Jane Kelsey goes feral on Jacinda Ardern

Hard job finding the perfect woman – Jane Kelsey isn’t at all happy Jacinda wants to stay in the TPP.

‘There is an imminent risk that trade ministry officials and the agriculture lobby will bulldoze of the new Labour-led government into taking a position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) this week and foreclose the fundamental rethink of the agreement that it previously said was essential’, warns Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey.

‘The government needs keep that space open at the meeting of TPPA-11 officials today and tomorrow in Tokyo, which will set the agenda for the APEC meeting in a week’s time’.

A year ago, the Labour opposition said in the select committee report that National’s TPPA ‘will have ramifications for generations of New Zealanders. For their sake, we should not so lightly enter into an agreement which may exacerbate long-term challenges for our economy, workforce, and society’.

Labour attacked the ‘wildly optimistic’ assumptions that underpinned the economic claims for the agreement as ‘not credible, nor are they a basis for any responsible government to proceed in signing a binding agreement with consequences as far reaching as the TPPA’.

It said a comprehensive review was needed on the impacts on jobs, income distribution and public health.

Yet the new trade minister David Parker is now telling the media “there are undoubted trade benefits in TPP11. They are obviously not nearly as significant as they were when the US was part of the deal but nonetheless a residue is still important, particularly into Japan.”

The Minister also seemed to suggest that Labour might resolve its only firm sticking point of restricting foreign buyers of residential housing without even re-opening the TPPA text.

Someone needs to ask the Minister how an agreement that lacked the necessary credibility for Labour to support its ratification, even when the US was still involved, has become a deal of “undoubted benefit” to New Zealand, after the US has quit’ Professor Kelsey said.

The truly amazing thing is that Labour has always been pro-trade.  Helen Clark made the gold-plated agreement with China that includes the right for Chinese in China to buy and own property here.  It was just that Labour in opposition had no direction other than to oppose everything.  And I mean, everything.  Even when they agreed with it!

Labour doesn’t want to back out of the TPP at all.  But they must appear to at least try to limit purchases of New Zealand assets by non-resident Chinese because that’s what they promised Winston.

Jacinda is looking high and low for a solution that will keep the TPP in place but allows New Zealand to stop non-resident property purchases.   I personally suspect she will not just fail, she also secretly wants to fail.  The problems of backing out of long-term trade agreements aren’t worth the drama.  Politically or otherwise.

That’s upset the usually rabid anti-trade campaigner Jane Kelsey who had kind of hoped the change of government would usher in a change of stance on the TPP.  Especially as Labour had said they were against it because National was for it.


When it comes to those kinds of things, agreements are specifically created to withstand the storms and tides of changing governments during the term of the agreement.

The minister and Prime Minister also need to reflect on the deep sense of betrayal such a position will create among those who expected it to keep its pre-election word

I can’t stop smiling.

How naive are these people?

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