Free trade agreement: New Zealand and the UK reach agreement in principle
Managing IP is part of Legal Benchmarking Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX
Copyright © Legal Benchmarking Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Free trade agreement: New Zealand and the UK reach agreement in principle

Sponsored by


Kathleen Henning and Kieran O’Connell of AJ Park describes the agreement in principle between New Zealand and the UK for the free trade agreement from an IP perspective

In June 2020, New Zealand started negotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with the UK. On October 20 2021, New Zealand and the UK reached an agreement in principle (AiP) to confirm the parameters of the deal.

The AiP does not create any legally binding obligations but indicates agreement on the key outcomes and parameters of the FTA. The AiP broadly aims to eliminate UK tariffs on New Zealand exports, increase trade and combat climate change. The AiP contains a section on intellectual property (IP), providing that:

  • New Zealand will extend the term of protection for copyright by 20 years, and will implement this change within 15 years of entry into force of the FTA;

  • The parties will adopt and maintain schemes relating to an artist’s resale rights;

  • The parties will adopt and maintain a public performance right for performers to cover communication to the public of sound records;

  • New Zealand will make all reasonable efforts to join the Hague Agreement on international registration of industrial designs;

  • The UK acknowledges that Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi is a foundational document of constitutional importance to New Zealand; and

  • The UK acknowledges the value of Māori IP and traditional knowledge and will work with New Zealand to identify appropriate ways to advance recognition and protection of the Haka Ka Mate.

Copyright provisions

The Copyright Act 1994 (New Zealand) provides that copyright in literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works lasts for the life of the creator plus 50 years. The FTA will extend this term of protection to 70 years, bringing New Zealand into line with the UK, US, and Australia.

New Zealand has also agreed to introduce a resale rights scheme for artists, allowing artists to receive royalty payments from their work in the same way as authors and songwriters. This right would last for the same period as copyright and entitle creators of original works of art (such as paintings, engravings and sculptures) to a royalty each time one of their works is resold through an auction house or art market professional.

Protecting Māori IP and the Haka Ka Mate

The FTA provides further that the UK will cooperate with New Zealand to identify appropriate ways to advance recognition and protection of the Haka Ka Mate.

The Haka Ka Mate is a ceremonial Māori dance or challenge that was composed by the Ngāti Toa Rangatira chief Te Rauparaha, a descendant of Hoturoa. In New Zealand, the Haka Ka Mate was formally recognised as a taonga (treasure) in 2014 through the Haka Ka Mate Attribution Act 2014 (NZ). The Act acknowledges the significance of Ka Mate as a taonga of Ngāti Toa Rangatira and creates a right of attribution where there is any publication of Ka Mate for commercial purposes or any communication of Ka Mate to the public.

The FTA may therefore require the UK to enact legislation similar to the Haka Ka Mate Attribution Act. The AiP provides further that the UK will provide a separate letter acknowledging Ngāti Toa Rangatira’s guardianship of the Haka Ka Mate.

Next steps

Once New Zealand and the UK conclude negotiations and the full text of the agreement is finalised, the agreement will be signed and ratified. At that stage, the agreement will enter into force and a plan will be developed for legal reform.


Kathleen Henning

Trademark executive, AJ Park 



Kieran O’Connell

Principal, AJ Park


more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

Lawyers in the corporate and IP practices discuss where the firm can steal a march on competitors, its growth plans in London, and why deal lawyers are ‘concertmasters’
Kathleen Gaynor, DEI specialist at Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick, says deliberate actions can help law firms reach diversity goals
Scott McKeown, who moved to Wolf Greenfield one year ago, says the change has helped him tap into life sciences work and advise more patent owners
The winners of our Asia-Pacific Awards 2024 will be revealed during a ceremony in Malaysia on September 26
Zach Piccolomini of Wolf Greenfield explains how to maximise your IP portfolio’s value while keeping an eye on competitors
Witnesses at a Congressional hearing debated whether reforming the ITC is necessary and considered what any changes should look like
In the first of a two-part UPC special, lawyers at A&O Shearman explain what you need to know about changes of procedural language and security for costs
Lawyers in the US and Europe reveal the work they focus on, how they stay one step ahead of creative counterfeiters, and why reputation matters
Abion said the appointment of Silvia Asioli and the launch of its Milan office will expand its market position in southern Europe
UK firms who have hired litigation and transactional lawyers reveal how they work together and the lessons have they learned
Gift this article