Apec New Zealand 99 Creates Maori Advisory Team

  • Don McKinnon
Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has created a Maori advisory team to ensure Maori take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the series of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in New Zealand next year.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Don McKinnon said today that former Ministry of Commerce Corporate Development Adviser Paora Ammunson had been appointed as an adviser to the Ministry 's APEC Division and Captain Robert Te Moana had moved from the New Zealand Defence Force to become the APEC Task Force's Maori Liaison Officer.

The APEC Division addresses policy issues relating to APEC, while the Task Force is charged with the organisation of next year's meetings.

Mr McKinnon said Mr Ammunson and Mr Te Moana would be responsible for involving Maori in APEC 99. Mr Ammunson would concentrate on policy issues and chairing the APEC Maori Issues Task Force, while Mr Te Moana would focus on communicating with Maori through the Task Force's Outreach Programme and ensuring tikanga (traditional aspects) and kawa (customs) were addressed.

"Fundamental to Mr Ammunson and Mr Te Moana's roles will be creating awareness of APEC among Maoridom and alerting Maori small and medium enterprises to the opportunities that APEC presents," he said.

"There will be liaison and consultation with all iwi, particularly those hosting APEC meetings next year: Ngati Whatua, Te Arawa, Ngai Tahu and Te Atiawa."

Mr Ammunson joins MFAT after two years at the Ministry of Commerce. Among his priorities were advising the Secretary of Commerce and overviewing the Ministry's recent restructuring. Prior to this, he was involved in policy areas for Te Puni Kokiri and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

He holds postgraduate Public Policy qualifications from Victoria University and is affiliated with Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Te Arawa and Ngati Rangitane.

Mr Te Moana has been with the New Zealand Defence Force for a decade, and is a Captain of the New Zealand Infantry Army. His tenure with the army has sent him to Angola, on a United Nations exercise, and the United Kingdom, working with British Forces.

Mr Te Moana has also worked extensively in the radio industry and was educated at Hato Paori Maori Boys' College in Feilding. His tribal affiliations are Ngati Tu Wharetoa and Tuhoe.