Tāngata Whenua Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty

Tāngata Whenua Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty

The Tāngata Whenua Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty (TWC) is a collaborative forum of Māori plastic pollution experts including scientists, researchers, educators, and community leaders committed to upholding He Whakaputanga, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Mātauranga and Tikanga Māori and ensuring the effective participation and representation of Tāngata Whenua throughout the United Nations Global Plastics Treaty (GPT) development and implementation processes.


Protect Aotearoa and Te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa from plastic pollution by supporting the development of an effective Global Plastics Treaty that respects Indigenous self-determination and sovereignty, honours the pre-existing rights and personhood of te Taiao and Tāngata Whenua, and holds space for independent Māori participation throughout Global Plastics Treaty processes

Work alongside other Indigenous nations, civil society groups, scientists, and government delegates to ensure that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous science and knowledge systems underpin the Global Plastics Treaty and Indigenous Peoples’ are appropriately positioned and resourced to lead responses to plastic pollution in their Land and Ocean territories

Support the implementation of strong upstream and systemic measures to end plastic pollution, including the significant reduction of poylmer and chemical production globally, investment in the top of the zero waste hierarchy (redesign, reduce, reuse, refill, repair), and a justice-based transition away from plastics and petrochemical dependency worldwide

June 2023: TWC representatives Juressa Lee and Matt Peryman co-hosting the Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus’ side event at INC-2 in Paris, France

The primary goal of the TWC is to hold space for independent Māori participation in the GPT process. Our diverse membership includes a wide range of expertise on plastic pollution, zero waste, and circular economic development, with the experience of many leading pollution and environmental organisations including the Aotearoa Plastic Pollution Alliance, Para Kore, Para Kore ki Tamaki, EcoMatters, Greenpeace Aotearoa, Reuse Aotearoa, Break Free From Plastic, and several NZ universities.

The TWC is closely associated with several organisations working on the GPT, including the Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus (IPC), the Scientists’ Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty (SCEPT), the Plastic Treaty Coalition, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), and the wider Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) movement.

Our mahi involves regular hui and wānanga to develop our negotiating positions, submission writing, and attending and informing bi-annual Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) meetings. We work closely with Tāngata Tiriti plastic pollution specialists as well as with the NZ Government delegation from the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

November 2023: Juressa Lee and Matt Peryman with Rotuman scientist Rufino Varea at INC-3 in Nairobi, Kenya

November 2023: Matt Peryman and Juressa Lee met with the NZ Government delegation from the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade during INC-3 in Nairobi, Kenya

As Tāngata Whenua we have the right to exercise rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga including in the development of policy that affects our taonga. This is affirmed through our own tikanga as well as agreements such as Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). As with all Indigenous Peoples, Tāngata Whenua also have the right to protect our science, knowledge systems, and culture, as was reaffirmed with the Wai 262 claim.

The TWC does not represent Hapū or Iwi and our mahi does not in any way fulfill the NZ Governments’ statutory responsibilities under Te Tiriti o Waitangi to partner with Hapū and Iwi.

We welcome applications from all independent Māori plastic pollution experts interested in working on the Global Plastics Treaty, please contact our coordinator Matt Peryman: mjperyman@gmail.com

May 2024: Juressa Lee and Matt Peryman organised and hosted the Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus press event during INC-4 in Ottawa, Canada


Development Timeline

INC-128 Nov – 2 Dec 2022Punta del Esta, Uruguay
INC-229 May – 2 June 2023Paris, France
INC-313 – 19 Nov 2023Nairobi, Kenya
INC-423 – 29 Apr 2024Ottawa, Canada
INC-525 Nov – 1 Dec 2024Busan, South Korea

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