Guest blog by Katherine Henry
I want them to breathe clean air and drink clean water. I want them to live on healthy soils so they can grow good food. I want them to be free to swim in the creek and to share the world with wildlife. I want them to have meaningful work that challenges them and makes them realise they have unique skills to offer their communities. I want them to have loving relationships in real neighbourhoods. All probably not too controversial.
I also want them to feel confident they can live well here on planet earth without necessarily being dependant on big business, corporate finance and super-complicated technologies. (I know some people believe this is not possible. That life without these corporate offerings equals death and drudgery. But I just can’t believe that.)
I oppose the TPPA because I don’t think the meagre projected returns are worth the risks inherent in the Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions. I don’t want to kill New Zealand’s export businesses, but I also don’t want to allow big overseas corporates to pressure our elected representatives to shy away from protecting our environment and our communities (our children’s future).
When I talk about the TPPA to most of my friends and family, I usually stop there. Usually they agree up to there, and it seems a bit wacky to question free trade these days. But the more I think about it, the more I don’t agree with free-trade. I think our local producers could do with protection through tariffs. Yes, imported goods would cost more (!) Yes, some of our dairy farmers would have to switch course. There would be lots of challenges and we couldn’t switch over night. But doesn’t it seem like a good idea to work towards diversification in these uncertain times? With climate change and peak oil knocking on the door, wouldn’t it be good to have more local businesses making the things we use every day? And wouldn’t that local enterprise and economy and diversity be actually quite good for our communities?
I don’t have all the answers but I believe we all need to learn about these issues and think about what we really want for “Our Children’s Future”.
Kia ora and kia kaha to all the walkers! Whaia te iti kahurangi ke ti te tuohu koe me he maunga teitei – Seek the treasures of your heart and, if you bow, let it be to a lofty mountain.
Katherine Henry met Rachel Thomas a week before the September 10th Nationwide rallies against the TPPA at which time Rachel spoke about her plans for Our Children’s Future Hikoi. During that next week she decided, organised and pulled off Oamaru’s first action against the TPPA. Katherine and her whanau joined the hikoi on the first day from Cathedral Square to Kaiapoi.