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CTU’s Rosenberg claims TPP opens way for Warners to sue future Government if it wipes the ‘Hobbit law’

CTU official Bill Rosenberg has raised the spectre of Warner Brothers suing a future NZ Government if it tries to unwind “the Hobbit” law.

At the TPP stakeholders day in Auckland this morning, Rosenberg said the CTU’s interest in the trade negotiations is not limited to labour rights.

Rosenberg instanced the NZ Government’s decision to change labour laws to ensure Warner Bros made The Hobbit films in New Zealand. “What if a future Government restored the previous labour rights?,” Rosenberg said. “Warners could claim a loss as a result of the failure to ‘maintain a stable and predictable legal and business framework in line with the investors’ legitimate expectations.”

“Given the previous negotiations there would be a strong argument for them there.”

He questioned whether Governments could be sued by investors if they raised the minimum wages which could affect profitability or strengthened collective bargaining.

Rosenberg cited several international investor state disputes:  Nobel Ventures vs Romania where the company has protect from labour unrest
and UPS v Canada (Nafta – to back his argument. He said the CTU is also concerned that Governments should not be constrained in using procurement policies should be retained as legitimate economic development tools.

About Fran O'Sullivan

Fran O’Sullivan is Managing Director of NZ INC. She is a former editor of the National Business Review and a prominent columnist for the New Zealand Herald, where she writes on business, politics, and international affairs, and manages the annual high-profile Mood of the Boardroom project. Fran took up the position of Editorial Director – Business for NZME in April 2015.

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