Press Release – TPP Free Wellington

TPP Free Wellington petition supported by It’s Our Future and Action Station2 requests, ‘the Governor General to command the New Zealand Government to put the question of the TPP to a binding referendum before signing.’ 3 TPP Free Wellington’s Amanda Vickers, …Media Release 25 January 2016

Assemble Government House Gates 1pm Saturday 30th January for petition handover.1

TPP Free Wellington petition supported by It’s Our Future and Action Station2 requests, ‘the Governor General to command the New Zealand Government to put the question of the TPP to a binding referendum before signing.’3 TPP Free Wellington’s Amanda Vickers, “calls on everyone concerned about TPPA and the many petitioners to assemble 1pm Saturday 30 January at Government House gates, for the official handover. It is important to indicate support for His Excellency to take this critical action to protect the democracy and ensure that the New Zealand public has the opportunity to consent through binding referendum.

The TPP is an imposition on our parliamentary sovereignty4 to make laws that protect the New Zealand public interest.”5 Tangata Whenua leadership is voicing its concern about TPP’s impacts on Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi).6 Many gathered for the Annual Ratana Church celebrations at Ratana Pa near Whanganui for the weekend (23-25 January).

Rahui Papa, spokesman for Maori King Tuheitia, said in his Ratana speech that he and other Maori had concerns about the “lack of information and lack of dialogue around this kaupapa” about the TPPA.

“The closed door negotiations doesn’t work for Maori – we ask that there is more information and more discussions before New Zealand commits to signing the TPP agreement.”

Papa said Maori were “no strangers” to free trade agreements, and wanted to see opportunities for Maori and New Zealanders, but believed the deal should not be signed given widespread concerns.

“Take the pulse of the people and delay the signing of the TPPA until a comprehensive discussion and debate with all of those across the country can be held.”7

Whanganui TPP Action had a respectful presence at the Ratana Pa Sunday 24 January for the celebration.

Denise Lockett spokesperson for the group said, “We were blown away by the support. After the political speeches, many holding the government to account over the TPPA, the people came in waves to sign our letters and petition. We collected 100 signatures on the petition to the Governor General seeking a binding referendum” Amanda Vickers states on behalf of all petitioners, “We are requesting the Governor General to command John Key – to put the question of TPP to a binding referendum prior to signing.”

Amanda adds. “We are asking him to refuse to assent to any enabling legislation unless the people vote in favour. No one can force the Governor General to sign legislation. If he doesn’t sign it doesn’t become law.”

Amanda says, “The Governor General in agreeing with our request, provides a unique opportunity to defuse the polarisation around TPP, allowing for open public discussion about the TPP implications, in the period before a referendum was held.”

TPP Free Wellington encourages all to assemble at the Government House Gates 1pm Saturday 30 January for the petition hand over. Copies of the petition will be available at the assembly.

Ends.

1 TPP Free Wellington action 1pm Saturday 30 January, Assemble to Petition the Governor General – No Mandate Do Not Sign TPPA Without a Binding Referendum: https://www.facebook.com/events/1042528165799256/

2 Acton Station link to GG petition:
http://www.actionstation.org.nz/how_to_collect_signatures_and_help_stop_the_tppa?

3 No Mandate Do Not Sign TPPA blog – download petition pdf for print, distribution, signing with explanation: http://nomandatedonotsigntppaggpetition.blogspot.co.nz/

4 Tim Groser in 2012 acknowledged that the TPP treaty involves the loss of sovereignty: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10817978

5 TPP will limit government ability to regulate in the public and national interest as already demonstrated in respect to Tobacco control. Similarly on Climate Change Dr. Joshua Freeman and Dr. Hayley Bennet make the case that TPP will be bad for climate change mitigation: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11567925 And further reinforced herein: http://www.ibtimes.com/top-us-trade-official-defends-exclusion-climate-change-trans-pacific-partnership- 2276835

6 TPP Legal expert papers: https://tpplegal.wordpress.com/nzlf-expert-paper-series/ Expert Paper #3: Māori Rights, Te Tiriti O Waitangi and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: https://tpplegal.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/ep3-tiriti-paper.pdf

7 From Stuff story: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/76200254/john-key-defends-governmentsupport- for-tppa-deal-in-speech-at-ratana

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