About 200 concerned locals have taken to the streets of Rotorua to protest against the advancement of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

Protest marches were held in 22 cities and towns around the country, including Rotorua, yesterday.

Critics said the treaty, planned for 12 countries including the US, Japan, Singapore and Australia, was shrouded in secrecy and was a "corporate power grab".

But supporters of the agreement, including New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the deal would deepen economic ties and open up trade, boost investment flows, and promote closer economic and regulatory co-operation.

Advertisement
People took to the streets of Rotorua on Saturday protesting against the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Rotorua marchers walked from Kuirau Park to City Focus where they heard speeches from Catherine Delahunty, Wally Lee, Anjum Rahman, Potaua Biasiny-Tule and Rawiri Daniels.

Organiser Marama Meikle said the crowd's energy was high throughout the march.

"Everyone was amped to spread awareness and draw attention to the dangers of this secret partnership agreement."

Ms Meikle said there was a growing concern about the impact of the agreement on "many aspects of the New Zealand way of life".

"The evidence I've seen indicates the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is the work of private corporations looking to usurp the citizens' sovereignty of member nations,
making all treaties and constitutions bow down to the wants of the corporations involved.

"The most disturbing aspect of all this is the delegates' refusal to tell the public anything about the content of the agreement or how it will affect New Zealand."

Last November 10,000 New Zealanders told Prime Minister John Key he has no right to make this deal in our name. He ignored us, so we have sent him an even stronger message."

Ms Meikle said the event was a positive, proactive non-reactive march.

Advertisement

"I was very proud to have led with people who took the time to stand up for their future."

She said providing forums where people could freely express themselves was important.

"Saturday's march gave people a voice and all who were there were heard and seen.
People were educated and gained a better understanding of what the partnership is.

"The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement has to be exposed before it's too late."