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Wellington City Council joins calls for TPPA benefits

Wellington City Council joins calls for TPPA benefits

Wellington City Council has voted to join nine other councils around the country in urging the Government to ensure the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership and Free Trade Agreement (TPPA) protects New Zealand’s interests and does not jeopardise the country’s sovereign rights.

Last night’s meeting of the Council voted 8-7 to support a motion by Councillor Sarah Free to conclude negotiations on the TPPA in a way that provides net positive benefits for Wellington and New Zealand.

The Auckland Council, Christchurch, Dunedin, Palmerston North and Nelson city councils, Greater Wellington and Horizons regional councils and the Tasman and Horowhenua district councils have already voted to support the motion.

Cr Free told the meeting that while free trade agreements, such as the Closer Economic
Relations Agreement with Australia and the New Zealand China Free Trade
Agreement, have brought benefits to the New Zealand economy, there is public concern over aspects of the proposed TPPA.

“The concerns include the size and scope of the agreement, the privacy with which it has been conducted, the possible inclusion of dispute settlement clauses that could put our sovereign status at risk, and the potential implications for items such as medicines, the internet and the Resource Management Act.”

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has recently returned from a successful civic delegation to Hanoi, Xiamen and Taipei.

“Our economy depends on education, IT and other services,” she said. “International trade is essential for this country and absolutely important for the economic wellbeing of this city. However, we don’t want have important regulations unwound. We add our voice to the chorus of other councils.”


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