(Photo credit: www.arturfrancisco.com)
Hundreds of community groups, artists, musicians, activists, Māori leaders, small and medium-sized business owners, not-for-profits, environmentalists, students, doctors, local councillors and grassroots campaigners from all around New Zealand have joined forces to say no to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
As of today more than 300 businesses, 7 not-for-profits, 39 artists and musicians, 7 Māori leaders, 11 local councils, 4 church groups and 100,000 people have taken some form of action - both on and offline - to try and stop New Zealand from signing on to the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
Laura O’Connell-Rapira, Campaign Director for ActionStation and convenor of the coalition explains; “We’ve had more than 300 small and medium-sized Kiwi business owners sign our Open Letter to the Government opposed to the TPPA. You can’t call these people “anti-trade”. They’re concerned this deal massively favours foreign transnational corporations and is a bad deal for small Kiwi business.”
The collaborative effort comes off the back of Trade Minister Tim Groser dismissing opponents of the TPPA as "anti-trade", "politically irrelevant" and "breathless children".
Oxfam New Zealand has voiced their concern for the deal with Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier worried about the ISDS clause; “If new rights for multi-national corporations and limitations on NZ’s Parliament’s legislative sovereignty are finalised in secret, a dangerous precedent will be set for developing countries that Oxfam works with, especially in the Pacific. We should be striving for transparency and upholding democratic sovereignty.”
Mandy Carter, Campaign Director for SAFE; “If New Zealand signs the TPPA, it could be taken to court for laws protecting animals.”
Kaytee Ray-Riek, Campaign Director, SumOfUs; “Major corporations are desperate to see TPPA passed, so they can watch their profits grow to new heights. Meanwhile, TPPA would decimate our democracy, our access to medicines, the working conditions in our jobs, and so much more. It’s a massive corporate power grab, and that’s why thousands of SumOfUs members are committed to defeating this deal here in New Zealand and around the world.”
Petitions and email actions of concern have been signed by more than 100,000 people. The groups involved will be handing over a joint petition at Parliament on Wednesday 12th August as part of a TPPA lunchtime rally. The petitions and will be handed over at 12.10pm.
Laura O’Connell-Rapira, Campaign Director, 022 057 2319
For general inquiries contact
Marianne Elliott, National Director, 021 1106 086
To view a list of the participating organisations: www.actionstation.org.nz/tppa_joint_petition
For information about the lunchtime rally: http://bit.ly/TPPA_LunchtimeRally