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Goff votes for TPP bill

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/05/2016

Labour's Phil Goff has voted for the bill that makes the law changes necessary for New Zealand's ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

His party strongly opposes the 12-nation free trade agreement but Mr Goff, a former trade minister, was allowed to break ranks.

In January, party leader Andrew Little said he had given Mr Goff special dispensation because the MP was a long-standing supporter of the TPP.

The bill passed its first reading in parliament on Thursday, on a vote of 62-59.

Parties that oppose the agreement put up strident protests during the first reading debate.

Labour and the Greens reeled off familiar objections while government MPs praised the TPP and said it was the way of the future.

Although most of the obligations in the TPP can be met under existing laws, rules and regulations, some changes are needed.

The bill makes those changes, but they won't come info effect until the TPP is in force.

That could happen by late 2017 or early 2018, once all 12 countries have completed their respective domestic processes necessary to ratify it.

National, ACT, United Future and Mr Goff supported the bill.

Labour, the Greens, NZ First and the Maori Party opposed it.

The bill has been sent to the foreign affairs, defence and trade select committee for scrutiny.

The committee has already held meetings around the country to explain the TPP and hear submissions on it.

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