The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will provide significant opportunities for Māori exporters and businesses and help grow the Māori economy.

Tēnā koutou katoa

Ko te hokohoko ko te wāhi mo to tātou mutunga. Ko te whiriwhiringa ko te taputapu e tohu ana i ngā huarahi ka taea. Engari, me mahara tonu tātou ki te whakahoki i ngā utu mo o tatou mahi, me te pai rawa atu. Na, me kaha ki a tātou ki te mahi i te kaupapa e tautoko ana, e tipu ana i te turanga taonga Māori me to tātou huaora.

Tihei Mauri ora. 

Pre-eminence of the Treaty of Waitangi

The CPTPP contains a Treaty of Waitangi exception that explicitly allows the government to adopt any policy it considers necessary to fulfil its obligations to Māori.

This unique provision allows the government to implement policies which benefit Māori without being obliged to offer equivalent treatment to persons from other CPTPP countries.

The Treaty of Waitangi exception is just one of a number of exceptions and reservations which ensure that our government retains its right to regulate in the public interest.

Māori exporters and business

The Māori economy has an asset base estimated to be worth around $50 billion, contributing significantly to the growth of the national economy.

The larger proportion of Māori assets are concentrated in the primary industries sector although there is increasing diversification into other areas e.g. geothermal, digital services, education, tourism and more recently, housing.

Māori businesses account for 40% of New Zealand’s forestry production, 30% of lamb production, 10% of dairy production, 50% of fishing quota, 30% of sheep and beef production and 10% of kiwifruit production.

The CPTPP will enable New Zealand exporters, including Māori exporters, to be more competitive in CPTPP markets. 

Key outcomes

Key outcomes of particular interest to Māori exporters from the CPTPP include:

  • All tariffs on New Zealand forestry and forestry products will be eliminated as part of CPTPP, including in Japan (New Zealand’s 4th-largest export market) and Viet Nam (New Zealand’s 9th-largest market).
  • All of New Zealand’s fish and fish products imported into Japan currently face tariffs. Ninety-nine percent of these will be eliminated within 11 years, and the remainder within 16 years. 
  • All tariffs for New Zealand kiwifruit will be eliminated at entry into force and existing duty free access will be locked in. This includes duty free access to Japan – New Zealand’s largest kiwifruit market – representing tariff reductions of more than $20 million.  
  • All tariffs on New Zealand wine will be eliminated, including immediate duty-free access to Canada (New Zealand’s 4th-largest wine market).
  • Nearly all tariffs on New Zealand sheep meat will be eliminated upon entry into force, including locking in preferential rates to Canada (New Zealand’s 7th-largest sheep meat market).
  • All tariffs on New Zealand apples will be eliminated within 11 years. This will level the playing field with Australian apple exporters, who already enjoy preferential access into Japan.
  • Tariffs on beef exports to Japan will reduce from 38.5 percent to 9 percent over 16 years, the best outcome Japan has given to any trade agreement partner. This would immediately remove Australian beef exporters’ current tariff advantage over New Zealand in the Japanese market.
  • CPTPP includes useful improvements for New Zealand’s dairy exporters. They will benefit from an estimated NZ$85 million in overall tariff reductions through preferential access to new quotas into Japan, Canada and Mexico, in addition to tariff elimination on a number of products.

Traditional knowledge

The CPTPP includes a number of provisions aimed at improving the treatment of traditional knowledge and cultural expressions in intellectual property systems. These encourage information sharing between intellectual property offices on their practices for dealing with traditional knowledge, and require Parties to endeavour to ensure that quality patent examination practices are applied when applications for patents relate to traditional knowledge.

New Zealand's commitment to change the Plant Variety Rights Act

The CPTPP commits New Zealand to make changes to the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 to either give effect to, or accede to, the most recent version of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 91). When implementing this obligation, New Zealand has the right to adopt any measures that it deems necessary to protect indigenous plant species in fulfilment of its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) began a review of the Plant Variety Rights Act in early 2017. How New Zealand should implement its obligations under CPTPP will be considered as part of this review. MBIE is consulting with Māori and stakeholders on the key issues in the review, including the obligations established under CPTPP.

Read more about MBIE’s work (external link)

Engagement with Māori

Government decisions around the CPTPP are and will continue to be informed by Māori concerns and interests as the Crown's Treaty partner.  A summary of consultation to date undertaken in relation to the CPTPP is provided in section 9 of the National Interest Analysis (NIA) for the CPTPP.

National Interest Analysis