30 Mar 2016

TPP to boost Māori economy by $200m, MPs told

7:57 pm on 30 March 2016

MPs have been told benefits from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will boost the Māori economy by hundreds of millions of dollars.

A sign outside the first of the government's 16 nationwide roadshow events to explain the TPP agreement.

A sign outside the first of the government's 16 national seminars to explain the TPP agreement. Photo: RNZ / Shannon Haunui-Thompson

The country's lead TPP negotiator, David Walker, appeared before the Māori Affairs Select Committee this morning.

Mr Walker told the committee that Māori own between 10 and 40 percent of New Zealand's key primary sector assets.

"Tariff savings under TPP on current exports - that's the tariffs that TPP governments will not be able to levy on our current exports across these sectors - estimated at more than $200 million a year, once TPP commitments are fully phased in."

Meanwhile, Māori claimants remain unconvinced the government has acted in their best interests in negotiating the TPP.

Earlier this month, the Waitangi Tribunal finished an urgent hearing into the TPP, with more than 20 claimants challenging everything from the consultation process to the deal's economic benefits.

The tribunal will rule on what Māori input is needed to ensure the ratification of the TPP is legitimate under the Treaty of Waitangi - however that ruling will not be binding and the government can choose to ignore it.