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Plea for Government to prove commitment to democracy

Plea for Government to prove commitment to democracy

Aotearoa Is Not For Sale Wellington and www.itsourfuture.org.nz will present nearly 1000 letters from the public to Parliament in a plea for transparency over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) tomorrow at 12.15 PM.

Wednesday 12 December is both the closing of the Auckland negotiation round of the TPPA and the final day Parliament sits for 2012. Aotearoa Is Not For Sale Wellington will meet at Midland Park at noon and walk to Parliament as a group.

"We are giving the Prime Minister John Key and trade minister Tim Groser the opportunity to listen to New Zealanders' concerns about the TPPA. We also invite the ministers to disclose the contents of the negotiations to the public" Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati, spokesperson for Aotearoa Is Not For Sale Wellington says.

"What we know about the TPPA comes from leaked documents, not from the government which is negotiating in our name. These documents reveal an unprecedented ceding of power to multi-national companies at the expense of ordinary New Zealanders, and specifically threaten affordable medicines; affordable electricity; environmental protection; financial regulation; internet freedom; workers' rights; GMO labelling; and Te Tiriti o Waitangi."

"If the TPPA is really in the national interest then we challenge the Prime Minister and minister Groser to stump up and prove it."

"The Prime Minister has continually undermined anyone who speaks out against this trade agreement. This is not acceptable. The people have a right to know and have an open robust discussion about something that will impact so severely on our sovereignty, and which will bind future generations of New Zealanders.

"Will John Key and Cabinet Ministers act in the interests of the 99% New Zealanders and put an end to this treacherous Agreement or pander to the interests of the 1% and corporate elite? Unfortunately, looking at this Governments behaviour to date, we will likely witness the later.”

"It is not too late for the government to release the contents of the TPPA and to give New Zealanders a say in the shape of their future."

The form letter at www.itsourfuture.org.nz which the public were invited to modify reads:

To the Rt. Hon John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Rt. Hon Tim Groser, Minister of Trade, and the New Zealand Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement negotiators:

I’m concerned that you are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in secret, without public consultation. All I can find out about the TPPA is based on leaked documents and detective work. This is not acceptable. New Zealand is a democracy, which means that kiwis have the right to know what is done in our name and to have a say.

If the TPPA goes ahead, you will be putting at risk our innovative economy, our pristine environment, our health, and the ability to shape our own future.

I don’t want foreign investors to be given more rights to buy up New Zealand, and I don’t think they should be able to sue the New Zealand government in secretive offshore courts if they claim that new laws have negatively affected their investment. I’m worried that this will make it harder for the government to protect our environment, promote public health and protect the nation’s interest.

I don’t want big pharmaceutical companies to be given more powers over PHARMAC, and I don’t want the availability of affordable generic medicines to be reduced.

I don’t want New Zealand’s copyright laws to be re-written in a way that would restrict internet freedom, restrict access to information, and stifle innovation.

I don’t want to pay more for everyday products because parallel imports are banned.

I don’t want foreign banks, insurance companies and money traders to be given more powers to challenge laws designed to prevent another financial crisis.

I don’t want a foreign economic treaty to take precedence over the Treaty of Waitangi.

I don’t want future New Zealand governments to have their hands tied — we need them to act in the interests of ordinary kiwis, not foreign investors and big corporations.

The TPPA will have a huge impact on New Zealanders, and we want to have a say.


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