The New Zealand government released the draft text of the MAI to the public for comment on 24 October 1997 and announced its intention to consult with the Crown's Maori Treaty of Waitangi partner.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade and the the Ministry of Maori Development will jointly hold meetings with Maori tribes and organisations to discuss the implications of the MAI for Maori. The first meeting with Maori will commence in Wellington on 10 December and subsequent meetings will be held throughout the country until the end of March 1998.
The Government is adamant that the proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investment must preserve New Zealand's foreign investment laws whilst providing certainty for overseas traders and investors. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters emphasised that the agreement was only a draft and that a lot of negotiation and consultation would take place before any decision was made on signing. "The MAI cannot be invoked to undermine the Treaty of Waitangi provision" Mr. Peters said.
For further information contact:
Aroha Mead, Ministry of Maori Development (+64-4-494-7125)
Jonathan Schwass, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (+64-4-494-8500)