Palmerston North states what it wants from TPPA

Palmerston North has become the 10th local council in New Zealand to tell the Government to protect the ability to make local decisions for communities rather than lose that right because of terms in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

TPPA Action Group members Greg Rzesniowiecki and Phil Stevens spoke to the city council on Tuesday, encouraging support for a policy statement drafted in Auckland.

They said while much of the content of the draft free trade agreement was either secret or had been leaked, they were concerned it could undermine councils' freedom to make decisions for their local economies, the environment and the quality of life for residents.

The other councils that have adopted Auckland's initiative so far are Nelson and Tasman, Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington, Hutt City, Upper Hutt and Kapiti Coast.

About 30 members of the public attended the presentation, and applauded the council's backing for the statement.

Four councillors abstained from the vote.

Rzesniowiecki said after the meeting he was impressed with the reception he received.

"Four indicated their abstention rather than opposing the move - they were happy to get out of the way, and I take heart from that."

The resolution covers 12 issues, including the ability to support buy-local policies, supporting public health measures such as tobacco control, defending labour practices, and protecting human rights.

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