Gear up to have your say on the RCEP
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is the next trade agreement in the queue. New Zealand will host the 13th round of the RCEP trade negotiations in Auckland from 12-18 June 2016 (probably in Sky City again). According to Trade Minister Todd McClay there will be “opportunities for stakeholders to present views.” We await the invitation.
Lobby Parliament against the TPPA
The government introduced an omnibus Bill on 9 May 2016 – the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Bill – http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2016/0133/latest/versions.aspx. It would amend 11 existing bills. The government’s disclosure statement is at http://disclosure.legislation.govt.nz/assets/disclosures/bill-government-2016-133.pdf.
The Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Select Committee has released its report on the TPPA. There was a huge response to the Inquiry with 6351 submissions and 255 oral submissions, the vast majority rejecting the TPPA. Congratulations to all those who wrote submissions and gave evidence, many for the first time. It is important that we engage with our democratic institutions even when they are unresponsive and frustrating.
The government’s report is predictable and along the lines of the National Interest Analysis that was written by MFAT to justify the TPPA.
Minority reports were written by Labour, The Greens and NZ First, all critical of the TPPA. Issues raised included the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS); restrictions on governments’ right to regulate; the loss of sovereignty; the misleading economic analysis and small economic benefits; the lack of benefits for farmers and SMEs; threats to the environment and climate action; and the disregard for democratic processes, excessive secrecy and weak procedures for treaty-making.
Will the government listen to the voices of thousands of New Zealanders and the opposition parties? No.
Do a majority of the public support the TPPA? No.
Take Action: Stop the TPPA
Our friends at ActionStation are hosting a petition opposing the ratification of the TPPA. Add your name to the petition here.
Sign the Petition to the Governor-General
Following the handover of initial signatures on a petition to the Governor-General, calling for his intervention to reject the TPPA, the petition has been re-launched. Please download the petition here and build pressure for him to act.
Declare your space a TPPA Free Zone
Make signs, print signs and erect signs that declare your spaces to be TPPA Free. You can declare your home, neighbourhood, community centre, school, workplace, local Council to be a TPPA Free Zone. These signs can go on your house, letter box, car, public space, or wherever. Let everyone you know to declare their spaces as TPPA Free Zones as well. Download printable assets here.
We can celebrate Upper Hutt as the first Council to declare itself a TPPA Free Zone; see the Media Release. Congrats to Greg Rzesniowiecki and others who made this happen.
Waiheke has become the first Local Board to declare itself TPPA Free. Shirin Brown, Waiheke Local Board representative has prepared a Guide for how Boards can go TPP free.
TPPA Free Zone stickers (13cm X 10cm) are available at $35 per 100. Tony Hartnett (firstname.lastname@example.org) has offered to collect up orders to send to the printer. Let him know if you want some.
For a t-shirt pack either PM thru this FB page, or email email@example.com and specify Red or Black, Size, Men/Woman, and quantity. Cost is $30 for one, $55 for two. Postage included. They will then reply with IOFChch account number, and ask for your address. It works!