30 Jan 2016

TPP protesters call for binding referendum

7:56 pm on 30 January 2016

About five hundred people gathered at the gates of Government House in Wellington today to present a petition calling on the Governor-General to put the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement to a binding referendum before it becomes law.

An anti-TPP protest in  Washington DC, earlier this year.

An anti-TPP protest in Washington DC, earlier this year. Photo: AFP

TPP opponents say it's not too late to stop the agreement, even though it's due to be signed in Auckland next Thursday.

Petition organiser Antony Maddock said the government did not have a mandate for the trade deal, which is due to be signed by member states.

"Nothing becomes law without the Governor-General's signature, so we're asking him if it turns up there not to sign it and instead put it to a binding referendum."

Thousands of people turned out to anti-TPP rallies in Wellington, Christchurh and Dunedin today.

TPP Action Dunedin spokesperson Jen Olsen said about 400 people attended the rally in the Octagon.

The TPP must still be ratified by member states, which could take a couple of years, so there's time to make changes, Ms Olsen said.

The petition, which has been signed by 4000 people so far, is still in circulation.

Meanwhile, more than 1000 people have attended anti-TPP rallies in Christchurch and Dunedin.

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