Today’s eagerly anticipated announcement that the NZ-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will enter into force early by end of the month has been warmly welcomed by Te Taumata.
Aotearoa New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed to bring forward the entry into force of their FTA to 31 May 2023, unlocking unprecedented access to the UK market by the end of the month.
The FTA is expected to add up to $1 billion to New Zealand’s annual GDP, while exporters will save approximately $37 million per year in tariff elimination alone.
The Agreement contains the broadest set of outcomes for Māori that New Zealand has negotiated in any FTA , including a dedicated Māori trade and economic cooperation chapter.
The chapter recognises Māori interests and priorities in the UK market, and the unique relationship with the British Crown as an original signatory to te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi.
From the outset, Te Taumata has been at the forefront of negotiations, ensuring Māori had a strong voice at the table, and that Māori interests and priorities were understood and advocated for.
Taumata Chairman, Chris Karamea Insley, says today’s announcement is game-changing for the Māori economy.
“With Māori owning approximately half of the New Zealand fishing industry and having significant vested interests in Aotearoa’s primary industries, the removal of tariffs creates boundless opportunities for Māori exporters, who are primed to expand into global markets,” he says.
“We’re extremely proud to have been so closely involved in such a ground-breaking Agreement, which formally recognises the Māori economy, Māori knowledge, and Māori worldview in the trading relationship,” he says.
Overview of benefits for Māori
The FTA prioritises tariff elimination on a range of products of interest to Māori:
- Tariffs will be eliminated from day one on products such as honey, onions, and kiwifruit.
- Tariffs will be eliminated over 3 years for apples with a significant new duty-free quota for off-season exports for the first 3 years.
Fish and Seafood highlights
- 46% of New Zealand’s current fish and seafood and trade will enter the UK duty free when the FTA enters into force, 99.5% within 3 years, and 100% within 7 years.
- Tariffs will be eliminated from day one on hoki and on mussels after 3 years.
- 60% of New Zealand’s current dairy trade will enter the UK duty free at entry into force of the FTA, 99.5% within 5 years, and 100% within 7 years.
- Tariffs will be eliminated over 5 years for butter and cheese, with significant new duty-free quotas that will allow trade to grow during the transition period until all tariffs and quotas are eliminated.
- Many other dairy products will also become tariff free at entry into force, with the remainder eliminated over 3 or 7 years.
- Tariffs will be eliminated after 10 years for beef (export value $4.0 million). A product specific safeguard may then apply until year 15.
- Tariffs will be eliminated after 15 years for sheep meat.
- Significant new quotas will be established for both products, which will allow trade to grow during the transition period until all tariffs have been eliminated.
- New Zealand and the UK also agree to cooperate at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Intergovernmental Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) to work towards a multilateral outcome.
- Commitments to prohibit subsidies that increase fishing capacity, and 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.
- Commitments to the urgent need to address climate change, and working together to do so.