Up to 250 people have declared the Octagon a Trans Pacific
Partnership-free zone at an ''action event'' in Dunedin this
Event organiser Jen Olsen said Dunedin should follow suit and
become the first city to declare itself TPP-free.
The crowd heard from Labour's Dunedin MPs David Clark and
Clare Curran, the first time the pair have spoken publicly
since Labour declared itself opposed to the controversial
deal after years of uncertainty over where the party stood.
Dr Clark, who is also Labour's trade spokesman, said it had
been a ''hell of a ride'' since he took on the trade
portfolio last month.
The party had taken a "principled stance not a populist
stance'' to the TPP, which breached New Zealand's
sovereignty, he said.
New Zealand relied on trade, but not at any price, he said.
He said the party needed to be careful how its presented its
argument over TPP in order to take "middle New Zealand''
along with it.
Ms Curran echoed Dr Clark's sentiments, and reminded the
crowd Labour celebrated its 100th anniversary this year.
"We are immensely proud of our history - most of our
history,'' Ms Curran said.
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei received the warmest
response from the crowd, especially when she declared the TPP
would bring down the National Government.
She said she had been heartened by the anti-TPP speaking tour
featuring US trade authority Lori Wallach, who has been
telling crowds in New Zealand about its lack of support on
both sides of the political divide in the United States.
The crowd was also entertained with poetry readings, songs,
and a talk about the benefits of introducing a universal
Dunedin activist Scout Barbour-Evans, who was door-knocked by
police this week ahead of today's event, said the relatively
low-key nature of the protest showed the visit had been an
"This is exactly what was planned.''
It was one of numerous anti-Trans-Pacific Partnership
protests around the country leading up to the official
signing of the document on February 4.
Four to five hundred people gathered in front of the
Governor-General's residence in Wellington to hand him a
petition, asking him not to sign off on the TPP.
Organiser Greg Rzesniowiecki said it was illegal for anyone
to block them from passing over the petition, and they would
wait there until it was received.
He said people from various industries were there holding
placards making statements such as "support local, not
global'' and "protect our freedoms''.
The group will finish with their "Great New Zealand
Sell-off'' display at parliament around 3pm.
Anti-TPP protests are also being held in Rotorua, New
Plymouth, Christchurch and Nelson today.
In Auckland, National MP Nikki Kaye's office in Freeman's Bay
has been tagged in an apparent protest against the
controversial trade deal.
The words "NO TPP yes I voted'' have appeared in black spray
paint on Auckland Central MPs' electorate office.
Demonstrations are expected to continue tonight, with car
enthusiasts planning protest convoys against the TPP.
Hundreds are expected to turn out for airport to CBD protest
convoys in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton,
Whangarei, Palmerston North and Tauranga from 10pm.
On Thursday, the Waiheke Local Board voted for the island and
Hauraki Gulf to become a TPP-free zone - a symbolic gesture
put forward by member Shirin Brown.
The resolution was circulated to Mayor Len Brown, other
Auckland local body representatives, community boards around
New Zealand, Prime Minister John Key and Trade Minister Tim
- Additional reporting