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

 


Ministers must respond to call for release of the TPPA text

Seven countries’ senior legislators call for release of the TPPA text, Ministers must respond

‘There has been unprecedented call today from senior legislators in seven countries for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement text to be released before it is signed’, said Professor Jane Kelsey, who monitors the negotiations. The open letter reads:

We, the undersigned legislators from countries involved in the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, call on the Parties to the negotiation to publish the draft text of the Agreement before any final agreement is signed with sufficient time to enable effective legislative scrutiny and public debate

‘The trade ministers from the TPPA parties have backed themselves into a corner with their extreme secrecy. That position is now untenable.’

‘New Zealand is the repository of the TPPA, which is effectively the secretariat. Tim Groser needs to take the lead when the trade ministers meet in Singapore from 22 to 25 February and propose that they revoke the agreement not to release the TPPA documents’, Kelsey said.

The open letter followed approaches to senior politicians from Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru who had expressed concern about the lack of transparency in the TPPA negotiations.

The leaders and co-leaders of the New Zealand First, Green, Maori and Mana parties all endorsed the call.

Other signatories to the open letter include the Vice-President of Peru, the leader and trade spokesperson for Canada’s two main opposition parties, the trade spokesperson for Australia’s Green Party, and several former Cabinet ministers from Japan.

This is the latest in a stream of calls by legislators for release of the texts over the past year.

The Australian Labor Party succeeded with a motion in the Senate last December calling for the text of the TPPA and all other free trade agreements to be tabled in Parliament at least 14 days before they are signed. The Liberal government has refused.

Yesterday, the New Zealand Labour Party sought to move along similar lines:

“That the House call on the New Zealand Government to publish the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement before any final agreement is signed, with sufficient time to enable effective legislative scrutiny and public debate; either when it is made public by the United States Congress, or not less than 14 days prior to its signing in New Zealand; whichever is the earlier."

The government objected to the motion, which meant it could not be read.

Legislators from other countries have gone considerably further, demanding the release of the draft texts to allow them to do their job as legislators, open the process to expert analysis and democratic debate, and remove the reliance on leaked texts.

In December 34 deputies and 15 senators from Chile’s Parliament called on the President to halt the negotiations and make them transparent. Many belong to the party that will become the government in March.

Members of the US Congress have issued a constant stream of letters objecting to the secrecy and seeking release of the draft texts.

The letter and related documents can be found on www.tppmpsfortransparency.org, a website co-hosted by development agency Oxfam International and Article 19, an international NGO that campaigns for freedom of expression and transparency.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Labour/Greens Deal (And The NZDF)

If Labour and the Greens were hoping their Budget Responsibility Rules (BRR) agreement would foster an unlikely alliance then hey… mission accomplished! Because it isn’t every day that Sue Bradford, the CTU and Matthew Hooton speak with one voice, as happened yesterday.

Unfortunately though, it’s hard to see how the BRR agreement will work to the advantage of Labour and the Greens in the context of the 2017 election campaign. More>>

 

Until After The Election: Extension Of Report-Back Date For Havelock North Inquiry

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today that the report-back date for the independent Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking-Water has been extended at the request of the Inquiry’s Panel. More>>

ALSO:

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

OutsKey: John Key's Valedictory Speech

I rise to address this House for the very last time. It has been a huge privilege to have served the people of Helensville as their member of Parliament, and, of course, the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Productivity Commission: New Models Of Tertiary Education Are Coming

The report is a broad-ranging inquiry into how well New Zealand’s tertiary education system is set up to respond to emerging trends in technology and the internationalisation of education, and changes in the structure of the population, and the skills needed in the economy and society... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news