Press Release – FOMA

FOMA has always sought to provide its members with relevant information on trade agreements that Maori will be affected by and the TPP is no different. The signing of the agreement next week signals the beginning of a 12month public consultation …FOMA Sees TPP Signing as the Start of Wider Public Consultation

“FOMA has always sought to provide its members with relevant information on trade agreements that Maori will be affected by and the TPP is no different. The signing of the agreement next week signals the beginning of a 12month public consultation period which we are looking forward to actively participating in.” says Federation of Maori Authorities Chairman Traci Houpapa. “We support the need for independent analysis of the TPP and the benefits for Maori and all New Zealanders”

Over the last ten years around 110 treaties and agreements related to trade and export have been passed by New Zealand government, all of which include provisions for protecting and upholding the Crown – Treaty partnership.

“New Zealand is unique. We are the only TPP partner amongst the twelve countries to have recognised its indigenous peoples by enshrining Te Tiriti O Waitangi and exempting the WAI262 claim,”

Ms Houpapa said that over the coming year FOMA will work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry for Primary Industries and other officials in a comprehensive consultation strategy to ensure FOMA members had time to consider the document and make an informed decision on TPP.

“We recognise TPP is a complex trade arrangement which requires time to fully digest and understand. Our members support the trade benefits and want assurance that our national sovereignty and Treaty partnership are maintained. We welcome proper engagement with government and our members on this important matter.”

She reiterated earlier FOMA commentary that it was critical that New Zealand took its place at the TPP table alongside other major economies. “The TPP represents around 40% of our exports and our major trade interests being meat, dairy, horticulture, wine, seafood, forest products as well as manufactured goods. This agreement promises to provide better export and trade deals than the China FTA with obvious benefits for Maori exporters and business people. The flow on effects for our members and our communities will be significant.”

ENDS

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