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

 


Sharples: Geographical Indications Bill

Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Bill

Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader, Maori Party

Thursday 3 August 2006

Four days ago, the nation willingly contributed to the extinction of the last living representative of the reptilian order.

And before anyone starts talking out about Fred and Wilma, Barney and Betty, or even little Dino, let me tell you what I’m talking about.

The Maori Party acknowledges the demise of a tupuna, who is the sole survivor from a lineage stretching back around over 225 million years ago.

A tupuna who up until Monday graced our five cents coins. The Tuatara, the unique living fossil which exist today in their ancestral home of Takapourewa (Stephens Island) in the Cook Straits.

The survival of the tuatara was threatened by habitat loss, introduced animals and global warming, and now it seems, the de-commissioning of currency.

But for Ngati Koata, of the Marlborough Sounds, protection and rights of the tuatara had nothing to do with the Reserve Bank.

Indeed, it was the concern they had over the failure of the Crown to protect the exercise of tino rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga over their indigenous flora and fauna, such as the tuatara, that saw them join with Ngati Kuri, Ngati Wai, Te Rarawa, Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu to present the 262nd claim lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal - known as WAI 262.

For Ngati Koata, their iwi responsibilities of kaitiakitanga have seen them care for the tuatara without the need for the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Bill.

And so it was that when local wine-producer, Waimea Estates, first announced their latest wine would be launched with the Tuatara label, that Ngati Koata upheld their kaitiaki responsibilities to provide protection for the geographical indication of their ancestral name.

Such was the significance of the authenticity of that name, the identity, the whakapapa of the tuatara, that Ngati Koata were able to impress upon Waimea Estate, a recognition of their ownership, control and protection of their cultural and intellectual property.

And so it came to be that on 5 June 2006, Waimea Estate introduced a new label in the United States with a flashy launch at the New Zealander Restaurant in Alameda, California. The latest addition from the Waimea winecellar - the Spinyback label.

It was a win-win all round.

Ngati Koata retain the naming rights of their customary and intellectual heritage rights associated with the tuatara.

Waimea Estates capitalises on a unique brand, and an arrangement was worked out between the wine-producer and the iwi, to ensure that Ngati Koata also benefit the use of their intellectual property rights.

And it’s going to be a good deal more than a five cent coin.

All this was achieved before this Bill ever saw the light of day.

The Bill sets in place legislative obligation to provide protection for ‘geographical indications’; location specific “naming rights”, which the TRIPS agreement classifies as intellectual property.

The TRIPS agreement, the World Trade Office Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights creates the incentive to establish an effective administrative system to establish, process and maintain registration; to deal to restrictions on use of geographical indications and exemptions; and to set in place an appeals process to challenge decisions by the registrar, if necessary.

Well that’s a lot of words, and systems, and processes, and administration for what Ngati Koata and Waimea Estate seem to have done pretty much on their own already.

Don’t get me wrong - the Maori Party believes that geographical indicators have the most potential of all the provisions in the TRIPS agreement to benefit indigenous peoples.

In their essence, they could offer protection and rights over the regionally based products and produce of hapu and iwi.

But this Bill is not about protection of indigenous crops.

It is not about the legal, customary rights of biological and genetic resources, of indigenous and taonga species.

It does not cover pohutukawa, koromiko (hebe); kumara, puawananga (clematis), indigenous forests, kereru (pigeon), pupuharakeke (flax snail), or the tuatara.

It is about wine - which is not indigenous to Aotearoa.

But that’s not why we’re opposed to this Bill.

It comes back to the questions asked by the WAI 262 claimants, Dell Wihongi, Haana Murray, the late John Hippolite, the late Tama Poata, Katarina Rimene and the late Te Witi McMath.

They have asked does the law or trade marks in Aotearoa recognise kaitiakitanga?

Is the use of the trade mark registration system by third parties in relation to taonga works, particularly design and symbols, a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi or its principles?

What about the scope of the Mataatua Declaration on Cultural and Intellectual property rights of Indigenous Peoples - or the draft Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - how do these international treaties enhance the protection, preservation, control, use, development, regulation of matauranga Maori?

The Mataatua Declaration signed at Whakatane in 1993 recognises the importance of self-determination to enabling indigenous peoples to protect our culture, customs and intellectual property rights.

You see, there are already protective mechanisms in place. There is already the flora and fauna and cultural intellectual property claim before the Tribunal.

The draft declaration of indigenous peoples of the United Nations - which to their shame, this Government has shied away from - states that

“Indigenous people are entitled to the recognition of the full ownership, control and protection of the cultural and intellectual property”.

That means, in plain English, Maori words and names.

And yet what we have in this Bill, is a proposal put up to safeguard and preserve the name, ‘Marlborough’, as one of the foremost Sauvignon blanc wine regions in the world.

The bill will preserve the uniqueness of the location called Marlborough.

But wait just a minute. What about Marlborough, just west of Boston? Or Marlborough of Wiltshire, England?

And while we’re talking about original names, what about Kenepuru, Te Tai Tapu, Te Wairau, Awatere - the names of the original peoples, the mana whenua, of this area, Marlborough.

If we’re looking for trade names, let’s look at the registration of Awatere Terrace Vineyards in this area. This Bill, introduces the first-in-time, first-in right principle, for determining which right has the priority.

So theoretically, Awatere Terrace Vineyards - who were first in - can use the word Awatere; and Tohu Vines, the first indigenous wine company producing wine for domestic and export markets, would be deprived of that right, their own name.

The name, Awatere, comes from their whakapapa.

Yet this Bill we are discussing today, might prevent Tohu wines from using their own name, their name passed down along whakapapa lines.

The Bill does state that in very limited circumstances, there is the potential of a later-filed geographical indication to be registered despite a pre-existing trade mark having priority.

In determining whether a later-filed geographical indication is to be registered, the Registrar considers such things as the legitimate interests of the owner of the trade mark and of third parties, and other factors, which may include international considerations.

Yet given the appalling recent record overseas of this Government, in the increasingly hostile position towards indigenous peoples and our right to self-determination, one wonders if cultural appropriation would cause any concern.

Indeed, one wonders if the Government is opening the gate for cultural appropriation and the denigration of indigenous people to be acceptable.

Let’s recap - deleting the Treaty from legislation; deleting the Treaty from education; removing Maori arts from the curriculum; foreshore and seabed…..shall we go on?

The Maori Party recognises the tino rangatiratanga of hapu and iwi in relation to their own cultural heritage rights and taonga.
And because of that recognition, we will not support this Bill.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news