Expert Papers

Financial support for the series of research papers has been provided by the NZ Law Foundation and the NZ Public Service Association. Please note, the views expressed should not be attributed to the NZ Law Foundation.

Negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) were concluded in Atlanta, USA on 5 October 2015, and the text was released on 5 November 2015. There are twelve negotiating countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam. The TPPA has 30 chapters and many annexes, with parties also adopting bilateral side-letters. They are expected to sign the agreement on 4 February 2016 in New Zealand, which is the formal depositary for the TPPA. Each party to the negotiations must complete its own constitutional processes and requirements before it can take steps to adopt the agreement. The TPPA will come into force within two years if all original signatories notify that they have completed their domestic processes, or after 2 years and 3 months if at least six of them, including the US and Japan, have done so.

This page will host a series of expert peer-reviewed analyses of different aspects of the text. The research papers have been prepared under tight time constraints and are not comprehensive. A full and independent assessment of the TPPA’s likely impact on key issues, including the environment, health, social wellbeing and human rights is required. This needs to be undertaken prior to signing, or at the least ratification, of the TPPA.

Expert Paper #1: Treaty Making, Parliamentary Democracy, Regulatory Sovereignty & The Rule of Law

Prof. Jane Kelsey, University of Auckland (December 2015)
TPPA Timeline – Text – New Zealand’s Treaty Making Process – US Congressional Process –  Status – Regulatory Sovereignty – Enforcement

Expert Paper #2: Chapter 9 on Investment

Amokura Kawharu, University of Auckland (December 2015)
Coverage – Sovereign Right to Regulate – Specific Policy Issues – Investor-State Dispute Settlement – ISDS

Expert Paper #3: Māori Rights, Te Tiriti O Waitangi and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Dr. Carwyn Jones, Assoc Prof. Claire Charters, Andrew Erueti, Prof. Jane Kelsey, University of Auckland (January 2016)
Tino rangatiratanga and active protection – Traditional Knowledge – Biodiversity – Environment Chapter – UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Waitangi Tribunal claim – Treaty of Waitangi exception – Economic gains and costs to Māori – Post-agreement process

Expert Paper #4: The Environment Under TPPA Governance

Simon Terry, Executive Director of The Sustainability Council (January 2016)
Governance – Environmental Objectives – UN Environmental Treaties – Endangered Species – Fishing – Enforcement – ISDS – Climate Change – GM Food

Expert Paper #5: The Economics of the TPPA

Barry Coates, Rod Oram, Dr Geoff Bertram and Professor Tim Hazledine (January 2016)
Modelling the Benefits of the TPPA – Key issues for Agriculture and Trade Rules – Implications for Value Chains – Economic Implications of Regulatory Restraints – Flawed Model for the 21st Century Agreement

Expert Paper #6: Implications of TPPA for Local Government

Tony Holman, Richard Northey and Professor Jane Kelsey (February 2016)
Local Democracy – Economic Development – Procurement – Public Private Partnerships – Water – Crown Controlled Organisations – Treaty of Waitangi – Sustainability – Investor-State Dispute Settlement – ISDS

Expert Paper #7: Intellectual Property and Information Technology

James Ting-Edwards, Melanie Johnson, Judge David Harvey, Debbie Monahan, Kate McHaffie and Jo Shaw (February 2016)
Intellectual Property; – Extension of Copyright Term – Patent Protections for Medicines and Biologics – Individual Liability for Undoing “digital locks” – Data flows versus Data sovereignty

Expert Paper #8: TPPA Labour Chapter

Laila Harré (May 2017)
Key Points: weak protections for labour, unions and workers; past experience of labour clauses; reliance on ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work; labour law enforcement issues; voluntary corporate social responsibility; interests of migrant workers ignored; posted workers defined as trade (mode 4).