Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2018 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

TPP... have we been duped?

13 April 2018

If you recall, Labour was anti-TPP.

They opposed the TPP on a number of points whilst in opposition yet, as soon as they formed a government in the wake of the last election, they did a 180 and came out in favour... even signing us up to this faux trade agreement.

They justified this about-face by claiming that the elements of the TPP which they disagreed with had been suspended.

Note the word "suspended".

The draconian imposition of US copyright provisions on NZers would now be suspended. The ability for foreign companies to sue the snot out of the taxpayer if our government did something/anything which adversely affected their ability to make a profit in this country -- and several other must obnoxious elements of the TPP were "suspended".

Now suspended is an interesting word. It means that these unwanted provisions were not struck-out, they were simply (and almost certainly temporarily) not going to be enforced.

That was easy to do because the USA, under direction of President Trump, had withdrawn from the whole deal.

But now Trump is reportedly reconsidering that decision.

If the USA does decide to rejoin the TPP then you can bet your bottom dollar that those suspensions will be lifted.

When it was first announced that these nasty elements of the TPP had been suspended rather than struck out, I was deeply suspicious that this was solely done to try and lure the USA back to the party and it looks as if I was right.

How will the Labour government explain away the fact that, if/when the USA rejoins, they've signed us up to exactly the same deal that, just a year or so ago, they were claiming was totally unacceptable?

Are Labour really so naive that they didn't see this coming?

Or are they just so clever that they spotted an opportunity to pull the wool over voters eyes and then try to blame it on circumstances beyond their control?

How do you feel about potentially waking up one morning to discover that those awful, draconian provisions of the TPP that we all feared so much are now in force and the term of copyright protection has been extended by another 20 years, effectively strangling the public domain of works whose copyright is set to expire shortly. It is anticipated that this will represent a cost of over $50m a year to the NZ public and impact adversely on institutions such as schools and universities.

You'll also find that cracking any kind of DRM or electronic content protection scheme becomes illegal (no more exemption to copyright for the purpose of media-shifting as is presently allowed in NZ) and region-free DVD players become contraband.

Yes, despite the promises of our beloved Prime Minister and the assurances of her government, I fully expect that if the USA shows any sign of returning to the TPP table, all those "suspended" elements will be used leverage to get Trump's signature on the line.

And what power does little old NZ have to stop this from happening?

Absolutely none.

I for one believe that if the "suspended" elements of the TPP are reinstated by the USA's entry then we should simply withdraw and if we don't, the people of the nation should march in the streets until we do.

What do readers think?

Are our politicians really so naive as to believe that the "suspended" elements of the TPP will not be reactivated by the USA's entry?

Doesn't this mean that either we have a government of naive muppets or one that knew full-well that those suspensions would be lifted yet signed us up anyway?

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column

Rank This Aardvark Page


Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines



Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam


Recent Columns

Thanks Warehouse (not!)
In a recent column I lamented the fact that educational and scientific toys seem to be hard to find these days...

The Aussie Government is mental
According to the media, the Australian government look set to pass its law baning unbreakable end-to-end encryption before Christmas...

Magnetic memory, hacks and idiocy
There was nothing that reached out and grabbed me as the subject for today's column so I'm going to just brush over a few items of interest instead...

Buy a book and save the planet?
EBooks are the future and eBooks are environmentally friendly... right?...

The joke that is weather forecasting
I'm getting sick and tired of these cold mornings and rainy days during a time when we ought to be starting to see protracted periods of warmer, drier weather...

Something stinks in Godzone
New Zealand has a housing crisis...

Is the Huawei ban just hypocrisy?
The NZ government has stepped in and told Spark that it can't use Huawei gear to build its 5G cellular network...

New Wifi protocols on the way
Wifi is cool tech...

Another Mars landing
As I type this, there's a window on my screen showing the live scene at the mission control centre for the Insight Mars mission...

Why this won't work in New Zealand
It seems that the urbanisation of population is a problem in most developed countries these days...

Is TradeMe really worth billions?
When TradeMe sold for nearly three quarters of a billion dollars a few years ago, a lot of people (including myself) were surprised...