If you don’t want a smart meter, you may not like the TPPA

The text of the controversial TPPA has finally been made public. previously leaked text suggests that the TPPA could erode the NZ government’s ability to protect public health, worker’s rights and the environment.

This website has previously included information about how the TPPA may impact on the smart meter situation which you can read at the link below.

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/concerned-about-how-the-tppa-might-impact-on-the-smart-meter-situation/

To learn more about the TPPA in general please visit
http://itsourfuture.org.nz/

The above website has information about the Day of Action against the TPPA on November 14, 2015.

How the TPPA might torpedo sensible laws to protect people smart meters…

This website has previously discussed the smart meter situation and how the “Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement” (TPPA) could adversely affected New Zealand by making it more difficult to pass legislation to protect New Zealanders from smart meters, which pose health and privacy risks.  (See: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/could-the-tppa-make-the-smart-meter-situation-in-nz-worse/)

In addition, there are members of the medical profession who are opposed to the TPPA (for example, see this link http://www.naturalmedicine.net.nz/news/doctor-speaks-out-on-how-tppa-could-affect-new-zealanders-health/) and there are many other New Zealanders opposed to the TPPA for various reasons.  TPPA opponents include advocates for safe food and anti-smoking campaigners and environmental groups.

The text of the TPPA has not been made public, however, text that has been leaked shows that the TPPA makes provision for “Investor-State Dispute Settlements” which are essentially a mechanism by which corporations can sue governments if laws made by governments interfere with the corporation’s ability to make money. (If a corporation won its case, taxpayers would have to cough up the funds for damages awarded to the corporations.)

(You can read more about the “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” issue here:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kill-the-dispute-settlement-language-in-the-trans-pacific-partnership/2015/02/25/ec7705a2-bd1e-11e4-b274-e5209a3bc9a9_story.html)

Unfortunately, the NZ government has signaled its intention to sign the TPPA.

A large number of initiative are underway to try to persuade the government against signing the TPPA.  The week of August 8 to August 15 2015 has been designated as a week of action against the TPPA

For more information please visit this website http://itsourfuture.org.nz/

(There is an email list to which you can sign up for information.)

There is also a Facebook page that will include various anti-TPPA actions coming up in Auckland, beginning this week:

https://www.facebook.com/events/856470661055271/permalink/856505651051772/

Could the TPPA make the smart meter situation in NZ worse?

The smart meter situation at present in NZ is not good.

Companies in the electricity industry are putting in smart meters as fast as they can.  Not surprisingly, considering the fact that the pulses of RFR that smart meters produce can be intense, some people develop new symptoms after these devices have been installed at their own home or a nearby neighbour’s home and there is now peer reviewed research on adverse health effects associated with smart meters.

In NZ, electricity companies are often reluctant to remove smart meters even when people report health issues after installations.

I have also had reports of people who do not want smart meters being bullied by their electricity retailer to try to get them to accept a smart meter.  (For an example of some bullying behaviour, please see this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/company-tries-to-bully-chronically-ill-woman/)

There is no law or regulation that states that people in NZ have to accept a smart meter which gives some protection to consumers.  However, it is legal to install smart meters (despite the health and privacy risks) and increasingly, NZ electricity retailers are using their supply contracts with consumers to try to enforce smart meter installations upon reluctant customers.

This contrasts with the situation in many parts of the USA where municipalities have acted to protect public health by banning the installation of smart meters in their local areas.

Such enlightened legislation/by-laws has yet to be passed in NZ (and has not even been drafted); however if the NZ government or local authorities were to take this step, the gains to public health could potentially be negated if the NZ government signs the so-called “Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement” (TPPA). (The TPPA is also known as the TPP.)

Unfortunately the NZ government has indicated that it plans to sign this agreement.  The text of the TPPA is still secret.  However, from the small amounts of information that have been leaked into the public domain, it is clear that the agreement would favour the interests of large corporations and is potentially  a disaster for any country that signs it.  The reason for this is that the agreement apparently would allow  corporations to sue governments should a government pass a piece of legislation that could be deemed to impact adversely on corporate profits.

The TPPA is opposed in NZ by a diverse range of individuals and groups, including the Public Health Association, environmental groups and unions who are concerned about how the TPPA could adversely affect ordinary New Zealanders by putting the profits of big corporations ahead of the needs of people who live in New Zealand.

Nationwide protests against the TPPA have been organised for March 7, 2015.

You can find out more about this issue (including how to join local protests) at http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/  and here http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/events/