Press Release – Green Party

The Government should not sign us up to be sued by tobacco companies, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.31 May 2012

TPPA will allow tobacco companies to sue NZ

The Government should not sign us up to be sued by tobacco companies, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

A Ministry of Health funded report released today by Auckland University shows that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) currently being negotiated includes clauses that will allow overseas companies to sue the New Zealand Government. It also shows that as New Zealand increases our tobacco control levels we will be faced with legal challenges by the industry.

“It’s not too late for John Key’s Government to support our neighbours in Australia by following their lead in refusing to sign away our rights to democratically set our own health policies,” said Mrs Turei.

“We love our kids and want to protect them from becoming addicted to these dangerous products.

“This research shows that New Zealand is well placed to avoid any legal challenges but that signing the TPPA as it stands will change that dramatically.

“We now have all the information we need to be prepared for any legal challenges to our health policies.

“Key’s Government cannot pretend to be blind to the fact that signing the TPPA will reduce our ability to democratically set our own policies to improve the health of New Zealanders.

“Philip Morris have an actual business strategy to shut down some governments’ tobacco control policies in the making and to sue after policy has been made, all with the aim of scaring any other governments from taking effective action to protect health.

“We won’t be bullied by the likes of Philip Morris.

“Signing the TPPA without changes will not only fail our kids health but will also break our commitment to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, where we promised that any new international agreements will not impede our progress on reducing smoking rates.

“Our goal of a smoke free New Zealand is at very real risk from the TPPA.”

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