Protesters: Govt lacks mandate to sign TPP

  • 03/02/2016
(file, Simon Wong)
(file, Simon Wong)

An anti-poverty group is joining the thousands expected to protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the day it's formally signed in Auckland.

Auckland Action Against Poverty is throwing its voice behind a protest march down Queen St and blockade protest near the Sky City Convention Centre on Thursday.

Spokeswoman Sue Bradford says while the signing between trade ministers from 12 countries is largely symbolic, it's a highly significant event.

"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."

Protest organisers say thousands of people are expected to take part in the march.

"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," said Barry Coates, spokesman for the It's Our Future group.

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

Prime Minister John Key said on Tuesday some TPP opponents were spreading deliberately misleading information about the agreement.

"It's really important people are informed about the issues... some of the comments I've seen, some of the things they're saying, it's a hundred million miles from the agreement."

Mr Key will make a welcoming speech to the visiting trade ministers who will be in Auckland to sign the TPP.

He wouldn't discuss plans to deal with the demonstrations. "I'm not in charge of security," he said.

The Government last week released a detailed analysis of the impact the TPP will have on New Zealand, saying the free trade agreement is expected to boost the economy by $2.7 billion a year by 2030.