The Waitangi Tribunal says the Treaty of Waitangi clause in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) should provide a reasonable degree of protection to Māori interests.
The Tribunal has released its Report on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the free-trade agreement between New Zealand and 11 other Pacific Rim countries.
A clause in the TPPA allows the Crown to take measures it deems necessary to accord more favourable treatment of Māori, including in fulfilment of the Treaty of Waitangi.
The Tribunal says the inclusion of Treaty clauses in the TPPA and earlier trade agreements is to the credit of successive New Zeland governments.
The report follows a hearing in Wellington from 14 to 18 March 2016. Claimants before the Tribunal said the clause would not protect their Treaty rights, and that the TPPA gave too much power to foreign investors.
The Tribunal for the hearing consisted of Judge Michael Doogan, David Cochrane, Tania Simpson, Tā Tāmati Reedy, and Sir Douglas Kidd.