Thousands urge govt. to ditch TPPA

Newstalk ZB Staff ,
Publish Date
Saturday, 15 August 2015, 3:09p.m.
Huge crowds marching through Britomart in Auckland (Piers Francis)
Huge crowds marching through Britomart in Auckland (Piers Francis)

UPDATED 5.21pm: The government is being urged to walk away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership by protestors who have turned out across the country today.

PHOTOS: March against TPPA in Auckland 

In Auckland banners and signs read 'don't trade our needs for corporate greed'; 'enough is enough'; 'TPPA locks in climate change'; and 'Aotearoa is not for sale".

An estimated 5,000 were at the Auckland rally.

One of the most outspoken critics of the secretive trade deal, Professor Jane Kelsey, took to a megaphone to say the government has made a number of confessions over the past few weeks.

"We had the Prime Minister confessing that taxpayers will have to pay more for medicine. Just like the doctors have been saying."

Protesters heard speeches and songs from singers Tiki Tane and Moana Maniapoto at Aotea Square before starting the march down Queen Street.

Aucklander Tony's biggest concern is that we'll regret it in the future.

"If we let this happen now, future generations won't thank us for it at all."

Phil from Birkenhead believes it's the most important issue we face as a country.

He is "really worried about the secrecy of the the negotiations. We don't know what is potentially being signed away."

In Christchurch, marchers have taken to Riccarton Mall chanting "Aotearoa is not for sale, TPP - epic fail."

Marches and rallies have been held in more than 20 cities and towns in all.

Extra police were called in to assist security as protestors in Wellington tried to move up onto the steps of Parliament.

Inspector Chris Bensemann said protestors pushed through barriers at the front of parliament.

He said police were able to contain a small but determined group of protestors to the bottom of the steps.

The protestors eventually moved on and there were no arrests.

Before the protests against the TPPA around the country today, former All Black Piri Weepu tweeted that he was gutted he couldn't join the rallies, which were taking place in 21 towns and cities.