Taurua, a prominent Nga Puhi elder at Waitangi’s Te Tii Marae, has
sent a formal notice of veto of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
agreement to the embassies and trade departments of its proposed
partner countries, and has requested that the Queen intervene on the
document cites the Treaty of Waitangi and the 1835 Declaration of
Independence of New Zealand, and states that the New Zealand
government does not have “due authority” to sign the TPPA without
the agreement of Maori elders, “which [agreement] has not been
Taurua claims that the TPPA would be void in respect of New Zealand’s
involvement as a result, should it be signed.
public release of the document comes just a day before the TPPA
is due to be signed in Auckland, New Zealand on February 4 by
visiting politicians from countries around the Pacific.
Taurua is currently meeting with other Maori elders at Te Tii Marae
in preparation for a visit by John Key, prime minister of New
Zealand, and other government officials on Waitangi Day, February 6,
after the scheduled signing.
has previously stated that Mr Key would not be allowed onto the marae
if the controversial trade agreement was signed, although a trustee
for the marae stated on February 2 that Mr Key would be allowed onto
is thought that the notice sent to the partner countries of the TPPA
is being discussed at the marae in anticipation of the visit, as the
document asks the Queen to stand in opposition to the agreement with
Mr Taurua “and those other Rangatira o Te Whakaminenga o Ngā Hapū
o Nu Tireni” – referring to the other chiefs gathered at the
marae – that “agree to … my position”.
document says that he “requests and requires” the Queen to
intervene and act as “Protector” of New Zealand’s sovereignty
from “attempts on the sovereignty of our Independent State” by
“overseas corporate interests”. At least one other elder has
already countersigned the document.
language of the document echoes that of the Declaration of
Independence, which was signed by Mr Taurua’s ancestor, Pareha of
Ngati Rehia. He says that another ancestor of his, Te Kemara, was a
signatory of the Maori version of the Treaty of Waitangi 1840.
year the Waitangi Tribunal found that Maori did
not cede sovereignty when
they signed the Treaty of Waitangi, and it is apparently this
sovereignty by descent – or tino rangatiratanga – that Mr Taurua
is claiming he is able to use to formally veto the trade agreement.
document closes by stating that Mr Taurua “does not give [his]
permission to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement being signed in
Auckland” by the visiting officials from overseas “which position
I take to the full extent of my right to regulate trade in that
which was approved by the Queen’s predecessor King William IV and
ratified by the British government, states that Maori elders would
gather at Waitangi each autumn in order to regulate trade.