Labour has announced its TPPA policy, and the words have a reassurance to them.
For those unfamiliar with the acronym, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement's intent is to present how nine Pacific Rim governments make their domestic policy and regulatory decisions as a complement to more extensive rules that constrain the substance of those decisions.
These ''disciplines'' give the real power to commercial players, and to advance their interests.
Competing priorities, advocates, and agencies, including democratic political institutions, will be marginalised by laws that over- ride our own laws.
This systemic intrusion into the domestic policy domain by the TPPA appears to have been overlooked by our leaders because they approach the negotiations as if this is a traditional free trade and investment agreement.
Well, a whole lot of jobs, apparently, but promises are not worth a lot. For example, the 800 to be employed at Dongwha Patinna, Mataura, turned out to be 100.
What have we to lose by signing up for TPPA?
Our smoke-free by 2025 goal won't stand up, Monsanto will demand they control our seed industry, oil and mining industries will demand access to wherever, and United States drug companies will shove Pharmac aside.
This secret action was not part of National's mandate, and cannot be made without the public's support. Our sovereignty is at stake.
The opposition parties should all combine, and say they will rescind any agreement that has not passed a binding referendum.
- The Southland Times