It's Our Future http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz Kiwi Voices on the TPPA Thu, 18 Dec 2014 01:11:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 TISA text: US threat to privacy, civil rights, data security http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/tisa-text-us-threat-to-privacy-civil-rights-data-security/ http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/tisa-text-us-threat-to-privacy-civil-rights-data-security/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 11:40:29 +0000 http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/?p=7542 Press Release – AFTINET

Leaked US proposals in the Trade in the secret Services (TISA) negotiations include rules that would threaten privacy and civil rights protections for digital personal data Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment …MEDIA RELEASE December 18, 2014

Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, civil rights, data security

Leaked US proposals in the Trade in the secret Services (TISA) negotiations include rules that would threaten privacy and civil rights protections for digital personal data’ Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) said today.

‘The proposals would allow cross-border movement and storage of data, and prohibit requirements that service suppliers site their servers within the country,’ said Dr Ranald.”

TISA is being negotiated in secret among 23 parties including the US, Australia and the EU, who call themselves the ‘Really Good Friends of Services’. This leak follows an earlier leak of the TISA financial services chapter, which contained proposals which would limit the ability of governments to regulate financial services in the public interest.

A detailed memorandum from legal experts shows that the US proposals represent the interests of its IT industry and other service industries to maximise data flows across borders, but would reduce consumers’ rights to privacy and the ability of governments to regulate for consumer protection.

‘US negotiator Christine Bliss said in September 2014 that the US had made similar demands in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations. We understand that Australian negotiators have objected to the proposals on data storage, but the secrecy of the TPP negotiations means the outcome is unknown’ added Dr Ranald.

‘The proposals would prevent national regulation of data storage and could result in the concentration of data storage in the US, the home of the largest global IT and other services companies. This means Australian data would be subject to US laws, including national security and surveillance laws. The Snowden revelations have shown widespread US data surveillance and spying by security agencies,’ said Dr Ranald.

‘There is currently a public debate about rules for data storage in Australia, and the extent to which such data should be available for use by both commercial entities and by government security agencies. These are crucial issues about privacy and civil rights which should be decided through open democratic and parliamentary debate, not secretly signed away in either the TPP or the TISA negotiations’, said Dr Ranald

‘We call on the Australian and other governments to release the text of both TISA and the TPP, so that these proposals can be scrutinised and debated before these deals are done,’ concluded Dr Ranald.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url

]]>
http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/tisa-text-us-threat-to-privacy-civil-rights-data-security/feed/ 0
Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/leaked-tisa-text-exposes-us-threat-to-privacy-data-security/ http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/leaked-tisa-text-exposes-us-threat-to-privacy-data-security/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 07:24:52 +0000 http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/?p=7540 Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey

The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland.17 December 2014

For immediate release

Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security and net neutrality

‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland.

Obligations to allow cross-border movement and storage of data, and other rules that undermine net neutrality and prohibit requirements that service suppliers site their servers within the country are in a leaked US proposal to the ongoing negotiations for a Trade in Services Agreement.

TISA is another mega-agreement being negotiated in secret among 23 parties including the US, New Zealand and the EU, who call themselves the ‘Really Good Friends of Services’. This leak follows an earlier leak of the financial services chapter, which also showed far-reaching new constraints on governments’ ability to regulate services in the public interest.

A detailed memorandum by Professor Kelsey and Dr Burcu Kilic shows how the US proposals mirror the demands of its IT and services industry. The proposal has three objectives, to:

1) advance the commercial interests of its services industry that supplies services across the border, mainly through e-commerce, and foreign direct investment in manufacturing and services.

2) consolidate data repositories to the benefit of the US government, transnational companies (TNCs) and third party commercial interests. This serves a range of commercial and ‘national security’ purposes.

3) prevent or restrict government regulation that impedes the activities and profits of the major global services industries, and guarantees unrestricted cross-border data flows, which impacts on consumer protections, privacy laws, regulatory constraints and competition policy.

US negotiator Christine Bliss said in September 2014 that the US had made similar demands in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). Both New Zealand and Australia have objected to the potential impact on privacy. Secrecy of the TPPA text makes it impossible to know who won.

‘Privacy is not the only concern’, Professor Kelsey observed. ‘The Snowden disclosures show how vulnerable digitised data is to spying, especially by and in a country like the US that has extensive and intrusive national security laws. The mega-firms like Google, who are pushing for these rules, have been distressingly cooperative. Their proposals would lock in the ability of the US to spy on New Zealanders and people in many other countries.’

‘Clearly the US will use every avenue available to push these demands from its IT and services industry. New Zealand will be caught through one agreement or another’, Professor Kelsey warned.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url

]]>
http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/leaked-tisa-text-exposes-us-threat-to-privacy-data-security/feed/ 0
TPP talks continue in Washington D.C. http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/tpp-talks-continue-in-washington-d-c/ http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/tpp-talks-continue-in-washington-d-c/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:44:46 +0000 http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/?p=7534 Press Release – OpenMedia

As high-level TPP talks continue in Washington D.C., OpenMedia holds face-to-face meetings with key negotiators to demand end to secrecyAs high-level TPP talks continue in Washington D.C., OpenMedia holds face-to-face meetings with key negotiators to demand end to secrecy

Demands grow to release full text of Trans-Pacific Partnership to enable public debate about proposals that would make the Internet more expensive, censored, and policed

Thursday December 11, 2014 – As Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks continue in Washington, D.C., negotiators are set to feel the heat from public interest groups outraged at the secrecy surrounding the talks. The organizations say it’s past time for TPP negotiators to follow the example of the European Commission which recently released to the public the draft text of a similar Trans-Atlantic deal.

The TPP is an international deal being negotiated in near-total secrecy by 12 Pacific Rim nations including the U.S. and Canada. Based on what we know from leaked drafts, experts say the TPP contains extreme copyright rules that would make the Internet far more expensive, policed, and censored. A letter from a diverse group of 40 major organizations from 11 TPP nations demanding greater transparency will be delivered directly to key negotiators by Meghan Sali from Internet freedom group OpenMedia.

“This agreement will have a huge impact on the everyday lives of hundreds of millions of Internet users,” said Meghan Sali, Free Expression campaigner for OpenMedia. “If the TPP is finalized, the way we use the Internet would change forever. Whole families could be kicked offline just for being accused of copyright infringement. And powerful media conglomerates could even force ISPs to remove entire websites from the Internet.”

Sali continued: “My message to TPP negotiators is clear. With so much at stake, citizens shouldn’t have to rely on leaked documents to find out what’s going on behind their backs. It’s well past the time to release the full text of the TPP so that we can have a proper public debate about the consequences. Why should a tiny cabal of powerful industry lobbyists determine our digital future, while citizens are excluded?”

Ms. Sali will be meeting with top negotiators from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States. She will also hold talks with representatives from the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the U.S. Trade Representative’s office.

OpenMedia recently published its Our Digital Future report crowdsourced from over 300,000 people around the world. It found that citizens overwhelmingly want balanced copyright rules that are shaped democratically, respect creators, and prioritize free expression.

Learn more about the threats posed to free expression by deals such as the TPP at https://OpenMedia.org/DigitalFuture

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url

]]>
http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/tpp-talks-continue-in-washington-d-c/feed/ 0
Civil Society Groups call for release of secret TPP texts http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/civil-society-groups-call-for-release-of-secret-tpp-texts/ http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/civil-society-groups-call-for-release-of-secret-tpp-texts/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 09:01:58 +0000 http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/?p=7532 Press Release – AFTINET

As negotiators from Australia, the US, Japan and nine other Pacific Rim countries meet behind closed doors in Washington, we join 48 civil society groups from around the world to call for the release of the text before it is signed by governments. …MEDIA RELEASE December 12, 2014

Civil Society Groups call for release of secret TPP texts after EU decision to release Trans-Atlantic trade texts

“As negotiators from Australia, the US, Japan and nine other Pacific Rim countries meet behind closed doors in Washington, we join 48 civil society groups from around the world to call for the release of the text before it is signed by governments. These organisations represent the millions of people around the world who have signed petitions demanding an end to TPP secrecy,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET)said today. The international call is attached.

“This call follows the European Commission’s recent announcement to make EU-US trade negotiations over the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) more transparent, through releasing the EU’s negotiating texts and providing access to all TTIP texts for members of the European Parliament. The EU decision resulted from public outcry against secrecy. Similar public protests led to the publication of the text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement before it was signed in 2011. The TPP negotiators should follow these examples,” said Dr Ranald.

“The TPP has been negotiated in secret for the last five years. But we know from leaked documents that it contains proposals for pharmaceutical companies to delay access to cheaper generic medicines, and for media companies to extend copyright resulting in higher costs and more internet controls for consumers. The TPP would also give foreign investorsspecial rights to sue governments over domestic legislation if a change in law or policy could be claimed to harm their investment, known as ISDS. There is strong public opposition to all these proposals. TPP governments should follow the European example release the TPP text to enable our governments to be held accountable,” said Dr Ranald.

“Our call comes as TPP governments seek to conclude the deal in the coming months. As the TPP text nears its final stage, trade ministers should stop the secrecy and re-commit themselves to democratic principles of transparency and public accountability by releasing the text before it is signed. If it is a good deal as claimed by our governments, why can’t we see the text until after the deal is done? Informed public debate and evaluation of the detail of the TPP text before it is signed is the only way to test these claims.” said Dr Ranald.

EU_TransparencyLetter_122014FNL.pdf

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url

]]>
http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/civil-society-groups-call-for-release-of-secret-tpp-texts/feed/ 0
Inflationary And Interest-Rate Expectations Continue to Fall http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/inflationary-and-interest-rate-expectations-continue-to-fall/ http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/inflationary-and-interest-rate-expectations-continue-to-fall/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:24:21 +0000 http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/?p=7529 Press Release – iPredict

Forecast annual inflation has reached new lows and the Official Cash Rate is now not expected to reach 3.75% in 2015, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealands predictions market, iPredict. The forecast …IPREDICT LTD

NEW ZEALAND WEEKLY ECONOMIC & POLITICAL UPDATE

Thursday 11 December 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

www.ipredict.co.nz

INFLATIONARY AND INTEREST-RATE EXPECTATIONS CONTINUE TO FALL

Forecast annual inflation has reached new lows and the Official Cash Rate is now not expected to reach 3.75% in 2015, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The forecast fiscal deficit for 2014/15 is up to 0.14% of GDP but growth forecasts remain steady. Labour’s forecast party vote had edged up but National still has a 55% probability of leading the next government after an election expected in 2017.

Politics:

John Key is expected to remain National leader until at least the end of 2016 (74% probability, up from 70% last week) and has a 44% probability of remaining National leader until at least the end of 2017 (steady compared with last week)

• Paula Bennett remains favourite to become National Party leader if a vacancy arises (26% probability, steady compared with last week), followed by Steven Joyce (25%, steady) Jonathan Coleman (12%, steady) and Simon Bridges (7%, steady)

• Stocks on Andrew Little’s longevity as leader of the Labour Party will be launched in the near future

• Even money on Judith Collins being appointed to Cabinet before next election (50.0% probability, down from 50.3% last week)

Next election expected in 2017 (90% probability, down from 93% last week)

• Forecast party vote shares at next election:

o National 45.7% (steady compared with last week)

o Labour 31.8% (up from 31.5% last week)

o Greens 11.0% (down from 14.7% last week)

o NZ First 7.0% (steady compared with last week)

o Others 4.6% (up from 1.1% last week)

• National expected to win 2017 General Election (55% probability, steady compared with last week)

Economics:

• Quarterly GDP growth expected to be:

o 0.7% of GDP in the September quarter (steady compared with last week)

o 0.8% in the December quarter (steady compared with last week)

o 1.0% in the March 2015 quarter (steady compared with last week)

o 1.1% in the June 2015 quarter (steady compared with last week)

• Unemployment expected to be 5.3% in the December quarter (steady compared with last week)

• Unemployment stocks for 2015 will be launched in the near future

• Current account deficit expected to be 2.4% of GDP in the September quarter (down from 2.5% last week) and 3.7% of GDP in the December quarter (down from 3.8% last week)

• Annual inflation expected to be:

o 0.6% to end of December quarter (down from 0.8% last week)

o 0.7% to end of March 2015 quarter (down from 1.0% last week)

o 1.4% to end of June 2015 quarter (down from 1.6% last week)

o 1.9% to end of September 2015 quarter (down from 2.0% last week)

o 2.0% to end of December 2015 quarter (not reported last week)

• Official Cash Rate priced to be:

o 3.495% on 29 January (steady compared with last week)

o 3.501% on 12 March (down from 3.512% last week)

o 3.488% on 30 April (down from 3.538% last week)

o 3.495% on 11 June (down from 3.589% last week)

o 3.536% on 23 July (down from 3.634% last week)

o 3.588% on 10 September (down from 3.692% last week)

o 3.645% on 29 October (down from 3.749% last week)

o 3.708% on 10 December 2015 (down from 3.811% last week)

o OCR stocks out to June 2016 will be launched in the near future

• Fiscal balance expected to be:

o -0.14% of GDP in 2014/15 (down from -0.11% last week)

o 0.95% of GDP in 2015/16 (steady)

o 1.98% of GDP in 2016/17 (steady)

o 2.37% of GDP in 2017/18 (steady)

Foreign Affairs/Constitution:

• The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not expected to be ratified by the US Congress before 1 July 2017 (only 29% probability it will be, steady compared with last week)

• Helen Clark’s prospects of being the next UN Secretary General are 29% (up from 27% last week)

• There is a 19% probability New Zealand will become a republic by 2020 (steady compared with last week)

Notes:

• iPredict Ltd is owned by Victoria University of Wellington. Details on the company and its stocks can be found atwww.ipredict.co.nz.

• The weekly economic and political update is prepared by Exceltium Ltd on a pro bono basis and is based on a snapshot taken at a random time each week. This week’s was taken at 1.02 pm today.

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url

]]>
http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/inflationary-and-interest-rate-expectations-continue-to-fall/feed/ 0
Washington: Hundreds Gather to Protest TPP http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/washington-hundreds-gather-to-protest-tpp/ http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/washington-hundreds-gather-to-protest-tpp/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:01:11 +0000 http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/?p=7527 Press Release – Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch

Outside Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in Washington, D.C., Hundreds Gather to Protest TPP, Toast the Demise of Fast Track AuthorityOutside Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in Washington, D.C., Hundreds Gather to Protest TPP, Toast the Demise of Fast Track Authority

WASHINGTON, D.C. – An hour of loud chanting and noisemakers ensured that the chief negotiators from the 12 nations involved in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks today were aware of growing U.S. public opposition to the TPP and the extremely dim prospects that President Barack Obama will ever obtain Fast Track trade authority, Public Citizen said. Hundreds of activists from labor, environmental, consumer, human rights, public health, Internet freedom, faith and family farm groups protested outside the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), where negotiators were meeting.

“U.S. public opposition is focused on TPP non-trade terms being pushed by U.S. officials on behalf of corporate interests that would raise medicine prices, undermine Internet freedom and provide foreign firms operating here special privileges relative to their domestic competitors,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “President Obama will not get Fast Track authority for the TPP because congressional Democrats and Republicans alike oppose such ‘diplomatic legislating’ and are irate about the actual trade terms, such as disciplines against currency manipulation, that the administration has refused to raise in TPP talks.”

“The voices of millions of working, middle-class Americans cannot be ignored,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “They are tired of being the casualties of bad trade deals that send good-paying jobs overseas. The Teamsters Union will continue to fight against Fast Track authorization and the Trans-Pacific Partnership – American workers cannot pay the price of another bad trade deal.”

“We believe in trade,” said George Kohl, senior director of Communications Workers of America. “We are fighting against old trade policy that literally guarantees corporate profits at the expense of working families in all nations. In the weeks ahead, we will mobilize like never before against Fast Track authorizing legislation and the TPP, and for 21st century trade that gives workers’ rights, environmental issues and other concerns the same standing as corporate profits.”

“It’s time for all Americans – environmentalists, parents, workers – to come together and make some noise,” said Ilana Solomon, director of the Sierra Club’s Responsible Trade Program. “We can’t let negotiators secretly shape trade pacts behind closed doors that will open up the floodgates for fracking, make environmental safeguards vulnerable to polluter attacks and worsen climate disruption. We’re raising our voices to say ‘no’ to fast tracking a flawed Trans-Pacific Partnership, and ‘yes’ to protecting our families and communities.”

Added Arthur Stamoulis, executive director of Citizens Trade Campaign, “Trade negotiators need to wake up to the fact that Fast Track is dead and won’t be resurrected. Voters have had enough of backroom pacts that put corporate profits ahead of human needs, and Congress members increasingly understand that rubber-stamping the TPP would be a fast track out of office.”

For more information about the TPP, visit http://www.exposethetpp.org/.

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url

]]>
http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/washington-hundreds-gather-to-protest-tpp/feed/ 0
National’s Wrecking Ball Ruining Lives And Economy http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/nationals-wrecking-ball-ruining-lives-and-economy/ http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/nationals-wrecking-ball-ruining-lives-and-economy/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:51:06 +0000 http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/?p=7525 Press Release – New Zealand First Party

Nationals narrow thinkers are wedded to failed economic policies that the OECD says are hurting Kiwis and the country as a whole, says New Zealand First.Fletcher Tabuteau MP

Spokesperson on Commerce and Trade
10 DECEMBER.2014
National’s Wrecking Ball Ruining Lives And Economy

National’s narrow thinkers are wedded to failed economic policies that the OECD says are hurting Kiwis and the country as a whole, says New Zealand First.

“National’s adamant refusal to change course and work for all New Zealanders has led to an OECD report clearly showing that government policies are causing massive inequality which is restricting economic growth, says Spokesperson on Commerce and Trade Fletcher Tabuteau.

“The TPPA negotiations are just another example of National’s extremist policy – it is a trade treaty in name only. We are witnessing a government pandering to big business, but everyone in New Zealand must count.

“National intends to give away our rights to large foreign corporations which will only make the rich richer. US analysis shows the benefits of a TPPA agreement to the NZ economy would be marginal and may only bring an insignificant increase in New Zealand’s GDP of a 100th of a per cent,” says Mr Tabuteau.

“Trade Negotiations Minister Tim Groser told us to trust him and his trade experts, but now he says it’s acceptable that gains in one area of negotiations means losses in others.

“What that actually means is that our Seniors will pay more for their medicines and the rich traders will simply make more money.

“OECD experts say National’s ideology is hurting all New Zealanders. National does not care. Mr Groser can’t wait to sign the TPP and wear the further deterioration of equality in New Zealand like a badge.

“The OECD report says government policies must be directed at the half of our population to improve their livelihoods and bring back equality, which New Zealanders were once rightly proud of.

“Both National and Labour are responsible for the inequality in New Zealand. Labour started reforms in 1984 and National followed with even more brutality – now we have wages being driven down by a flood of migrants and National is pushing for zero-hour contracts.

“The OECD is right, it is time for a change of direction – that’s common sense and fairer for all.”

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url

]]>
http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/nationals-wrecking-ball-ruining-lives-and-economy/feed/ 0
2014 Roger Award Finalists Named http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/2014-roger-award-finalists-named/ http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/2014-roger-award-finalists-named/#comments Sun, 07 Dec 2014 07:54:20 +0000 http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/?p=7517 Press Release – CAFCA

The six finalists for the 2014 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand are:2014 Roger Award Finalists Named

The six finalists for the 2014 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand are:

ANZ

British American Tobacco NZ

Coca Cola Amatil

IAG/State Insurance

PGG Wrightson

Rio Tinto

The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance - monopoly, profiteering, tax dodging, cultural imperialism; people – unemployment, impact on tangata whenua, impact on women, impact on children, abuse of workers/conditions, health and safety of workers and the public; environment – environmental damage, abuse of animals; and political interference – interference in democratic processes, running an ideological crusade.

There is also an Accomplice Award for an organisation (not an individual) which was the worst Accomplice during the year in aiding and abetting transnational corporations in New Zealand to behave as described in the criteria. The Accomplice’s award is in addition to the Worst Transnational Corporation award and will not necessarily be awarded every year. For the first time ever there is a genuine contest for the Accomplice Award, with four finalists. As always, there is the Government, specifically for its commitment to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). But there are also, in alphabetical order: Callaghan Innovation, the Food and Grocery Council, and Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi. The nomination for British American Tobacco NZ also nominated the Food and Grocery Council for the Accomplice Award, specifically in connection with BAT.

ANZ has been a regular finalist, most recently in 2013, and it won the 2009 Roger Award. In 2014 it has been selected as a finalist for two major reasons: exploitation of workers, and profiteering. The nominator said: “I take particular exception to this statement by ANZ CEO David Hisco: ‘I don’t think employees should see the business they work in as a partnership where profits are shared. Banks don’t ask workers to chip in out of their own bank accounts when they are short of capital’ (Press, 12/11/14; ‘ANZ Bank boss gets bumper pay rise’)”.

British American Tobacco NZ has been a regular finalist and it won the 2008 Roger Award. The nominator said: ”This company, in the certain knowledge that their product kills and disables thousands of people, persists in promoting it. Robbing people of life is infinitely worse than robbing them of material possessions, sovereignty, etc. In my view, no other transnational company can match the depravity of this company’s wanton murder. Reference: chapter 7 of ‘Dirty Politics’. Also NZ Food & Grocery Council as accomplice”. See elsewhere in this issue for Jeremy Agar’s review of Nicky Hager’s “Dirty Politics”. Ed.

Coca Cola Amatil makes its first appearance in the Roger Award finalists. The nomination is titled: ”Hiding Harm With Clever Marketing”. An extract: “Effectively this nomination is not about anything unusual this year but an affirmation of growing public awareness of the danger of rising sugar consumption and a highly effective company that mitigates the unhealthy nature of its core products through advertising and support for community-focused activities that further promote its brands. By persistently peddling high sugar drinks that can be addictive, Coca Cola Amatil is undermining the health of many New Zealanders and contributing to increased costs to the health budget”..

IAG/State Insurance is a finalist for the third consecutive year, which will be no surprise to anyone who has lived in Christchurch since 2010. This time the nomination was for: economic dominance (specifically insurance market dominance and profiteering), and impact on people. “Four years after the Christchurch earthquakes started the insurance transnationals (of which IAG/ State is by far the biggest) are still making life hell for many thousands of Christchurch people. For example, see the evidence about State’s treatment of one of its 92 year old customers. That is not an isolated instance, either. There is another example about another 90 year old. Nor is it only residential customers who are getting the runaround from IAG/State. There are examples of building and business owners stuck in limbo. We pay insurance for peace of mind. For huge numbers of Christchurch people they have had, and continue to have, anything but that. This sets a precedent for what the rest of the country can expect from IAG/State and the other insurance TNCs in the event of a major disaster”.

PGG Wrightson also makes its first appearance as a Roger Award finalist. “The grounds are harm to the environment and to animals. They have also placed people in danger… The reason is their development and continued sale of HT (high tolerance) swedes and other herbicide- tolerant brassicas. The seeds were developed by PGG Wrightson and they are sold together with Telar (a herbicide manufactured by Du Pont, but it is PGGW that does the retailing in this case). The herbicide is sprayed after the seeds are planted using the Cleancrop system that was developed by PGGW in partnership with Du Pont. A problem with this is that last year (2013) a significant number of cows fed on HT Swedes grown using this system died. The symptoms sound like some sort of poisoning. It could be either the herbicide or the swedes themselves that are causing the problem, but PGGW sold both the swedes and the herbicide and are continuing to do so”.

Rio Tinto won the 2013 and 2011 Roger Awards and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One of the reasons that it won in 2013 was it was the recipient of the most outrageous example of corporate welfare that year, namely $30 million of taxpayers’ money to bribe it to keep its Bluff smelter open for a few more years. In 2014 Rio Tinto announced a $3.7 billion profit, but said that it will keep the $30m handout. In 2014 it was nominated for economic dominance and political interference: “Southland workers and the economy of Southland are being held to ransom”; and for its impact on the environment: “It belches steam and smoke 24/7”. Another nominator said: “Of all the candidates for the Roger Award, Rio Tinto is the arch-villain, and should receive it every year, not just sometimes. A squeaky door, nagging approach is necessary for Rio Tinto”.

The judges are: David Small, a lawyer and Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Canterbury; Dean Parker, Auckland writer and former Writers’ Guild delegate to the Council of Trade Unions; Dennis Maga, union activist from the May First Movement Philippines, organiser of FIRST Union and founder of Migrante and UNEMIG; Paul Maunder, cultural worker, curator of Blackball Museum of Working Class History and coordinator of Unions West Coast; and Sue Bradford, community activist and former Green MP. The winner(s) will be announced at a Christchurch event on the night of May 1st. Full details, including previous winners and annual Judges’ Reports, can be read online at http://canterbury.cyberplace.co.nz/community/CAFCA/roger.html. Bad luck to all the finalists and may the worst man win!

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url

]]>
http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/2014-roger-award-finalists-named/feed/ 0
iPredict: Inflationary Expectations Fall Significantly http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/ipredict-inflationary-expectations-fall-significantly/ http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/ipredict-inflationary-expectations-fall-significantly/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 11:06:40 +0000 http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/?p=7515 Column – iPredict

Both inflationary and interest-rate expectations have fallen significantly over the last week, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealands predictions market, iPredict.iPredict Ltd: New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update: 5 December 2014

Inflationary Expectations Fall Significantly
Both inflationary and interest-rate expectations have fallen significantly over the last week, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Annual inflation is now expected to be only 0.8% in the September 2014 quarter and only 1.0% in the December 2014 quarter, while the Official Cash Rate is not expected to reach 3.75% until October next year. Short-term forecasts for GDP and the fiscal balance have both eased slightly. John Key’s position as leader of the National Party has weakened marginally but he is still strongly expected to lead his party into the next election year, forecast to be 2017, and National’s chances of winning the next election have risen marginally to 55%. Judith Collins’ chances of returning to Cabinet before the election have eased.

Politics:
John Key is expected to remain National leader until at least the end of 2016 (70% probability, down from 73% last week) and has a 44% probability of remaining National leader until at least the end of 2017 (down from 47% last week)

Paula Bennett is again favourite to become National Party leader if a vacancy arises (26%, up from 25% last week), followed by Steven Joyce (25% probability, down from 26%), Jonathan Coleman (12%, up from 10%) and Simon Bridges (7%, down from 8%).

Stocks on Andrew Little’s longevity as leader of the Labour Party will be launched in the near future.

Judith Collins expected to be appointed to Cabinet before next election (50.3% probability, down from 65% last week).

Next election expected in 2017 (93% probability, steady compared with last week).

Forecast party vote shares at next election:
• National: 45.7% (new stocks)
• Labour: 31.5% (new stocks)
• Greens: 14.7% (new stocks)
• NZ First: 7.0% (new stocks)
• Others: 1.1% (new stocks)

National expected to win 2017 General Election (55% probability, up from 52% last week)

Economics:
Quarterly GDP growth expected to be:
• 0.7% of GDP in the September quarter (down from 0.8% last week)
• 0.8% in the December quarter (steady compared with last week)
• 1.0% in the March 2015 quarter (steady compared with last week)
• 1.1% in the June 2015 quarter (steady compared with last week)

Unemployment expected to be 5.3% in the December quarter (steady compared with last week). Unemployment stocks for 2015 will be launched in the near future.

Current account deficit expected to be 2.5% of GDP in the September quarter (up from 2.4% last week) and 3.8% of GDP in the December quarter (steady)

Annual inflation expected to be:
• 0.8% to end of December quarter (down from 1.1% last week)
• 1.0% to end of March 2015 quarter (down from 1.4% last week)
• 1.6% to end of June 2015 quarter (down from 1.7% last week)
• 2.0% to end of September 2015 quarter (down from 2.1% last week)

Official Cash Rate priced to be:
• 3.496% on 11 December (down from 3.504% last week)
• 3.495% on 29 January (down from 3.506% last week)
• 3.512% on 12 March (down from 3.520% last week)
• 3.538% on 30 April (down from 3.546% last week)
• 3.589% on 11 June (down from 3.599% last week)
• 3.634% on 23 July (down from 3.655% last week)
• 3.692% on 10 September (down from 3.712% last week)
• 3.749% on 29 October (down from 3.769% last week)
• 3.811% on 10 December 2015 (down from 3.821% last week)
• OCR stocks out to June 2016 will be launched in the near future

Fiscal balance expected to be:
• -0.11% of GDP in 2014/15 (down from -0.03% last week)
• 0.95% of GDP in 2015/16 (steady)
• 1.98% of GDP in 2016/17 (steady)
• 2.37% of GDP in 2017/18 (steady)

Foreign Affairs/Constitution:
• The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not expected to be ratified by the US Congress before 1 July 2017 (only 29% probability it will be, steady compared with last week)
• Helen Clark’s prospects of being the next UN Secretary General are 27% (up from 20% last week)
• There is a 19% probability New Zealand will become a republic by 2020 (steady compared with last week)

iPredict Ltd is owned by Victoria University of Wellington. Details on the company and its stocks can be found at www.ipredict.co.nz. The weekly economic and political update is prepared by Exceltium Ltd on a pro bono basis and is based on a snapshot taken at a random time each week. This week’s was taken at 10.07 am today.

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url

]]>
http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/ipredict-inflationary-expectations-fall-significantly/feed/ 0
Save our state houses http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/save-our-state-houses/ http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/save-our-state-houses/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 13:27:48 +0000 http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/?p=7513 Column – Clare Curran

New Zealand was once renowned for its state housing. Labours first Prime Minister, Michael Joseph Savage, recognised the importance of something for everyone by embedding state housing into our economic fabric.Save our state houses

New Zealand was once renowned for its state housing. Labour’s first Prime Minister, Michael Joseph Savage, recognised the importance of ‘something for everyone’ by embedding state housing into our economic fabric.

However 97% of New Zealanders we surveyed recognise that we are now in the midst of a housing crisis, with the government announcing its intentions to sell off $5 billion worth of state houses while further subsidising the landlords. All with the purpose of divesting governmental responsibility for state housing.

National’s big business friends are lobbying them to put the houses on the open market. That would mean speculators and developers could buy up the land and do what they want with it.

The result would be that the number of state houses available to provide a safety net for families struggling with rising living costs could rapidly disappear – making the housing crisis even worse. State housing is an investment in future generations and helps make sure all kids have the opportunity to grow up safe and healthy.

The effects will be widespread, and Otago will be far from immune. Figures obtained earlier this year, show that up to 32% of Dunedin’s state houses are projected to be sold in the next decade. This is a sad indictment on the lack of growth in our region at the hands of this government.

But we have a chance of persuading Bill English, the Minister responsible, to change his mind.

Click here to sign the petition the petition to save our state houses. It’s time our collective voice is heard, and the Government sits up and listens.

The importance of civics

‘What does it feel like to be part of something important?’ ‘Is the speaker nice to you or is he nasty?’ ‘We read that Member’s Bills are drawn in a ballot from a biscuit tin. Is the ballot tin really a biscuit tin?’
Civics education is one of the core tenets of a working democracy. It equips young people with knowledge of our legal, government and parliamentary systems, and provides them with the tools to effectively participate in our democratic system.

Last week I visited both Elmgrove School and Taieri College to talk about my role as an MP. As shown by the snippet of questions I was asked above, the kids at Elmgrove school were eager to turn their questioning minds to the workings of Government. Democracy was brought to the classroom and applied to their own lives.

Tune in to 107.5FM to hear my interview with Elmgrove School.
Saddle Hill Public Meeting

A number of Saddle Hill residents have approached me with concerns over the continuous quarrying on the ridgeline of Jaffray’s Hill. The Environment Court ruled that no consent for the digging exists, a ruling that was subsequently overturned by the High Court on 20 November.

Despite an interim injunction being in place preventing the quarry business from digging along the ridge line further endangering the shape of the hill, diggers have been consistently observed and filmed along the ridgeline.
I have organised a community meeting on Saturday 13 December to discuss this and the ongoing issues of heavy traffic movements along the Saddle Hill roads due to the quarrying which has long affected the community.

For information on the public meeting, please contactGeorgina.O’Reilly@parliament.govt.nz or phone my office on (03) 455 5299.
Mosgiel Community Day

Mosgiel is one of the gems of my electorate, as highlighted by the recent Community Day.

A family-friendly event, the community rallied together to showcase their local businesses and immense community spirit.

The day wouldn’t have been complete without getting into the festive spirit with a Santa selfie!
Well done to all involved in organising the successful event.
Portobello School goes to Parliament

I was delighted to host Portobello School on their visit to Parliament last week.

Following the tour put on by Education Services, I joined them for a fish and chip dinner and a chat about my role as an MP in Wellington.

The students asked excellent and engaging questions. No doubt we’ll be seeing some of them in the House in years to come.

Please contact my office if your school is intending on a visit to Parliament.
East Taieri Preschool

Visiting local schools and preschools is one of the most rewarding aspects of my role. Seeing the kids grapple with and adapt to a rapidly changing world never fails to delight.
I visit schools and preschools regularly. If you would like me to visit your school or preschool, please contact my office to make a time.

South Dunedin Street Festival

The South Dunedin Street Festival, held on 8 November, was once again a roaring success.

The Festival offers the South Dunedin community a chance to come together and celebrate, giving local businesses a chance to promote themselves.

Well done to the South Dunedin Business Association in organising another great event. Looking forward to many more festivals in years to come.

Caversham mural to go ahead

The Caversham Mural Project is set to go ahead after some concerns over raising funds for the paint required.

The mural is designed to capture the rich history of the suburb, as well as its potential for the future. As Dunedin’s oldest suburb, Caversham encapsulates much of the city’s history.

I was approached by the designers Stickum Co-Operative and the Caversham Community Group for support in raising funds for the paint required. I then approached Resene, who agreed to provide all 24L of paint free of charge.
A good news story for a fantastic community initiative.
Keep an eye out for the mural on the side of Fairways building on South Rd.
TPPA Protest

On Saturday 8 November I spoke at the TPPA protest in the Octagon.

Labour values democracy and a strong economy for all. Therefore we have real concerns over the secrecy in which the TPPA is progressing. New Zealand prides itself on its independence and innovation.

New Zealand must not sacrifice cheaper medicines through Pharmac, or give up our sovereign right to regulate and legislate for our health, protection of our environment, in ICT and online security and privacy, or in areas including gambling, tobacco and alcohol. We must preserve our democratic rights to regulate overseas corporations that operate here.

Our democracy must be protected and enhanced, and I will continue to be vocal if our concerns are not met.
ends

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url

]]>
http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/save-our-state-houses/feed/ 0