John Key must listen to the people of Coromandel and walk away from the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations because of the power the TPPA could give overseas corporations like Oceana Gold over the New Zealand Government, the Green Party said.
“Oceana Gold, which is buying the Waihi Gold Mine, is already suing the El Salvador government for $470 million and if New Zealand signs up to the TPPA, we could be next,” Green Party Coromandel-based MP Catherine Delahunty said.
“When El Salvador decided to stop mining because it was polluting their drinking water, the mining company Pacific Rim, which is now owned by Oceana Gold, sued the Government – forcing El Salvador to spend $9 million defending its own right to make laws.
“I’m standing with the people of Coromandel while John Key is in town and telling him to walk away from the TPPA.
“Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses like those in the TPPA allow multinational corporations to sue Governments for making decisions that hurt their profits.
“Under the TPPA, a global mining company could sue New Zealand if we decided to do something reasonable like not open up new mines in historic and environmentally treasured places like the Karangahake Gorge.
“Local communities and even the whole Government would be powerless to stop global corporations from rewriting the rule books for profit.
“This so-called trade deal will hardly earn us anything – only a 0.01 percent increase to our GDP from agriculture according to the US government – so why would we risk so much by signing it?
“Our environmental taonga and our fundamental right to make our own laws shouldn’t be signed away for corporate sovereignty,” said Ms Delahunty.