TPP 'about control', says CTU Māori VP

8:19 am on 10 October 2015

The Vice-President Māori of the Council of Trade Unions has attacked the Federation of Māori Authorities for its support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

Syd Keepa warns the TPP agreement is a threat to tino rangatiratanga.

Trade ministers of 12 Pacific countries, including New Zealand, announced on Tuesday that an agreement had been reached.

Mr Keepa said the Federation of Māori Authorities' (FOMA's) praise of the agreement and comments that it opens up exporting opportunities was simplistic and misleading.

He said the federation was only focusing on what the Government was saying, without even asking Māori for their input.

"To only focus, say, on the promise of future exports, like FOMA did, is pretty simplistic and quite misleading.

"I think the TPP agreement isn't just about trade - I think it's also about control."

Mr Keepa said if they were really a Māori organisation, then uppermost in their minds should be tino rangatiratanga.

He said FOMA was coat-tailing on the back of successive governments who have wanted the agreement, and have promoted it by saying that Māori investors really liked what they were doing.

The Federation of Māori Authorities did not respond to a request for an interview.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs