NZ Trade Minister: we keep TPP a secret to prevent "public debate"


Well that’s refreshingly honest.


“We are very conscious of the interests of New Zealanders in protecting themselves from such legislation…”

“…and it’s my job to prevent that.”


same as it ever was . . .same as it ever was . . .same as it ever was . . .


full disclosure to certain parties is likely to lead this to go immediately into the public debate on an ill-informed basis before the deal has been done.

There will be plenty of time for public debate after irrevocable decisions have been made.


That’s the most complicated political cartoon I’ve ever seen. Even with the extensive explanatory verse beneath it, I have very little idea what all is going on.

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to go immediately into the public debate on an ill-informed basis

See! Ill-informed ‘public debate’, not just ‘public debate’… Obviously the minister is only pretending to the secrecy bit so he can get the real deal and present it to a well-informed populace before signing. All in the interests of New Zealanders. It’s the only explanation for his behaviour.

So again we wuz misled by the headline. Just when I thought I was out …

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Hardly irrevocable, if you can demonstrate that your government signed their autonomy away, it is basically a coup. I would be surprised if a rash of assassinations didn’t follow.

I’m starting to think that is the only way to get any change done in this world.

This is just messed up. Sure, a lot of public debate is mis-informed, but nevertheless, mis-informed public debate is better than allowing even more mis-informed debate behind closed doors.


It’s not the only way, that’s what’s so tragic about it. Countries ruthless oppress their citizens for the sake of “control” and then glibly give it away to others. If the citizens did this, they could easy face charges of treason. And elected officials should be held to an even higher standard of behavior. A government can pull quite a few scams, but this is basically “you elected us and we sold your country” level stuff.

How it’s dishonest is that the public are mis-informed - or simply un-informed - deliberately. It’s purely circular logic: “Since you don’t know what we’re discussing, we cannot tell you what it is.” Why it’s dishonest is that there is no debate happening, only business deals as law.


Call me naive, but you’d think that in a nominal democracy, the phrase “ill-informed public” would automatically lead to moves to inform the public, not double-down on secrecy.


Really? Have you never read any history at all?

If such a thing could be demonstrated in America today, it would immediately be explained away by the media. Any objectors would be described as dirty hippies raping each other in tents. One guy with an axe would be arrested, and that’s about it for popular uprising.


Media works for whoever uses it. Mass media, broadcast media is history. As to say, a moribund holdover from the Age of Industry, rather quaint and obsolete. Most media today doesn’t come from the narrow range of industrial, centralized ownership, and it hasn’t for quite some time.


Yes. There was no mention of a discussion that maybe the public is ill informed because of the secret negotiations. I suspect what they’re trying to avoid is not an ill informed public, but an informed public.

Is there any other reason that such negotiations should not take place in full public view?


Does your idiosyncratic use of punctuation and capitalization provide an additional semantic gloss to your argument?


I stopped at “Wait, does that syringe have a scrotum on it?”

I think it’s required by the ideology. CAPITAL letters for STRAWMEN and ARTIFICIAL PERSONS and all that jazz.

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I don’t have a problem that the negotiations are done outside of the public domain or probably more importantly media domain at this time. Once negotiations are complete it must be ratified in Parliament and through the select committees, giving time for public and political debate.

I agree the legal issues will be important to resolve to protect our interests and it most likely we will be required to “bend” on this, particularly if wanting to access the US market. However this should not be a reason too try and criticize moving forward. Generally free trade agreements are a good thing even though it can take some years for the benefits to be seen.

My guess is that the ratification process will not allow much change as that will require renegotiation.

I would prefer to let the sunshine to the dark backrooms. If they don’t have anything to hide, they can do it in public.

Wanna bet that it will be pushed through in some fast track/“emergency” mode, without the debate?

See the NAFTA fallout. The little guys won’t necessarily gain that much in comparison to the losses.