6 Nov 2015

Labour promises to fight TPP provision

7:39 pm on 6 November 2015

The Trans-Pacific Partnership does not meet Labour's "bottom line" on the sale of New Zealand houses to foreign buyers, the party's leader Andrew Little says.

Andrew Little at caucus run this morning.

Labour leader Andrew Little: Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Mr Little made the comments as the party gathered for its annual conference in Palmerston North.

Trade Minister Tim Groser released a link to the full text last night, saying the public could now thoroughly review it before it was signed by governments.

Work on the legal verification of the text - which makes up more than 6000 pages - would continue in coming weeks, he said.

Have you identified an interesting aspect of the text? Share it with us: iwitness@radionz.co.nz

Mr Little said four of the party's other bottom lines had been met.

But Labour remained adamantly opposed to a provision in the deal under which the government would be prevented from banning house sales to foreign buyers, he said.

"That's not acceptable to me, not acceptable to the party. We will fight that - with that bottom line not having been met, I can not support something that does [not] meet that bottom line.

"[It's] something that cuts across the sovereign rights of every voting citizen in New Zealand and we will fight against that tooth and nail, and we will stick up for the right of the New Zealand Parliament to pass laws as [it] sees fit."

Mr Little said it was not yet clear whether the legislation that would come to Parliament would specifically contain that provision, so he would not say whether Labour would vote in support of the bill.

Supporters of the TPP, including Acting Trade Minister Steven Joyce, have said the newly-released details dispel critics' claims that the deal puts the country at the mercy of big business.

Mr Joyce, who said the government had protected New Zealand's interests well in the deal, expected the deal to take a couple of years to be ratified.

Andrew Little speaks to media at the Labour Party's annual conference in Palmerston North.

Mr Little speaks to media at the Labour Party's annual conference in Palmerston North. Photo: RNZ / Chris Bramwell