Te Wharepora Hou, a group of Maori women based in Auckland, supports civil society groups from Australia and New Zealand in opposing the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
As wahine Maori, our long and deeply-held traditional values and understandings of collectivity, of manaakitanga, of kaitiakitanga (Caring for Earth Mother), for Tangaroa (god of the sea) and for their children, is in direct opposition to what is being proposed in the TPPA. The New Zealand government has a responsibility to ensure Tangata Whenua have a voice in these negotiations as part of our Treaty partnership and our rights as Indigenous peoples.
The TPPA represents a significant and disruptive challenge to Maori.
Similar free trade agreements have had devastating impacts on the lives of Indigenous peoples around the world. These agreements have by-passed indigenous involvement at any level. The lack of consultation with Tangata Whenua also contravenes the rights in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is more neoliberal economic restructuring. Maori and Pacific Island communities have already borne the brunt of such policies from the 1980s and 1990s.
The TPPA will intensify and increase these negative economic impacts in our communities. Such programmes around the world have successfully extinguished Indigenous rights to lands and resources.
The selling off of our mokopuna and their future must stop.
You can download a fact sheet Maori, Treaty and the TPPA here:
Helen Te Hira