General Conference Information and Objectives

Ngā Taonga Tuku Iho:
Our Past, Our Future, Our Legacy

16-18 September 2018 Nelson, Aotearoa New Zealand

It’s been 25 years since the Mataatua Declaration (on the Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples) was developed, 26 years since the WAI-262 Indigenous Flora and Fauna Waitangi Tribunal Claim was lodged and 7 years since the Tribunal released its’ Ko Aotearoa Tēnei’ report on the claim, and yet, are we any clearer about accessing, utiising and benefit-sharing of taonga Māori – indigenous flora and fauna and Māori iconography, artforms and te reo?

Is this generation doing enough to safeguard the heritage of future generations? Cultural misappropriation is still occuring on a regular basis nationally and globally.The same is true for indigenous peoples throughout the world. New Zealand’s intellectual property laws and practices are still not addressing the core issues Māori have been consistently raising.  It is timely to meet, discuss, debate and develop our own responses, protocols and key messages for legal reform.

Conference Objectives

At the end of this conference, the participants will understand Māori relationships with ngā taonga tuku iho specifically:

  • the impact of current legislation framework on Māori relationship with ngā taonga tuku iho on Māori
  • the impact of misuse and misappropriation
  • learn about past initiatives of Maori to restore their relationships including the Mataatua Declaration and the WAI 262 claim
  • learn about current NZ initiatives to acknowledge Māori relationship including the Māori Advisory Committees under IPONZ  
  • learn about current international initiatives including the Intergovernmental Committee at WIPO and UNDRIP
  • learn about current threats to the protection including current Crown policy and legal developments such as the review of the Plant Varieties Act, possible accession of NZ to UPOV 91, CPTPP, etc
  • review current proposals on maintaining these relationship including whānau, hapū, Iwi, Māori mātauranga and customary use databases, biobanks, seed depositories or a national Māori Intellectual Property Commission, and other proposals
  • inform participants on how to use intellectual property to protect these relationships, without compromising kawa, tikanga, and Māori values
  • develop strategies to ensure there are sufficient safeguards across the legal framework to protect from misuse and misappropriation




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Intellectual Property

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