2 February 2016 MEDIA STATEMENT
Labour’s opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) in no way conflicts with their support of free trade and the continued growth of Hawke’s Bay’s horticultural industry, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.
“Labour has long championed free trade; we negotiated the New Zealand–China FTA which has proven successful for our producers and exporters. We support free trade, but the TPP is more than a trade deal,” says Meka Whaitiri.
“With the TPPA, the Government has agreed to trade away New Zealand’s sovereignty.
“The TPPA can stop a future government passing laws in the best interests of Kiwis. Foreign corporations could sue the government over policy changes and our access to life-saving drugs could be restricted.
“The promised economic gains are based on outdated information. A recent independent study from Tufts University shows the TPPA would mean, at best, an increase of 0.77% of GDP in 15 years’ time.
“The same report predicts that the deal will cost New Zealand up to 6000 jobs, and the share of national wealth going to workers will fall by 1.45 per cent.
“This deal will see a transfer of wealth from working New Zealanders to foreign corporates – and requires us to pay the price of the loss of our sovereignty.
“As MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti I must also acknowledge the overwhelming chorus of opposition to this deal from Maori, who have not been consulted properly throughout the negotiations.
“Like all of us in the Bay, I want to see a prosperous, innovative region with a flourishing local economy. The TPPA is not the answer to this.
“Creating special rules for powerful overseas politicians and corporations at the expense of ordinary Kiwis is not something we should be standing up for,” says Meka Whaitiri.