Latest News

TPP and the Treaty of Waitangi exception

TPP and the Treaty of Waitangi exception

An important aspect of any Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is the exceptions chapter.

This chapter sets out a number of exceptions that allow countries to adopt or retain, in certain circumstances, policies measures that are inconsistent with the obligations under an FTA. The inclusion of exceptions in FTAs is important to ensure that governments maintain the ability to regulate to protect, for example, public morals, security, health, and the environment. This approach recognises that, in some cases, governments have valid policy reasons for implementing measures of this nature.

Like many countries, New Zealand’s approach in its FTAs is to include the exceptions agreed in the WTO General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT, specifically articles XX and XXI). These exceptions allow countries to justify policies that could otherwise be inconsistent with obligations in an FTA, including where such measures are necessary to protect human, animal and plant life and health, public morals, or where measures relate to the conservation of exhaustible natural resources.

For New Zealand, the Treaty of Waitangi exception in our FTAs is a critical addition to the GATT exceptions. As the founding document of New Zealand, the Treaty provides a framework for the on-going relationship between the Government of New Zealand and Maori. Given its importance, the Treaty exception has been included in all of New Zealand’s FTAs, including multi-party processes like the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA and the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services. The exception is designed to ensure that successive governments retain flexibility to implement domestic policies that favour Maori without being obliged to offer equivalent treatment to overseas entities.

The Treaty of Waitangi exception is qualified by a requirement that any measures that provide more favourable treatment to Maori must not be used by New Zealand as a means of arbitrary or unjustified discrimination against persons from the other Parties, or as a disguised restriction on international trade. This is the same qualification that applies to the GATT Article XX exceptions. It provides an important reassurance to our trading partners that New Zealand will only seek to invoke this exception for legitimate purposes related to M?ori and the Treaty of Waitangi.

Latest Tweets

  • DigitalMaoriMaori News: The Dead Lands - Coming Soon #maori #indigenous about 2 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriMaori News: The Dead Lands (2014) Teaser Trailer #maori #indigenous about 5 hours ago
  • DigitalMaori@PhillipsTane @teurumanao is it?? healthy criticism ae. needed to keep peeps accountable. the rest, let's change it! about 11 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @teurumanao: Sick of people dumping on Iwi entities some of us give our lives up so our people have a better future #NativeAffairs about 11 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @tautokai: @MiriaFlavell usually yes. But increasingly I see abuse thrown at IMP people on twitter and other forums. @koreroauaha @Phill… about 11 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @tautokai: @koreroauaha an incredibly offensive comment towards someone who has always fought for our people. @PhillipsTane about 11 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @tautokai: @koreroauaha you thnk responding to nastiness with nastiness is the right approach? Eye for an eye will make whole world blin… about 11 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @MaoriHiFi: Simplest of courtesies is to pronounce someone's name right! Yet NZ media don't give a shit bout getin their treaty partners… about 19 hours ago
  • DigitalMaori@RevChrisHuriwai @FoxMarama he political enei. He pick a side ranei. Kaore te kotahi i nga tangata a na wairua #onesided #kaorekotahi about 19 hours ago
  • DigitalMaori@mokai77 @JodiIhaka it's all on!! about 23 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @mokai77: “@JodiIhaka: Karakia done. Now let's debate this!” @DigitalMaori about 23 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @mokai77: I guess Trelise Cooper didn't get the cultural appropriation memo. 😡 about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @di_f_w: Of course @trelisecooper knows appropriating the Native American headdress is offensive. This is an attempt to profit off peopl… about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @di_f_w: I have long believed @trelisecooper to be the most boring, unimaginative fashion designer in NZ and cheap shots like this just … about a day ago
  • DigitalMaori@Knhannah @trelisecooper we'd love 1000 words :) about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @Knhannah: Anyone who fashion blogs and would like 1000 words on what is wring with @trelisecooper's cultural appropriation, I'm your wo… about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @MorganGodfery: When will designers realise that appropriating Native American war bonnets isn't innovative, but an act of deep conformi… about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @caniwikiwi: @trelisecooper As someone who was a 70's hipster I can say for sure we did not wear the ceremonial dress of First Nations. … about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @caniwikiwi: @trelisecooper Women never wear the ceremonial headdress of First Nations chiefs. Would you dress near naked girls in a ko… about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @RPamatatau: Pondering what the (fashion) press might write about Dame @trelisecooper and her cultural looting #NZFW14 #mercedes about a day ago