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Just Trade campaign backs Māori challenge
Professor Jane Kelsey

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A campaign has been launched for a progressive tJrade agenda that confronts climate change, supports sustainable local businesses and jobs and upholds the Tiriti o Waitangi.

A JusTrade.nz website has been launched with videos and transcriptions of a hui held over Labour weekend last October about what an alternative and progressive trade strategy for Aotearoa New Zealand should look like.

JusTrade hui coordinator Jane Kelsey says for too long New Zealanders have been told there is no alternative to the current model, epitomised in the recently adopted Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.’

"Today, the global trade regime faces an existential crisis. Mega-negotiations are being abandoned, delayed or pared down, and the World Trade Organization is fractured and paralysed.

"Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’

"The message from the hui was very clear: we need to generate real alternatives that confront climate change and disruption, while supporting sustainable local businesses and jobs that pay a living wage, in a nation founded on te Tiriti o Waitangi," she says.

Professor Kelsey says a progressive vision is for trade to be driven by relationships that enable innovation, resilience and wellbeing, instead of enabling the corporations and markets that currently dominate our trade policy.’

The JusTrade project will bring together experts on economics and business, geopolitics, te Tiriti, climate and environment, livelihoods, development, knowledge and health and wellbeing.

It will also monitor and support Stage Two of the Waitangi Tribunal claim on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (Wai-2522), and other Māori initiatives.

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