22ND SEPTEMBER / MARCUS LOGAN

John Key’s resounding success and the failure of left wing parties to draw significant support came as a shock to many once the numbers were counted on election night.

The most embarrassing defeat of the Labour Party in over 90 years saw them muster just over 25% of votes. Equally poor was The Green Party’s result, managing 10% and the Internet-Mana Party, who came through with a measly 1.2% and saw Hone Harawira lose his coveted seat in parliament.

National’s landslide victory means that they have an outright majority, and are technically able to govern our country without the need for input from other parties. However, they may still choose to work with ACT, Maori and United Future.

One statistic probably stands out as the most shocking – roughly 700,000 enrolled voters did not end up casting their vote. 77.04% of those eligible took part in the election, this is slightly higher than 2011’s abysmal 74.2%, which was the lowest turn-out in 120 years.

The amount of non-voters raises a number of issues that pertain to the functioning of our political system, but this is a story for another day.

Whether we like it or not, we now face another three years under a Key-led Government, so I thought it would be beneficial to take a realistic look at what to expect from the next few years.

John Key rode through the election campaign on the back of his promise to sustain the status quo in New Zealand.

To continue building our economy and sustaining a “stable” government. To maintain and further the policies which have been implemented over the past six years, while cutting public services expenditure and striving to balance the books and cut in to national debt.

Some of Key’s main priorities are to reform the education system; investing millions to ensure better quality of teaching and introducing a controversial charter schools program.

Another one of his main priorities is to remodel the national flag, via a referendum vote.

Mr Key’s vision to maintain the status quo means that a number of pressing social issues will also, remain the same.

These are not the only issues that our Prime Minister will attempt to sweep under the rug and out of the public’s mind.

The resignation of Jason Ede brings about the second victim of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, after Judith Collins resigned in late August.

There’s no doubt that Key will continue to downplay Hager’s findings and urge the spotlight away from the review being conducted of his party’s inner-workings.

The information presented by Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Glenn Greenwald at the infamous ‘Moment of Truth’ event raises further questions about the functioning of our government.

Snowden and Greenwald produced evidence (see herehere and here.) that indicates John Key deliberately mislead the public about the nature of the GCSB, and that New Zealand is involved in a mass surveillance program that collects metadata from all citizens using the internet and digital technologies.

Mr Key has tried to brush off these allegations, but has not produced any credible evidence that prove the material of Hager or Snowden/Assange/Greenwald to be incorrect. In fact, these men have never been proven incorrect, ever.

The issues presented by this collective are extremely serious and in totality, they paint the picture of a government willing to use deceitful and dishonest tactics against it’s own citizenship. This is far from the symptoms of a healthy democracy, and these are topics that need to remain in discussion with the Prime Minister.

We should not be quick to forget these findings, and now that the enigmatic Kim Dotcom is of no relevance, it should be time for our media to do their jobs properly, to focus on the issues and put the hard questions towards John Key.

However, the dirty politics does not stop here – there is another incoming threat presented by the National Government.

This is their intention to sign the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, or the TPPA.

The acronym TPPA has been thrown around a lot, so much in fact that many New Zealanders may not be bothered to find out more about what it actually is. The false assumption that it is a “conspiracy”, or “not as bad as it seems”, is far from the truth, it is very real, and about to come to fruition.

The TPP is an agreement between 11 Asia-Pacific countries and the United States, that has been presented as nothing more than a “trade deal” by the governments involved.

Details of the agreement have been kept top secret and negotiations have only occurred behind closed doors.

The only information that’s available to the public about the TPPA has come from leaked documents that indicate the “trade agreement” is something far more significant than what was initially thought.

The TPPA works to reshape a large chunk of our economy in a way that benefits foreign corporations. It essentially gives these corporations more power over the economy than our own government, and introduces a range of legislation that impacts numerous sectors across New Zealand.

Some of the TPPA’s implications –

  • Offshore corporations are able to sue the New Zealand government for millions in damages in overseas tribunals, claiming that new laws and regulations (e.g. a ban on oil drilling, cap on electricity prices, or smoking control laws) have undermined the value of their investments.
  • The price of medicine will increase as pharmaceutical companies are allowed more influence over PHARMAC, and restrictions are placed on generic medicines.
  • Harsher copyright laws will be introduced and enforced more vigorously, further restricting internet freedom and access to information. This will in turn make it more expensive for schools, libraries and business and stifle potential innovation.
  • GMO’s will no longer need to be labelled
  • Parallel importing will be banned
  • Foreign banks, insurance companies and money traders will gain the ability to challenge laws that are designed to prevent financial crises.
  • Overseas property investors can contest initiatives that would lower property prices, such as a capital gain tax
  • Our Emission’s trading scheme in place to reduce our contribution to climate change will be foregone due to overseas companies investment in New Zealand farming or industrial operations

These are a small number of details about the TPPA, for more information read international lawyer Robert Amsterdam’s report on New Zealand’s involvement in the TPPA or visit It’s Our Future.

So, basically – we will hand over our nation’s independence, human rights, and personal freedoms to offshore corporations in return for economic development.

This “trade agreement” is being made behind our backs and without our consent. This is inexcusable in a supposed “democracy”, especially when it will affect every individual or business entity that operates within the New Zealand economy.

“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of the people.”

Politicians are civil servants, they are meant to work for the people. They do not have the authority to pass laws without our knowledge, especially ones that will impact us enormously.

I understand the need for economic growth, I really do. But at what point do we say enough is enough? Once the TPPA is signed it is irrevocable, meaning future generations will grow up in a society shaped by capitalist corporations.

If you are opposed to the TPPA, then; inform your friends about it, bombard social media, write to local politicians, MP’s and journalists, support the TPPA Action Group and join the International Day of Action Against the TPPA.

We still have time.

The election may be over, but there is still an opportunity to raise awareness about the TPPA and do our best to put a stop to it. If everybody is able to find out about the dirty details, there is hope.

Knowledge is power, we can do this.

Marcus Logan is an independent journalist studying at AUT. Check out his website here.

You can also follow Marcus on Twitter @marcuslogan00

About The Author

Wake Up NZ is a team of dedicated truth-seekers from all over New Zealand. We are committed to disseminating information that the mainstream media fails to bring to you.

2 Responses

  1. sanja nenadic

    Thank you for bringing this to the attention of the masses. I’ll share this on my facebook. Kia kaha and keep up the good work!

    Reply

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