Media release: Professor Jane Kelsey
Friday 5 October, 2012
“When cheerleaders commission a survey to support their pet project you can
pretty-well guarantee the questions will be skewed to produce a favourable result.
But the survey commissioned by the NZ-US Council to show that Kiwi’s support the
proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement takes the cake”, says University of
Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, a critic of the agreement.
“According to the survey 57% of New Zealanders support the proposed TPP, yet 51%
of them have never heard of the TPP!”
The methodology of the survey is so laughable it does not even warrant a serious
“The Council should be shamefaced about trying to present the results as indicating
anything of value. A first year student who presented this as a piece of academic
work would fail with an E.”
Professor Kelsey says the survey has “an air of desperation”.
New Zealand will host the next round of TPPA talks in Auckland from 3 to 12
December and its champions are on the back foot.
“Many Kiwis are affronted simply by the secrecy that engulfs the TPP negotiations
and prevents them knowing what is being done in their name”, said Professor
“Others are aware from leaked documents and informed speculation that US-led
demands would have a huge negative impact on a wide raft of policies that affect
New Zealanders’ daily lives.”
“These impacts include affordable medicines, Internet access, parallel imports, and
the government’s ability to re-regulate areas like mining, leaky buildings or the
“Then there is the right of foreign investors to sue the government directly in the
offshore tribunals. Philip Morris and British American Tobacco have put the spotlight
on that effect all on their own”.
Professor Kelsey observes that “what New Zealanders really need to assess the true
implications of the proposed TPP is the release of the draft text and background
documentation, open and informed public debate, and parliamentary hearings,
which the government has vetoed.”
“If the NZ-US Council asked New Zealanders whether they supported those
fundamentals of democratic government, its survey might have claimed some
credibility. But then, of course, it wouldn’t have provided the results they wanted.”
The NZ-US Council survey results are available here