Dunedin City councillor Aaron Hawkins addresses people at a
public protest over the Trans Pacific Partnership
Agreement, held in the Octagon on Saturday. Photo by Craig
Protesters in Dunedin have joined thousands around the
country voicing their displeasure over the Trans Pacific
Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
The Dunedin event was one of 15 nationwide events to protest
the TPPA, which is being negotiated behind closed doors
between 12 countries, including New Zealand.
About 150 people - some holding holding placards or waving
political party banners - gathered at the Octagon under the
statue of Robbie Burns, on Saturday, to listen to speakers.
The biggest cheer was reserved for Dunedin City councillor
and Green Party representative Aaron Hawkins, who called on
the Government to release information about the TPPA.
''If the Government has nothing to hide, it shouldn't have
anything to fear.''
Leaked documents from the negotiations raised concerns of the
power foreign firms could wield in New Zealand, with the
bulk-purchasing power of Pharmac just one example under
threat, he said.
''This rally, and the movement around it, is not anti-trade,
it is pro-democracy, it is gathering momentum, and the TPPA
champions are scared,'' he said.
Mr Hawkins said lead negotiator David Walker would be
visiting Dunedin in the coming weeks to talk to local
business leaders as part of a ''charm offensive national