Revised TPP to come into force within months

The revised Trans Pacific Partnership could be in force by Christmas, opening up trade among eleven Pacific Rim nations.

New Zealand intends being one of the first six to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP), which would trigger the lowering of barriers and standardising rules from investment to labour in a group that encompasses 14 per cent of world trade.

Three countries - Japan, Mexico and Singapore - have ratified, and Australia, Chile and New Zealand have indicated they will soon follow suit.

"We are expecting that to happen by the end of the year, or at the latest, early next year," Trade Minister David Parker said.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP) Amendment Bill, which makes changes necessary for New Zealand to ratify the agreement, is currently before the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee.

Trade Minister David Parker will sign the newly negotiated deal, which will eliminate around 95 per cent of all tariffs between 11 Pacific countries. Source: Breakfast

One of the committee's members and a key driver of the revised TPP when National was in power, Todd McClay, said his party supported ratification.

"The National opposition will be working very hard to make sure that happens. It's up to the government to find enough time to get through the House in time."

International Business Forum executive director Stephen Jacobi said a successful TPP would be a shot in the arm for multi-country trade deals.

"The reality of international trade today - through global value chains that includes multiple jurisdictions, multiple countries supplying products that make up finished products - is an overwhelming logic that points to plurilateral approaches."

"I'm hopeful that the current focus on bilateralism and certainly on protectionism will give way at some point to a more enlightened attitude," Mr Jacobi said.

A number of countries were now clambering to join the TPP-11.

Colombia had made a formal request, while Thailand and South Korea had taken steps seeking admission. Britain has also expressed an interest following its eventual exit from the European Union.

Mr Jacobi said growing trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies - the United States and China - had other nations looking to TPP for certainty.

"It is a realistic vehicle for trade liberalisation, even after the United States has left."

"And things that are practical and hold the possibility of trade growth and better trade rules are always going to be looked at very seriously," Mr Jacobi said.

Jessica Mutch looks back at how the TPP has changed, and how Kiwis have reacted. Source: 1 NEWS

But Auckland law professor and TPP critic Jane Kelsey said the New Zealand government could still be sued by Japanese and Canadian investors under the TPP despite the coalition's vow to remove investor state dispute settlements, or ISDS, provisions.

"So we have a very serious problem with the current government that it's public position of no ISDS in future agreements is not actually what it's delivering on at all, and so its intensifying our exposure to those disputes."

Professor Kelsey also fears that provisions suspended under the original TPP, mainly related to American demands around issues such as intellectual property, copyright and drug buying policies, could be reactivated without any parliamentary scrutiny.

By Patrick O'Meara

www.rnz.co.nz

TPPA protester confronts human shield of police officers outside Sky City.
TPPA protester confronts human shield of police officers outside Sky City. Source: 1 NEWS




Winston Peters explains party's support for raising refugee quota

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says NZ First shared the Labour Party's "aspiration" to increase the refugee quota, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced it will be raised to 1500 today.

The NZ First Party leader's position was in stark contrast to comments made at the start of the month at the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru.

"We never made a commitment to double the refugee quota," Mr Peters told media at the time.

The Deputy PM went on to argue there were other priorities for the Government.

"We've got 50,000 people who are homeless back home, and I can show you parts of the Hokianga and elsewhere, parts of Northland, with people living in degradation.

"We have to fix their lives up as well before we start taking on new obligations of the level that some people would like."

However, while standing next to Ms Ardern during the announcement today he took a much softer line on the refugee issue.

"This is about people not about politics and controversy, the fact is it was put to me in Nauru that the 1500 figure was already there, which it wasn't.

"The Labour Party policy I knew was an aspiration towards that, so was New Zealand First's an aspiration towards that, and I knew the Greens had a higher target," Mr Peters said.

"All I did was put out the plain facts and to say that it was a work in progress and I'm not surprised with the speed at which the progress has taken place.

"This was always on the cards that we'd get it done when we had all the background work done on refugee centres and a host of other things," he continued.

PM Jacinda Ardern made the announcement today. Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand's refugee quota was previously 1000, after being increased by the National-led Government from 750 in 2016.

The new quota will take effect from July 2020. 

Major points

- There will be six new settlement locations, on top of re-establishing Christchurch as a settlement location.

- Expanding the public housing supply for 150 extra refugee families is expected to cost $32.5 million over three years.

- Budget 2018 included money to build new accommodation blocks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre  

The NZ First leader said the increase was “always on the cards”. Source: 1 NEWS

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New Zealand's refugee quota jumps to 1500 per year from July 2020, Government announces

New Zealand’s refugee quota will be raised to 1500, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. 

It was previously 1000, after being increased by the National-led Government from 750 in 2016.

That's 500 extra people who'll be making New Zealand home annually. Source: 1 NEWS

"It is the right thing to do," said Ms Ardern. 

"It puts New Zealand much more in line with the humanitarian policies of other developed countries."

Deputy PM Winston Peters said the increase was "about people, not about politics and controversy". 

The NZ First leader said the increase was “always on the cards”. Source: 1 NEWS

The new quota will take effect from July 2020. 

Major points

- There will be six new settlement locations, on top of re-establishing Christchurch as a settlement location.

- Expanding the public housing supply for 150 extra refugee families is expected to cost $32.5 million over three years. 

- Budget 2018 included money to build new accommodation blocks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre 

ONN 1 News at 6 promo image
For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

Background

Yesterday, Ms Ardern told media she wanted to see the current quota increased but a sticking point has been the vastly different policy positions of Labour's Government partners. 

Labour pledged to raise the quota to 1500 and the Green Party aimed for a quota of 5000.

Earlier this month NZ First's Winston Peters told media in Nauru that the focus needed to be on New Zealanders struggling at home.

"We have 50,000 people who are homeless back home and I can show you parts of Northland where people are living in degradation," Mr Peters said, while being questioned at the Pacific Islands' Forum.

National's Simon Bridges said yesterday if the refugee quota was lower than 1500 it would be a demonstration of "Winston Peters undermining the Prime Minister".

"If you look at the Prime Minister's rhetoric she's made great play about being a globalist, a progressive with soaring rhetoric on these issues.

"It's all very well to do the photo ops, the international pieces, but when you've got important questions like this back home that... [are] now are up in the air because of a lack of unanimity and cohesion."

PM Jacinda Ardern made the announcement today. Source: 1 NEWS


Don Brash says Massey's Vice Chancellor should consider resigning after email dump

Former National Party leader Don Brash is calling for Massey University's vice-chancellor to consider her position, saying it's "almost untenable".

The university prevented Dr Brash from speaking at its Manawatū campus last month.

He was due to give a speech about his time in politics, but vice-chancellor Jan Thomas cancelled the talk for security reasons.

The university had cited a Facebook post on 3 August that linked to the event page and included the comment "take a gun".

But the former National Party leader is calling on the university's Vice Chancellor to resign. Source: 1 NEWS

Documents obtained under the Official Information Act contain correspondence to and from Ms Thomas in the run-up to the cancellation.

In one email, on 9 July, the vice-chancellor said she did not want a "te tiriti led university to be seen to be endorsing racist behaviours".

On 10 July, Ms Thomas emailed to say she would like to know the options for banning the politics club from holding events on campus.

She said the "racist behaviour of Dr Brash - given te reo is an official language of NZ and we are a tiriti-led university - can't be ignored".

Speaking from China, Dr Brash said he considered Ms Thomas' position almost untenable and told RNZ that he believes she was "totally misleading".

"Quite frankly, I don't know if she can stay in her position."

Dr Brash has previously said he believed it was his views, rather than safety concerns, that led to him being banned from the publicly-funded university.

The documents also contain many emails sent to the university objecting to its cancellation decision.

- By Amy Williams

rnz.co.nz

Massey University vice-chancellor Jan Thomas and Don Brash Source: rnz.co.nz