Protesters greet John Key in Oxford, Canterbury

PROTEST: About 20 people gathered TO SHOW THEIR opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.
Stacy Squires

PROTEST: About 20 people gathered TO SHOW THEIR opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.

A small cluster of protesters gathered outside the rebuilt Oxford Town Hall in North Canterbury ahead of its official opening by the prime minister.

John Key ignored the protestors, instead giving the media a wave, as he arrived. 

About 250 people attended the opening. 

About 20 people had gathered - two of them dressed as grim reapers - holding banners opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and chanting "TPPA - no way" and "for the people, not corporations".

A spirited performance by Oxford Area School's kapa haka group drowned out the chanting, which continued outside the hall during speeches. 

New Zealand is negotiating the trade agreement with 11 other countries including Australia, the United States, Canada and Japan.

It would deepen economic ties but allow foreign corporations to sue if New Zealand laws affected their profits.

The Art Deco town hall and community centre needed seismic strengthening and has a new ceiling and verandahs. 

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 - The Press

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