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Public interest Resolution Presented to Trade Minister

Press Release 14-9-2014

TPPA Nelson Action presents the public interest Resolution to Trade Minister Tim Groser!

The Resolution adopted by Auckland, Nelson, Tasman, Christchurch and Dunedin Councils protecting the public interest regarding the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations was accepted by the trade minister at the National Party public meeting on Wednesday the 10th September.

TPPA Nelson Action is pleased that a bottom line on what the people will accept concerning trade agreements has been outlined to our negotiators..

The trade minister spoke to a packed meeting which was dominated by citizens concerned with the issues surrounding the TPP negotiations.

Most of the questions were centred on the ability of corporations to sue New Zealand for any law changes in the best interests of the people and our country.

Philip Morris taking action against Australia for plain packaging of tobacco is the most recent example of what NZ may have to face if governments sign up to these kind of agreements in our name.

When asked if the Minister could confirm that out of 29 chapters of the agreement only 5 of the chapters concern trade Mr Groser's replied “You’ll find out when we’ve finished the deal”.

This attitude of “Trust me I know what I’m doing” which pervades both major parties on the TPP has no place in a free & democratic society where we can make up our own minds if we have the facts.

The concerned people of Nelson community once again showed their support for the Resolution by attending the meeting and voicing their concerns directly to those negotiating on behalf of the people of New Zealand. Accountability demands they listen to us.

TPPA Nelson Action Renewables
Graeme O'Brien Greg Rzesniowiecki

TPP policy for all NZ government authorities

That the NZ Government conclude negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other Free Trade Agreements in a way that provides net positive benefits for New Zealand – that is Assent to any partnership and/or agreement is conditional upon achievement of the following objectives:

i. Continues to allow all local government authorities, if they so choose, to adopt procurement policies that provide for a degree of local preference; to choose whether particular services or facilities are provided in house, by council controlled organisations (CCOs) or by contracting out; or to require higher health and safety, environmental protection, employment rights and conditions, community participation, animal protection or human rights standards than national or international minimum standards.

ii. Maintains good diplomatic and trade relations and partnerships with other major trading partners not included in the agreement, including with China.

iii. Provides substantially increased access for our agriculture exports including the USA.

iv. Does not undermine PHARMAC, raise the cost of medical treatments and medicines or threaten public health measures, such as tobacco control;

v. Does not give overseas investors or suppliers any greater rights than domestic investors and suppliers, such as through introducing Investor-State Dispute Settlement, or reduce our ability to control overseas investment or finance;

vi. Does not expand intellectual property rights and enforcement in excess of current law; vii. Does not weaken our public services, require privatisation, hinder reversal of privatisations, or increase the commercialisation of government or other local government organisations;

viii. Does not reduce our flexibility to support local economic and industry development and encourage good employment and environmental practices and initiatives like Council Cadetships, and the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs which enable marginalised young people to develop their skills and transition into meaningful employment;

ix. Contains enforceable labour clauses requiring adherence to core International Labour Organisation conventions and preventing reduction of labour rights for trade or investment advantage;

x. Contains enforceable environmental clauses preventing reduction of environmental nor biosecurity standards for trade or investment advantage;

xi. Has general exceptions to protect human rights, the environment, the Treaty of Waitangi, and New Zealand’s economic and financial stability;

xii. Has been negotiated with real public consultation including regular public releases of drafts of the text of the agreement, and ratification being conditional on a full social, environmental and economic impact assessment including public submissions.

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