The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement has now been signed with Ministers, trade officials and corporate lobbyists from 12 Pacific-rim countries finalising this shady ‘trade’ deal behind closed doors.
Ever since the Prime Minister and Trade Minister Tim Groser have thrown up the carefully crafted, detail-free words of their spin-doctors that it’s “overall a very good deal for New Zealand” or that “when you sense the bus is going to take off you jump on board”, details are emerging that this is far from a good deal for New Zealanders.
The full text of the agreement should be made available some time in November 2015. Since the deal was agreed, the High Court in Wellington served a humiliating judicial slapdown for Trade Minister Tim Groser and his anti-democratic moves to hide the TPP text from the people of New Zealand.
Leading academic and campaigner Jane Kelsey, along with other groups including Greenpeace, had taken Groser to court after he refused to release documents concerning the shady deal under the Official Information Act.
The judge ruled that Groser’s actions were unlawful and a breach of his Ministerial responsibility. The judgment is surely a warning that they cannot continue to do so and is a victory for the supporters of transparency and openness.