July 20, 2015
TPPA claim a useful reality check
The Greens say the Government is running scared of claims that the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement would hamper New Zealand’s ability to protect Maori rights in line with the Treaty of Waitangi.
The Waitangi Tribunal will hold a hearing on Thursday to consider whether it should grant the claims urgency.
Lawyers for the crown have told the tribunal there is no point because it’s likely the trade and services deal with the United States and at least 10 other Pacific rim countries will be signed before the tribunal can report it doesn’t justify diversion of resources from other claims, and the Crown is entitled to make foreign policy and to follow its chosen policy agenda
Greens’ co-leader Metiria Turei says tribunal’s opinion on the TPPA’s implications for Maori rights would be a useful addition to the public debate.
She says Maori have raised legitimate concerns around intellectual property and the secrecy surrounding the negotiations.
Ms Turei says the Government says the TPPA won’t have any effect on the Treaty relationships between Crown and Maori, but it’s actually the job of the Waitangi Tribunal to determine if that is true.
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