Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Poll shows most NZers want to end secret TPPA negotiations

Poll shows most New Zealanders want government to end secrecy of TPPA negotiations
“The secrecy surrounding the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)  has been given a resounding thumbs down in a Consumerlink poll conducted in mid-November”, according to Professor Jane Kelsey, a critic of the TPPA who commissioned the poll.
Almost two out of three New Zealanders think the contents of the latest and biggest free trade agreement should be made public before the negotiations are completed and any deal is signed.  
Of those that have an opinion, four times as many favour advance publication of the text that New Zealand is negotiating with ten other countries towards a Trans Pacific Partnership agreement.
The poll conducted by Consumer Link shows 65% of New Zealanders think the Government should make the contents of the agreement public before the negotiations are completed and the agreement is signed, 14% do not mind if this does not happen, and 21% have no opinion.
Dr Kelsey called on the negotiators to recognise their secretive approach to these negotiations lacks democratic legitimacy when they meet for another round of talks behind closed doors at Sky City on Monday, and release the text and supporting documents so people can read, analyse and debate what is being proposed by our elected leaders.
“Contrary to what negotiators claim, this is not unprecedented. Even the much criticised World Trade Organization is a beacon of transparency compared to the TPPA”.
Calls for release of the draft text have repeatedly been rejected.
“These calls are not just from civil society groups, although negotiators have received appeals from organisations across the TPPA countries that represent tens of millions of people who would be affected by the agreement.”
“New Zealand’s opposition parties have also objected that  their democratic functions are being usurped by secret talks on rules that would tie the hands of governments for the indefinite future.”
The Green parties of Canada, Australia and New Zealand have labelled the TPPA “fundamentally undemocratic and untransparent.” Winston Peters has called for negotiations to be put on hold so New Zealanders can debate the implications for sovereignty, and the Mana Party has called for release of all details.
Significantly, a remit adopted overwhelmingly at last month’s Labour Party conference made support for the TPP conditional on “full public consultation including regular public releases of drafts of the text of the agreement”.
The US Congress has been even more vocal. In just the past four months, President Obama has been bombarded with letters from Democrats and Republicans whose support he would need to pass a TPPA.
Back in March, Senator Ron Wyden tabled a legislative amendment seeking disclosure of US negotiating positions and proposals on intellectual property or those proposals relating to the Internet be made available, unless release of the documents would pose a national security threat. This is highly significant. Wyden is a conservative, pro-free trade leader who has supported all previous US free trade deals and chairs the Senate Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and GlobalCompetitiveness.
“The poll shows New Zealanders want the TPPA to come out of the shadows and face a solid dose of democratic scrutiny. Our government and the other ten TPPA countries should listen”, concluded Professor Kelsey.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>


Because Reasons: Someone Reckons David Seymour Is Politician Of The Year

Trans Tasman's 11th annual Roll Call has thrown a curve ball this year, ignoring the likes of John Key, Bill English, and Winston Peters to pick its politician of the year from the ranks of the new generation. More>>


Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news