June 19, 2023
Rongoā Māori regime defended
Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare has rejected claims the Therapeutic Products Bill diminishes rongoā Māori.
A rongoa practitioner, Donna Kerridge, claims the Bill circumvents the Crown’s treaty obligations by only allowing a Maori cotttage industry in rongoa-based products, rather than any large scale commercial development.
Mr Henare says regulation of rongoa Maori has been removed, as practitioners had called for.
Where there were challenges was in the export of health products.
“There are many organisations who are looking towards the commercialisation of rongoa Maori, exporting rongoa Maori nad leveraging off what is the clean, green brand of Aotearoa New Zealand. We’re saying you can’t export without coming through the regulation process and that’s not only to protect rongoa Maori but also to make sure that for those who do wish to export, you’ve got to go through the regulation process in order for those things to be received offshore anyway,” Mr 0Henare says0.
The bill also creates a taumata to oversee large scale use of rongoa, so for example non-Maori pharmaceutical compnaies will not just be able to add kawakawa to their products and call them rongoa.