July 05, 2023
Push for Indigenous change in trade agreement
A specialist on International trade and environmental law says there could be an opportunity to improve the way the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership recognises the rights of Māori and other indigenous peoples.
Canadian Risa Schwartz, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Indigenous Trade Steering Group, was in Aotearoa for a conference on the CPTPP at the University of Waikato’s Te Kotahi Research Institute.
She says ministers from the 11 member countries are set to review the agreement – and it’s a chance to make it more inclusive and equitable.
“It doesn’t include any Indigenous structures. There’s no Maori chapter and there’s no chapter for Indigenous people in any of the countries. There is no general exception to protect Indigenous rights. There is a Treaty of Waitangi exception and if there is going to be a broader general exception it should not just apply to Maori, it should apply to all Indigenous peoples,” Risa Schwartz says.
She says there is no mechanism for Maori to have a voice if there is a dispute under the agreement which affects their interests.