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TPP, LGNZ Election Manifesto, Public Interest

Press Statement 19 July 2014

TPP, LGNZ Election Manifesto, Public Interest, NZ Sovereignty.

The Renewables of Motueka, and Nelson TPP Action have been active lobbying local government authorities and councils in respect to the public interest on free trade and investment treaties including TPP (Transpacific Partnership).

We have requested that LGNZ (Local Government New Zealand) include TPP in their election manifesto being presented to political parties at the upcoming LGNZ Conference in Nelson 20-22 July 2014 at the Rutherford Hotel.

We state in our request:

Why TPP is a vitally important issue?

TPP addresses both trade issues and domestic regulatory concerns and standards. Most of the 29 chapters in TPP are about non-trade matters. Each of these is a claim made on behalf of corporate and trade interests that we Kiwis alter our standards to provide opportunities to profit.

Transnational corporations and trade interests have enormous influence over the USA trade negotiating position and use that to gain changes to our domestic law and international law and conventions that have application in New Zealand. Domestic trade interests also feature heavily in their lobby of our NZ negotiating position.

This treaty is being negotiated in secret. What we know of it comes from leaks. We are told that people will be consulted on these potentially dramatic changes to our domestic laws only after the government has concluded the deal and signed the treaty. Parliament cannot block its ratification. We are the ones who will be required to pay the increased prices that flow for products and services.

Why TPP is a local government issue:

Local government will be significantly affected by a TPP treaty. Several local councils have passed resolutions which express these concerns. Many Councils are now calling on Local Government NZ to take a stand on TPP arising from The Renewables’ having placed the TPP issue before Councils in our 20th March open letter to all NZ Local Government and Territorial Authorities.

LGNZ provides a strong voice for local Government on issues which are both national and local. All national issues have a local effect.

Local Government will face the rising costs associated with reforms, through free trade and investment agreements such as TPP, for reasons set out below. These they will seek to pass onto ratepayers through increased rates and taxes. LGNZ recognises some of these impacts on its constituents and is taking steps to review methods of funding local and regional Councils; http://www.lgnz.co.nz/home/our-work/our-policy-priorities/3.-sustainable-funding/

The TPP negotiating parties seek changes to our domestic standards that allow transnational corporations greater access to our domestic markets, resources and skills base. They seek to constrain the capacity of governments to act in the public interest, and lay them open to costly offshore litigation.

TPP as advanced by USA trade, and domestic trade interests promotes corporate and private interest as national interest. This is false, as government ought be concerning itself with people's welfare and the community well-being.

It is in every Kiwi's interests that any free trade or investment agreements entered into by New Zealand governments upholds the public interest. We assert that public interest is the main criteria when assessing national interest.

We will have a public presence at the Rutherford Hotel on Tuesday 22nd July from 8:30am to remind both Local Government and the political parties - who is their constituents. Our interests must be protected in free trade and investment treaties.

We welcome everyone to attend our peaceful gathering.

Greg Rzesniowiecki, Renewables.

Graeme O'Brien, Nelson TPP Action.

Link to request to include TPP in LGNZ election manifesto;



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