Hone Harawira asks Barack Obama to scrap TPPA

  • 31/07/2015
Hone Harawira (Simon Wong/3 News)
Hone Harawira (Simon Wong/3 News)

In characteristically casual fashion, Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has written an open letter to the President of the United States asking him to drop a major global trade deal.

It starts: "Hey hey, mah bruddah".

In the statement, Mr Harawira asks Barack Obama to reconsider endorsing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement because of fears from Maori it will mean making claims under the Treaty of Waitangi impossible.

"Maori aren't even allowed to look at the TPPA before it gets signed off, and from what we hear it'll compromise our sovereignty as Maori and as New Zealanders," it reads.

"And we hear this TPPA will take priority over our Treaty, and that we will be denied the rights guaranteed to us by the Treaty and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And that sucks!"

Mr Harawira briefly describes the treaty for Mr Obama and says Maori have been struggling to reclaim their land and rights for 175 years and the deal would only make that harder.

"So how about givin' us a break?" he asks.

But true to Mr Harawira's reputation, he also asks the US President to talk about the matter over a few drinks and some food.

"Let's go fishing, have a feed and a few beers, and between the two of us I betcha we can come with something that works."

Trade ministers are currently discussing the deal in Hawaii in what is considered a crucial round of negotiations if the agreement is to be signed before US presidential elections.

Concerns have been raised about the ability of companies to sue governments over law changes - causing fears about reduced sovereignty for nations.

"Anyway, gotta go - gotta pick up the mokos. Love to the whanau! Laterz bro," Mr Harawira signs off.

To read the full letter click here.

NZN