Thousands turn up to rally against TPP

Thousands of people have turned up to protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Dunedin and across the country today

In Dunedin more than 2000 people marched from the Dental School, along George Street to the Octagon where the crowd gather to hear speeches and music this afternoon.

In Auckland

An estimated 5000 people joined the rally at Aotea Square at 1pm, to then march on the US Consulate building.

Armed with banners and signs, they called on the Government to "walk away" from the TPP agreement.

Placards read, 'don't trade our needs for corporate greed'; 'enough is enough'; 'TPPA locks in climate change'; and 'Aotearoa is not for sale".

Protesters heard speeches, and songs from singers Tiki Tane and Moana Moniapoto, at Aotea Sq before starting the march down Queen St.

Despite the frequent heavy showers protesters of all ages joined the noisy crowd as it marched through central Auckland, causing people to stop and look, while workers stood at windows and watched them walk by.

Huia Minogue, who was at the rally with her brother and his wife, and their children - who were dressed as kiwis, holding signs that read, 'little kiwis say no to TPPA' - said they joined the protest because "the TPPA is a huge over-riding agreement which is going to take so much of our rights away".

She cited concerns about "blocks and waivers' preventing future New Zealand government's from making its own laws, corporations being able to sue the Government, the increased costs of medicines, and the inability to block foreign ownership as reasons why she was opposed to the deal.

"It's putting us at the mercy of this global market," she said.

"And all of this for possibly 0.01 per cent of GDP, which is just ridiculous."

She was "really happy" with the large turn out, she said.

"It's a horrible day, you always get much more people on a sunny day, to see a crowd like this.

"The thing about this crowd is there's children, there's babies, there's Maori there's people from India, there's trade unionists, there's health professional, politicians, there's professors, singers. It's amazing. All of New Zealand is represented here. There's no group you could say didn't turn up today."

Before the protest All Black Piri Weepu tweeted that he was "gutted" he couldn't join the rallies which were taking place in 20 cities across New Zealand today.

A man who gave his name as Robert was with his two young children who were carrying anti-TPPA signs.

"I don't agree with the secrecy and what the agreement stands for in the first place," he said.

It was important for his children "to see people standing up for what they believe in".


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