Home > The Body Politic > The Mendacities of Mr Key #5: Has Tim Groser shown the P.M. to be a liar on the TPPA?

The Mendacities of Mr Key #5: Has Tim Groser shown the P.M. to be a liar on the TPPA?


lying politician


In the ongoing debate on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, Dear  Leader John Key has been at pains to try to reassure New Zealanders that any TPPA document would be “first  presented to Parliament”.

On 1 October 2013, Key said;

With all [free trade agreements] the way that they work is that have to be ratified by Parliament, and we have to build a parliamentary majority, and all of that has to happen through the transparency of the deal.”

“…my advice is that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will require legislation, so, ultimately, once it has gone through the select committee and the public have had their chance to have input, and it has gone through all of those various stages, the Government of the day will require a parliamentary mandate, so by definition people would have had a lot of input.”

And on 31st March this year, Key asserted on NewstalkZB;

In the end, this thing has to go through our Parliament has to be ratified by our Parliament and has to bear scrutiny and I believe is in the best interests of New Zealand.”

Professor Jane Kelsey was one of many who countered Key’s assertions that Parliament would “ratify” any final agreement. Also on 31 March, she stated;

 “How many times do the Prime Minister and other members of the government have to be hauled up for misrepresenting the role of Parliament in making treaties, especially the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement’? The Prime Minister is either woefully ignorant of the fundamental process of treaty making, as set out in the Cabinet Manual, or he is wilfully misrepresenting the process to the New Zealand public.

Parliament’s role in treaty making is largely symbolic. It has no power to decide whether or not the TPPA should be signed or ratified and no ability to change its terms TPPA or require it to be renegotiated.

The select committee process is a farcical exercise because its members know they cannot change the treaty.

At most, Parliament could refuse to pass legislation that is required to bring a particular law into compliance with the TPPA. But the government will have plenty of non-legislative ways to achieve compliance.”

Finally, on 15 June, on TVNZ’s Q+A, National’s own Trade Minister, Tim Groser responsible for TPPA negotiations clearly and utterly refuted any notion that the TPPA would have to be “ratified” by Parliament;


“Oh well, we wouldn't put [this] before the New Zealand Parliament. If we're the government of the day, that has to put the ratifying legislation through Parliament, a deal didn't make a great deal of sense to New Zealand.”

Oh well, we wouldn’t put [this] before the New Zealand Parliament. If we’re the government of the day, that has to put the ratifying legislation through Parliament, a deal didn’t make a great deal of sense to New Zealand.”


Note the first part of Groser’s response to interviewer,  Corin Dann;

Oh well, we wouldn’t put [this] before the New Zealand Parliament.

There we have it. The Trade Minister himself confirming what Jane Kelsey and other critics of the secret deal-making  surrounding the TPPA have said all along: once the government agrees to a final document, it will not require ratification by Parliament.

John Key making a mistake once, is understandable.

John Key repeating that same mistake at least  three times is no longer a “mistake”. It becomes willful misinformation. A deliberate lie.

Caught out again – this time by one of his own Ministers!

Charge: broken promise/deflection/half-truth/hypocrisy/outright lie/misinformation?

Verdict: Outright lie/misinformation




TV3: Key accused of spreading TPPA ‘mistruths’

Parliament:  Questions for Oral Answer — Questions to Ministers

NewstalkZB:  Key defends TPPA negotiations

Scoop media: One more time, PM: Parliament does not get to ratify TPPA

TVNZ: Government may not seek bipartisan support for a TPP – Groser

Previous related blogposts

The Mendacities of Mr Key #4: “Trolls & bottom-feeders”




TPPA thuggery

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 16 June 2014.



= fs =

  1. 21 June 2014 at 8:49 am

    Reblogged this on 2burntoffering and commented:
    shocking but not surprising

    • 21 June 2014 at 10:57 am

      Thanks, 2Chemical. Nice to know I write stuff worthy of being shared! *doffs hat*

  2. Mooloo magic
    21 June 2014 at 10:10 am

    The TPPA alone should be good reason enough for the Electorate not to vote National. Unfortunately the Electorate is largely ignorant about the disastrous ramifications for this country once the TPPA is ratified and the deal signed. The naivety of the NZ Electorate and the fact that over 50% trust the charlatan Key is indeed most troubling and the fact that neither Grosser or Key will explain in detail about the TPPA should send alarm bells to the Electorate. I despair

    • 21 June 2014 at 11:03 am

      Indeed, Mooloo.

      It probably doesn’t help that TVNZ and TV3 have slotted “The Nation” and “Q+A” at ‘ghetto’ timeslots either early on Saturday/Sunday mornings, or late at night. A policy decision not to broadcast at prime time doesn’t help inform the public.

      New Zealanders probably know more about cooking and home improvement shows than the TPPA and other critical problems confronting our nation.

  3. Mick Morgan
    11 August 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Excuse my ignorance but if they are considering entering a treaty with another country how would that impact on the treaty they already have with Tangatawhenua tgrough the treaty of Waitangi. I ask because unlike policies etc that get passed through parliament this affects sovereignty.

    • 12 August 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Mick, I guess they’ve already set precedent by selling water rights when they semi-privatised the three electricity SOEs last year. That’s despite Key telling the country, “no one owns the water”.

      Knowing this government, they’ll find ways around it.

  1. 11 August 2014 at 8:36 am
  2. 11 August 2014 at 8:53 am
  3. 15 August 2014 at 8:00 am
  4. 15 November 2014 at 8:01 am
  5. 7 August 2015 at 8:04 am
  6. 17 August 2015 at 8:49 am
  7. 21 August 2015 at 8:00 am
  8. 22 August 2015 at 8:01 am
  9. 21 November 2015 at 8:01 am

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