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ASMS welcomes legal challenge to TPPA secrecy

ASMS welcomes legal challenge to TPPA secrecy

Today’s legal challenge to the secrecy surrounding the Government’s negotiations in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is important for safeguarding the interests of New Zealanders, says Angela Belich, Deputy Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

“People need to know what the Government is signing up to, especially when there are such widespread concerns about the potential implications of the deal.”

The ASMS is one of several applicants to the High Court, asking for a judicial review of Trade Minister Tim Groser’s blanket refusal to release any of the categories of information sought by University of Auckland Professor Jane Kelsey under an Official Information Act request.

The other applicants include Consumer NZ, Greenpeace, Oxfam, New Zealand Nurses Organisation, the Tertiary Education Union and Ngati Kahungunu. The case is being heard in the High Court at Wellington today.

“Senior doctors and dentists working in public hospitals around the country have overwhelmingly expressed concern about the TPPA,” says Angela Belich. “They’re worried the deal will push up the price of medicines and will affect New Zealand’s ability to make decisions that are in the best interests of health care.

“The secrecy in which the negotiations have been conducted is of particular concern, and this legal challenge is about bringing a proper level of transparency to the process.”

ENDS

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