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Ed Sheeran

Treaty clause value overstated

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Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says the treaty protection clause in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement isn't as strong as the Government claims it is.

Concern over whether the 12-country pact will hamper the crown's ability to protect Maori interests under the Treaty of Waitangi is driving Maori opposition.

The Government says it has negotiated a Treaty of Waitangi exemption into all the trade deals it has negotated over the past decade.

But Ms Turei says the Greens' analysis is it doesn't give iwi Maori any right to have a say over issues that affect them.

"If the implementation of the treaty is contrary to the TPPA, either government won't implement it or we risk being sued by companies overseas who see profits being lost because of that implementation. The classic example is WAI 262, our interests in fauna and flora here in New Zealand, all of that becomes much more difficult under the TPPA," she says.

Ms Turei says despite the Prime Minister's assurances, Pharmac will also be adversely affected because the TPPA means the government drug buying agency will have to set up an expensive review process to allow outside parties to appeal against its choices.

The TPPA will be signed by trade ministers in Auckland tomorrow.

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