On 18 August Oil Free Otago spoke at the DCC public forum on the dangers of the TPPA – with regard to climate change and deep sea drilling. We are pleased to report that Dunedin City Councillors, after some hours of discussion, voted (slim majority) to adopt option one of their internal report on the issue, which is almost identical to the 12 point policy remit produced by the Renewables group in Motueka, and adopted by Auckland, Nelson, Tasman and Christchurch Councils.
Crs MacTavish, Hawkins, Thomson, Neville Peat, David Benson-Pope, Kate Wilson and Mayor Cull voted to adopt the resolution.
Crs Whiley, Staynes, Bezett, Lord, Doug Hall and Andrew Noone voted against it.
Cr Vandervis abstained because, he said, councillors could not know what they were voting for and Cr Hilary Calvert was not present at the meeting.
Here is the 12 point resolution:
TPPA resolution for Local Government consideration
That the Dunedin City Council encourages the government to conclude trade negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership and Free Trade Agreements in a way that provides net positive benefits for the Otago region and New Zealand, that is, provided the Partnership Agreements achieve the following objectives:
i. Continues to allow the Dunedin City Council and other councils, if they so choose, to adopt procurement policies that provide for a degree of local preference; to choose whether particular services or facilities are provided in house, by council-controlled organisations (CCOs) or by contracting out; or to require higher health and safety, environmental protection, employment rights and conditions, community participation, animal protection or human rights standards than national or international minimum standards.
ii. Maintains good diplomatic and trade relations and partnerships for Dunedin, Otago and New Zealand with other major trading partners not included in the agreement, including with China.
iii. Provides substantially increased access for our agriculture exports, particularly those from the Otago region into the US market;
iv. Does not undermine PHARMAC, raise the cost of medical treatments and medicines or threaten public health measures, such as tobacco control;
v. Does not give overseas investors or suppliers any greater rights than domestic investors and suppliers, such as through introducing Investor- State Dispute Settlement, or reduce our ability to control overseas investment or finance;
vi. Does not expand intellectual property rights and enforcement in excess of current law;
vii. Does not weaken our public services, require privatisation, hinder reversal of privatisations, or increase the commercialisation of government or of Dunedin City Council or other local government organisations;
viii. Does not reduce our flexibility to support local economic and industry development and encourage good employment and environmental practices and initiatives like Council Cadetships, COMET and the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs which enable marginalised young people to develop their skills and transition into meaningful employment;
ix. Contains enforceable labour clauses requiring adherence to core International Labour Organisation conventions and preventing reduction of labour rights for trade or investment advantage;
x. Contains enforceable environmental clauses preventing reduction of environmental standards for trade or investment advantage;
xi. Has general exceptions to protect human rights, the environment, the Treaty of Waitangi, and New Zealand’s economic and financial stability;
xii. Is referred to the parliamentary select committee process, allowing adequate time for public submissions.