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Select committee rubber-stamps the TPPA

“The select committee has delivered a six-page disappointment that fails to do justice to the issues raised in hundreds of public submissions, which were overwhelmingly opposed to ratification of the resurrected TPPA,” says Oliver Hailes, spokesperson for It’s Our Future, in response to a report released yesterday by Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.

“The committee records some critical views raised in submissions, but there is no detailed analysis or minority report of the kind we saw in 2016 from the Green Party, Labour and New Zealand First.

“The concerns aired in the hearings — ranging from public health and climate change to economic sovereignty and te Tiriti — are woven into the single report.

“This reinforces a false impression that, on balance, the evidence shows the TPPA is a good thing. It also suggests that the three parties on the committee (National, Labour and the Greens) all speak with one voice.

“Last time the committee examined the TPPA, it was clear where each party stood on the question of whether or not to ratify.

“We would like to see the Green Party affirm its outright opposition to the TPPA.”

Mr Hailes noted that nowhere in the report is there any mention of the call for Parliament to review the international treaty-making process, which was raised in many of the submissions on behalf of thousands who signed a petition calling for such an overhaul.

“Members of the public who put pen to paper deserve a lot better than this. So do the voters of this country. We call on all parliamentary parties to join in developing a process for trade and foreign policy that is fit for the challenges of this century.”

Mr Hailes is presenting a brief summary of how the TPPA is poised to set the rules for New Zealand’s future at an event hosted by the Wellington Workers Educational Association, which is the first in an effort to create a space for campaigners from different struggles to grapple with common issues of economic justice: Thursday 31 May, 6.00 pm in Room 3 at St Andrew’s on the Terrace, Wellington.

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