Cutting the timeframe the Select Committee has to consider public submissions on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) from four weeks to five days shows the National Government never intended to take peoples’ opinions on the TPPA seriously, the Green Party said today.
“John Key always said New Zealanders would get a say on the TPPA but now his backbench MPs have exposed what a sham that really was,” Green Party trade spokesperson Kennedy Graham said.
“The so-called consultation over the TPPA is a farce. This latest move shows how the Government couldn’t care less about the views of New Zealanders who care about the TPPA.
“Slashing the time available to consider submissions is a kick in the teeth to the hundreds of very capable people who have spent a lot of time preparing over 3000 insightful submissions on the TPPA.
“It’s pretty clear that National MPs have been told to get a move on and rush the TPPA through this year so it won’t become an election year issue.
“No matter how National tries to get the TPPA done and dusted quickly, I’d be very surprised if the thousands of New Zealanders opposed to the TPPA suddenly forget about it in election year, especially as it will still be a live issue in the USA.
“Taking away the time that members of the Select Committee need to actually read and properly consider the public submissions shows up the TPPA consultation for what it is: a roadshow with a predetermined outcome.
“This is an erosion of the democratic process,” said Dr Graham.