In February CTU Secretary Sam Huggard wrote to the Parliamentary Committee about the very brief timeline to hear from the public about the TPPA.
“Yesterday we heard back from the committee that it refused to extend the deadline. To quote the email they said ‘The committee did agree to consider any substantive submissions received after that date on a case by case basis.’ So basically only if you or your organisation has an opinion or perspective the committee judges worth listening to then it will hear it,” CTU Director of Policy, Bill Rosenberg said.
“We are deeply concerned that the committee will self-select which submissions they will hear. Where is the democracy?”
“People are being asked to put considerable work into writing a submission on this complex agreement which even experts are still struggling to fully understand, without the certainty that it will even be considered.”
This is after Trade Minister Todd McClay stated publicly that he is “open to the public being given more time to have their say on the Trans-Pacific Partnership”.
“Everything about the TPPA – the negotiations, the meetings, and now the only formal opportunity for the public to be heard on the whole agreement, undermines the principals of democracy. This is not the New Zealand that we want,” Rosenberg said.