Security tight ahead of TPP signing

  • 03/02/2016
Security tight ahead of TPP signing

There will be tight security around ministers from Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries while they're in Auckland for the formal signing of the free-trade agreement, Prime Minister John Key says.

Thousands are expected to join protests tomorrow near the Sky City Convention Centre where the agreement will be signed by representatives from 12 countries, including New Zealand.

"We know people are coming from overseas, probably staying in the precinct, I'm sure there will be pretty tight security there," Mr Key said today.

"There will be protesters, but in the end hopefully it will go through successfully and without too much disruption."

There will be a protest march along Queen St and a blockade near the convention centre.

March organiser Barry Coates says he expects thousands to take part.

"We've invited concerned Kiwis to join us in a loud, colourful, non-violent, family friendly march to make it clear that this government does not have a mandate to sign the TPP in our names," he said.

"Proponents of the TPP are sounding increasingly desperate, they know that Kiwis don't buy the spin and slogans."

Auckland Action Against Poverty is one of the groups joining the march.

"This is an opportunity for all of us who seek to defend our country's economic and political sovereignty to come together and take a stand," said spokeswoman Sue Bradford.

At his post-Cabinet news conference on Tuesday, Mr Key said some TPP opponents were spreading deliberately misleading information about the agreement.

Today he said his main concern was making sure people understood it.

"It's 6000 pages, if you go and look at the commentary from those who actually understand what it does there's overwhelming support for it," he said.

"It means greater access to markets - we've been a very prosperous economy over recent decades as a result of free-trade agreements."

NZN

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