Māori interests

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

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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. 

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.

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.

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

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Key outcomes

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

  • All tariffs on New Zealand forestry and forestry products were 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 faced tariffs prior to CPTPP. Ninety-nine percent of these are being progressively eliminated over 11 years, and the remainder over 16 years. 
  • All tariffs for New Zealand kiwifruit were eliminated at entry into force and existing duty free access 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 were eliminated, including immediate duty-free access to Canada (New Zealand’s 54th-largest wine market).
  • Nearly all tariffs on New Zealand sheep meat were eliminated upon entry into force, including locking in preferential rates to Canada (New Zealand’s 57th-largest sheep meat market).
  • All tariffs on New Zealand apples into Japan will be progressively eliminated over 11 years.
  • 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. As of 1 January 2022, beef tariffs into Japan have already been reduced by over one-third. 

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.

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 economies.

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.

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. In September 2018, MBIE started consultation with Māori and stakeholders on the key issues in the review, including the obligations established under CPTPP.

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

On 19 November the Waitangi Tribunal's final report on the WAI2522 enquiry into the CPTPP was released. Ministers have received the report and will consider it seriously and have acknowledged the substantial work of the Tribunal and claimants over the last 5 years.

MBIE is the lead government agency responsible for coordinating the Crown Māori Economic Development Strategy, Hei kai kei ringa(external link).


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