New gold-standard NZ/UK Free Trade Agreement signed today in London

New gold-standard NZ/UK Free Trade Agreement signed today in London

Under the shadow of war across Europe, we are reminded of our soldiers of the 28th Māori Battalion who fought on the same battlefields in World War II as we witness today the signing of a landmark Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United Kingdom, Te Taumata Chairman Chris Karamea Insley says.

“kia maumahara tatou kia rātou”

“This agreement breaks new ground in acknowledging and recognising Māori interests across the agreement, recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the inclusion of a dedicated chapter on Māori Interests.”

The nature of this new agreement is fitting and recognises the significant contribution of our soldiers in WWII, Mr Insley says.

“We are thrilled to see language around kaitiakitanga, mauri and whakapapa explicitly included in the Environment chapter, reflecting the importance of the environment to our people.

“This chapter also commits both countries to not derogating from their environmental laws when trying to boost trade and investment, meaning our precious Māori resources cannot be exploited.

“Taking steps to get rid of fossil fuel subsidies and reduce trade barriers on ‘green’ goods and services are also great outcomes for Māori, since climate change is a significant threat to our communities and mokopuna.

“We are pleased to see commitments to working together to address harmful fishing subsidies, which reduce world prices for our brilliant and sustainable kaimoana exports.

UK High Commissioner Laura Clark with premium Māori product Hī mussels

“I want to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of New Zealand’s lead trade negotiator, Vangelis Vitalis, for both his effort at the negotiating table and, importantly, for breaking new ground in enabling our whānau and Māori exporters voices to be heard into these negotiations.

“As he says, ‘if it wasn’t for the effort of Te Taumata, we would not have made the gains on fisheries, wine, manuka honey and intellectual property and much more’.

“I also want to acknowledge the effort of our Ministers Nanaia Mahuta (Foreign Affairs) and Damien O’Connor (Trade) for not only championing Māori interests but equally for making the time to travel across the motu to talk to and hear from our people directly.

“I do want to especially acknowledge the role of British High Commissioner to New Zealand Laura Clarke who brought a genuine human face to the negotiations, travelling out to meet with our whānau, talking and listening to them and then, where necessary, leaning into the formal negotiations.

“I am clear that the gains made with this agreement are not only good for Māori and New Zealand, but also pave the way for other indigenous peoples of the world who look to Māori for support and guidance in their own respective efforts in their lands.

“What we have with today’s signing is a modern, forward-looking trade agreement estimated at $1 billion of new value that recognises and respects our past and the special role of Māori in Aotearoa in to the future.

“Today’s signing will transform the lives of our whānau.”

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui!



Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

CCAB delivers programs that facilitate the growth of Indigenous business, build relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous business, and ensure life-long learning for Indigenous entrepreneurs, and other Canadian business leaders. These efforts recognise the central role that Indigenous business and communities hold in the future of Canada.
Our mission is to promote, strengthen and enhance a prosperous Indigenous economy through the fostering of business relationships, opportunities and awareness for all of our members.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Ministry acts in the world to make New Zealanders safer and more prosperous.
E mahi ana te Manatū i te Ao kia whai haumaru me te whai rawa mo Aotearoa.
New Zealand’s security and prosperity depend on the conditions in, and our connections with, the wider world. This means we must engage with – and seek to influence – other countries to our advantage, in line with New Zealand’s values and interests including that of Maori.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is the government agency charged with helping New Zealand businesses to grow internationally.
We use our extensive knowledge and global networks to help exporters of all sizes make better decisions and connect to the right partners and investors.
We connect international businesses and investors with high-value growth opportunities in New Zealand.
By supporting New Zealand businesses, we boost New Zealand's economy and reputation, and help to share what's special about New Zealand with the rest of the world.

Callaghan Innovation

We are New Zealand's innovation agency. We activate innovation and help businesses grow faster for a better New Zealand.
We partner with ambitious businesses of all sizes, providing a range of innovation and research and development (R&D) services to suit each stage of growth.
Our people – including more than 200 of New Zealand’s leading scientists and engineers – empower innovators by connecting people, opportunities and networks, and providing tailored technical solutions, skills and capability development programmes, and grants co-funding.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) plays a central role in shaping and delivering a strong New Zealand economy.
Our role is to create better outcomes for all New Zealanders, particularly by supporting business growth.
We are responsible for the delivery of advice, regulation and services that have a real impact on people, businesses and the environment within which they operate.