Delamere says TPPA Tribunal finding "was always going to happen"

By Harata Brown

Former Immigration Minister Tuariki Delamere says the Waitangi Tribunal's latest finding into the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Treaty clause was totally predictable.

Delamere is no stranger to immigration policy. He says the Tribunal's latest decision could be seen from a mile away.

"I think it was clear as a bell it was always going to happen. You know when I read about all the whanau protesting that it's against the Treaty, I decided that I'll read that and find that clause. I didn't bother with the rest of it. Who's going to bother with 6000 pages for goodness sake?" says Delamere.

The Waitangi Tribunal found that the Treaty of Waitangi clause in the TPPA provides a reasonable degree of protection to Māori interests. Delamere says it should be Pakeha's jumping up and down over the TPPA, not Māori. 

"Look, I would have expected the Act Party, you know Banksie and whoever else, Mike Hosking jumping up and down and outraged that Maori are getting favourable treatment under the TPPA. But all that says to me is that they ain't read it either," says Delamere.

Expert Claimant Professor Jane Kelsey says the Tribunals arguments highlight major concerns for Maori but the final decision was disappointing.

"In the end, they (Tribunal) said that the exception the Government included provides reasonable protection. From my mind that's a very low level of guarantee to Maori, " says Professor Jane Kelsey.

Contrary to both Delamere and Kelsey's position on the Treaty Clause finding, both agree that the right of foreign investors to bring claims against the New Zealand government will have serious implications for New Zealand.