The National Government must listen to the widespread opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) if it is to retain credibility with Māori, says Labour’s Maori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis.
“The Iwi Leaders Forum met with Trade Minister Todd McClay and added their voice to the chorus of opposition against the TPPA.
“The Iwi Leaders Forum have sent a loud and clear message to the Government: say ‘No’ to the TPPA until you can provide assurances that Treaty of Waitangi obligations, our environment and the rights of hapū, iwi and Māori will be protected under this deal.
“Māori opposition to the TPPA grows by the day. Māori leaders, academics, clinicians, the CTU Runanga and the Maori Womens’ Welfare League are firmly against the deal. Only today Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Pāoa, Ngāti Te Ata and Ngāti Whanaunga each confirmed they would not perform the pōwhiri for the signing of the TPPA.
“If this Government was to honour its relationship and obligations to Māori it would consult properly and in good faith with iwi before even considering signing.
“Instead, National has agreed to a secretly negotiated deal that falls short of promised economic gains, and threatens to undermine our sovereignty.
“Labour cannot support the TPPA as it stands. We will stand up for Māori, for New Zealand, and will continue to promote laws and policies that are in the best interests of us all,” Kelvin Davis.