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Ed Sheeran

PPA treaty exception not up to task

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A critic of the Trans Pacific Partnership is accusing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of glib and inaccurate reassurances about the effect of the 11-country trade deal on Maori.

The rejigged Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans Pacific Partnership is due to be signed in Chile on March 8.

On Facebook the Prime Minister posted that New Zealand has an exemption meaning it can always legislate and act to protect its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Professor Kelsey says that’s not so.

"There is this statement that keeps coming out from the crown, whether it's ministry officials or politicians, that the tribunal said there was nothing to worry about and the treaty exception protects all Maori interests and in fact it doesn't and the tribunal specifically said it does not accept the crown's claim that there is nothing in the TPPA will prevent the crown from meeting its treaty obligations to Maori," she says.

Professor Kelsey says the Waitangi Tribunal claim is still not over, with the presiding officer recently asking when claimants and the crown will be ready for a hearing on the remaining substantive issues.

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