore equal.They only have themselves to blame…after all.

  2. Corky

     /  3rd April 2018

    Maori…..University Of Auckland…..Academics…..Enough said.

  3. High Flying Duck

     /  3rd April 2018

    So a psychologist writing about economics based on climate science has come up with the original conclusion “[Add topic de jour] – Women and poor hardest hit”.


  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  3rd April 2018

    So far the impact of climate change has been improvements in agricultural productivity and fewer deaths from cold winters. No doubt Armageddon is just around the corner.

  5. alloytoo

     /  3rd April 2018

    Ignoring of course all the hard evidence that free trade and market economies are lifting more people out of poverty every day.

    Doomsayers and useless academics will be the worse hit.


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