Waitangi Tribunal decline request for urgent hearing by Māori entities on TPPA

By Heta Gardiner

The Waitangi Tribunal has released its decision regarding a request for an urgent hearing by Māori opposing the lack of consultation around the TPPA.

The call on the street falling on deaf ears.

The Waitangi Tribunal has declined the request for an urgent hearing by various Māori entities on the TPPA.

At the centre of the claim is a request by a collection of Māori bodies including the Māori Council to have the Crown consult with Māori before an agreement on the TPPA is signed.

Moana Maniapoto says, “The TPPA agreement is far different to any other agreement. No matter what the Crown says, that's the reality that we're all working with, despite all the secrecy.”

But the request was to no avail. The Tribunal's response said:

"We are not convinced that there is a proper basis to intervene. We therefore decline urgency on the terms sought by the claimants."

But there was a little light at the end of the tunnel.

One of the statements from their response said:

"There may nonetheless be grounds for an urgent hearing of these claims as and when the text of any final agreement becomes available."

Maniapoto says, “We are really confident that the tribunal wants to have a hearing.”

Moana Manuapoto is one of the claimants. She is pushing forward.

She says, “The Waitangi Tribunal is watching the Crown, much like the rest of us.”

There is still an assortment of legal avenues that claimants can action.