TPPA rebrand betrays the national interest and our progressive values – Oliver Hailes

‘It’s Our Future continues to oppose the ironic rebrand of the Trans-Pacific Partnership,’ says Oliver
Hailes, spokesperson for New Zealand’s network of opponents to the economic treaty, which was
released to the public yesterday.
‘The final text and the National Interest Analysis (NIA) simply affirm our longstanding position that
New Zealand is going to give up important aspects of its sovereignty for a trifling increase in GDP —
between 0.3 and 1.0 per cent by 2038, according to the NIA.’
‘Anyhow, the new Government can hardly hang its hat on GDP alone when its Ministers have
declared so many times that they now measure New Zealand’s prosperity with more progressive
Mr Hailes takes issue with the NIA claim the treaty deserves its new label as “comprehensive” and
“progressive”. The commitments to labour and environmental standards were already included in the
last version and are very weak when compared to the investment chapter and Investor-State Dispute
Settlement (ISDS) mechanism.
‘Foreign investors can still sue us for billions if we significantly erode their profits by regulating in the
interests of workers, public health and the environment, despite the government’s claims that such
measures can‘t be challenged.’
‘Nowhere in the 6,000 pages of text does it mention the words “climate change”. Not even once.’
‘What makes us even more indignant’, says Mr Hailes, ‘is that the governing parties promised they
would not ratify this treaty when they were in opposition. And now they’re leading the charge.’
He points out that the text released yesterday is exactly the same as the one that Labour and New
Zealand First MPs marched against, except for the 22 suspensions which can be revived. It contains
the core provisions that were predicted to restrict the ability of Parliament to make laws in the
interests of all New Zealanders.
‘The Greens continue to oppose the treaty, but they’ve been pretty quiet. And no one in Parliament
seems to be giving voice to Māori concerns raised in the Waitangi Tribunal.’
‘That’s why we’re pushing ahead with our petition to reform the process for negotiating trade and
investment deals. We’ll oppose the signing and we’ll demand answers during the parliamentary
‘We’re adamant this treaty contains all the wrong rules for New Zealand’s future. The world
economy’s moving from Big Oil to Big Data. This agreement threatens to place a frightening price tag
on pursuing the policies we need to get out of last century’s fossil-fuelled economy.’
‘At the same time, it prevents public oversight of this century’s data-driven economy by empowering
the multinational corporations who hoard intellectual property, control the global tech infrastructure
and avoid paying their fair share of tax. All at the expense of voters, workers, consumers, taxpayers,
patients and their environment.’
‘It’s even more tragic when these are exactly the people who the Government promised to serve.
The TPPA rebrand betrays the national interest and our progressive values.’