21 Oct 2021, 11:21

Britain, New Zealand agree trade deal, including haka clause

 LONDON, Oct 21, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - Britain and New Zealand have unveiled a
comprehensive free trade deal, including a commitment aimed at preventing the
revered Maori cultural tradition of the haka, famously performed by the All
Blacks, from being misused.

  The in-principle deal was sealed in a video call between British Prime
Minister Boris Johnson and his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern,
following 16 months of talks.

  Johnson said it was a "big moment" that strengthened Britain's friendship
with New Zealand and cemented London's ties in the Indo-Pacific.

  He likened negotiations for Britain's latest post-Brexit trade deal to a
rugby match.

  "I'm absolutely thrilled that we seem to have driven for the line, we've
scrummed down, we've packed tight and together we've got the ball over the
line," he said.

  Ardern continued the sporting analogy, saying Thursday that "unlike a rugby
match, I think we can literally both come off the field feeling like

  London said the deal ends tariffs on British exports such as clothing,
footwear, ships and bulldozers. It estimated that trade between the two
countries last year was worth o2.3 billion ($3.2 billion, 2.7 billion euros).

  Tariffs on goods coming the other way, such as wine, kiwifruit and meat,
will also be axed.

  "It's one of our best deals ever and secured at a crucial time in our Covid
recovery," Ardern said.

  The New Zealand leader praised provisions in the agreement aimed at
promoting Maori participation in trade and addressing indigenous concerns.

  They include a commitment by both countries to "identify appropriate ways
to advance recognition and protection of the haka Ka Mate".

  The haka is best known as the spectacular pre-match challenge issued by the
All Blacks, but it is also a revered cultural tradition among New Zealand's

  Indigenous communities -- particularly the Ngati Toa iwi (tribe) where Ka
mate originated -- have long resented the foot-stomping, eye-rolling
challenge being mocked or exploited for profit.

  Over the years, haka parodies have been used in Britain to sell everything
from menswear to alcopops -- all without permission and without a cent being
paid to the ritual's traditional owners.

  The deal will encourage more cultural sensitivity, with London agreeing to
formally recognise Ngati Toa's guardianship of the Ka Mate haka.

  New Zealand Rugby and Ngati Toa have been approached for comment.



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