Party leader Andrew Little has given special dispensation to the
senior MP Phil Goff to allow him to take a different stance to the
party's formal position on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
MP Phil Goff, left, and party leader Andrew Little
Labour Party has made it clear it will not be supporting the
trade deal in
its current form.
Little, who had previously refused to say whether or not the party
would support it, said the deal went beyond trade and was an attack
Mr Goff has been at odds with that stance.
said as former trade minister he started the negotiations for the TPP
and he supported opening markets for exporters.
respectful of Labour's position on it (but) I have on record taken a
somewhat different position."
Little said he was happy for Mr Goff to publicly express that view,
due to his historic involvement in negotiating its predecessor, the
has had a long-standing involvement and public commitment to this
agreement which differs with the Labour Caucus' decision that it
cannot support the deal in its current form due to its compromise of
New Zealand's sovereignty," he said.
the caucus met recently to finalise its position on the TPP I met
with Phil and decided that his long-standing public position was such
that he would be allowed to hold a differing view."
Goff said he appreciated his leader's dispensation.
respect Andrew's and Labour's views on the issue and their agreement
to acknowledge that I came from a different perspective.
position is well known and there is no need for me to elaborate
further on it."
Little said the TPP, set to be signed in Auckland next week,
undermined the sovereignty of Parliament by preventing a future
government from banning foreign buyers from the housing market.
said Australia and other signatories of the deal were able to
negotiate terms putting a limit on housing sales to overseas
supports free trade but this agreement goes beyond trade and is an
attack on our democracy. That is why we cannot support it in its
current form," Mr Little said.
MP, Damien O'Connor, said Labour MPs had a robust and healthy
discussion on the deal.
as a party has always supported increasing trade opportunities but in
this particular situation my personal view is that we can't trust
[Trade Minister] Tim Groser and [Prime Minister] John Key to have
done the best deal for New Zealand in the long term," Mr
Labour MP David Shearer said he personally supported the TPP but said
he would be voting with his Labour party colleagues along party
Key said it would be inconceivable for New Zealand not to be part of