Maori cry foul over TPPA

Moana Maniapoto is against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Photo / File

A Rotorua musician is one of several Maori leaders and academics who have filed a claim and application for an urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Moana Maniapoto, Dr Papaarangi Reid, Moana Jackson, Rikirangi Gage, Angeline Greensill and Hone Harawira say the Government's actions in negotiating the controversial partnership agreement have breached the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.

The claim was filed with the tribunal on Wednesday. The agreement (TPPA) involves 12 Asian and Pacific countries including the United States. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it aims to create a regional free trade agreement.

The Maori claimants say the agreement "procedurally and substantively prejudices" them and undermines the guarantees to Maori under the Treaty to exercise their tino rangatiratanga in governance decisions that affect them. Maniapoto has previously been outspoken about the agreement, having featured in the "It's Not Democracy, It's Not Right" campaign in 2013.

In 2002 she had to release her album, Moana, under a different name in Germany after a German company copyrighted the name and licensed it to a German trip-hop band.

"Maori have been struggling to protect our culture in the face of an intellectual property system that has never been a good fit for our people and culture," she said. "The experience of having my name trademarked by a company in Germany brought it home in a very personal way how much our language, culture and music is being appropriated left, right and centre by companies ...

"There's been no movement by the Government to undo existing agreements or legislation that fail to protect our culture. Yet the Government wants to haul us all into a hefty - and very secret - international agreement that will disempower Maori even more? I am very concerned ... especially given the track record of the key player, the United States."

The claimants said the next step in the tribunal process would involve a response by the Crown and other interested parties.

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Te Kupu

04:55 pm Monday 03 August 2015
One would think that under international treaty law that Maori would be fully consulted with on the TPPA. It has not been despite what the Solicitor-General says.


- Hastings
06:53 pm Friday 03 July 2015
Thank you for taking action !! This secret agreement is not in NZ's interest !!


- Auckland
08:14 pm Tuesday 30 June 2015
Do you speak for all New Zealanders then? Do you have their input that they are happy to forego their sovereignty, their rights and their incomes to ensure greater profits for a small, greedy group of already wealthy individuals and shareholders, without consultation or a referendum on the matter?


- Wellington
01:05 pm Monday 29 June 2015
Looks like the last bastion of defence, hopefully it does not come down to this


- Rotorua
07:58 pm Sunday 28 June 2015
Get a life and join NZ.

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