TPP legislation passes first reading

The TPP legislation has passed its first reading in parliament yesterday:

The Trans-Pacific Partnership legislation has passed its first hurdle with support from National, Act, United Future – and one Labour MP.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill will now be considered by the Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Committee, after passing its first reading 62 to 59.

It was opposed by Labour, the Green Party, New Zealand First and the Maori Party. However, Labour MP Phil Goff voted for the TPP.

In January, Labour leader Andrew Little gave Mr Goff special dispensation to do so, because during Mr Goff’s time as trade minister he started the negotiations for the agreement’s predecessor.   

Fellow Labour MP David Shearer had told the Herald he personally supported the TPP, but later said he would be voting along party lines.

Trade Minister Todd McClay welcomed today’s vote.

“Successive New Zealand governments have pursued free trade agreements to support New Zealand’s global connectedness, maximise opportunities for exporters, and in turn grow the prosperity of the economy for the benefit of all New Zealanders. TPP is the latest in this legacy,” Mr McClay said.

I watched the opening shots in the TPP Bill debate. Perhaps, for the first time, I could see why the Labour caucus would have supported Grant Roberston as leader over the angry Little man.

For the first time in weeks, here was a speech not just with passion, but with some points that made me stop and think; above all, the kind of speech worthy of a Leader of the Opposition.

I didn’t agree with many of his points or much of his logic, but it was a well crafted and well delivered speech in opposition, which may well fan again the flames of discontent within the Labour caucus about the weakness of their current leadership.

Labour though have placed themselves in a  position where they don’t welcome free trade, they’ve become a play thing of hard left and useful idiots like Jane Kelsey. They are anti-growth, xenophobic and against free trade. Good luck to them heading into the election on that platform.

The charade was made worse with the shenanigans over Goff and Shearer’s positions. Labour just look retarded.


– NZ Herald


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  • axeman

    Expect Shearer to cross the floor should it get tight. Then launch a tilt at the leadership

    • Tom

      It could easily be a shearer Robertson, Cunliffe 3 way race. Not sure the unions wouldnt swing it Cunliffe’s way again!

      • stephen2d

        That would be hilarious – I’d love that show on :)

    • zotaccore

      He could just go independent on the issue and leave the party, vote for the TPP and then leave at the end of the term to go and work for H1 – nothing else to lose has he?

      • axeman

        Yep or stand as an independent, who would Labour stand against him? its not like they have quality people jumping out with their hand in the air screaming pick me. He is also well like I think and would pick up the seat again.

  • Isherman

    Andrew Little is on record as saying he’s not against foreign investment, where that contributes to the economy and helps create jobs…blah blah blah, but he hasn’t explained exactly how his position,( now that he’s stuck with one for more than a day ) in opposing the TPPA helps advance that.

  • Pluto

    This isn’t about being anti trade, it’s about being anti John Key. Same with the flag debate and everything else.
    They’ve become obsessed with him to the point they are prepared to turn their back on common sense, the place where middle New Zealand lives.
    But JK is playing this game too – remember Labours last election bribes were to be funded from upcoming tax cuts – next minute no tax cuts.

  • Big_Al

    As i have stated before, i expect our politicians to act for the best interests of our country, to justify the large salaries they receive from our hard earned taxes. I personally believe that the TPP has far more benefits for our country than disadvantages. I also believe that many of the opposition MP’s will see it that way also.
    However, because it is John Key that is running it, they will automatically oppose it based on their retarded principals. Angry Andy is a perfect example of this.

  • herewego

    So – will it be at third reading before the mayoral election?

    Expect Labour to filibuster to get one vote back and put pressure on Dunne/others to go against

    • Aucky

      In which case expect JK to go to the country and call an early election.

    • localnews

      good point, and I assume at some point Peter Dunne will change his mind

    • Grizz30

      I thought filibustering was a tool when debating your own bill, for example the pointless private members bill Labour wasted their time on to prevent the anti student union bill being introduced.

  • contractor

    Perhaps Goff might support RMA reform (get a move on that quickly National!) to pave his way for Auckland mayoralty so that he can make his mark with overcoming Auckland’s housing crisis. I’d forgive the man for his past behaviour and politics! We shall see.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Again the weakest link in the coalition Government is the native party only there for what they can gain for themselves.

  • one for the road

    Great that it has some traction in NZ, but the million dollar question is what traction does it have in the US?

    it is very unlikely Obama will get it passed before his time is up, and the two Presedential candidtaes say they wont sign it (as it is)!

    • Ross15

      The question is how important is the USA to the deal? If they don’t sign the rest can go ahead and maybe China will join in ( even if it is just to annoy the US).
      This arrangement started without the USA so I don’t doubt there are benefits, for the countries involved even, without the USA.

  • Graeme

    First Little complains that the panama papers will affect our overseas trade and the next he opposes thr TPP which helps us get more overseas trade . Unbelievable.

  • Steve kay

    Dying to see which way they go with the China fta upgrade. How the party hasn’t been completely torn itself apart I don’t know. Guess it’ll just be a matter of time.

  • zotaccore

    The speech from Labour’s David Clark was an embarrassment. The preacher from the south should go back to his old job and leave politics and the topic of trade to people that have a bit of a clue about it. This loud-mouthed (literally) buffoon squawks across the House using rhetoric that has little logic behind it. Poor lad was probably pushed into it by the mis-informed Leader.

    • Beria

      Clark is a party loyalist and supports xenophobic policies not because of the logic behind them but because of his loyalty. In a future Labour government he will be rewarded for his uncritical loyalty.

      • zotaccore

        and how very Christian it will be for him to be xenophobic. Perhaps he is a preacher by name only and not in true belief – he wouldn’t be the first.

        • Beria

          I think he was warden of onf the dorms at Otago beforr God called him to politics. Unless his dorm excluded foreign students, he should know better than to join up with the xemophobic faction of Labour.

  • Keeping Stock

    Shame on Labour for not allocating a speaking slot to Phil Goff, who actually began the TPP process. Despite Labour’s ideological objections to TPP, Goff should have had the chance to celebrate the introduction of the legislation to ratify the agreement.