Activists stage TPP boxing match

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TPP boxing match: Geoffrey Robert Burns playing the part of Fred Dagg, the kiwi battler, lands a hit on Uncle Sam, played by Shane Hayes, at an anti-TPP protest in Midland Park today.

Dominion Post 04/12/2012

Activists stage TPP boxing match

Activist group Aotearoa is Not for Sale Wellington staged a symbolic boxing match protesting the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement today.

The bout, between a scrawny Kiwi battler and an obnoxious Uncle Sam, took place at noon at Midland Park to an audience of about 50 spectators and organisers.

Playing Uncle Sam was Wellington man Shane Hayes, who told spectators that the Prime Minister was his and everyone should do as he said. Mr Hayes was pitted against another Wellingtonian, Geoffrey Robert Burns, who was dressed as Fred Dagg to represent a typical New Zealander and blindfolded to symbolise the secret negotiations.

Despite coming close to defeat several times, Mr Burns took out Uncle Sam for the win in the third round.

Aotearoa is Not for Sale Wellington spokesperson Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati said the agreement was deliberately being negotiated in secret.

’’We are calling for an end to this undemocratic and treacherous agreement. It’s a no-win situation for New Zealanders, the ordinary New Zealander has nothing to gain.’’

The group says the TPP is a major political issue but poorly understood by many people.

Critics of the TPP have pointed out the deal, being done in secrecy, could open the NZ Government to litigation from multinational companies, and compromise the Crown-owned Pharmac system.

The Government argues that the benefits of TPP are obvious for an export reliant country like New Zealand - it would eventually remove punitive tariffs and quotas that make it difficult to compete with farmers in countries like the US. It also opens up investment and the trade in services.

The TPP countries include the original Pacific Four trading countries - New Zealand, Chile, Brunei and Singapore - plus the United States, Malaysia, Vietnam, Peru and Australia. Latecomers include Canada and Mexico. This round of TPP negotiations, held at SkyCity, are expected to finish on December 12.

source: Dominion Post