Protest rallies held against TPP
Hundreds attended protest rallies across the country in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal.
About 15 rallies were held from 1pm today in cities and towns from Invercargill to Hokianga.
In Auckland, protesters marched from Aotea Square to the United States Consulate. Labour Party leader David Cunliffe was among the speakers.
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says countries involved in the TPP have decided that the text for the agreement will not be released until negotiations conclude.
All documents related to these negotiations, other than the final text, will be held in confidence until four years after the agreement comes into force.
"The public of New Zealand and our Parliament deserve the opportunity to scrutinise and critique the TPPA before it is signed," Mrs Turei said.
Leaked versions of the agreement have shown countries pushing for exemptions to existing global environmental treaties.
"Any agreement that could impact on the countries involved ability to fight climate change and protect the environment deserves the utmost scrutiny," said Mrs Turei.
Service and Food Workers Union secretary John Ryall said the TPP was in the interests of multi-national corporates and would not improve low-paid workers' lives.
The union represents 22,000 low paid workers, including cleaners and care-givers, who needed stronger local and central government procurement policies to ensure they had secure work and a living wage, Mr Ryall said.
The TPP negotiations began in 2007, aiming to expand the existing free trade agreement between Chile, New Zealand, Singapore and Brunei to include the US, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Vietnam, Peru and Canada.
source: newshub archive