Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Maori feel 'kept in the dark' over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, says Kelvin Davis

Ngapuhi elder Kingi Taurua said the Government was not welcome at Waitangi's Te Tii Marae because the TPP was a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Ngapuhi elder Kingi Taurua said the Government was not welcome at Waitangi's Te Tii Marae because the TPP was a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi. Photo / Michael Cunningham

Opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership seems set spill over to Waitangi Day celebrations in the north, with Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis saying a showdown between Ngapuhi would not be a surprise.

He said the Government had failed to explain the deal and Maori felt "kept in the dark."

Ngapuhi elder Kingi Taurua said this week the Government was not welcome at Waitangi's Te Tii Marae because the Trans Pacific Partnership was a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi because Maori had been "left out."

The TPP was concluded in October and effectively gives New Zealand a free trade agreement with the largest and third largest economies in the world, the United State and Japan. It is due to be signed by 12 countries in Auckland on February 4, just a day before Prime Minister John Key and other politicians are due to arrive at Te Tii Marae in Waitangi.

"Why come to Waitangi and talk about the founding document when you don't honour?" Mr Taurua told the Northern Advocate.

Mr Davis said he understood Mr Taurua's anxiety and emotion.

"In true Ngapuhi style, Kingi Taurua is using the political platform that Waitangi provides to highlight Maori discontent about the Government's lack of consultation and information."

Trade and investment agreements generally require Governments to treat international companies the same as domestic one unless there are exceptions and the TPP contains an exemption for the Treaty of Waitangi.

It allows the New Zealand Government to adopt measures deemed more favourable to and it says that any issue of interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi shall not be subject to the dispute settlement provisions of the TPP.

Most political leaders are expected to kick off the official year this coming Sunday at Ratana celebrations but TPP protests are unlikely to mar the occasion.

Unlike Waitangi, the annual Ratana event is tightly disciplined by locals. At Waitangi, it is almost unheard of for February 5 or 6 to pass without some protest.

The Waitangi Tribunal is due to hold an urgent hearing in March on a claim that it is inconsistent with the Treaty of Waitangi.

However its findings are not binding.

Although the TPP will be signed in February, it wont enter into force unless it is ratified by both the united States and Japan.

As well as that, Parliament would have to pass enabling legislation.


The text of the TPP on the Treaty of Waitangi, in chapter 29 on "Exceptions and general provisions" says the following...



"Provided that such measures are not used as a means of arbitrary or unjustified
discrimination against persons of the other Parties or as a disguised restriction on trade in goods, trade in services and investment, nothing in this Agreement shall preclude the
adoption by New Zealand of measures it deems necessary to accord more favourable
treatment to Maori in respect of matters covered by this Agreement, including in fulfilment of its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi."

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 28 May 2017 02:30:24 Processing Time: 79ms