This month is the fourth anniversary of the start of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement or TPPA. To mark this occasion there are going to be protest rallies all over New Zealand on Saturday March 29th, calling for an end to the deal.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (or TPPA) has been talked about in the media for several years now – there's a good chance you've already heard about it and you may already have joined a protest or signed petitions against it – but the details of the deal don't get any less shocking with time or familiarity.
Essentially, the TPPA is an international 'trade agreement' that could hand foreign corporations the power to overturn NZ laws if their profits are threatened. It’s bad news.
Here's an example of what this could look like in practice; in the future if a more progressive government wanted to strengthen laws to protect our coastlines from oil drilling or our national parks from mining then foreign oil and coal companies could potentially sue New Zealand for the loss of profit.
The TPPA is being called a trade deal, but really it’s a corporate power-play designed to control everything from environmental protections and affordable medicines right through to internet freedom.
Over the past four years, details of these negotiations have been filtering out and the latest leak from the TPPA talks revealed that environmental safeguards are likely to be stripped out, including efforts to reduce climate pollution. For a country like New Zealand, where the environment is at the core of our national identity, economy and way of life, the TPPA could be disastrous.
But people power is already having an impact on the TPPA. Malaysia has broken ranks from the negotiations and has decided to release the text of the agreement to the public before it has been signed.
In New Zealand on the 29th March, people are taking to the streets to show their opposition to this 'trade agreement' by joining rallies which are being held in 12 towns and cities across the country.
New Zealanders will come together in all these places to demand an end to the TPPA. These rallies are about keeping the values that we cherish as New Zealanders. We are not employees of the National Government, but people of a nation with a proud history of independence. We are more than capable of succeeding in a world without signing our future away to corporate control.
Come out this Saturday the 29th, join one of the rallies around the country and make your voice heard in opposition to the TPPA.
1pm at Aotea Square, then march down Queen St to the US Consulate
1pm at Cashel Mall Re: START; 114 Cashel Street, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand
1pm at the Octagon
1pm at Garden Place, Victoria Street, Hamilton 3204
1pm at the Square
11pm at Puke Ariki landing
1pm at Red Square
1pm at the Silver Ball Sculpture on the Riverfront
1pm at the Bucket Fountain, Cuba St
1pm outside Claphams Clock Museum Town Basin