Māori intellectual, cultural rights 'only a step'
Associate Minister of Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta has announced almost $28 million to help enact the recommendations of Wai 262 across legislation and the public service as part of Budget spending.
Wai 262 calls for protection and authority over indigenous species, traditional knowledge, Māori symbols, designs, and other cultural property.
It was the first contemporary claim filed with the Waitangi Tribunal in 1991. That set off off a 20-year inquiry during which several of the original claimants and a presiding officer died.
The tribunal released its report, Ko Aotearoa Tēnei, in 2011. It recommended the government establish a new commission to protect Māori cultural works from unauthorised commercial use.
It also recommended that laws covering te reo Māori, resource management, patents and environmental protection be amended.
It wasn't until 2019 that the government published its first response to the claim, creating Te Pae Tawhiti to examine both legislation and the wider public service.