The TPPA is a death sentence for Indigenous Rights

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Tangata whenua are strongly opposed to the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement which will be held in Auckland in February.

The TPPA represents a significant and disruptive challenge to Maori.

The New Zealand government has by-passed indigenous involvement at every level. This complete lack of consultation also contravenes the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and this government has no right to sign this trade deal without our free,prior and informed consent.

Similar free trade agreements have had a devastating impact on the rights & lives of Indigenous peoples around the world. Indigenous peoples have been criminalised and rights to their lands and resources have been ignored.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is colonisation by corporation.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is part of the neoliberal structural adjustment programme to diminish and extinguish Indigenous rights forever. The TPPA will intensify and increase  negative economic impacts in our communities. Already Maori are extensively over-represented in all negative indices.

The TPPA is a direct denial of the rights of Maori as stated in the 1835 Declaration of Independence and as reaffirmed in the Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous peoples.

The Waitangi tribunal last year confirmed that Tangata Whenua did not cede their sovereignty when they signed the Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Tangata Whenua have long and deeply-held traditional values and understandings of collectivity, of manakitanga , of kaitiakitanga (Caring for Earth Mother), for Tangaroa (god of the sea) and for their children .This is in direct opposition to what is being proposed in the TPPA. The New Zealand government does no have the right to negotiate away our rights under Te Tiriti and our rights as Indigenous peoples.

We oppose corporate Maori like FOMA (Federation of Maori Authorities) who have come out in support of this agreement. These neotribal capitalists are transparent in their greed and their neoliberal modus operandi.

Their bottom line and profit at any cost mentality puts the interests of the dairy industry and the tribal capitalists ahead of a duty of care for our environment and  our survival as Indigenous peoples. We will not let our grassroots who are struggling to survive be sold out again.

The TPPA is a “death sentence” for Maori . “It is a gift to the rich that will deepen the divide between narrowly concentrated wealth and mass misery, and destroy what remains of  indigenous society.” This is not the world our tupuna envisioned for us when they signed Te Tiriti.

“Our communities, our whānau, hapū, have the mana for the land. Let us not give that right to big businesses.” 1




For comment please contact : 0274578326

Te Ao Pritchard

Ngāti Kahu, Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Vaigaga, Aleisa




Author: Te Wharepora Hou

Te Wharepora Hou is a collective of wāhine who are mainly Tāmaki Makaurau based, but we have strong participation from wāhine based elsewhere in Aotearoa and the world. We have come together to ensure a stronger voice for wāhine and are concerned primarily with the wellbeing of whānau, hapū, iwi and all that pertains to Papatūānuku and the sustenance of our people.

9 thoughts on “The TPPA is a death sentence for Indigenous Rights”

  1. I tautoko the point of view here.
    An issue that no doubt has been asked already re the TPPA is the position of so-called Maori leaders, aka the Iwi Leaders Forum and others. I recall the response of the Government after being required to consult with Maori regarding the MAI and their subsequent strategy of selective engagement re the APEC Forum held in Auckland.
    “By 1997, there were multiple and compelling reasons that drove many Maori to oppose the imposition of a multilateral agreement described by Pierre Bourdieu as the most recent in a series of ‘political measures [in the case of the MAI …designed to protect foreign corporations and their investments from national states] that aim to call into question any and all collective structures that could serve as a an obstacle to the pure market’. The Multilateral Agreement on Investment represented the latest development in a plethora of economic and trade agreements aimed at liberalisation of the economy and the removal of trade protections. Initiated as the result of lobbying by the US Council for International Business and others, the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) Draft was developed by the Office of the US Trade Representative and the State Department and negotiated between 1995 and 1998.
    Responding to the leaking of the draft text of the MAI and propelled by an initial discussion paper by Kelsey, Maori were in the forefront of the strong and widespread opposition to the MAI the rapidity of which was undoubtedly impelled by the New Zealand experience of the neo-liberal reforms. The unanimous rejection of the MAI by Maori in seven regional state-sponsored consultations and the wide dissemination of this rejection through radio and television constituted a useful learning experience for government officials. As Kelsey notes in her comprehensive discussion of the MAI and APEC, the New Zealand government did not make the same mistake when hosting the APEC Leaders meeting in Auckland in 1999 but pre-empted Maori objections by determined efforts to coopt Maori leadership into the processes for the 1999 APEC Leaders Meeting hosted by New Zealand. While, as Kelsey reports, some Maori remained unconvinced of the economic benefits that would accrue from the removal of tariffs and subsidies, success was sufficiently high as to see the dissipation of plans for an indigenous peoples’ forum as part of an NGO Summit.”
    (Stewart-Harawira (2005), pp. 189-190).

  2. As much as I sympathize with Maori on this terrible agreement, we, that is everybody is going to be screwed by tppa!

  3. our govt sanctioned suspending trade/commerce with nations,factions,associates that condone terrorism. The Obama govt has actively supported a regime change in Syria despite the fact the Assad is the legitimately elected Govt, ISIS is US led coalition it is clear Democracy cannot exist where criminal acts are accepted as the norm ,Law & Order the Judicial system only to control law abiding citizens

  4. Its to late. They are to rich and powerful. If it started big riots and shit in nz because of it. Thats playing into there hands to. What is the easiest way to take over a country. Cause chaos amongst there own. But in nzs case. They just buy the government. Puppets like john key are in power. Doing everything to abolish maori rights so they can move towards a new world order. Its all a peice to the puzzle. Stupid maoris to dumb to see it. Thats why the white man is rich. And maoria are poor. They learn and dpnt sit inbthe shed getting stoned all day

  5. It is always the same, Maori are never listen to by this government or any government for that matter, take a look at Shelly Bay in Wellington, they want to sell it for a few million dollars, so the corporations can make more profits by putting up a hotel. the Wellington Tenths could build there own Hotel, it is just a stones throw from the Airport and a boat trip from the city center. They have the funds to do all these things. the TPPA is a bad thing for us all

  6. How can a undemocratic agreement do such a thing as they (the government) are saying there is nothing to worry about (we already know that’s a lie) but as well as the moral progress this country has made with the indigenous and non-indigenous people have made. I feel the insecurity as to all the secrecy to the content of the agreement but to blatantly use a legal document to take away the rights of indigenous land owners is wrong on more than 1 level. One thing is sure we shall see what this agreement will produce as far as human/land rights are concerned.

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