Cunliffe wants TPP draft in the public

As one of his first acts as leader of the Opposition, David Cunliffe has called on the Government to make public the draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

In his first full press conference, Mr Cunliffe challenged the Government to "have the courage of its convictions" and put the negotiating draft into the public domain so it can make up its own mind.

But Prime Minister John Key says that won't happen.

"We've given people a broad indication of the mandate and the Government is sticking to that mandate.

"I'm never going to sign New Zealand up to a deal unless I believe it's in the New Zealand's best interest to do that," he says.

Instead, during the final analysis the deal will become public and then will be ratified through Parliament.

Mr Key says the negotiation so far is "pretty positive", but more work is needed.

The TPP is a proposed free trade agreement between a number of countries, including New Zealand, Australia, the US, Japan, Singapore, Chile and Vietnam.

While Mr Cunliffe says he still needs a "detailed briefing" on the negotiations and the party has not seen the draft, he understood the concept of what the partnership could bring.

"There are some real fish hooks with it."

These include intellectual property issues and investor and state relations, he says.

Mr Key says the deal could be worth billions to the country's economy and also provide more jobs for Kiwis.

He believes the unions could sway Labour's position on the proposed deal because they helped decide the new leader and they "don't necessarily like free trade agreements".

"That could have implications on the way they handle the policy. If they do it will be quite sad."

He would prefer if both major parties were in "lockstep" over the negotiations because "we can all see the benefits".

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source: newshub archive