Jane Kelsey

Seymour on budget waste and corporate welfare

David Seymour has used his Sunday Star-Times column to highlight some of Steve Joyce’s wasteful corporate welfare.

It’s Budget week and the message from National is the same as the past six years: no tax cuts.  Labour, meanwhile, want tax increases.

So, what better time to look at some government spending and simply ask: “Why?”  Surely, some of this money would be better spent on health, or education – or simply given back to people, so they can invest in businesses, their families, their communities, and themselves.

First up is the $56 million-a-year Marsden Fund, which bankrolls select ‘academic’ research.  Some of the science topics look kind of interesting, but what do New Zealand taxpayers really gain from funding research on Cultivating chamber music in Beethoven’s Vienna: a study in socio-musicology ($580,000); or anti-trade activist Jane Kelsey’s Transcending embedded neoliberalism in international economic regulation ($600,000); or Missing narratives of modern Chinese intellectual history: modernity and writings on art, 1900-1930 ($495,000)?

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Kelsey: USA sending people to strongarm NZ into TPP changes


TPP critic and Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey said the Americans were trying to bully the government into getting what they wanted.

“It’s outrageous that the US government is sending people down to New Zealand to monitor how we’re implementing the TPP agreement.

“The US is quite notorious for doing this and notorious for putting enormous pressure on governments to do more than they think they need to do to satisfy the US demands.” Read more »


Quin on Wallach and Kelsey

Phil Quin corrects the efforts of the Media Party to promote the credentials of Lori Wallach.

As I explained in an earlier post, Jane Kelsey’s anti-TPPA roadshow features a minor anti-trade activist called Lori Wallach, described most flatteringly by the NZ Herald as a “leading expert”. It’s abundantly obvious that Wallach’s credentials have been greatly inflated by Kelsey and others; and that, predictably enough, the NZ media have fallen under The Spell of the International Expert, a peculiar form of colonial cringe that involves imbuing anyone with a foreign accent instant gravitas whether they deserve it or not. Wallach is a casebook study.

I’m late to this, but conservative commentator Matthew Hooton was leaked an email that shows Labour has fallen for the trick too.


This is fairly alarming.

Wallach is a fringe activist from the Nader-left in the US. There are plenty of serious trade critics in Washington, largely from within organised labour and the Democratic Party establishment, but Wallach is not one of them. As I wrote earlier, she may be an unheralded genius — but, make no mistake, Wallach is decidedly, utterly, unheralded. The idea that Labour would take a steer from Lori Wallach on the TPPA should be troubling to anyone who cares about the state of that party. Wallach is simply not a credible voice outside of alternative media circles and the far-left flank of the US political spectrum.

A related issue: Kelsey and Wallach oppose every trade deal out of principle. There is no conceivable version of the TPPA that either could support. To that extent, how useful is their counsel to a party that claims to support free trade in principle? The answer, quite clearly, is not at all. When you call in Kelsey and Wallach for advice, you must know what form it will take. Just more evidence, if it were needed, that the protectionist elements of the former Alliance have staged what amounts to a silent coup within Labour on trade policy.

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Is Jane Kelsey a Communist?

Jane Kelsey is advising the Labour Party now. Matt McCarten was coordinating meetings between her and Labour MPs to discuss the TPPA.

I wonder if this is the same Jane Kelsey who on 22 December 2008 was a signatory in support of a Communist League press release:

A leader of the Communist League, Annalucia Vermunt, has issued an open letter to government officials protesting at how she was treated by customs officers at Auckland International Airport after they detained her on November 17. Vermunt, a meat worker, has been a Communist League candidate in elections, including standing for Manukau East in the November general election. She is an active unionist and has been involved over two decades in political campaigns for Maori rights, women’s rights, and other working class struggles.

Over 90 fellow meat workers in Otahuhu, Auckland, have signed Vermunt’s protest letter, as have officials of her union, the National Distribution Union, including national president Robert Reid and national secretary Laila Harré. The letter has been signed by other union members and officials as well as by members of political organisations and supporters of civil liberties.

[…]   Read more »


Labour’s dirty politics being organised out of Leader’s Office

Matthew Hooton tweeted last night:


He’s been leaked an email sent by Matt McCarten, arranging for two insane, embittered, extreme left-wing lunatics to speak with Labour’s caucus.

Here is the content of McCarten’s email.   Read more »

Jane Kelsey finally comes clean: she’s against free trade

For months the anti-TPPA crowd has been trying to convince moderate New Zealanders that they are not against free trade and that their opposition to the TPPA is just that it is a ‘bad agreement’.

But today on Stuff Jane Kelsey comes clean:

“It’s a 19th-come-20th century agreement. It’s all about protecting foreign investors, promoting economic development through zero tariffs, and consolidating supply chains in the way that they did in the old colonial era.”

In other words, the problem with this agreement is free trade.  Read more »

Jane Kelsey scores $600k of government money to research opposition to our trade and economic policies

Jane Kelsey must be blessed. She has scored $600,000 of taxpayer money to study “Transcending embedded neoliberalism in international economic regulation: options and strategies”.


The government is paying her to research opposition to our trade and economic policies?


Note the word “international” in the title. You can do a lot of “international” air travel for $600k, and not in cattle class.

Perhaps the Taxpayers’ Union should get an academic onboard and then ask for $600,000 for research on international sugar taxes?

This is just an outrageous amount of money so this shrieking harpy can mount protests all over the country and get things massively wrong.   Read more »

Auckland University law Professor Jane Kelsey is wrong

Specifically, she is wrong with her constant criticism of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. For years she has pumped out press releases and opinion pieces and given endless interviews to scare us witless about the evils of the TPPA. …

Kelsey doesn’t believe TPPA proponents are wrong or misguided, but are conspiratorial in favouring the profits of big corporates at the expense of the health and well-being of everyday people – especially the poor.

The conspiracy must extend to former Prime Minister Helen Clark who, contrary to Labour leader Andrew Little, declared it “unthinkable” for New Zealand to be left out of the TPPA.

Well, the deal has now been agreed. And miracle of miracles, the sun still shines. The agreement covers two-fifths of the global economy and eliminates or reduces about 18,000 tariffs, taxes and non-tariff barriers.

It’s a huge boost to world trade and prosperity. The only criticism is that it does not go far enough.

As a country that has already been through the pain thanks to a Mr Roger Douglas, it’s kind of easy for us to want more.  But doing so will wipe out heavily protected local industries.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.   Read more »


This just in from the GCSB

This just came in from my good friends in the GCSB.


From Wellington

To Moscow

Personal message from Ambassador to President, not for normal distribution


Mr President

Can I thank you personally for agreeing to my recommendation that New Zealand be exempted from the sanctions that were imposed yesterday.  This will drive a useful wedge between the 5 eyes nations and cause some to question further whether New Zealand should remain part of the club.

Our strategy on the ground here is working well.  The support provided years ago to Comrade Kim to set up his internet piracy operation is paying enormous dividends.  As you can see from this video his funding of our Comrades in the New Zealand Communist movement has New Zealand on the cusp of revolution and the overthrow of the old Zionist controlled order is at hand. Read more »

The Four Failures of David Cunliffe

Corporate whore and shill for Just Water, Mathew Hooton, has written at NBR about the four failures of David Cunliffe.

This week Mr Cunliffe managed no fewer than four foreign-policy fails.

First was his bizarre attack on Mr Key for not sufficiently reversing Helen Clark’s agreement with John Howard over social support for New Zealanders living in Australia.

Ms Clark’s deal in the early 2000s was atrocious.  As former Labour Party president Mike Williams observed, she got away with murder politically only because National was then too divided to adequately draw attention to it.

Undeterred, Mr Cunliffe moved on to Labour’s second foreign-policy blunder after Mr Key announced the government had cancelled the passports of New Zealand citizens, who are neither guilty nor even suspected of any crime but who wish to fight the fascist Assad regime in Syria.

Mr Goff quickly adopted the principled liberal position, invoking the Spanish civil war and saying New Zealanders had a right to travel abroad to fight tyranny. He condemned the cancelling of passports, especially of citizens who have committed no crime.

Mr Cunliffe contradicted him and called on Mr Key to consider jail for those who fight abroad.

Phil Goff was at odds with Cunliffe twice on that day. Is the leader really in charge?  Read more »