The Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta, announced last week that the New Zealand Government is developing a whole-of-government approach to the issues raised in the Wai 262 claim and subsequent Waitangi Tribunal report, Ko Aotearoa Tēnei. The Government is committed to making progress on Wai 262 issues and wants to embark on a fresh approach to address these important issues for all New Zealanders.
Wai 262 considered the parties who are entitled to make or participate in decisions affecting indigenous flora and fauna, the environment, Māori culture and the products of Māori culture. Ko Aotearoa Tēnei discusses many of these kaupapa and lays down a wero for the Crown and Māori to advance their relationship as Treaty partners in a positive and future-focused way.
This work is at an early stage. It will involve numerous conversations between Māori and the Crown over a number of years and at several different levels.
More information about the announcement is available on the Te Puni Kōkiri website.
The work programme proposed for the new whole-of-government approach includes current reviews of intellectual property legislation, such as:
- The Plant Variety Rights (PVR) Act 1987, which touches on issues related to taonga species and Māori rights in international treaty negotiations. The PVR review will continue to be advanced by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) alongside the whole-of-government Wai 262 work programme due to deadlines imposed by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
- Disclosure of Origin requirements for Patents. The Government is proposing to bring policy development on this requirement within the whole-of-government work programme.
- The Copyright Act 1994. As part of its review, MBIE sought views on ways the Crown might work with Māori to develop a new system for protecting interests in taonga works and mātauranga Māori. This kaupapa is now proposed for inclusion within the whole-of-government approach to Wai 262 issues.
MBIE has a new page on its website which will provide on-going information on how these intellectual property legislation reviews will be coordinated within the broader Wai 262 mahi, led by Te Puni Kōkiri.
If you have any queries about the whole-of-government response to Wai 262 issues, please contact Te Puni Kōkiri at firstname.lastname@example.org