That the Government has blacked out entire pages of briefings on how the TPPA might impact on Pharmac is hardly transparent, says Labour’s spokesperson on Health Annette King.
“Dozens of pages of documents obtained by Labour under the OIA have been redacted. In the light of John Key’s promise that Pharmac would not be damaged under the TPPA it is difficult to understand the secrecy.
“The secrecy is so extreme that one memo ‘The Final Mandate’ dated the 3rd of October to senior cabinet ministers, has no surviving unredacted pages in it.
“The deal has now been signed, so why the secrecy? All the costings and other advice that might have been supressed in the days before the TPPA was agreed, should now be publically released.
“The Government argument that the withheld information would seriously damage the economy of New Zealand by prematurely disclosing the Government’s financial and economic policies, is redundant.
“What is also concerning is official advice that says ‘the impact of the agreement on the cost of pharmaceuticals is uncertain and will only materialise over time’. In other words officials do not know the exact cost to Pharmac of the TPPA.
“This continues the arrogance of this Government and its complete lack of transparency over the negotiations,” says Annette King.