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Union Support for Treaties Bill

Trade Union Federation Secretary, Michael Gilchrist, welcomed the selection by ballot of Green MP Keith Locke’s “International Treaties” Bill which will require normal parliamentary process to apply to all international treaties.

“We will be arguing as vigorously as possible that this Bill should become law.

“The present situation is an absurd reversal of democratic expectations. Agreements entered into by our Government that involve other countries bind future Governments in a way that few pieces of domestic legislation will ever do.

“They must be subjected to democratic scrutiny.

“More than this, New Zealanders need to start debating the question of the future economic control of their country. We are almost at the stage where that debate has become meaningless within the party political framework.

“The forces unleashed by treaties such as the Singapore free trade agreement and by New Zealand’s participation in APEC and the WTO threaten to overwhelm our parliamentary democracy.

“This Bill is a chance for parliament to begin to reassert its relevance. Genuine parliamentarians from all parties should support it.

For further information contact: Michael Gilchrist 04 384 8963 or 237 7566

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