ANZASW TPP Press Release

The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) is opposed to the impending signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement on the 4th of February in Auckland, New Zealand.

The concerns surrounding the TPP and its potential as a catalyst for social and human rights injustices have led the ANZASW to look closely at this trade agreement.

There are a number of areas for concern – namely, the disempowering nature of this agreement; the fact that many basic human rights will be taken away; the Investor State Dispute Settlements process (ISDS); lack of any Human Rights Impact Assessments (HRIA) and the secrecy surrounding the negotiations.

Lives of millions of the most marginalised of this earth may be severely affected if this agreement is allowed to become law. The United Nations expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order said, ‘it has been argued that ISDS tilts the playing field away from democratic accountability, favouring “big business” over the rights and interests of labourers and consumers’ (United Nations, 2015, para. 11).

As with the Public Health Association of New Zealand (PHA), the ANZASW, amongst other things, is concerned with the potential for currently available pharmaceuticals to become out of reach of many New Zealanders as a consequence of rising costs.

As members of the New Zealand Social Work Community it is our obligation to agitate against systems (both locally and internationally) that work against the basic human rights of the marginalised – our clients. Only through this work can we highlight the injustices, educate our fellow citizens to the discrimination being lavished across sectors of the population, and hopefully one day live in a world where every human being is treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.

The ANZASW asks the New Zealand Government to listen to its citizens and delay the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement at least until all interested parties have had a chance to clearly understand the impacts to New Zealanders of what has been agreed to.



Luis Arevalo



  • Thank you everyone for your support.

  • Virginia Wright

    Great that ANZASW is representing us publicly and well. Thank you!

  • Cynthia Spittal

    Thank you for crafting this release on our behalf. It is very important for social workers to be actively engaged in this major concern.

  • Jean Lamusse

    Agree it is great that ANZASW is taking a stand on this one and that each and every social worker should take a stand against TPPA

  • Penny Bright

    Looking forward to as many members of your organisation as possible helping to pack Queen Street tomorrow lunchtime from 12 noon Aotea Square – to Britomart (NOT Sky City) 1pm.

    For a peaceful, family-friendly march, of thousands of concerned Kiwis, which will show this John Key led National Government, (and the watching world) that we, the people, do NOT want this pro-corporate TPPA.

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.
    (Who does NOT support NZ signing the TPPA).

  • Bill Pringle

    Great to see ANZASW taking a position on the TPP issue that has the potential to further marginalise the already disenfranchised.

  • David Tolich

    Well done. It is the responsibility of all Social Workers to oppose the TTP. It will undermine Maori Sovereignty, New Zealand Sovereignty, the ability of one parliament to bind a future parliament i.e. parliamentary sovereignty, and basic Human Rights as set out in the NZ Bill of Rights Act and the UN Charters on Human Rights.
    The agreement was negotiated in secrecy.
    It gives power to Transnational Corporations to challenge anything that they see as impinging on their interests in the NZ Polity. We need to remember the Multi-lateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) that was nearly adopted internationally. The MAI was stopped when the French government withdrew from the negotiations. Many local authorities adopted positions declaring there territorial areas as being MAI free zones. We need to now create new TPP free zones in Aotearoa New Zealand. The TPP ignores both the Spirituality of the peoples of the Earth. It commodifies people and puts them under the mantle of neo-liberal economics. The people are the subjects of economics not the objects. The wairua present in Papatuanuku cannot be abused and violated.

    • Thanks David. This agreement is going to hit us quite hard however the fight is still ongoing and the signing tomorrow is only the beginning of another round of protests. The people of Aotearoa are awakening.