Putting faces to names - our joint submission on the TPPA

As you may have heard, MPs have been given just five days to consider thousands of public submissions on the TPPA after the timeframe was drastically cut down from the usual four weeks. [1]

This affront to democracy is the latest in a series of outrageous shortcuts the Government has taken to pass the TPPA, despite the ongoing public opposition to the deal. After years of secretive negotiations and a considerable lack of public consultation, you’d think our movement would be ready to give up on the whole fiasco, but the simple fact is they can’t stop us that easily. There’s too much at stake.

In two days time, Marianne (our National Director) will be presenting our giant people-powered submission on the TPPA to Select Committee at Parliament House. [2] Her oral submission will focus on all of the incredible actions our community has taken over the past 18 months to engage in legitimate debate, and critical analysis of the deal - despite the shoddy democratic process on offer. We will highlight the fact that our resilient community has taken more than 50,000 coordinated actions, first to demand transparency in negotiations, and then to oppose the TPPA once it came to light that the deal was not in the interest of ordinary New Zealanders.

The trouble is, when people like us take on something as big and powerful as the TPPA, it’s all too easy for the Government to paint us as an “anti-trade” “rent-a-crowd” in mainstream media. We know that we’re not, but in a world of 30 second soundbites and the 24-hour media cycle, it can be hard for the core of our message to cut-through. That message is: We are New Zealanders, we are real people, and we have genuine concerns about the TPPA that need to be addressed by our elected leaders. You should listen.

So we want to use this submission as an opportunity to put faces to names, and showcase the community that exists behind the numbers. As part of the submission, we will be delivering a 10 metre long petition signed by more than 72,000 of you, and we also want to show a short video reel that features photographs of the people in our community.

Picture the scene: Marianne and a squad of ActionStation members arrive to Parliament equipped with a camera, a 10 metre long petition and a pile of stats about TPPA and its projected impact on New Zealanders. She turns on a video that scrolls through photographs of a diverse community of mums, dads, doctors, business owners, students, activists, Māori, farmers, teachers, social workers, pensioners and more. “These are the real people that this Government brazenly dismissed as “rent-a-crowd”, she says as she goes on to read out excerpts from the 2,000 submissions we collected from you. “This is a list of our concerns”.

Let’s make the most of this rare opportunity to speak truth to power, by showing the power of our community.

Use our form to add a photo of yourself, your whānau or your community, and tell us a little bit about who you are so we can include it in our storytelling when we deliver our joint submission.

And if you are based in Wellington, we’d love for you to join Marianne for the actual submission. She will be presenting at 10.30am at Parliament House on Thursday 14th April. She’s asked that if you want to come along to please meet her at 9.45am outside Parliament, or just inside, before security, if it's raining. If you are able to make it, please email your full name to laura@actionstation.org.nz before noon on Wednesday, so we can let Parliament security staff know who’ll be coming, as that is the required process.

Together we can make this about people again.


References:

  1. Our joint submission on the TPPA

  2. New TPP timeframe an 'attack on democracy, Radio New Zealand


 

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