Trade Minister accepts open letter against TPPA-11
Trade Minister accepts open letter against TPPA-11; commits to full consultation before signing
Today Trade Minister David Parker accepted an open letter calling for full and transparent public consultation before committing to the TPPA-11.
The open letter, prepared by campaign groups ActionStation and It’s Our Future, was signed by over 8,000 New Zealanders since being launched just after the new government was formed in early November. The signatories call on the Labour-led government to “stop the clock on the TPPA-11 and other trade negotiations until New Zealanders' voices have been heard”.
“In opposition the Labour Party was highly skeptical of the economic benefits of the TPPA, and strongly criticised the previous government’s lack of transparency around the negotiations. Now that they are in power, it is time for Labour Ministers to make good on their previous positions and undertake both a full and transparent consultation with the public, and commission a robust independent analysis of the agreement’s potential benefits and risks” says Stephen Parry, spokesperson for It’s Our Future.
“Many of the New Zealanders concerned about the TPPA were disappointed that the Labour-led government appeared willing to finalise the agreement at the ministerial meeting in Vietnam last week. Our concerns about the agreement have not been resolved, particularly around the Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions of the agreement. Under ISDS, overseas investors could sue the our government for creating laws which put everyday people and our planet before private corporate profits.”
“Fortunately, the TPPA-11 has not yet been signed. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Labour-led government have time to do the right thing and let New Zealanders have a say on the TPPA” says Stephen.
“We were pleased that the Minister today committed to full public consultation around the TPPA, not just through the Select Committee process, but before any agreement is signed. It crucial that this is process is transparent, robust and democratic so everyday New Zealanders have input and are heard before our government signs us up to any agreement” says Rick Zwaan, spokesperson for ActionStation.
“We look forward to holding the government to account on their promises and ensuring our members concerns’ are genuinely responded to” says Rick.
As a next step ActionStation plans to survey its members on TPPA-11 and feed that into the government’s consultation process.
“Thousands of New Zealanders have taken the streets in recent years to oppose the TPPA. They will undoubtedly do so again if Labour signs up New Zealand that is not in the interests of ordinary New Zealanders and the natural environment” concludes Stephen.
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
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