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Maori Authority Chair welcomes deal with the UK – it’s an opportunity for our young people to thrive

Image: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta

The Chair of the National Maori Authority, Matthew Tukaki, has said the UK Free Trade Agreement deal will be a significant opportunity for Maori. Tukaki who has been involved alongside other Maori leaders in providing feedback and support to both New Zealand and UK representatives has said the doors will be open for young Maori entrepreneurs much more so than they have been as well as those involved in the agribusiness and food production arenas:

Tukaki has also said the Treaty Exception clause will remain pivotal: As in all of New Zealand’s free trade agreements since 2001, the NZ-UK FTA will contain a Te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi exception which protects the New Zealand government’s ability to adopt policies it considers necessary to fulfil its obligations to Māori, including under the Treaty of Waitangi.

- Engagement with Māori, together with independent studies, identified a broad range of Māori interests across the agreement. This included:

Recognising Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi as a foundational document of constitutional importance to New Zealand;

Goods market access – particularly primary sector exports including honey, horticulture, meat, dairy and wine;

Environment; and

Digital trade.

“let me be really clear here this is an opportunity for Maori to really grow our share of the export pie. But more so, in news ways and means that our Tupuna could not have imagined such as digital trade. The fact is when you look at our digital sector, even our gaming sector which has the potential to generate billions of dollars of income, Maori entrepreuers play a significant role – this is our change not just to grow our agribusiness and food production interest but now arc into new and exciting sectors” Tukaki said

“Our honey sector can win through the dropping of tariffs and its one thing I know – Maori small to medium sized enterprise produce the best honey! And even when it comes to the environment and the services sector – Maori know a lot about water through to land management – why would we not want to export that traditional knowledge.” Tukaki said

“Agreements like this help Maori to economically develop even faster than we could have anticipated fifty years ago – this is our chance to both protect the foundations of our Treaty Partnership while also growing our aspirations and turning them into reality” Tukaki said

o The Indigenous Chapter will create a platform for cooperation on a range of issues of importance to Māori, and New Zealand will seek acknowledgement of Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi as a foundational document of constitutional importance to New Zealand.

o New Zealand will work with the UK to enhance understanding on intellectual property issues of interest to Māori and to work toward a multilateral outcome at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Intergovernmental Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC).

o The Trade and Environment Chapter will be the most ambitious New Zealand has ever negotiated and will include references to Māori environmental concepts, commitments to eliminate fisheries subsidies, to take steps toward eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, and to promote sustainable agriculture.

o The NZ-UK FTA will be New Zealand’s first bilateral agreement to contain a specific article on climate change, with a view to promoting mutually supportive trade and climate policies and reinforcing the objective both countries have in transitioning to a low carbon economy.

o The FTA will include commitments in the Digital Trade Chapter that promote inclusive digital trade and seek to make doing business digitally easier. There is also a focus on working together to ensure SMEs, including Māori-led and women-led enterprises, are able to access the benefits of digital trade. In recognition of the evolving nature of digital trade, these commitments are accompanied by robust protections for the rights and interests of New Zealand businesses and other users of these services, including Māori interests in respect of data.

o The FTA will have a focus on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) accessing the benefits of the Agreement through a dedicated chapter, as well as an emphasis on SME-friendly approaches throughout the FTA in areas such as Goods, Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation, and Digital Trade.


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