20 Aug 2015

TPP protestors take wipe at Groser

12:05 pm on 20 August 2015

Anti-TPP campaigners say they will descend on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to find the secret text of the contentious trade deal themselves, if the Government does not release it.

TPP protest group "Show Us Ya Text" at Trade Minister Tim Groser's office in Auckland, washing his windows in a symbolic push for more transparency.

TPP protest group "Show Us Ya Text" at Trade Minister Tim Groser's office in Auckland, washing his windows in a symbolic push for more transparency. Photo: Radio NZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Today the protest group Show Us Ya Text were at Trade Minister Tim Groser's office in Auckland, washing his windows in a symbolic push for more transparency.

About 15 people were at his New Lynn base to demand the Trans-Pacific Partnership's text be released by the end of the month.

Spokesperson Lizzie Sullivan said democracy should not happen behind closed doors and New Zealanders had a right to see the text and its supporting documents.

"If they do not release the text, and we're hoping they will embrace democracy and that they will, we will be converging on Wellington and initiating a non-violent citizen's search and seizure.

"So basically we'll be going into MFAT and we'll be looking for the text ourselves," she said.

TPP protest group "Show Us Ya Text" at Trade Minister Tim Groser's office in Auckland, washing his windows in a symbolic push for more transparency.

TPP protest group "Show Us Ya Text" at Trade Minister Tim Groser's office in Auckland, washing his windows in a symbolic push for more transparency. Photo: Radio NZ / Kim Baker Wilson

The Ministry's headquarters in central Wellington is highly secure, but the protesters say they won't be dissuaded.

"We're hoping to find the text... We'll be going into the building and we'll be having a look," Ms Sullivan said.

Negotiations for the proposed 12-country deal recently stalled in Hawaii, however the Government is still hopeful it can be signed this year.

It has attracted fierce criticism and sparked large protests.

The Show Us Ya Text group wants the Government to publish the current negotiating text, as well as New Zealand's positions, bottom lines and "decision-making material".

TPP protest group "Show Us Ya Text" at Trade Minister Tim Groser's office in Auckland, washing his windows in a symbolic push for more transparency.

TPP protest group "Show Us Ya Text" at Trade Minister Tim Groser's office in Auckland, washing his windows in a symbolic push for more transparency. Photo: Radio NZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Earlier this month, several members of the group went into the Auckland offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, equipped with giant magnifying glasses to search for the documents.

Ms Sullivan said Mr Groser's staff closed his New Lynn office after the campaigners arrived this morning armed with their window-washing equipment.

"Tim Groser is the lead negotiator for the TPP, and we think that he needs a little bit of help with the transparency - so we're helping him take the first step by cleaning his windows," she said.