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Critics Already Gearing up for TPP round in Auckland

Critics Already Gearing up for TPP round in Auckland in December

As has been strongly rumoured, New Zealand will host the next round of Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement negotiations in Auckland from 3rd to 15th December 2012.

“Having the negotiations on our doorstep will help focus attention on what is probably the most far-reaching executive lawmaking New Zealand has ever seen”, said Dr Jane Kelsey, a strong critic of the proposed agreement.

“The tragedy is that hosting the TPPA round will cost more than half a million dollars that should be spent on public policies that will actually benefit New Zealanders”.

“If the secrecy that has engulfed these negotiations continues, the taxpayers who are funding it will have no right to know what is actually going on.”

Jane Kelsey says “New Zealanders will demand a great deal more openness that the US has shown in the previous three rounds, because it is our future that they are negotiating away”.

“Formal ‘stakeholder’ events have been crammed into one day when many of the relevant negotiators are not even around.”

Even senior Democrats from the US Congress who asked to be admitted as observers have been shut out. Civil society groups had to organise a separate event for the politicians and negotiators from other countries to meet and exchange views.

“We will expect genuine opportunities for a wide range of public interest groups to interact with negotiators on a formal and informal basis, and no special treatment for the corporations”.

A wide range of creative activities is already being organised to educate and involve more ordinary New Zealanders in an entertaining way. These include a national cartoon competition and exhibition, a lecture tour with international experts, a music event, and a new website.  These will be launched over the next few weeks.

ENDS

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