July 13, 2023
Māori trade leader hails FTA rush
Māori agribusiness leader Traci Houpapa says the Government’s commitment to trade and growing the economy has been good for business generally and Māori business in particular.
The Federation of Maori Authorities chair and Agribusiness NZ director says it has made an effort to engage with tribal organisations and Maori leaders on six new free trade agreements and FTA upgrades, all of which have included Treaty of Waitangi references and indigenous chapters.
That makes Aotearoa the first country to push through an indigenous peoples economic and trading agreement.
“Did we get everything we wanted? No. But what we have now is still better than what we had on day one we’ve got 95 percent of tariffs taken off horticulture, that’s kiwifruit, onions, apples and other bits and pieces alongside viticulture and honey, and the name manuka recognised within the European agreement, that’s huge,” Ms Houpapa says.
It’s on Maori now to make sure they are involved when free trade agreements come up for review.