TPP roadshow kicks off

  • 07/03/2016

A nationwide roadshow to sell the TPP deal to the public kicks off in Auckland today.

New Zealand has signed but is yet to ratify the contentious deal, which is designed to free up trade between 12 Pacific Rim countries, allowing New Zealand exporters more access to the massive economies of Japan and the US.

Trade Minister Todd McClay will be part of the 16 roadshows, the first of which will be in central Auckland on Monday.

He told the Paul Henry programme the events are aimed at ensuring the wider public and businesses understand what the controversial agreement means for us.

There will then be shows in Christchurch on Wednesday, Wellington on Thursday and Hamilton on Friday.

Hui are planned to explaining the TPP to Maori in the main centres this week, and also in Rotorua, Auckland and Whangarei next month.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says further roadshows will be held in other centres in the coming months, but no details of those are yet available.

The TPP was formally signed in Auckland last month but had attracted vocal opposition and protest from opponents concerned about threats to New Zealand sovereignty.

The government was also last week criticised for not extending a select committee deadline for submissions on the 6000-page TPP document.

Mr McClay says the roadshows are to help businesses know what they needed in the two-year lead-in to when the 12 countries must ratify the TPP.

There would probably be some protests but he encouraged those opposed to the deal to attend.

"Leave your placards outside if you are genuinely interested in a conversation, if you have fears and concerns come and sit around the table and discuss them," he said.

NZN / Newshub.