TPPA conspiracies distracting from real issues

By Maiki Sherman

As the signing of the TPPA looms closer, calls for New Zealanders to "wake up" to concerns around the agreement are mounting.  But there are some conspiracies which some MPs are labelling a distraction from the real issues of concern. 

A new flag perhaps for New Zealand, but what's the real reason?  Some say it's to get rid of the Union Jack, severing ties to the Queen and therefore the Treaty of Waitangi.

Marama Davidson says, "This theory is wrong.  It doesn't matter which flag we have, the authority of the Treaty remains here in New Zealand."

She says she's seen a number of conspiracy theories on Facebook confusing people, but says she doesn't blame the authors. 

"From the beginning the Government has been so secretive about this agreement, so it's clear to see how these theories could have become so wrong," she explains.

If you've seen New Zealand's new bank notes but can't find the Queen's watermark, yes, it's that same theory - "no Queen, no Treaty."

The Government says rights under the Treaty of Waitangi won't be undermined by the TPPA.  However, these Māori MPs say, conspiracies aside, Māori rights will still be affected by the TPPA. 

"I think back to when Te Whānau-ā-Apanui fought to protect their ocean.  The TPPA is an agreement that strengthens big corporates to trample over us," says Davidson.

The Trade Minister wasn't available to speak with Te Kāea today.  Perhaps there's a conspiracy behind that?