TPPA Circus Kicks Off

TPPA Circus Kicks Off

The first of the TPP Roadshows kicked off today with central Auckland being the first stop on the trail. The roadshows are the government’s sales tactic for the agreement, which has gathered criticism by many members of the public as well as several political parties. 

Several protestors dressed as clowns raided the event to inform people of the damaging effects of the international agreement. The group was eventually escorted away by security, proclaiming, “This is a JOKE!” 

On the 4th of February the ministers from twelve Pacific Rim countries, including New Zealand, signed the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement in Auckland. Whilst the agreement has been signed, it is not yet ratified into New Zealand law, giving hope to those fervently against it. 

The agreement involves thirty chapters on matters of public policy, with the stated goal to: “promote economic growth; support the creation and retention of jobs; enhance innovation, productivity and competitiveness; raise living standards; reduce poverty in our countries; and promote transparency, good governance, and enhanced labor and environmental protections.” It is unlikely to come into full force until around 2018. 

Many people have voiced concerns over the TPPA, with some saying it limits the government’s power to regulate, means a loss of sovereignty and impacts on our ability to address environmental protection among other things. 

“This government’s public engagement on the TPPA has been a circus parade. Even John Oliver has recognised that John Key is a gigantic clown and we came here today to show the government we’re not fooled,” said ‘spokesfool’ Braithwaite Musgrave Broccoli, according to an It’s Our Future press release. 

He went on to say; “this roadshow is nothing but a huge joke, part of the government’s tricks and illusions about the TPPA. We had to laugh today because it’s ridiculous that such a serious deal is in the hands of those clowns.”

 At the beginning of the Roadshow, protestors began to laugh out loud, popped balloons and blew bubbles in response to claims of the TPPA’s benefits. Eventually, in the spirit of democracy, a vote was called for and the majority of listeners voted the clowns out. The government estimates the free trade deal will add at least $2.7 billion to our economy every year until 2030 but doubts remain largely due to the secrecy the deal has been negotiated in so far.

This article first appeared in Issue 3, 2016.
Posted 11:38am Sunday 13th March 2016 by Jessica Thompson.