Giant Crowdfunded Billboards Play on Labour's Election Slogan for TPPA Protest
Hundreds of people have crowdfunded nine giant billboards around the country in a protest against the TPPA11.
The billboards address Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, urging her not to sign the TPPA11 if it has Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses in it that would allow multinationals to sue our government. Ardern flies to Vietnam later this week for TPPA11 negotiations.
“It’s imperative that the parties making up the new government stick to their pre-election promises and stand strong against the most dangerous aspects of this deal, including clauses which would allow big businesses to sue our government for passing laws to protect and improve workers rights, public health and the health of our rivers, ocean and wildlife” says Rick Zwaan, campaigner at ActionStation.
“It’s been great to see Jacinda Ardern say she’ll do her ‘utmost’ to push against the dangerous ISDS clauses, and these billboards are intended to demonstrate the public support for her to do that” says Rick.
The billboards were funded by over 350 everyday New Zealanders in less than a week. Over 7,000 have also signed an open letter addressed to Ardern urging her to put people and planet before private profit in the negotiations.
“New Zealanders don’t want a deal that puts the interests of big business before everyday people and our precious planet” says Rick.
ActionStation and partner campaign group It’s Our Future campaigned strongly against the TPPA agreement when it was being first negotiations, criticising the secrecy of the talks and the effect it would have on the government’s ability to pass laws in favour of everyday people and our precious planet.
TPPA 11 is known as the “Zombie TPPA”, because it was dragged back from the dead despite the USA pulling out of the original TPPA deal earlier this year.
“We understand that some elements of the agreement are likely to be suspended (pending the re-entry of the USA), such as extensions on patents and data-exclusivity for life-saving pharmaceuticals. For the most part, however, the TPPA-11 remains the same as the original TPPA, including the ISDS clauses which would allow big business to sue our government. As it stands, the TPPA11 is a bad deal for New Zealand.” says Stephen Parry, coordinator for It’s Our Future.
The locations of the billboards are:
Auckland - 1 Great North Road, 350 Queen Street, 213 Symonds St, Cnr Broadway and Remuera Rd, Cnr Stanley St and Beach Rd
Hamilton - Cnr Grey St and Bridge St
Tauranga - Hewletts Rd
Wellington - Aotea Quay (near the stadium)
Christchurch - 485 Colombo St
ActionStation is an independent, crowdfunded community campaigning organisation representing over 170,000 New Zealanders acting together to create what we cannot achieve on our own: a society, economy and democracy that serves all of us - everyday people and the planet we love. About us: www.actionstation.org.nz
About It’s Our Future
It’s Our Future is a citizens’ campaign group formed in 2011 to oppose the TPPA and other potential trade and investment agreements that potentially undermine the interests of ordinary New Zealanders and the natural environment. For more information visit www.itsourfuture.org.nz