Letter to my Member of Parliament - Tactical Ninja
Sep. 30th, 2011
08:06 pm - Letter to my Member of Parliament
Dear Mr Dunne,
In April this year, I wrote to you expressing concern over the secret negotiation process for the TPPA and asking that you agitate in parliament for these negotiations to be made public so that New Zealanders may know what they are being signed into. You replied to me (thank you for that by the way) with the following:
"As you have noted, the draft agreement still being negotiated between the respective parties and it's content will be made public once the drafting process is completed.
At that point, the proposed agreement will need to be incorporated into New Zealand law thorugh the introduction of legislation to Parliament and it will also be subject to scrutiny via the Select Committee process. The public will be invited to make submissions on it at that stage. I am a strong supporter of public involvement in the Select Committee process, and believe that this is an extremely effective and appropriate mechanism for both public input and full disclosure of the content of legislation."
In other words, you were assuring me that our legislative process is transparent and would allow the voices of citizens to be heard. Ironically, your letter arrived on the same day that the Filesharing Bill was rammed through parliament under urgency with no public consultation. The negotiations on TPPA continued in secret.
This week, the government has once again used urgency to push through a law - this one being the Video Surveillance Bill. This Bill has been almost universally rejected by the public and experts alike. The time allowed for submissions was a mere 12 hours, and the Bill was available for viewing only one day before that. Despite this, New Zealand responded strongly against the Bill, yet it appears that the voices of citizens will not be heard and this Bill is likely to be passed too. So we have a Bill that undermines rule of law for our country being pushed through with consultation that amounts to a joke due to a ridiculously short time allowed for submission and the responses being summarily ignored. This does not give me faith in your assurances that our legislative process is 'effective and appropriate'. What I have seen this year is the government repeatedly and blatantly using urgency to quickly change law with minimal consultation.
I understand that this weekend New Zealand is set to sign into ACTA in principle. I expect the law changes required for this will also be pushed through under urgency. How can I possibly believe the TPPA will be any different given the track record of this government?
I am writing to ask you again, as one of your constituents in an election year, to raise these points in Parliament and demand answers for the citizens of New Zealand. We do not feel safe. We do not feel reassured. We do not trust the legislative process any more, and we want to be consulted.
PS I just sent a similar letter to Grant Robertson, the MP for the electorate I will be voting in for the coming election.
Protest against the Video Surveillance Bill tomorrow, 2pm, meeting in Cuba Mall. Bring a sign with something clever on it. I'm going because of this. Well worth reading.