Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Patent Law's 'Foreshore' To Go To Maori

Patent Law's 'Foreshore' To Go To Maori

The Labour Cabinet's proposed Maori veto over inventions `likely to be contrary to Maori values' is more sinister than this week's planned fudging of seabed and foreshore ownership, ACT New Zealand Associate Commerce Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"While Cabinet papers don't give full details, a similar scheme has just been passed in the new Trademarks Act. The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand will have to consider whether patent applications appear to be derived from indigenous plants or animals, or traditional knowledge," Mr Franks said.

"Current seabed claims assert property interests that could be compatible with genuine wealth creation. But a patent blocking power is destructive. If Maori representatives are stupid, they will block new technology they fear or don't fancy. But that is unlikely - the $250,000 a year Maori Advisory Committee is more likely to become a toll collector, blocking only enough high profile inventions to frighten everyone into `cultural sensitivity consultation' and negotiation fees to favoured cultural advisors.

"Entrepreneurs, impatient pioneers, determined scientists and inventors will get the message - if you can't be bothered with superstitious gibberish, go to a country that respects genuine knowledge, genuine intellectual property and inventiveness.

"The Maori veto in the Trademarks Act is simple racism - but damage can be avoided, at the cost of Maori culture, by just shunning symbols that look Maori.

"But the Patents Act contains serious stuff for a pretend `knowledge economy'. A cultural veto effectively concedes the infamous WAI 262 Waitangi Tribunal demand for Maori control of native plants and animals. It makes our patent law a joke.

"Intellectual property law is designed to reward research, invention and creation - not to scrape off rents for doing nothing. That is why copyrights, trademarks and patents all expire - so inventors have to keep making and finding new useful things.

"Tacking a race veto or taxing power onto an intellectual property law `reform' tells the world that New Zealand's claimed `knowledge economy' is just blather. Knowledge economies don't subject research, inventiveness, and hard work to a stone age technology veto," Mr Franks said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news