Aotearoa Is Not For Sale Wellington will present a live Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) boxing match at Midland Park on Tuesday, 4 December 2012 at noon.
The match will set Fred Dagg (the people) against Uncle Sam (corporate power) to illustrate the clash of values implicit in the TPPA currently being negotiated in Auckland.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is one of the biggest political issues facing New Zealand but one of the least publicised and least understood.
It involves eleven Asian and Pacific-rim countries including the United States, with the aim to extend it to all 21 APEC countries. It is being negotiated behind closed doors with no possibility of public or Parliamentary oversight. Some text is known through leaked sources.
"This Agreement is deliberately being negotiated in secret. What we know about the TPPA suggests that it so hideous that if revealed the public would be outraged and would overwhelmingly oppose it." Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati Aotearoa Is Not For Sale Wellington spokesperson says.
"The TPPA gives special rights and privileges to corporations and effectively elevates them to a nation state status by giving them the ability to over-ride our domestic law. It is an unfettered license for trans-national corporations to come into NZ to enforce their will. If New Zealand is signed up to TPPA we stand to loose affordable medicines, environmental protection, financial regulation, internet freedom, workers rights, GMO labelling, local businesses, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and much more."
"This Agreement is referred to as a concrete agreement. Changes to it would require the agreement of all other signatory countries. If we are signed up this Government and all future Governments would be bound by it."
"A handful of government officials and John Key, negotiating this Agreement on behalf of New Zealand, do not have the mandate or right to sign away our sovereignty. We are calling for an end to this undemocratic and treacherous Agreement. "
Aotearoa Is Not For Sale Wellington is not alone in voicing its concern over the trade agreement many industry groups and political parties also oppose the TPPA.
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says: "New Zealand has the right to make its own laws for the good of its people and its environment,
"The Trans Pacific Partnership agreement (TPPA) currently being negotiated would let offshore corporations sue our government when it makes law changes through investor state disputes mechanisms. That's anti-democratic because it would limit New Zealand's ability to make domestic laws.
"The Green Party remains committed to ensuring that New Zealanders get to choose their own path in the future, free of foreign corporate control."
Leader of MANA Hone Harawira says: "The TTPA is about kissing goodbye our rights as a country and placing them in the hands of greedy multinational companies who only care about how much money they can make.
"With the next round of TTPA talks in Auckland, everybody and anybody who gives a damn about the future of our country needs to turn up and make their voices heard. This is an opportunity to tell John Key and his fat cat mates that our country is not for sale and that free trade agreements suck".
Dr Thomas Owen, who has recently written his PhD thesis on the impact of free trade agreements on access to medicines, has also publically raised concerns about the TPPA.
"Agreements such as this are part of an on-going project at this point in history to take power away from democratic institutions – such as local and national governments – and to place it instead with multinational corporations," Dr Owen says.
"The issue isn't really about trade. It's about power, about democracy, and about sovereignty. Democracy is not a final product but a constant work in progress, something we all need to continuously fight for."