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Follow-up hui for Maori businesses

'All the negotiators should bring themselves back to the people'.

An opportunity for trade negotiators to discuss what matters to Maori face-to-face is hugely encouraging, says the Te Taumata chair.

Chris Karamea Insley heads the engagement forum Te Taumata that was established towards the end of last year to work with Maori businesses to deliver better trade outcomes for Maori and a more prosperous future for whanau and communities.

He will be in Gisborne on July 2 for the second of four regional hui organised by Te Taumata.

Mr Insley said the hui was a chance for trade negotiators to go back to Maori and have face-to-face discussions about Maori interests.

“Te Taumata told the Government that instead of having Maori go to Wellington and sitting in front of officials to speak about trade, we would turn it on its head.

“All the negotiators will bring themselves back to the people.”

Last year discussions started in Government about the Maori economy.

The Government concluded they should go and talk face-to-face with Maori.

This triggered a process of going around New Zealand and getting a view from Maori business and whanau about whether trade is important.

“We heard from whanau that these discussions are really important and they felt they didn't have a voice in the trade negotiations,” Mr Insley said.

Four regional hui were agreed on for 2020.

The first was in Rotorua before the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown.

The Gisborne event is the second.

One in four jobs in New Zealand is a result from international trade.

“As Maori we have been involved in all forms of industry, like farming, forestry and fisheries,” Mr Insley said.

Maori had been involved in industry and trade for over 70 years.

“Most of the produce from those activities is destined for international markets. Thousands of jobs for Maori are directly related to trade.”

The hui at the Emerald Hotel on July 21 would be a chance for whanau to speak about how trade agreements affect them, and for them to share what is important to Maori, Mr Insley said.

“Come along and have a korero together on the issues, opportunities and trade strategies with New Zealand's lead trade negotiators, other international trade leaders and Te Tairawhiti business leaders.”

It was important for negotiators to be aware of what mattered to Maori while negotiating with trade partners.

People attending the hui would have the opportunity to find out what is happening with global and regional trading blocs like the UK, Europe, the US, China and other parts of Asia.

They will also hear about the strategies being formulated to navigate these challenges.

Participants can register for the all-day, free event on the Te Taumata Facebook page. Registrations on the day will be taken from 8.30am.

Te Taumata Hui: A free event at the Emerald hotel