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Pita Sharples

19 November, 2012

Māori Economic Development Unit to strengthen New Zealand economy

Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples says the establishment of a Māori Economic Development Unit in the new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will provide a new focus for New Zealand’s economic growth.

“The Māori economy is gaining strength, and revealing its potential to contribute to the New Zealand economy,” said Dr Sharples.

“Our traditional land-based assets are generating greater returns to owners, and supporting the development of the people through education scholarships, employment and in other ways.”

“As Māori enterprises enter export markets, our people are showing that Māori culture is a strong basis for establishing inter-personal and cultural bonds that underpin business relationships. This is natural for Maori, and a strategy that New Zealand Inc. can adopt as well,” he said.

“The new Māori Unit will also have staff seconded from Te Puni Kokiri to progress this work, and with its independent Advisory Board, it will be an obvious point of contact for the private sector, Māori enterprises and other agencies who are working in partnership to implement the strategy and action plan.”

“The establishment of this unit marks the third phase of the Government’s Māori Economic Development programme, which started in early 2009 with the Māori Economic Summit Conference, which established a Māori Economic Taskforce, leading to the Māori Economic Development Panel which has produced this strategy and action plan,” said Dr Sharples.

“It is good to see this work being consolidated, and I acknowledge my Cabinet colleagues, in particular the Minister of Finance Bill English, the Minister for Economic Development, Steven Joyce, and the former Minister for Economic Development David Carter for their endorsement and support.”