Māori exporters could benefit as UK exit EU

By Taroi Black

Federation of Māori Authorities Chair Traci Houpapa told Te Ao Māori News the prospect of the UK exiting the EU will open new trade deals for New Zealand. 

“Our Māori exporters here in Aotearoa. New Zealand enjoy very strong relationships and trading partnerships with the EU and the UK. The impact determined by no-deal for Brexit means that similarly we haven't had transitions period to negotiate market access with the UK and EU separately,” says Houpapa.

The no-deal Brexit is deemed by Māori exporters to strengthen the ties between Great Britain and New Zealand around foreign trade.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says their country needs to seek for independence in the World Trade Organization. However, a setback in terms of the exit date has been the result of yesterday’s vote against the Government’s position to delay their agenda.  

Business Board Executive for FOMA and Chairperson for Te Awanui Huka Pak Ratahi Cross says Māori could benefit immensely from the no-deal Brexit.

“I'm quite excited about the ability for another player in the Northern Hemisphere coming into the global trade playing field,” says Cross.

“Māori have a kete full of different products such as fish, timber, produce, fruits, meats, wool and they want to trade that kete whole as it is. The pathway to success is Māori and Mainstream.” 

FOMA which fosters the economic interests of Māori has an asset-base of around $11.5 billion.

With New Zealand already signing a bilateral agreement with the EU and UK, trading continues.

“There is potential impact to dairy meat, goods, services, wine, food, drink horticulture.”

“As FOMA, because we represent a good deal for Māori exporters both here in New Zealand and off-shore we will be watching the process and working very closely with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to Trade, NZ Trade and Enterprise and ministers on this particular matter.”

However, concerns remain with exporters such as Beef + Lamb New Zealand who have a quota to 28 European Countries including the UK. 

Beef + Lamb New Zealand General Manager Dave Harrison told Te Ao Māori News, "We're worried the quota won't be the same."