Wellington Scoop

Nurses’ leader to speak at rally against signing TPPA

News from NZNO
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation objects to the government’s intention to sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement tomorrow. NZNO asserts that although some improvements have been made, the CPTPP is not ready to be signed. As part of the week of action, NZNO President Grant Brookes will address the Wellington rally against the signing on parliament grounds tomorrow and will urge the rally to sign the petition ‘don’t do it’.


“Trade Minister David Parker rates the deal as seven out of ten for New Zealand. Nurses would not agree that tinkering around the edges meant job well done, no more than the government should think they have finished making a deal that is a job well done for all New Zealanders,” he said.

“Nurses promote optimal health status for all peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand. Despite improvements, the intellectual property provisions which are likely to delay access to affordable new medicines are still present in the text.

“In reality there is no way of knowing how well the CPTPP scores.

“Until there is an independent health impact assessment of the deal, which Labour campaigned for while in opposition, then nurses say, ‘Don’t sign!’,” Grant Brookes said.

Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku says:

“We are not satisfied that the Treaty of Waitangi aspect of this agreement is robust enough to protect indigenous rights as was found by the Waitangi Tribunal.”

“The Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions which privilege multinational corporate interests above our sovereign and indigenous interests have been suspended but not removed and this is too risky for us,” she said.


News from It’s Our Future
“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 music.

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

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 rights”.

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.