October 13, 2015
Little ready to buck TPP rules
Labour Party leader Andrew Little says a future Labour-led government may have to breach to Trans Pacific Partnership to protect New Zealand’s interests.
Mr Little told Radio Waatea’s Paakiwaaha programme that despite big talk from Trade Minister Tim Groser, our negotiators had failed to crack the walls of protection around the dairy industries in the United States, Canada and Japan, the three biggest markets covered by the 12-country pact.
He says reduction of removal of other tariffs won’t make up what has been lost in dairy, and the benefit to New Zealand’s $7 billion manufacturing sector is just $10 million.
Mr Little says there are no significant benefits but a lot of new obligations and restrictions on the New Zealand Government’s ability to make laws and regulations.
"We don’t get to vote on this, the Government has signed us up to it, that’s what we are stuck with, and when we are in Government we then have to look at what we do in response and there will be some things we will do which will be in breach of TPP, but we have to do them because it is in New Zealand’s best interest to do so," he says.
Andrew Little says if the purpose of the TPP was to give the United States more influence in the Asia Pacific region, it has backfired because New Zealand will now have to put is effort into increasing dairy exports into non-TPP markets like Indonesia and India.
Meanwhile, the High Court has upheld a claim by Auckland University law Professor Jane Kelsey and Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Inc that the government’s blanket refusal to release documents about the Trans Pacific Partnership was unlawful.
Justice David Collins says when Trade Minister Tim Groser refused Professor Kelsey’s request, neither he nor his officials assessed each piece of information requested against the criteria in the Act for withholding official information.
He ordered the minister to reconsider six of the categories of documents requested, and spelt out how that should be done.
The decision by the former Solicitor General is a blow not just to the credibility of the government but also to the Ombudsman, who refused to uphold Professor Kelsey’s challenge to Minister Groser’s action.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW LITTLE AND WILLIE JACKSON CLICK ON THE LINK
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