Change to Therapeutic Products Bill a huge win for Māori

After much pressure from rongoā Māori practitioners, health advocates, Māori health providers, patients, and Te Pāti Māori, the Government has today announced significant changes to the Therapeutic Products Bill.

The legislation will now exempt rongoā Māori practitioners and small-scale Natural Health Product (NHP) manufacturers. An advisory committee of rongoā experts and Māori health leaders will be established to ensure the regulation of our rongoā and mātauranga remains in Māori hands.

“Te Pāti Māori have opposed the inclusion of rongoā in the legislation from day one. Bringing it into Pākehā law would criminalise our rongoā practitioners and tohunga, just like the Crown did with the Tohunga Suppression Act” said Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
“Rongoā Māori is a Tiriti-protected taonga that must be protected from Crown interference.

“It’s good to see the Minister has finally caved to the demands of our people, exempting our rongoā practitioners from the Act” said Ngarewa-Packer.

“I want to acknowledge the thousands of people who have stood up against this attack on our mātauranga. The 16,000 submitters, the 5,000 petitioners, and the hikoi who came to Parliament with a clear message to the Crown: ‘keep your hands off our rongoā!’
“This would not have happened without the people” Ngarewa-Packer said.