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Ed Sheeran

Maori get seat at trade table

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The chair of a new body to give Māori input into trade negotiations says it’s vital Māori are at the table given the structure of the Māori economy.

Chris Karamea Insley says Te Taumata, which was appointed by a recent national hui in Rotorua, will work alongside officials from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade on current and future international trade talks.

He says Maori organisations are major exporters in areas like meat, wood and fish, but up to now they have had no input into the rules they have to operate under.

"If you look at the basket of goods we as Māori businesses are in like the farming, the fishing, the forestry, currently those industries attract trade tariffs of around 20 to 30 percent. Those are cost impositions on all of those businesses and Māori in particular when we trade with these various countries around the world," he says,

In contrast other the rest of goods and services from the New Zealand economy attract tariffs of two to three percent.

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