Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The TPPA Deal Is Done: Reflections On The Struggles To Come.

NEW ZEALANDERS are heading into a great storm of change. Much that is precious to us will pass away. As Pakeha we have grown accustomed to being the colonisers rather than the colonised. Loss of power will be a new experience for us. As the second great wave of colonisation washes over us, our best chance of survival will be to reach out our hands to the tangata whenua - whose feet are sunk deepest in the earth of Aotearoa. In the storm of change that is coming, the strength which that position gives to Maori will make them the only solid point around which everything else twists and turns. If we, as Pakeha, do not reach out and grasp that strength, the fury of the storm will blow us far away.
This posting is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blogsite.


Anonymous said...

Chris , your article is a over the top, if the TPPA does not work for us we can walk away!. "The struggles to come" could well be and I suspect will be "the benefits of our future by the TPPA".

bob said...

You are so wrong. NZ depends on trade. You are only looking at this with (at best) one eye. Sure, your mates all all blind, but that doesn't mean you see things properly.

Charles E said...

The majority of Maori are Pakeha mostly and modern, liberal, democratic and progressive peoples who want to be part of the greater world not hide away from it living on myth.
Our only true defence against monsters like the US & China is the rule of law and TPPA is part of that. I'm in favour of the world becoming more and more one place, ruled by law and so clearly are the wise & experienced, like Clark..
Obviously its opponents choose the rule of man instead and that means ugly provincialism & nationalism.

Jigsaw said...

Amazing that you still see people as either pakeha or Maori when most Maori are more pakeha than Maori and most pakeha have a lot of Maori mindset anyway. The racial mix has blurred long ago and only exists where there is a $ advantage.

Wayne Mapp said...

Seriously Chris,

A great storm that will blow us away?

It is a trade and investment deal, not World War III.

If what you say was true we would have been heavily buffeted by WTO 1994. But life went on, pretty much as usual. In fact it might have helped us out of the long recession of 1987 to 1993.

I think you have spent too much time in the company of anti-TPP activists and absorbed their apocalyptic tales of woe.

By the way you are a bit harsh on Helen Clark. Since she was an original instigator of TPP, it was perfectly reasonable for her to back it, even if that meant whipping Labour into line. In fact maybe some of her former Labour colleagues asked her to do.

Neil Miller said...

Charles E. The majority of Maori are Pakeha is a contradiction in terms.

Ugly provincialism and nationalism, or a sense of identity, history and community before the tedious homogenisation of international corporate culture

Anonymous said...

We had the same hysterical outpourings when the FTA was signed with china and that has been the one big reason why we rode out the GFC without the economic issues which australia and many european countries are grappling with.

Being part of a trade deal with 40% of the world economy is great. For now the far left will howl in lamentation, no one will listen, we never do, life will go on and the TPP will be forgotten by the media and the 95% of reasonable non hysterical kiwi's.

There will be no catastrophe, only deepening and straightening economic ties and rising prosperity and less reliance on the chinese economy.

Chriss you will need to find another cause to commit to, some other victims to represent, something to fill your life with purpose and meaning, Martyn and Jane will help you in your search, the TPP is done and dusted, time to move on the rest of us are doing ok and we dont need saving from the evil TPP and its cruel neoliberal creators.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"when most Maori are more pakeha than Maori" No they're not. My bald assertion trumped your bald assertion.

A O said...

The problem with the TPP is that I don't think its bad enough to wake the so-called middle from their stupor. I do know though that when people talk about this deal in actual "trade" terms then they really know stuff all about this rort.

Sideshow Bob said...

Goodness me Chris I think you need to take a holiday. I can't believe you wrote this piece. We are a small country who sells things to the rest of the world and if not them - who? NZ is no longer just a farm for the British ruled by the owners of England's butchery chains. We have worked very hard to open doors to the rest of the world and succeeded.
Helen Clark was honest in her appraisal of what is best for the country and enhanced her stature by not playing politics. Andrew Little is continually diminishing his stature by opposing everything the Government proposes even when he would have been for should it have come from the labour Party.

Patricia said...

I agree Chris. Every time I hear of a Maori tribe buying land I think "thank god for those Maori tribes. They the only ones who could possibly save New Zealand". Unfortunately there are not enough of them. The Pakeha is so besotted with the idea of getting more and more money they are not willing to even look at where we are heading. We will give up everything just for money. Even our sovereignty and our democracy.

Anonymous said...

Cheer up mate it may never happen!!

greywarbler said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you Chris. Your other comments come from people who have built barriers to a clear untarnished view of the past, the present and effects on our likely future. This is a time for serious thinking above petty meanness of mind and prejudice. I have approached this in a deep and serious manner because it is a milestone for us and I don't want it to lead on to our tombstone.

Where is the strength in NZ and the endurance and a desire to hold onto the good of the past as we face the future? To draw in the people to build a fabric for a kete big enough for all NZs who want to live co-operatively and kindly. Maori have endured, have had inspired leaders who gathered the knowledge, and the skills to meet the future, and build on the past rather than having it swept away by the unconscious barbarism of colonial hordes. (1,000 pakeha c.1840 to 500,000 40 years later).

I suggest that this TPPA is the nail in the coffin that Douglas et al and the Treasury constructed to demolish our status as a small independent country forging its way in the world having to be more independent and think harder after Britain joined the European Common Market. We had been making progress in a disputatious way with many setbacks but also honourable advances with clever enterprise, intellectual gifts and determined entrepreneurship leading to a real spirit of nationhood, though confused as to direction. While confused citizens argued, sleek, well-educated nouveau riche found it timely to introduce an apparent panacea. The snake oil merchants hurriedly nailed in place the billboards announcing the new procedures of the free market and neo liberal economics.

I think that one of the poetic verities from the Bible is fitting.: Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

We so need to revise how we think and do, so we can survive the power of the money-mad, technology-mad. And we need to think about what we mean to each other. The Greeks have four words for different sorts of love, and bring nuances to each one that make them worth studying.
Eros, Phila, Agape, and Storge.

Bushbaptist said...

Gordon Campbell puts it succinctly: "To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome. Since the total information blackout on the TPP has been imposed mainly for the government’s political convenience, the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin."

That is what I have been saying all along, why the secrecy?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Well, something in its favour is that we have for years opened up our markets without any reciprocal actions from many other countries. Perhaps now we might get some. Though I suspect farmers are shit out of luck.
But agreeing to let businesses sue governments and be compensated for laws that cut their profits is a direct diminution of our sovereignty, and someone should be held responsible for it.

Geoff said...

Chris, increase the Lithium Carbonate please !

mark said...

But enough about the Muslim "refugees" - how about that TPP eh?

Anonymous said...

Gee Chris your getting a beating on bowalley road, so different from the firebrands over at the daily blog. I guess this is evidence you need to break out of your social silo, mix and mingle with those from the center left through to the right - ie the other 95% and you will be less inclined to get flamed out.

Wayne and co are correct, we are not facing world war 3, the holocaust or economic apocalypse, just better access for our exports and some inconveniences for patents and medicines, no one outside of the daily blog firebrands will notice or care.

Helen is of course correct, we are a small trade based nation whose primary exports are sinfully shutout by our so called friends, with they're powerful agricultural lobbies, the TPP while not ideal is not bad for bit players like little old NZ.

Lets rejoice its passing, its a great day for Aotearoa.

Chris Trotter said...

It's hard to "take a beating" from people too frightened to use their own names, "Anonymous".

The TPP is not about free trade, it is about the forcing open of the markets of the weaker Pacific economies by the investors of the stronger.

That so many commenting here cannot see or understand that bears testimony to the Right's ideological conditioning.

Personally, I feel only pity for their ignorance.

Bushbaptist said...

@ Chris 16.13; Yes you are right, it's about the stronger economies taking over the weaker ones.

Richard Christie said...

I've often hoped that the tangata whenua would put the brakes on the neolib agenda in matters such as privatisation and asset sales, but every time I've been disappointed, as their representatives abandoned principle and followed the money.

I share your dismay, Chris, but have little faith in the solution presented in your post.

David Stone said...

Hi Chris
A great deal of wise pronouncement here from both the for and the against sides of this issue without anyone knowing diddly squat about what's in the thing.
In equivalent ignorance I offer my own assessment, ... Most people assume that such a deal will be good for one country and bad for another . Some will claim it's good for all ; My expectation is that it will be good for multinationals and their shareholders in all countries but mostly in the U S and bad for everyone else.

Cheers David J S

Guerilla Surgeon said...

It seems I underestimated the determination, particularly of Obama to arrive at a deal. I honestly never thought they'd come to an agreement. Albeit one with a lot of caveats around dairy – how that will go down on the farm I don't know. But it still has to get through Congress, and a lot of Americans are against it. So we'll see. Personally I can't wait for the first time that some huge multinational sues the government for hundreds of millions of dollars for laws that they have passed in good faith and with the consent of the New Zealand people. It's already happened to Canada under the NAFTA agreement. Now TTAT might actually shake people out of their lethargy and/or make them take off the rose tinted spectacles.

Tiger Mountain said...

many commenters here seem to be armchair types, and a few bored mid managers perhaps, members of the “Key Love” club one and all

as a veteran of many a strike, picket, march, occupation and other political campaigns; the most successful and the most enduring in the memory are those involving a unity in action of Māori, Pākehā and latterly some of the more class conscious newer arrivals

part of the political problem for the left in NZ is the second “swamping” (the first in the 1860s) being experienced now by the settler and WWII refugee descendants along with the increased co-option of people into the ranks of the aspirational middle classes

Charles E said...

The opponents of the TPPA have a champion: No not Kelsey or Chris but ... wait for it: TRUMP!
And you can have him.

For those who think big biz is the winner, and of course that is partly true, and a good thing if we too prosper ... the answer for you who think that is a clear fact, is to buy shares in the corporations who will profit. Put your money where you say your belief is.
Oh and by the way, do you antis want your Kiwisavers to grow? Yes? Then support the TPPA coz your money is invested in big bad corporates.

Unknown said...

NEW ZEALANDERS are heading into a great storm of change. Much that is precious to us will pass away.
Down in the drivers room at Milford Sound Chinese drivers outnumber Kiwis. You have a big advantage if you were born in the country the tourists are coming from. That was a labour party initiative.

jh said...

I suggest that this TPPA is the nail in the coffin that Douglas et al and the Treasury constructed to demolish our status as a small independent country forging its way in the world having to be more independent and think harder after Britain joined the European Common Market.
In the public lexicon racism became defined as any idea which sees foreigners as a threat. Thanks to the likes of professor spoonley. The neolibs from the property sector embraced the idea boots and all while progressives only saw diversity everywhere. No ones life is hard when foreign labour joins the workforce or foreign money buys the houses (in fact Brian Gould would argue that such ideas are fallacy - from his lifestyle block).

Jigsaw said...

GS - the TPP shows how wrong you can be.....again! And here we are so often told by you that you are always correct. You and so many others are sucked in by the racial politics that mean that a group like Ngai Tahu paying no tax can 'compete' in the marketplace with companies that have to pay their fair share of tax. No, I know that they are not into percentages of how much Maori they are-how convenient. No trickle down effect from the tribal millions you will notice. Important I know to preserve the racial illusion but a shame that you are being used by them.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Er... Who's telling you that I'm always correct jigsaw? Certainly not me. Give me one example where I've said I'm always correct. Jesus wept, this is why you have so little credibility. You make the statements that simply aren't true – just so much bullshit. I've never said that I'm always correct, though I'm usually more correct than you, and I tend to admit it when I'm wrong – unlike you who has no regard for actual evidence.
And if Ngai Tahu pays no tax, it's doing no more than any other company would do if it could to avoid paying taxes. It probably pays more taxes here than Amazon or Google. Honestly, when Maori learn from you people and do exactly the same as you people you get all upset. They're only following in your footsteps after all. Not only that, but you guys often get the tax thing completely or partially wrong. This correction from stuff.co.nz

"Correction: Last Saturday we published an article which stated that, due to its charitable status, Tainui Group Holdings Limited (TGH) had paid no tax on profits of $179m over the last five years. Unfortunately, our analysis of TGH's financial statements overlooked the fact that most of the $179m "profit" represented asset revaluations, which are treated as a net surplus in accounting terms, but are not taxable as profit. Dividends paid by TGH to its sole shareholder, Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust (WRLT), are paid out of operating profit. WRLT has in fact distributed about $27m for charitable purposes over the last five years, not $20m as stated in our article. If TGH had not had charitable status over the last five years and paid tax at standard rates it would have paid approximately $5.5m in tax, not "tens of millions" as suggested in our article. During the past five years, TGH has paid millions of dollars in GST on its various developments and projects. The errors are regretted. "

Bushbaptist said...

@ Charles E: Again you show the indifference you have for ordinary people. You arrogantly assume that everyone has disposable income to invest in said companies. It makes your comment irrelevant.

@ Jigsaw: Name one large company that pays it's share of tax? It makes no difference whether they are a Tribal company or a private one. How many big companies 'trickle down' pay to their widget makers? How many big companies pay their managers millions whilst their workers are expected to live on a pittance? How many big companies want taxpayer money to subsidise their workers pay while they ship millions off shore? When you can answer those questions honestly you will be on the road to a real understanding.

As a business person and employed staff I know how paying them well and keeping them happy is a very profitable exercise. I have retired now and I sold the business out some years back. The new owners screwed everyone and finally lost the business. It is now gone.

Nick J said...

As Bushbaptist concurred @ Chris 16.13; Yes you are right, it's about the stronger economies taking over the weaker ones yes, but there is so much more to it.

Economics, sovereignty and raw political power. The likes of Wayne Mapp see this as a mere trade deal: how very disingenuous.

Nick J said...

In my ignorance of things "Treaty" can anybody advance any ideas of how the TPP impacts upon tino rangatiratanga? That may be a big ask until we see the detail.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I heard something on the radio the other day about CEOs and their pay. Apparently it's a bit of a competition, with companies being afraid to be in the bottom quarter of CEOs pay statistics. But as one CEO put it, "if they paid me 50% more I wouldn't have done the job any better, if they paid me 50% less I wouldn't have done the job any worse." That whole system is as corrupt as buggery.

Charles E said...

Bush... what do you know? Your assumptions show clear indifference.

Ordinary people can buy shares too and so can people who claim to have had a business they sold. And they buy shares when they join Kiwisaver.
If fact I really strongly advise 'ordinary' people to buy share. Buy just a few as or a many as you can afford and sell them if they go up 15% in a year and buy ones down 15% to replace them. That is the road to acquiring a good retirement or emergency nest egg. Buy about 10 different companies, mostly well established ones. And buy a good do-it-yourself guide to equities. It is simple stuff really. It may be just hundreds of dollars but you will still do ok and will learn heaps.

You buggers who harp on about the corporate world we live in are perfectly entitled to slam it and damn it but you are verging on the criminal if you put people off buying a share of it to help themselves.
If you think the fat cats are creaming it, you would be truly dumb not to get some cream yourselves, freely available in a very democratic way.

Bushbaptist said...

Canada has some experience with the Kangaroo Courts as part of a trade deal under NAFTA.


Bushbaptist said...

@ Charlie; you missed my point completely as usual. How many people who are working full time on the minimum wage or just above it, can afford to buy shares? They, according to stats make up about 2/3 of the full time workforce and they simply don't have the spare money to play the sharemarket. Many of those in Kiwisaver did so because of the Govt. $1000/yr incentive. Since the present Govt. had cut that out, the number of people hooking into Kiwisaver has dropped off.

Remember that the sharemarket is a gambling den and if you want to gamble then buy a casino, that way the odds are on your side. Take note of the Chinese market and all the "Mum and Pop" investors who have recently lost all their money. Remember the Crash of '29 and again in '89. The majority of those who lost out were the small investors.

If you think the fat cats are creaming it, you would be truly dumb not to get some cream yourselves, freely available in a very democratic way So you suggest that it's okay to be a crook or even just doing something immoral? What is wrong with having honesty and integrity?

Example; The Manager of Fonterra last month got a pay increase of $700,000 per year (taking his pay packet up to $4.9million). At the same time he laid off some 200 workers. Tell me Charlie boy, how many of the workers in the Fonterra factories get that much money as a total yearly income (hint; NONE!) and furthermore he got it at a time when the payouts are low to the farmers who supply it. I know a few farmers who are totally pissed off with that and are struggling to survive presently. If the manager had any integrity he would have turned down that pay increase at this time anyway but he didn't. That shows that he has no personal integrity just after the money.

Charlie boy, up, down, left, right doesn't matter, what does matter is honesty and being moral. Something that is in short supply in modern business.

A O said...


A lot of ordinary people gambled on shares back in the eighties, most of them have never gotten over that. We had a cowboy market back then and it hasn't really gotten much better ever since. Ordinary people are still at the bottom of the sharemarket food chain.

As for fat cats, those that grow large off their own guile and toil, well done to them. Those that fatten themselves by gaming the system or influencing/reshaping the system to their own ends - these are the fat cats that most people here really take exception to.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Er... Classical economics assumes perfect information. This of course is only available to those at the top. Those people who sidled away from the 1989 crash, which practically bankrupted a friend of mine, and the 2008 crash, which cost me a measurable proportion of my net wealth.
Not to mention that most people actually live from day to day, hand to mouth, and have very little spare cash. If they have any they tend to keep it in the bank these days, in the hopes that THEY won't go broke. Can't say as I blame them, that's what I'm doing at the moment. And I'm pretty sure I've got a bit more spare cash than those people on the minimum wage.