Rotorua list MP Fletcher Tabuteau is hoping his new Private Member's Bill will be drawn from the ballot, saying it will protect New Zealand businesses from foreign legal attacks.

The New Zealand First trade and commerce spokesman said he would like Parliament to debate his Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill asking for Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses to be removed from any "secret trade deals" the Government is working on under the banner of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

He said those clauses allowed foreign companies to litigate against New Zealand companies who they felt had made decisions that could affect their profit margins.

"We are asking that these negotiations are transparent and fair for all New Zealanders. It's not enough for John Key to just say 'trust me', that's totally inappropriate."


Mr Tabuteau pointed to the recent dispute between the Australian government and international tobacco companies who sued Australia for loss of profit and brand recognition regarding the plain packaging of cigarettes.

He also said the European Union had decided to open up its formally secret trade negotiations in an effort to be more transparent.

"New Zealand already has some of these clauses in agreements with China and Korea. If foreign companies win these cases they can win hundreds of millions of dollars.

"We are not against trade deals, we just want them to be good for all New Zealanders, not a select few.

"How can giving greater rights to foreign companies be good for our economy?" Mr Tabuteau said.

Waiariki MP and Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell said he would support the bill if it was drawn, at least at its first reading so it could be discussed openly.

"We support iwi and other communities interested in growing the economic base for their people - even if that means partnering with foreign-owned companies.

"We do, however, temper that support with the need to be cautious about allowing too much foreign control at the expense of our own domestic interests."


He said many commercially-sensitive proposals were negotiated behind closed doors.

"That being said, when we are removed from the details of negotiations, rightly we are suspicious. Indeed, when we are neglected from the conversation full stop, our faith in a fair and equitable outcome is undermined.

"Because we have not been privy to the negotiations, we can only guess at what the potential issues might be," Mr Flavell said.

Rotorua MP Todd McClay said he would welcome informed debate on the issue of Investor State Dispute clauses.

"Our Parliament's ability to pass legislation is sovereign and will remain so under the recently concluded Korean FTA and TPPA, should it be agreed.

"The Trans-Pacific Partnership could be worth up to $5 billion in increased New Zealand exports which means jobs for people in Rotorua and all over New Zealand."

He said previous agreements ensured any Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions were designed to preserve New Zealand's ability to regulate for legitimate public policy purposes.

"Our negotiators are working to secure the very best deal they can for New Zealand. Publishing our negotiating strategy including bottom lines would not allow for the best deal for New Zealand ...

"The consultation processes undertaken for TPP are some of the most extensive a New Zealand government has ever undertaken for any trade negotiation, and like every other agreement concluded will be open to full parliamentary process."