Te Taumata’s comprehensive analysis by world-class technical experts which was submitted to Minister of Maori Development, Hon. Nanaia Mahuta, is now available to view online.

The study, titled ‘Maori Interests and Geographic Indicators – Strategic Intellectual Property Management enabling Maori whanau development’, proposes a new approach for Maori to secure and benefit from both tangible and intangible assets, nationally and internationally, and outlines initial steps towards creating a ‘smart’, collective Maori economy.

From the document’s Executive Summary:

‘While the New Zealand government has put in place a number of processes and initiatives to address some of the issues raised by Māori on the lack of recognition and protection of Māori interests in our intellectual property system, nothing conclusive has resulted in the nearly 40 years since the Treaty of Waitangi Act was passed and the Waitangi Tribunal established or the Wai 262 claim was filed.

Māori can achieve some benefits and protections for aspects of Māori interests through the registration of different intellectual property rights, including Geographical Indications (GIs). Consequently, it is important that Māori operators and producers are empowered to utilise the current intellectual property framework as a means to achieve commercial success on the global stage.

At the same time, it is imperative the New Zealand government commits to reforming New Zealand’s constitutional and legal framework, including the intellectual property regime to better protect Māori interests. The Government can achieve this by adopting a staged work programme.

We discuss in this report how in the short term, the government can support Māori in establishing a smart Māori economy, by capturing their rightful tangible and intangible assets, establishing a binding authority to assist in protecting those tangible and intangible assets, and providing technical and financial support to help Māori contribute to the post COVID19 New Zealand economy.

In the medium term, Māori can assist the Government in adopting and complying with its international obligations under the CPTPP, Nagoya Protocol, Bonn Guidelines, and others, while recognising and protecting tangible and intangible Māori assets.

And longer term, Māori can assist the Government to transform New Zealand’s intellectual property regime into a precedent, setting a new international standard for the recognition and protection of indigenous people’s rights around the world.’

View ‘Maori Interests and Geographic Indicators – Strategic Intellectual Property Management enabling Maori whanau development’ here.