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Source: New Zealand Government

Te Taumata National Trade Hui

Banquet Hall, Beehive

Mihimihi / Greeting

He Hōnore ki te Atua, He maungārongo ki te mata o te whenua

He whakaaro pai ki ngā tāngata katoa,

Arohaina ngā teina me ngā tuakana i roto i te whakaaro kotahi,

Kia tau ngā manaakitanga a te mea ngaro,

ki runga ki tēnā, ki tēnā o tātou,

Kia mahea te hua makihikihi,

kia toi te kupu, toi te mana, toi te aroha,

kia tūturu, ka whakamaua kia tīna! Tīna!

Hui e, Tāiki e!


Welcome. I believe this is the largest Māori trade gathering and first of its kind to be held at Parliament.

This has been a traditional place for groups to gather to discuss the important progression of Māori aspiration.

From the Māori language petition, the 1984 Hui Taumata, the 1992 Māori Fisheries Settlement, the passage of numerous Treaty Settlement and now global trade.

Can I acknowledge Te Taumata for pulling together an extensive group of leading contributors to help shape our collective aspiration on next steps in the trade space.

Our tūpuna travelled the vast extent of the Pacific ocean where survival, navigation, and trade were an intrinsic part of our heritage. With trade critical alliances and opportunities have emerged. Each of us can share through whakapapa how those alliances have continued to this day here at home and further afield across Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa. This is something that we all share.

Fundamentally we are here to share how culture, commerce and connection can optimise the opportunities we have that will benefit Māori and wider Aotearoa New Zealand.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi an Enduring Connection

If I go back to Te Tiriti o Waitangi as our founding document, this formalised a relationship with Britain and the Crown. It became an avenue for establishing a framework that has become a touchstone in our nationhood and the protection of certain rights sought therein.

I don’t need to traverse the historical events since then, but for the purposes of today’s hui it is apparent that in relation to trade, Māori have not always had the opportunities to participate in, shape and influence trade policy and opportunities in a way that the Treaty envisioned.

As a Government we are doing more to ensure that Māori and Indigenous Peoples can participate more effectively in key trade policy discussions and negotiations than ever before.  But participation is one part of the journey.  As we know, creating the right context for partnership and protecting the unique aspects of what and who we are is a dynamic opportunity.

We are creating a landscape that enhances and showcases the value that Indigenous Peoples can bring to the trade agenda and more.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Te Manatu Aorere, working across government, has responded in recent years to ensure that its partnerships with Māori are strong and credible. Can I say that this is a jouney, not a destination, and we continue to push the boundaries of a working relationship.

Te Manatu Aorere can appreciate what I see. The are creating a platform for enhanced participation and inclusion of Māori in the formation of trade policy. There is potential to extend the opportunities at an indigenous to indigenous level, and beyond, to integrate ‘Māori inc’ advantage across the broader trade platform. When we do this successfully Aotearoa New Zealand will benefit.

And we have seen the direct benefits of this enhanced engagement in the recently concluded UK and EU FTAs. There is a stronger focus on Māori outcomes in these agreements, including on market access and services, as well as dedicated commitments to strengthen cooperation for Māori enterprises. It is a good start and sets a platform for future trade opportunities.

I want to commend and acknowledge those roopu Māori and individuals, who invest their time, energy, resources and expertise, working with officials and trade negotiators, to ensure that trade policy and outcomes better reflect Māori interests. We have the breadth of Māori opinion included from those who advocate for Treaty consistent approaches, to those who form the backbone of the Māori export trade sectors to Te Taumata who are our hosts today.

I also want to acknowledge those working in the background to ensure that Māori have the ability to protect and derive value from our mātauranga / traditional knowledge.

Rising to global challenges

Māori global connectedness also means, that global shocks, instability and uncertainty can significantly impact Māori interests and aspirations.

This is a reality in our globally connected environment. We find ourselves in challenging times globally.

Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine represents the most significant challenge to international rules since the establishment of the United Nations. We continue to work with the global community to support Ukraine to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

The economic consequences of the war are reverberating around the world.

For many of our key trading partners, particularly in Europe, the impact will be far more significant. An extended invasion will continue to impact New Zealand’s economic fortunes. We also need to consider increasing pressures and challenges in our own region.

The Indo-Pacific is at the forefront for Aotearoa – not least because almost 75% of New Zealand’s trade is with the Indo-Pacific.

Our place in the Pacific

But as I previously said, we are a country in and of the Pacific. Our connections run deep with our Pacific whanaunga through culture, history, politics, people, language, and shared interests.

Pacific countries have been very clear about what they consider to be the core priorities in our region: climate change, economic recovery, resilience. Neither they, nor we, want geostrategic competition in our region to distract from addressing these major challenges.

Global problems require global solutions, and no country, no matter how big, can solve these issues alone.

Aotearoa, like many others, depends on the effective functioning of International law, rules and norms, regional and glocal architecture like the WTO, United Nations, APEC, ASEAN and PIF to shape the region in ways that support security and prosperity for all.

We continue to strengthen our bi-lateral relationships and support the broader benefits of multilateralism.

As I touched on in my last kōrero with you in July, it is worth celebrating our two newest free trade agreements with our close and long-term partners – the United Kingdom and the European Union.

I’m confident that Aotearoa will complete its domestic processes by the end of this year for passing the United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement Legislation Bill. It is our hope that the UK will also complete its domestic processes before the end of this year as well.

This is a comprehensive and ambitious FTA that contains specific outcomes for Māori. These include a dedicated Māori Trade and Economic Cooperation Chapter, and prioritisation of early tariff elimination on a range of products of interest to Māori such as honey, horticultural goods and seafood.

Our FTA with the EU was concluded at the end of June. We’re dealing with a large partner with complex processes, and representing 27 different countries. Realistically, we’re looking at mid-2023 for signature and 2024 for ratification.

The EU FTA will generate substantial new opportunities for a range of New Zealand exporters, generating tariff savings of $100 million on our exports from day one of the agreement entering into force. That’s real money saved off your bottom line.

Extra exports to the EU in a range of sectors of interest to Māori – including horticulture, honey, wine, seafood, beef and dairy – could be worth $1.8 billion per year once the FTA is fully implemented.

The European Union also agreed a Māori Trade and Cooperation chapter in the FTA that will provides a valuable new platform to advance Māori economic aspirations in the EU. This was a “first” for the EU and received positive feedback when the European Parliament’s Trade Committee visited Wellington last month.

Treaty partners played a critical role in shaping these outcomes and I thank you for this work.

Māori economy and our indigenous-led approach

Māori have contributed significantly to the growth of our country and will continue to play an important role in Aotearoa’s future. The Māori economy  is valued at around $70 billion, it is vital that we maximise how this can grow and develop internationally.

The Crown’s partnership with Māori on trade is a vital component of how as a nation, Aotearoa can reach deep into future potential markets and secure the best possible outcomes. Māori offer unique knowledge and principles on the international trade stage that help differentiate Aotearoa New Zealand.

Optimising these international trade opportunities for Māori exporters and playing a leadership role in expanding Indigenous participation through collaboration agreements in global trade are some of the areas we are progressing.

We’ve seen this through our ‘Indigenous-led, government-supported’ collaboration arrangements with Australia, the recently signed arrangement with Canada, and the first-of-its-kind Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement, or IPETCA, with Australia, Canada and Chinese Taipei.

The IPETCA was negotiated and concluded in the margins of New Zealand’s APEC host year in 2021 as a deliberate way to highlight the strengthen and importance of Indigenous trade and economic inclusion closer to home in the Asia Pacific region.

In February 2020 I launched the Aotearoa ki te Ao programme to promote Māori trade interests. This programme has supported those collaboration efforts that I have mentioned, the Te Aratini programme at Expo 2021 in Dubai, and a comprehensive work programme to engage with Māori on FTA negotiations, including those with the UK and the EU.

The programme, now led by Undersecretary Tirikatene, has been important in progressing the trade and economic partnership between the Crown and Māori, and continues to increase opportunities for Māori engagement in trade policy developments – Undersecretary Tirikatene will talk more on this later.

Through the likes of the Trade for All Agenda, Aotearoa ki te Ao programme and MFAT’s partnerships with Māori, including Te Tamauta, we are proactively working with Māori to achieve improved outcomes. This will only accelerate.

More broadly, I also welcome the mahi being undertaken to improve the Ministry’s engagement with Treaty Partners, including through the establishment of a new Partnership Body working directly with Chief Executive Chris Seed and the SLT.


Māori are deeply connected internationally. Global instability affects all of us in Aotearoa, including in the trade and economic arena.

As we’re all required to rise to global pressures, challenges and a turbulent landscape, it’s clear that the only way forward is together.

Hui such as these are so important to frame our achievements, to be clear eyed about challenges and opportunities ahead, and continue to contribute creative and equitable approaches in addressing these.

As my colleague Grant Robertson recently said, “we are a country that is in demand…our goods exports are near record highs, because, even though the global economy is struggling, what we offer to the world is something the world needs.”

Māori trade is something the we can all agree that the world needs. It is a key facet of this and one I envision continually growing, developing and flourishing.

As you all have a full day ahead, I want to wish you the best for the discussions about to start here at Parliament, and the day ahead.  Ki te kotahitu kākaho ka whati, ki te kāpuia e kore e whati.

Nō reira, tēnā koutou katoa. Pai marire.