Protesters will this morning target what they have dubbed the "propaganda machine" in Whangarei: a group of government officials in town to promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Today Riverside's Distinction Hotel, formerly the Kingsgate, will host a hui organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFat), pitched as an opportunity for a "mainly Maori" audience to ask questions and learn more about the deal from New Zealand's chief negotiator.

Today's event is part of a series of roadshows around the country, which the Government organised after the February 4 signing of the TPP, the controversial deal aiming to liberalise trade among 12 Pacific-rim countries.

The Government says the TPP will bring many benefits to the economy, but it has been met with widespread protest amid concerns it will erode sovereignty.


Ian Sturt from Whangarei Street Theatre expected his group would be among protesters at the hotel today.

He said he would be there representing "the plethora of people who think [the TPP] is a bad deal".

"We're trying to highlight to the rest of the country the need to open their brains and not just be sheep and accept all the [Government] fodder," Mr Sturt said.

The TPP is a free-trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

The list includes five of New Zealand's top trading partners for services and goods and half its top 10 goods export destinations, but excludes the largest, China.

Tariffs will be eliminated on 95 per cent of New Zealand's trade with new TPP partners.

MFat publicised the roadshows as a way of ensuring businesses were prepared to "take advantage" of the TPP, as well as providing information to the public.

Some events, like the one in Whangarei today, were aimed at Maori. MFat said they were also planning a second round of "outreach hui".