It comes as no surprise that Mike Peterson claims that unfounded views on the TPPA are “irresponsible and verging on scaremongering” (TPPA concerns made loud and clear 17/8/15). This comment demonstrates a level of arrogance which is both unwarranted and insulting.
The people who attended Saturdays rally have genuine concerns. Flinging insults will not allay these fears. Letting us know what we are getting into may. Yet negotiating in secret (unless of course you are a corporate and therefore allowed to sit at the table) does nothing to help. It does nothing but feed on doubts. Yet whilst we are being pilloried by the negotiators every leak made reinforces our opinion that this is a bad deal for New Zealand.
I personally spoke to a number of those who attended whom I did not recognise. Many were angry at the arrogance demonstrated by the negotiators. This was not only about the secret nature of the negotiations. It was also about how our ability to form a differing opinion has been dismissed in such an offhand manner. Corporates have had far to much influence in the writing of the TPPA and therefore stand to gain all the benefits. There is also a lot of concern about our ability to manage our own affairs being signed away. This concern was expressed by many who don’t want to see the strength of the Treaty of Waitangi watered down.
So my challenge to Mike Peterson is to clearly set out why Tim Grosser’s statements implying that the world will end for New Zealand trade if we don’t have the TPPA are not irresponsible and verging on scaremongering. Now that would be informative.