Māori words and names are being trademarked in China hampering New Zealand businesses from trading freely, says New Zealand First.
“Miraka, a Māori dairy processing company, has had to alter its name in order to trade in China because ‘Miraka’ has already been trademarked,” says Māori Affairs Spokesperson Pita Paraone.
“References to a range of Māori words and phrases including Aotearoa, Tamaki, whenua, hapū, iwi and moana are also trademarked in China.
“The government recently passed Te Ture mo Te Reo Māori recognising the Māori language as a taonga of iwi and Māori but the government is not protecting this taonga within New Zealand’s free trade deals.
“It brings into question the relevance of the government including references to the Treaty of Waitangi in trade deals if the Māori language is not going to be respected by our trading partners,” says Mr Paraone.