A well attended meeting in Ōtaki heard from a variety of speakers why the TPPA is a bad idea for New Zealand.
Professor Jeff Stuka from Massey university identified the problems with NZ signing this secret document.
‘Secrecy is an obvious warning sign.’ he said. Other free trade deals have never provided the promised benefits.
‘Rather they globalise poverty, don’t create jobs, lead to mass exodus of peoples and the genocide of indigenous peoples.’
NZ law would be held hostage to corporate lawyers as the TPPA gives away our sovereignty to them. NZ could be sued for loss of ‘potential’ profits.
He was followed by Ian Todd who described in detail the aspect of the trade deal where the clauses on the Investor/State Disputes Settlement could be used as a deterrent to NZ enacting its own laws for the benefit of its own people. If corporates (investors) felt that any law could potentially harm their assumed expectation of profits, they could take NZ to court. Three lawyers would decide our fate in private, with no access and no appeal.
Amanda Vickers spoke of the petition to the Governor-General asking him not to ratify the TPPA because of the loss of sovereignty and self-determination.
Grant Brooks from the NZ Nurses’ Organisation discussed the impact on Public Health if the tobacco companies sued NZ for trying to cut smoking. He also raised the alarm about the effects on the health budget for although the PHARMAC model was safe, a significant increase in the cost of drugs would occur as the TPPA increased the time limits on patents and thus our ability to buy cheap medicines.