Te Taumata has made it clear to Government that we are ready to support the full and rapid implementation of the NZ/UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which presents exciting opportunities for all Māori.

In a new submission to Government about the historic FTA – which was officially signed in London this month – Te Taumata has reinforced the benefits of the agreement for Māori, as well as the unprecedented level of engagement with Māori throughout negotiations.

Te Taumata’s regional trade hui gave ministers and negotiators the opportunity to listen and take on board the views of Māori exporters and trade leaders.

This engagement reached new highs at our last hui, in Te Taitokerau, which was attended, both in person and virtually, by 600 people.

Te Taumata is proud that the engagement we initiated and led has resulted in an international agreement that genuinely reflects the needs and interests of Māori.

We will continue these hui in 2022, ensuring the valuable kōrero informs the new FTAs that are currently being negotiated.

The benefits of the NZ/UK FTA have been well documented since it was agreed in principle in October. However, in our latest submission, we have highlighted some of the stand-out advantages.

These include a predicted 50 per cent increase in goods exports to the UK and the 100 per cent removal of tariffs at full implementation, which is forecast to save New Zealand exports $37.8 million per year based on current export volumes.

In the current geopolitical climate, it is more important than ever for Māori exporters to enter new, wealthy markets with an appetite for high-quality, distinctly Aotearoa products.

Māori are poised to enter the UK market with our premium products, with the assurance that this new agreement protects and promotes Māori economic and wellbeing aspirations.

Keep an eye out in the coming days for a series of pānui diving deeper into the NZ/UK FTA and the trade benefits it presents for our people.