A university academic says Fletcher Tabuteau's Private Member's Bill drawn from the ballot yesterday "throws down the gauntlet to National and Labour on foreign investors' rights to sue" through the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Mr Tabuteau is a New Zealand First list MP based in Rotorua and the party's spokesman for commerce and trade.

He said his Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill, if passed, would axe the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement's (TPPA) "Trojan horse" provisions, which allow foreign corporations to sue the New Zealand Government for billions of dollars.

"It's our opportunity to learn the truth about the TPPA. It gives New Zealanders a chance to ban our Government from signing any treaty that gives foreign corporates the right to seek compensation if they believe our laws affect their business.

Advertisement

"Leaks from TPPA negotiations show provisions that put the interests of foreign corporates ahead of the New Zealand public. Our bill will stop such provisions, known as investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS).

"This is wrong. New Zealanders must rule our country, not foreign businesses.

"New Zealand absolutely relies on our exports so trade is essential, but the price of trade agreements shouldn't mean selling our soul."

Auckland University Professor Jane Kelsey said Labour now had to decide whether to support the bill to select committee and beyond.

"Andrew Little has expressed concerns about ISDS, as have others in Labour's caucus. While Labour signed up to a version of it in the China deal, the tide has really turned against ISDS in New Zealand, and internationally, since then."

Professor Kelsey has just returned from observing the latest round of officials' talks on the TPPA, where investment remains one of the most contentious issues.

"Next week, the New Zealand Korea free trade and investment agreement will be signed by Trade Minister Groser, with PM John Key watching.

"The treaty must then be tabled in the House and sent to the select committee for submissions.

Advertisement

"The hearings are cosmetic, as the committee can't make any changes," she said.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell has said he would support the bill through its first reading so it could be debated openly. Rotorua MP Todd McClay said he welcomed informed debate on the issue.