Actually I agree with our bishops quite a lot of the time, but in this case I agree with them and with the Catholic bishops of NZ who together have issued a joint statement about the TPP - the Trans Pacific Partnership which could become the TPPA(greement). Here is the statement:
"The Anglican and Catholic bishops of Aotearoa New Zealand have written to
the Government asking for more transparency concerning the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) currently being negotiated, so that New Zealanders can better
evaluate its implications.
The bishops acknowledge the right and duty of any New Zealand government to
promote our country’s trading opportunities and are mindful that the well-being
of New Zealanders depends on economic growth.
However, the lack of transparency and public involvement relating to the TPP
is a cause for great concern. The sense of unease stretches across the
community, and includes people in business, academics and unionists.
Corporate interests are party to the TPP negotiations and able to exert
influence in favour of their own interests, while the people are excluded. This
leads to the belief that ordinary New Zealanders, and particularly those who
are poorer, will be disadvantaged by the TPPA and all the benefits will accrue
to those who already have considerable wealth.
The bishops accept that secrecy may be the norm in ordinary trade
agreements, but the TPP is more than just a trade negotiation. It has the
capacity to reach into domestic economies, and to dictate what happens within a
nation’s own political and legal systems.
In the parallel Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) much
of the secrecy has been lifted by the European Commission with the introduction
of a number of measures to enhance transparency in the negotiations and to
allow public scrutiny and consultation.
The bishops have asked the Government to give serious consideration to
making the draft text of the TPP available, so that New Zealanders are able to
evaluate for themselves, according to their own principles, the potential
negatives and positives of the TPP.
For more information please contact:
Jayson Rhodes – Communications Adviser for the Anglican Bishops
Simone Olsen – Communications Adviser for the Catholic Bishops "