Local TPPA activists head to Auckland for protest

By laurel.stowell@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

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OPPOSED: Denise Lockett (right) and Chris Cooper are against the Trans-Pacific Partnership.PHOTO/FILE
OPPOSED: Denise Lockett (right) and Chris Cooper are against the Trans-Pacific Partnership.PHOTO/FILE

Elsewhere in New Zealand police have been asked to visit Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) activists and find out their plans for February 4, when the agreement is signed in Auckland.

Whanganui's most vocal speaker on the issue, Denise Lockett, has not had such a visit.

"They haven't knocked on my door. How disappointing," she said.

But she wouldn't be surprised if her phone was monitored and said large numbers of TPPA Action Whanganui group emails were unexpectedly undeliverable at certain times.

"Sometimes half of them come back. That was very strange."

And she thought police probably checked the group's Facebook pages as well.

Her group is not protesting the signing in Whanganui but sending carloads to support the demonstration in Auckland, where the signing takes place.

After that it will head to Waitangi for February 6.

Last weekend it held a night vigil in Whanganui's Majestic Square and a stall at the Saturday market. Members had asked whether they could protest as politicians spoke at Ratana Pa and were told Sunday was a spiritual day.

They decided it would be insulting and inappropriate to take signs on to the village but were given a spot on the road where politicians saw them as they arrived. "We were just right there when they slowed down. They couldn't miss us," Ms Lockett said.

She was blown away by all the support from Ratana people that day.

The movement against the TPP wants a referendum on the agreement and is asking the Governor-General not to sign it off.

Pressure would continue to build right up until the agreement was formally ratified, Ms Lockett said.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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