by Catherine Delahunty
On Saturday afternoon I marched against the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) talks which are being held in secret.
The crowd in Auckland was a great mix of tangata whenua, union networks, GE free New Zealanders, asset keepers and citizens who cannot be manipulated.
The Greens and the Mana Party were the only MPs visible and we were crystal clear, that the TPP is not being negotiated in the interests of our country. Even the gung-ho free trade supporting commentariat are worried that the PR in favour of this unaccountable investment contract is not working.
I missed the latter stages of the protest but it was obvious that Sky City was the perfect venue for the problem gamblers addicted to corporate control of peoples resources.
In the loud and lively environment outside the Convention Centre Jane Kelsey, Marama Davidson and myself made use of the megaphone to point out that the TPP will undermine our decision making in our own land from Te Tiriti issues, to affordable medication, from the right to stop miners to the risk of our Government being sued.
In Parliament the Greens have been consistently challenging the Government to be transparent on their negotiations and to explain how we will be protected from overseas corporations suing our Government as has happened around the world when investor sate dispute clauses are included in trade deals.
The ‘investor state dispute clauses’ are one of the nastiest dimensions to this investment deal.
If we want to determine our own future we need to keep the pressure on and keep people informed.
The TPP is more important than a royal baby or even the cricket scandal, this is something that could affect our access to prescription medicine or our clean green future.
Free trade deals will not make New Zealand more equal. As child poverty grows who really believes these deals will fix the real problems? Who will create a sustainable future? We can do this together if we don’t let our current Government sign it away.