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TPPA causing concern

TPPA causing concern

Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the second at a protest rally on the steps of the Napier City Council, 231 Hastings Street, at 1 pm on Saturday, 8th November, part of a nationwide Day of Protest against the TPPA.

Rally organiser Omar Hoetawa said he is “deeply concerned” about the fact that this “international agreement, that could have a huge effect on the lives of ordinary kiwis, is being negotiated in total secret.”

“From what we know, if these negotiations are completed, we risk damage to our innovative economy, our environment, our health, and the ability to shape our own future. It could override our environmental protection laws, our restrictions on unhealthy products like tobacco, our internet freedom to name a few.”

Because the negotiations are being conducted in secret, “what we know about the TPPA comes from leaked documents and detective work.

“This is not acceptable. We live in a democracy, which means we have the right to know what is done in our name and to have a say. “

There will be a range of speakers, as well as live music at the rally. One of the speakers is Dr Robin Gwynn, who is also speaking to the Napier City Council at their meeting on the Pukemokimoki marae earlier in the week, on Wednesday, 5 November at 3 pm.

He will be asking the Council to follow the lead taken by city councils in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and others, who have all passed resolutions to urge the government to require protections for New Zealand interests be included in the TPPA before they sign it.

“The government always carefully calls it a ‘trade’ agreement, but it’s not like traditional trade agreements. It’s much more like a charter of rights for multi-national corporations. 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,” Dr Gwynn said.

“It would open the way to large private business corporations to take civil actions against governments for millions in damages – and such cases would be heard outside our own country, in secretive offshore tribunals - claiming that new laws and regulations (for example, a ban on fracking, or smoking control laws, or a cap on electricity prices) have seriously undermined the value of their investments.”

Dr Gwynn will be speaking to Council at 3 pm, at the opening of the council meeting, after the powhiri which starts at 2 pm. Both are open to the public.


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