The importance of a Māori worldview for foreign policy

The importance of a Māori worldview for foreign policy

Kia ora koutou,

As mentioned in our last pānui, negotiations between Aotearoa and the UK are nearing an important milestone, where the Prime Ministers of each country have signalled that they want to bring forward free trade talks by some months.

These negotiations could have a long-lasting, positive impact on Māori and will provide opportunities and challenges. Māori have a particular mix of economic social/cultural and environmental interests, which need to be taken into consideration in any negotiation.

Our role is to provide an independent voice for Māori on trade policy and negotiations so that our uniqueness isn’t forgotten. Following the many hui held across Aotearoa and hearing the voices of so many, we released an in-depth analysis on Identifying Māori Interests in a UK/NZ Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which sets out the benefit of a UK/NZ FTA for Māori.

By entering an FTA with the UK, Māori businesses, individuals, whānau and communities could benefit through things like improved market access for exports, and a better ability to access services from or provide services to the UK – including through the improved ability to reside, work and/or study in the UK. It could also open the door for Māori to access investment capital, education, occupational training and research, and skills in things like low emissions technologies, life sciences, and language revitalisation – all areas in which the UK has world-class capabilities.

As echoed by a large number of submissions during the government’s consultation on the UK-NZ FTA, we need to prioritise inclusive trade provisions which advance the interest of Māori.

If both governments agree to what we have proposed in our analysis, the results will be game-changing for Māori. Currently, New Zealand is locked out of the British economy due to trade barriers and tariffs, so negotiations, if successful, open up a massive new market for Māori – 70 million people.

We know there is an appetite for Māori products, for our expertise across multiple sectors, and for inviting investment into growing our local economy. Ensuring Te Tititi o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) forms a part of New Zealand’s approach to trade is imperative.

Earlier this week I spoke to a Stuff reporter about that very topic. The article delves into the huge amount of work that has been done since the 1980s, that now sees all FTAs with Aotearoa contain provisions preserving the Crown’s ability to honour its commitments to Māori under Te Tiriti. I encourage you to read it.

Ngā mihi,

Chris Karamea Insley



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.