NZ/UK FTA series: Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Environment

This third and final pānui in our NZ/UK FTA series looks at the benefits Māori have secured with the new free trade agreement.

NZ/UK FTA series: Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Environment

This third and final pānui in our NZ/UK FTA series looks at the benefits Māori have secured with the new free trade agreement.

This third and final pānui in our NZ/UK FTA series looks at the benefits Māori have secured with the new free trade agreement.

Our previous pānui have focused on goods market access and the FTA’s specific provisions for Intellectual Property (IP) and the Māori Trade and Economic Co-operation chapter.

Today, we will look at the FTA’s considerations of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the environment as it pertains to Māori.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi | The Treaty of Waitangi

The preamble of the FTA recognises the unique relationship between Māori and the UK, and acknowledges Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a foundational document of constitutional importance to Aotearoa.

As with all trade agreements Aotearoa has concluded since 2001, the NZ/UK FTA includes a Treaty of Waitangi exception clause, which enables the Government to adopt policies to fulfil its obligations to Māori, including under the treaty.


The NZ/UK FTA contains the most far-reaching Trade and Environment chapter Aotearoa has ever negotiated.

The Trade and Environment chapter, for the first time, acknowledges the important role that sustainable Māori environmental approaches can play in areas such as fisheries, forestry and agriculture (including references to concepts such as kaitiakitanga and mauri).

Key environment considerations:

  • Commitment to prohibit subsidies that would increase fishing capacity
  • Commitment to take steps to eliminate harmful fossil fuel subsidies
  • Prioritising the elimination of tariffs on 293 environmentally beneficial products – the largest such list agreed in any FTA to date.
  • Acknowledgement of the urgent need to address climate change, and commitment to working together to do so.

The environment plays an important role in the economic, social, and cultural wellbeing of Māori, and this chapter makes clear the intention and necessity of engaging with Māori in the long-term conservation of the environment.

We hope you have found this pānui series informative. Te Taumata will continue to update you on the implementation of this FTA, and the Māori interest in all the other global trade agreements underway in 2022.



Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

CCAB delivers programs that facilitate the growth of Indigenous business, build relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous business, and ensure life-long learning for Indigenous entrepreneurs, and other Canadian business leaders. These efforts recognise the central role that Indigenous business and communities hold in the future of Canada.
Our mission is to promote, strengthen and enhance a prosperous Indigenous economy through the fostering of business relationships, opportunities and awareness for all of our members.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Ministry acts in the world to make New Zealanders safer and more prosperous.
E mahi ana te Manatū i te Ao kia whai haumaru me te whai rawa mo Aotearoa.
New Zealand’s security and prosperity depend on the conditions in, and our connections with, the wider world. This means we must engage with – and seek to influence – other countries to our advantage, in line with New Zealand’s values and interests including that of Maori.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is the government agency charged with helping New Zealand businesses to grow internationally.
We use our extensive knowledge and global networks to help exporters of all sizes make better decisions and connect to the right partners and investors.
We connect international businesses and investors with high-value growth opportunities in New Zealand.
By supporting New Zealand businesses, we boost New Zealand's economy and reputation, and help to share what's special about New Zealand with the rest of the world.

Callaghan Innovation

We are New Zealand's innovation agency. We activate innovation and help businesses grow faster for a better New Zealand.
We partner with ambitious businesses of all sizes, providing a range of innovation and research and development (R&D) services to suit each stage of growth.
Our people – including more than 200 of New Zealand’s leading scientists and engineers – empower innovators by connecting people, opportunities and networks, and providing tailored technical solutions, skills and capability development programmes, and grants co-funding.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) plays a central role in shaping and delivering a strong New Zealand economy.
Our role is to create better outcomes for all New Zealanders, particularly by supporting business growth.
We are responsible for the delivery of advice, regulation and services that have a real impact on people, businesses and the environment within which they operate.