Council backs watered-down resolution on TPPA

By Zaryd Wilson

Wanganui District Council PHOTO/FILE
Wanganui District Council PHOTO/FILE

The Wanganui District Council will ask the Government to ensure Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations are in the best interests of the district.

Yesterday's council resolution was a watered-down version of what petitioners on the matter originally asked for - but one a majority of council could support.

At the full council meeting, councillors voted to "encourage the Government to conclude negotiations on the TPPA and free trade agreements in a way that provides net positive benefits for the Wanganui District and New Zealand".

But a motion by councillor Sue Westwood omitted 12 more specific points under the statement.

Councillor Rob Vinsen seconded the motion.

"I believe it takes the politics out of the argument to a certain extent," he said.

There was continuing debate, led by Cr Vinsen, over whether or not it was council business.

He pointed to a range of other trade negotiations council was not being asked to wade in on.

"What we've got here is one political group telling us A and one political group telling us B, and I don't want this chamber to be part of that."

However, councillor Jenny Duncan felt council could get involved if it wanted to.

"I'm tired of being told what I can and cannot engage in."

Early this month a series of resolutions highlighting concerns around TPPA were backed by the council's audit, risk and finance committee.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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