National Party MPs are continuing to mislead the New Zealand public, claiming they will be able to have input into the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) once it is signed.
“Backbench MP Shane Reti was today caught out trying to tell Northlanders that the TPPA comes before Parliament to be debated and modified – something that is blatantly not true,” said Green Party Trade spokesperson Dr Russel Norman.
“Steven Joyce had to correct a similarly untrue statement in Parliament in 2013 about the process for ratifying the TPPA, and John Key has made similarly false claims.
“Either National Party Ministers and MPs genuinely do not know what they doing regarding the TPPA, in which case why are they doing it, or it is part of a campaign of deliberate misinformation designed to confuse New Zealanders about the lack of democracy involved in the TPPA process.
“Shane Reti is wrong. Once the TPPA is signed, that is it: You cannot change the terms of the TPPA – we are stuck with it whether we like it or not.
“Parliament not only has no ability to modify the TPPA after the Government signs up to it, Parliament does not even decide whether New Zealand ratifies the TPPA or not.
“Only the Cabinet decides on ratification. Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee can examine the Agreement but it has no say as to whether the Government ratifies the TPPA.
“This is not the first time Shane Reti has been caught misleading Northlanders. Earlier this year the Transport Minister confirmed that Shane Reti had not taken a proposal to cabinet for sealing a road, as he had claimed.
“That National MPs and Ministers have been misleading the public over the TPPA is a clear indication that they know the agreement is a bad deal and that Kiwis don’t like it.
“The fact is, when it comes to dealing with trade agreements there is no all-of-Parliament ratification vote; a Select Committee considers it once; the TPPA can’t be modified; and Cabinet decides on ratification not Parliament.
“John Key needs to stop being disingenuous about the TPPA and just pull out of the negotiations,” said Dr Norman.