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Protest Highlights Fears over Free Trade

7 March 2005

Protest Highlights Fears over Free Trade With China

Concerned New Zealand citizens will protest against the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China in Auckland on Thursday, March 10, 2005.

The protest will be held on the Quay Street footpath at the entrance to Princes Wharf, Auckland City Centre from 8am until 5:30pm, and will coincide with the "Inside the New China" conference being held at the Hilton Hotel.

Protest organizer Sam Murphy said he feels obliged to make a stand against the Free Trade agreement as a concerned Kiwi.

"Many New Zealanders are concerned about free trade with China. Two major concerns are China's horrendous Human Rights record and the impact on New Zealand businesses from low cost manufactured goods coming from China," says Mr. Murphy.

"As New Zealand's business relationship with China continues to grow closer we are effectively condoning the Chinese government's disregard for Human Rights".

Mr. Murphy says the FTA will make it very difficult for Kiwi manufacturers to compete with imports resulting in the closure of NZ manufacturing businesses and the loss of Kiwi jobs.

" I don't believe New Zealanders want cheap imports at any cost, especially when the price includes loss of jobs here and human suffering overseas", says Mr. Murphy. “The push for a trade deal with China threatens the values and economic interests of millions of Kiwi's."

Mr Murphy says he hopes other people concerned about the Free Trade agreement with China will attend the protest to express those concerns.

"The Free Trade Deal raises issues of sovereignty, human rights and protection of New Zealand's economic interests. The protest is a chance to voice concerns," Mr. Murphy says.

ENDS

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