News Item

April 2016

Stimulating Public Debate - the TPPA

The Law Foundation has an established track record of supporting projects that shed light on controversial issues. More recently it funded work on the highly charged issue of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

The project attempted to demystify complex issues and stimulate debate through a series of expert analyses on aspects of the TPPA. This was coordinated by Auckland University Law Professor Jane Kelsey and Barry Coates, former executive director of Oxfam New Zealand.

The resulting expert papers are intended to inform public opinion and debate and address concerns raised about the lack of publicly available information about the TPPA. The papers are not a comprehensive, formal impact assessment of the TPPA but it is expected they will provide clarity and understanding to complex legal issues surrounding the agreement, and help and bring new thinking to the subject.

Professor Kelsey’s views on the TPPA are well-known, but she has brought together a series of expert, peer-reviewed analyses that take an objective rather than an advocacy approach to some of the key issues raised by the agreement.

The papers cover TPPA provisions, their implications for policy and impacts on New Zealand society in an accessible form. They provide source material for researchers, MPs, professional bodies, NGOs, trade unions, journalists, activists and opinion-formers, to inform debate.

The analyses currently comprise seven papers:

  • Treaty Making, Parliamentary Democracy, Regulatory Sovereignty & The Rule of Law – Professor Kelsey.
  • Investment – Amokura Kawharu.
  • Maori rights, Treaty of Waitangi and the TPP Dr Carwyn Jones, Associate Professor Claire Charters, Andrew Erueti, Professor Kelsey.
  • Environment and climate change Simon Terry.
  • The economics of the TPPA Barry Coates, Rod Oram, Dr Geoff Bertram, Professor Tim Hazledine.
  • Implications of TPPA for local government Tony Holman, Richard Northey, Professor Kelsey
  • Intellectual Property and Information Technology – James Ting-Edwards, Melanie Johnson, Judge David Harvey, Debbie Monahan, Kate McHaffie and Jo Shaw.
View the papers on the TPP Legal web site

Further papers will be added soon, covering:

  • Finance financial regulation, cross-border flows, capital controls, taxation, etc
  • Health medicines, Pharmac, tobacco exception etc
  • Labour rights performance requirements, investor-state dispute settlements etc
  • Public services public-private partnerships, local government, SOEs etc

Views expressed in the papers by the researchers are not the views of the Foundation.

The Law Foundation has awarded up to $30,000 towards supporting this project.