Government challenged to present details of TPPA to the public

By Native Affairs

Professor Jane Kelsey has called on the Government to present the details of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to the public if it is so confident the agreement is in the best interests of the nation.

In an interview with Native Affairs last night she told Ward Kamo that the secrecy surrounding the negotiations involved in the TPPA go completely against tino rangatiratanga and democracy.

Professor Kelsey says, the TPPA “is a deal that is largely in the interests of big investors, foreign investors who have patron states, especially the US developing the rules for them, whether it’s the medicines industry or the tobacco industry or the mining industry.”

Claimants against the TPPA will appear before the Waitangi Tribunal this week seeking an urgent ruling to ask the Government to halt its part in the negotiations.

While the Waitangi Tribunal has outlined it may be too late in the process to do so, the Tribunal is asking the Crown to what extent Māori concerns have been considered in negotiations and to what extent the Treaty of Waitangi has also been considered.

Hone Harawira is one of those claimants and says the TPPA is in breach of the “treaty and undermines all of our rights under the Treaty of Waitangi and the United Nations.”

Five separate claimants will go before the Tribunal on Thursday in the hope the concerns they have will gain some traction and recognition.