Lunchtime Anti-TPPA Protest at Parliament
By Francis Cook
A large group of protesters assembled this Wednesday at the Parliament steps in Wellington to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal. The protest is part of a week-long action which will culminate on Saturday with nation-wide marches.
The crowds were addressed by Fletcher Tabuteau of New Zealand First, Russel Norman of the Green Party, and Labour’s David Parker. A petition of 100,000 signatures was delivered asking for the Government to walk away from the deal.
Tabuteau said the deal has been “forced down your throats.” John Key, he said, “is not listening. It’s just wrong. It’s insulting to the New Zealand public.” Norman stressed the legal issues which could arise from signing the deal. He said “the purpose of these agreements is to restrict democratic space.”
Parker elicited some boos from the crowd when he said Labour was pro free trade. He said that Labour was against the secrecy of the deal and the lack of provisions to protect the treaty of Waitangi.
The 12 nations involved in the deal have yet to come to an agreement on the terms of the TPP with medicine patents and dairy exports being the primary issues.