LA-Guangzhou-Auckland summit opportunity for Maori economy


16 MAY 2016




Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell this morning shared the stage with Mayors from Los Angeles, Guangzhou and Auckland to discuss further developing the cities’ cultural and economic relationships.


Mr Flavell, along with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Guangzhou Vice Mayor Wang Dong and Auckland Mayor Len Brown, came together at the Tripartite Economic Summit in Auckland which celebrates the relationships between the three sister cities.


Mr Flavell says the summit is a timely and welcome way to build on the relationships Māori-owned businesses are building in Guangzhou and Los Angeles.


“The Summit’s theme ‘Making Connections’ fits very well with Māori culture,” he says.


“For Māori, relationships are about mana. We are a people whose connections manifest through practices such as hongi where we like to hear your heart, not just slick words.


“Mana enhancing relationships are all about trust, honesty, respect, and dignity, and that is gauged by connections of the heart.


“We must also look after people, then we will all flourish,” he says.


Mr Flavell says that more than ever, Māori are focussed on economic development.


“The Māori economy has a blueprint to be a productive, innovative, export-oriented and internationally connected powerhouse.  The government strategy is called He kai kei aku ringa, a metaphor for the self-determination of our people which literally means ‘growing food by our own hands’,” he says.


The Māori economy is substantial within New Zealand totalling around $42 billion and growing across a range of industries, including a considerable share or the forestry, fishing, farming and horticulture sectors.


Mr Flavell says one in four Māori live and work in Auckland, making the city a crucial economic engine for the Māori economy.


“And as important sister cities, Los Angeles and Guangzhou are key economic partners as we spread our wings internationally. With combined economies totalling $1 trillion annually, iwi and Māori have a considerable opportunity to contribute”


“Māori companies have the strengths of relationship building and storytelling to build rapport with global consumers.”




Media Contact: Sean Gillespie 021 992 315

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