The Dunedin City Council is being urged to put New Zealand's
''public interest'' first by adopting a new policy on the
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.
The call came from Greg Rzesniowiecki, of Motueka, on behalf
of the Renewables group, during a public forum at the start
of this week's economic development committee meeting in
Mr Rzesniowiecki is travelling the country to lobby councils,
and on Monday told Dunedin city councillors they should
consider adopting the ''public interest'' policy on the
proposed regional free trade agreement.
That would see the council agreeing to encourage the
government to ''conclude negotiations ... in a way that
provides net positive benefits'' for Dunedin, Otago and New
In practice, that meant signing up to a set of principles to
be protected during the trade negotiations, including tobacco
control and other public health measures.
Mr Rzesniowiecki said the TPP had the potential to undermine
public interest in addressing climate change, and other
issues, by allowing corporate interests to become
The DCC, as one of 78 councils throughout New Zealand, had
the ability to influence government decision-making, and
should give ''serious consideration'' to signing up to the
policy, he told the forum.
The council had adopted an ethical investment policy for its
Waipori Fund, and councils throughout New Zealand had lobbied
against legal highs, showing what could be achieved, he
''It's the same thing here. It all adds to the weight of
public concern and public support or antipathy towards a
particular policy setting,'' he said.