The following post is my paper to the NZ Parliament Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade select committee in respect to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) treaty examination.
The close off for public input was 18 April 2018. Many associates also placed evidence with the committee. The committee will hold hearings on CPTPP in the coming weeks.
I intend to present in person. I'll add whatever I say on that occasion in a subsequent post.
Wednesday 18 April 2018
To: Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Select Committee
Subject: FADT CPTPP treaty examination: How to achieve a progressive and inclusive trade agreement with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
Greetings FADT members,
Thank you for the opportunity to present evidence on the merits of Comprehensive and Progressive agreement on Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The alteration to the logo occurred in the closing moves to bring a politically acceptable agreement to the people of Canada by Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau.
The branding appealed to the just installed Prime Minister of New Zealand and her new Minister For Trade and Export Growth.
Does the reality of the agreement match the promotion and proseletysing of the remarkably reformed TPP is one matter to be despatched.
The former Trade Negotiations Minister Hon Todd McClay one of the members of this select committee congratulated the New Zealand Government upon closing the deal, informing all that there were little difference between TPP and CPTPP.
I agree with the Honourable member's informed opinion. The implication being the name change is merely lipstick - so is the lipstick applied to a pig or a thoroughbred?
Is the TPP/CPTPP trained to survive the track of foreseeable history? Is it bred for purpose?
I attempt an answer herein and trust you take the time to read and attempt to consider my perspective and interest in securing a future that ensures the wellbeing of all.
Given the foregoing and after consideration of the following equation CPTPP more or less equals TPP.
TPP = CPTPP – 22 suspended provisions (US to rejoin the TPP/CPTPP = 22 provisions plus or minus what?)
Accordingly I provide evidence already placed before the FADT committee in relation to the TPP - the linked material is available on the Parliamentary website screen capture image here:
For evidence in respect to the TPP legislation I wrote two papers August 2016.
I wrote the New Zealand Governor General Sir Jerry Matapare (copy to Dame Patsy Reddy) late June 2016 in respect to the merits of TPP. The correspondence places the TPP in a context that requires your consideration where this committee is serious about securing the future for all.
NZ's partners in alliance and trade do not necessarily share NZ's commitment to the UN process, rule of law and the foundations of good practice and due diligence before firing missiles.
In my April 2016 evidence to the TPP treaty examination I provided a paper entitled, “United States (US) vs Aotearoa NZ Values - Do These Correlate?” It establishes that the United States does not share New Zealand's publicly expressed values. Extrapolating we find that the UK and many European states notably UK France (US-NATO) over the bombing of Syria, and earlier the UK US France NATO inflicted 2011 carnage in Libya hold values that New Zealanders find horrid.
Given recent statements from the progressive NZ Government on the 4 March Skripal and 7 April Douma Syria incidents it appears to be as guilty as any party in rushing to judgement and making public statements about guilt without a shred of evidence.
I use Syria for its current and controversial value - many in the public space are able to collect evidence on the facts of matters well before the political leaders gain a clue as to what is at work in the world – some citizen journalists have ex government careers in diplomacy and intelligence.
Contemporary government statements and mainstream news reporting fails to provide historical context which is necessary for any endeavour to appreciate how this came from that.
We the people suffer as we exist in a den of vipers – the United Kingdom, NZ's mother country and her problem contending with her own deep state and its tendency to hurl dead cats onto the dining room table to advance nefarious agendas and hide the troubles at home demonstrates the problem of relying on foreign and five eyes intelligence sources. Is there a secret society that runs the Western Intelligence services? Why are the people the stakeholders of the state the last to find out about a secret cabal's notion of the greater good?
“An astonishing number of people have told him things that I, as Prime Minister in charge of the intelligence services, was never told…. It is an outrage that I and other ministers were told so little.”
- David Lange, Prime Minister of New Zealand 1984-1989ref Nicky Hager: Secret Power 1996
It is increasingly evident that the people of the democracy need access to official information on all government endeavours to root out corrupt ideological positions. Who is it that government protects by the secrecy? How is any conflict between public interest and sectional interest mediated fairly without public involvement. Governments of all colours are prone to over-reach and corrupt practice.
Government cannot be trusted with secret negotiation and discussions as inconvenient facts are dismissed with ideology and corrupt interest holding sway. TPP and CPTPP were negotiated in secrecy – thus they are tarred with the same brush.
The use of the current OIA 1982 legislation to protect unlawful behaviour is anathema to human rights protections and the UN Charter.
NZ Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand 4 July 2009 speech to Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law Conference makes a number of salient points. Below is a screen capture from the Sir Satyanand's speech of his reference of a quote from NZ Prime Minister Peter Fraser's address to the 1945 San Fransisco Conference which helped establish the international world order in the aftermath of World War 2 – the development of the UN Charter. Former Prime Minister Helen Clark references PM Peter Fraser's work in her August 2010 speech, “The UN and New Zealand – Peter Fraser’s Legacy” as new head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP)
Does New Zealand support the values of the UN Charter? Actions speak louder than words.
In addition to offering dry evidence I have been active in the democracy assisting a number of initiatives whose main object is to grow awareness about the TPP implications. One exercise was to promote a discussion in New Zealand's regions where the TPP was offered as a matter for engagement for local government on behalf of their communities. An outcome from that was the adoption of the TPP policy solution by 12 Councils who in their territories represent 60% of the New Zealand population. A substantial mandate for the principles contained.
TPP is about New Zealand and its relation to the world. As such it is about provisioning the future.
What assessments has New Zealand made about the future and our place in it?
I note the “Trade for All” theme offered on the MFAT website and note the thrust toward 'including civil society interests' in the considerations.
I suggest that society and its improvement must be the ground of any policy project for the government of this nation. What other purpose does government have?
I've researched the matter and find, that ethical values are important to the people of our nation.
Who doesn't agree? Anyone?
The Government's initiative to consult on Trade policy is moot and ephemeral as the commencement date of the consultation is kicked down the road. Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker stating in respect to the New Progressive and Inclusive Trade Agenda (NPITA), “Consultations on the progressive Trade for All agenda will start in the coming months.”
In the meantime the CPTPP and more are advanced without the benefit of the NZ universal NPITA discourse – I fear the TPP/MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investment) agenda will colour the discussion and the ambition of any democratising and civilising NPITA outcome. Green MP Golriz Ghahraman makes the point eloquently in her contribution to the 28 February 2018 CPTPP debate. That debate arose account public pressure to democratise treaty making – the Standing Orders committee recommended minimal alteration to Parliament's Standing Orders on International Treaties.
I've launched a new initiative at NZ's 78 councils and their Long Term Plans. It will dovetail with NPITA providing the regions with an incentive to enliven the discourse about treaty making and how it fits with the purposes of the nation state. The email was sent to councils just before Easter on 27 and 28 March.
The proposal requests Councils consider 4 initiatives in current LTP;
trade and investment treaty making
- Constituency Wellbeing
The four recommendations have gained traction as the Labour NZ First coalition Government has picked up our third recommendation - adopting Paul Eagle's members bill as a Government Bill the "Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill" on 5 April with it's First Reading Wednesday 11 April – It's now before the select committee for consideration who report 11 October. One recommendation down and three to go.
- Democratic Governance
The paper to local government is generic and applies in respect to any trade and investment partnership New Zealand might negotiate; CPTPP, Pacific Alliance, RCEP, China NZ FTA renegotiation, EU, UK, Russian customs union etc.
Human and ecological rights provisions are of a higher order of law than mere property rights.
I assert this is the Law. Do you agree?
This point is of critical importance where any trade and investment treaty is to be considered comprehensive and progressive otherwise what do the words mean? Progressive can mean movement toward any object – what is the progressive CPTPP objective that is being hi-lighted?
When will the people be able to impact NZ's trade and investment treaty agenda – only in a few months when the Government has moved on the many trade negotiations already in train?
What effect will NPITA have where the un-progressive trains have all left the station on the wrong track?
My work is focused on, “looking forward to ensure any outcome promotes the wellbeing of all.”
First recommendation for local government to accept are the 23 principles offered by Alfred de Zayas on International Order.
These principles have international law and the UN Charter as their ground. They identify the priorities for any lawful consideration where the interests of the community or the environment are threatened adversely by property interests. That is the standing in the International Law – I do not see why NZ ought overturn the status quo in its commercial trade negotiations where the agreements are framed as progressive. Progress to what – the roll back of international law?
- Trade and Investment Treaty Making
As a line in the sand, I offer Recommendation #2 the www.dontdoit.nz petition for its value in proposing a new standard for trade and investment treaty negotiation. I sense that it dovetails nicely with the NZ Government's NPITA principles.
FADT Recommendation A
that the Parliament/Government instruct MFAT to expedite public consideration of the NPITA package and bring the resultant publicly agreed content to the CPTPP partners for discussion and agreement before any new entrants are considered.
FADT Recommendation B
that the NPITA standard be applied as New Zealand's negotiating position in respect to the entry of another nation as partner or any review of the CPTPP.
FADT Recommendation C
that the Parliament/Government promote the publicly agreed NPITA model in all treaty negotiations.
E Commerce and data security
The intersection of Intelligence and Security organisations with the Western Powers Deep State is of profound interest to the democracy.
Revelations highlight the ruthless who gained our trust with false promises and would use any means to disrupt the ordinary functioning of democratic process for profit or nefarious purpose. Notwithstanding those who act creatively whether Cambridge Analytica, the London Train and Bali Bombing perpetrators or the creative genius that opened the millenium with the largest false flag production in history. The Global War on Terror (GWOT) has been a $7trillion bonanza for militarism, intelligence and security.
The Cambridge Analytica election hack is merely a symptom of the decadent nature of the modern state and it's deep influencers.
The hack, false flag, or coup is enabled by media non-investigation and government secrecy until the coup has effect. It is only after the resultant coup that investigative journalism pieces make it into the mainstream media. The delay in making comment is shared by the academy who appear reticent to tread on sacred cows or utter inconvenient truths. Some in the academy actively dismiss inconvenient evidence.
The evidence paper to local government touches on the Cambridge Analytica election hack to make the point about E-Commerce and the UK Skripal poisoning in order to make points about the need for transparency in all areas of government activity.
The paper to local government also makes the connection between closed systems allowing corruption to flourish.
In closed systems privileged information (protected against Official Information Act OIA 1982 disclosure) appears to favour the interests of the war party.
Over the past few years I have asked a series of questions about international relations and foreign policy decisions of the NZ Government. Rarely have I received a straight answer.
Where offered retraction and apology after false accusation can never undo the damage caused by false statement. Image of my OIA questions of 19 March 2018 re Skripal
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet provided their considered response to my Skripal questions Wednesday 18 April which provides no answer to any of the questions.
It becomes clear that credible intelligence is not shared by Government with the people. One gains more through discriminating research through available public information.
This confirms that government can utter false accusations with impunity and there's little recourse available to fact-check through official information requests and searches where one wishes for timely turnaround to avoid escalating aggression.
I am working on a paper which will contribute my thoughts 'on the intersection of trade foreign relations, international affairs, law, and the tendency to wage war.' I will provide it to the FADT committee asap.
I encourage a relaxation of Intellectual Property rights to allow for a innovative economy.
A return to the standard embodied in the Statute of Anne is appropriate.
Geopolitics: trade and the war party – transparency required if we are to build trust and create peace
New Zealand's economy is small and has traditionally relied on its nimble fleetness of foot to navigate the vagaries of international affairs commerce and geopolitics.
Recall the historic lesson and consider a decadent US challenged by a professional and business like China. The tussle for top dog.
The need across the global chess board is to achieve a new balance - the issue for NZ is "what is the ethical underpinning to any new order?"
The war party are organised and thrive in the elitist capitalist system, a system NZ appear to be entrenching in TPP/CPTPP etc.
The local government paper is a fair bit to chew on, and some councils might say it is outside their remit - a few did in 2014 when we launched the TPP policy solution most did not. It is well within the Overton Window of the FADT committee given you deal with intelligence.
New Zealand's Councillors rely on the lies offered by the Western mainstream media where they are not able or motivated to research and fact check for their own critical thinking. A big task these days.
Imagine an active NZ Government fact based resource updating the nation with accurate reports on global events.
It would have a remarkable effect on the tone of NZ political discourse, and would have a staggering effect on the global narrative.
An end to fake news and false flags?
- Sustainable Economics
I urge the committee to find time to read and consider Kate Raworth's “Doughnut Economics” as a framework for thinking about economics in the 21st century given that the challenges we face this century are global in scale whilst local and regional in solution. We need a different mindset from the economics of the past if we are to viably approach these challenges and prosper.
There are more ideas in the public space with New Zealand considering the future of work, taxes and more thoughts on financing government. It is time to loosen the shackles the money cabal imposes on an otherwise sovereign government to do as it ought.
Two papers on matters that relate:
Additional concern about entrenching neoliberalism with CPTPP, Pacific Alliance and more FTAs arising from two (2) NZ Government consultations. There are more as every matter is connected.
I offered the NZ Government 2 additional papers which have overlap with CPTPP and the trade and investment agreement agenda;
1. On government's Climate Change priorities for the next UNFCCC round:
Which discusses the enforceability of climate action and public policy. There's plenty who know what we need to do. What is clearly missing is uncompromising political will to make it happen!
Government ability to regulate for effective climate action is undermined by trade and investment treaties with ISDS property rights protection for foreign investors.
Critical to good policy and it's implementation is the the legislative freedom to make laws that are unable to be challenged by interests keen on maintaining business as usual.
I further discuss the notion of climate clubs and recommend we include these in all negotiations whether commenced or concieved. I hear that the matter was raised by the New Zealand negotiators at a point in the TPP discussions however it was rejected by the US negotiators - so no real commitment to Climate Action looks likely from NZ's political ally the US.
I recommend that the concept of Climate Clubs be included in all FTA negotiations and the NPITA consideration.
2. On the Child Poverty Reduction Bill - dropbox file:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dhn133mq5y62mmp/Gregs%20paper%20-%20evidence%20in%20regard%20to%20Child%20Poverty%20Reduction%20Bill.pdf?dl=0 where I offer;
I focus on the connection between child poverty and government's public policy settings. There's plenty who know what we need to do to ensure the wellbeing of children – they've been ignored for decades.
What has clearly been missing is uncompromising political will to make it happen - that is introduce distributive settings which ensure the consequent wellbeing of all NZ inhabitants including children!
Every event and policy or regulatory setting that affects the community, affects the child located within it. The reality of an increasingly disrupted future from natural and synthetic causes will impact children. What is certain is that children rely on their parents and carers to navigate the future on their behalf. The broader community and the Government have a role in providing a nurturing environment.
I recommend the Alfred de Zayas 23 Principles for an equitable order, and the www.dontdoit.nz petition for the process toward progressive and fair trade.
I intend to appear to present to the FADT committee hearing evidence on “the merits of the CPTPP for the New Zealand commonwealth.”