Pacific Scoop: Thousands protest in NZ against Pacific-wide free trade

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MIL OSI – Source: Pacific Media Centre – Report published with permission of the Pacific Media Centre

Headline: Pacific Scoop: Thousands protest in NZ against Pacific-wide free trade

Thousands of New Zealanders turned out in protests across the country today against a Pacific-wide free trade deal claimed to be “selling out” the people’s future.

Protesters took to the streets in rallies in 22 towns and cities against the unpopular Trans-Pacific Partnership being pushed by Prime Minister John Key’s government against widespread opposition.

More than 3000 people marched in Auckland alone with a symbolic “Trojan horse” representing the TPPA being pulled along by corporate groups and an “Uncle Sam” character representing United States interests.

Many New Zealanders claim the TPPA will undermine the country’s sovereignty.

“It is about old-style imperialism. An Anglo-Saxon corporate ‘Old Boys’ club’ with modern technological toys,” said one rally organiser.

Groups of doctors opposed to the consequences for the New Zealand health system if the TPPA goes ahead were among those prominent in the march.

Trade block
The TPP aims to create a regional free trade block involving 12 Asia Pacific countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam,

The Auckland rally gathered in the central city Myers Park and then marched down Queen Street.

Radio New Zealand reported that in Wellington hundreds of people marched from Midland Park to Parliament.

In Christchurch, almost 3000 people were reported to have gathered in Shand’s Crescent in Addington before a march to Hagley Park.

The “Trojan horse” at the Auckland rally against the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership today. Image: David Robie/PMC

Part of the Auckland TPPA rally neat the Town Hall today. Image: David Robie/PMC

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues.
Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia’s FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand’s The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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