Thousands take part in downtown Auckland TPPA Walkaway rally

By Harata Brown

Thousands of people took part in rallies around the country, marching against the Government's controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

The trade deal includes twelve nations which would cover half of the world including Aotearoa, New Zealand.

The rain however didn't deter thousands of protesters away from sending their message to the National Government as their opposing voices echoed throughout the streets of downtown Auckland today. 

University of Auckland Law Professor Jane Kelsey says the agreement is “being negotiated in secret. It puts handcuffs on what future governments can do so it is a violation of sovereignty and democracy and the Government has confessed that there is a whole lot of specific impacts”.

Māori Party Co-Leader Marama Fox says “big and large organizations can take court action against our Government”, and that's a concern, especially when the Māori Party has a relationship agreement with National.

“We have our own views, which also align with what all Māori want. That is why we are at the table (with National) because we can challenge the Government and say hey we don't agree to this”, said Fox.

Kelsey however was also seen collecting money to raise funds for future High Court action that seeks an urgent judicial review of Trade Minister Tim Grosser's blanket refusal to release any documents sought in a comprehensive Official Information Act request.

"The papers were tabled a couple of weeks ago. The co-applicants range from Consumer New Zealand, and Ngāti Kahungunu through to the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and the Tertiary Education Union", said Kelsey.  

Indeed thousands pictured here flocked to call out to the Government to walk away from the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and some participants said things such as, "it's not very democratic for our country so that's why I am against it", "it's all about our kids future and you know, yeah I think our Government is doing wrong”, and "it's USA, enough of it”.