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Growing Maori exports on agenda for Hastings Summit

February 18, 2017

Exports to China from Maori led businesses are set for a major boost following the inaugural Taniwha Dragon Economic Summit in Hastings next week.

Official figures show goods exported by Māori authorities were worth $485 million in 2015, with almost $200 million of those going to China.

At the Summit, hosted by Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi and attended by Prime Minister Bill English, senior Chinese business representatives will network with Maori business leaders to explore opportunities across a range of sectors.

The New Zealand China Council is sponsoring the summit in recognition of the economic potential for Maori exports to China. Council Chair Sir Don McKinnon will provide the opening address on Sunday.

Council Executive Director Stephen Jacobi will also attend the summit: he says Maori and Chinese have a cultural affinity which make them natural business partners.

“We’ve seen Maori owned companies partner with China to export milk, meat, lobsters, seafood and more. These partnerships bring well paid jobs and growth to many regions and there is huge scope for future development,” Mr Jacobi says.

In a recent video interview, Ngāti Kahungunu Chair and China Council Executive Board Member Ngahiwi Tomoana said the Chinese have expectations of long term business relationships with Maori.

“We Maori will never sell our land. That gives the opportunity for Chinese investors not to have to have provide capital expenditure for land. We can do joint ventures above the land, in plant and in marketing.”

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