What a week for New Zealand First. Winston Peters continues to move ahead in the national party's own polls in Northland and back down in Wellington parliamentary officials have undertaken somewhat of a quiet coup.
Every now and then the staff literally pull a member's bill from a cake tin. Those member's bills are then tabled in parliament to be debated in the house. Last week NZ First had two of the three bills drawn. The probability of this happening is astronomically tiny. The first to be drawn was the deputy leader's, Tracey Martin's bill the "New Zealand International Convention Centre Act 2013 Repeal Bill." A bill designed to ensure that we can go back and look at the Sky City deal that John Key made, to prop up large international businesses with taxpayer money so that Sky City can make more profits and have more pokie machines. The bill will allow us to ask the question, is this the deal that New Zealanders actually want. But the most exciting and most important bill was the second one, because it was my own. This has become an opportunity to highlight yet again this prime minister is not interested in what New Zealanders want, it would seem he is only interested in doing deals that work for his retirement plan.
"Fighting Foreign Corporate Control" is a bill I have modelled from other countries around the world, which at its core ensures that New Zealanders and the New Zealand government maintains its right to govern without interference and the fear and probability of multinational corporates suing the government if the government makes decisions those large multi corporates don't like. It removes a nasty clause from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
Steven Joyce keeps implying that fighting against the TPPA trade agreement is as good as fighting against and not supporting trade. But let me unequivocally state that NZ First, including myself, very much support trade. Export growth is one of the party's founding principles. What we do not and cannot support is the undermining of the powers of the people of New Zealand to make and enforce laws. Germany, France, South Africa and even India have all decided themselves, to do what my bill proposes and even now the United States senate debates why foreign firms should be able to sue the American government if they don't like the laws that they are making. They argue, as do I that this clause gives foreign companies more rights than their own domestic organisations.
Business New Zealand has come out and said that this clause, which my bill would remove, is unnecessary in a country like New Zealand. NZ First continues to stand up for all New Zealanders against apparent apathy, ignorance or even malicious intent.-Fletcher Tabuteau is a Rotorua-based NZ First list MP.