Opportunities for Māori business in trade negotiations

Opportunities for Māori business in trade negotiations

Māori trade group Te Taumata is applauding what it understands could be an “imminent” Agreement in Principle for the pending Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Aotearoa New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Te Taumata chairman, Chris Karamea Insley says its group is aware officials from both countries are working hard to finalise the agreement, which could be a “game changer” for Māori businesses and wider communities.

“A new FTA with the UK represents a massive opportunity for Māori businesses to diversify into a large and lucrative market with a population of more than 70 million people. It can be particularly challenging, and expensive, for Māori exporters to expand beyond traditional markets, so this provides a significant opportunity.

“Having said that, from a Māori trade point of view, we expect to see much more movement on the removal of trade barriers such as tariffs and environmentally harmful subsidies  in the primary sector. The majority of these barriers should be removed immediately, particularly in sectors where Māori have significant interests. Otherwise the timeframes for their elimination short be short, with meaningful access guaranteed for exporters from day one.

“Any agreement that retains them is simply not free trade.”

Mr Insley says Aotearoa New Zealand has been a global innovator in recent decades with the agreement of trade agreements that benefit core trading interests, while ensuring climate change advances, digital technologies and the honouring of indigenous rights.

“Significantly, we understand that New Zealand has tabled an indigenous chapter proposal and we applaud and welcome this important development. It is a perfect example of the innovation that New Zealand has demonstrated in its approach to international trade in recent times. We urge the United Kingdom to accept these proposals so we can develop an even closer relationship.

“We hope that any challenges can be overcome – and within a short timeframe – so that both countries can benefit and move beyond the impact of COVID-19.”

Mr Insley says the pending FTA with the United Kingdom presents a rare opportunity to acknowledge the history between Māori and the United Kingdom.

“The outcome of this FTA could have a long-lasting, positive impact for Māori if our economic, social, cultural and environmental interests are taken into consideration,” Mr Insley says.

“We know there is an appetite for Māori products and our expertise across multiple sectors, and for inviting investment into growing our local economy. Ensuring Te Tiriti o Waitangi forms a part of New Zealand’s approach to trade is imperative and its inclusion should be congratulated.

“We are very much looking forward to seeing the final outcome and expect to see officials from both sides working hard towards this end.

“We have hosted a series of regional hui across the country over the last 12 months and we have heard a clear call from our whānau that trade is important, as it means jobs for whānau at home.



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.