Rally at Parliament against signing of TPPA – Oliver Hailes

“Protestors will gather outside Parliament at midday on Thursday 8 March to hear from a range of

speakers in opposition to the TPPA signing ceremony in Chile,” says Oliver Hailes, spokesperson for

It’s Our Future, New Zealand’s network of opponents to the TPPA and other anti-democratic

economic treaties.

The line-up of speakers includes:

– Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman;

– Māori activist and international indigenous rights advocate Catherine Murupaenga-Ikenn;

– Generation Zero spokesperson Lisa McLaren;

– Unions Wellington organiser Ben Peterson;

– President of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Grant Brookes;

– ActionStation campaigner Rick Zwaan;

– documentary maker Bryan Bruce; and

– TPP Free Wellington spokesperson and business owner Antony Maddock.

Sandra Grey, president of the Tertiary Education Union, will serve as MC, and Mike Pike will provide


These speakers represent many perspectives on why New Zealand must continue to resist the


Ms Ghahraman was the only voice in last week’s parliamentary debate who challenged the sudden

shift in policy by the Labour Party and New Zealand First: “We need to make trade fair and fit to

serve our needs in the 21st century, instead of ceding sovereignty to foreign investors.”

Ms Murupaenga-Ikenn speaks for “the imperilled voice of indigenous peoples and populations all

around the world” as well as the “prominent economic, civil rights, environmental justice and

other experts, academics and NGOs who have consistently called for state compliance with moral,

legal and international standards regarding good governance and environmental and human


Mr Zwaan will report on ActionStation’s recent independent poll, which confirmed last week that 75%

of New Zealanders still want independent analysis before signing up.

Likewise, Ms McLaren says that Generation Zero wants “an independent analysis into whether the

TPPA is compatible with the 2050 net-zero emissions target, as outlined by the Vivid Economics

report and the envisioned Zero Carbon Act, before New Zealand ratifies the agreement”.

“Despite the rebrand and spin, people throughout Aotearoa are beginning to realise that nothing’s

really changed,” Mr Hailes said. “Never again will we be kept in the dark while technocrats trade

away control over our future. That’s why we’re still collecting signatures to let the Government

know that we do not consent to the TPPA and that Parliament must reform its Standing Orders to

increase democratic oversight of future treaty negotiations.”

Mr Hailes will hand over a parliamentary petition to Ms Ghahraman on behalf of the thousands of

signatories who have endorsed the position of It’s Our Future.