November 20, 2012
Economic plan links culture to commerce
The chair of the Māori Economic Development Panel says Māori need to recover their spirit of resilience and self determination.
The Government has endorsed the panel's He Kai Kei Aku Ringa action plan, setting up a Māori unit in the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment to drive the strategy.
Ngahiwi Tomoana says short term the strategy is about finding successful ways Māori businesses can work both with emerging businesses and with wider sector players like Fonterra.
Long term there needs to be an investment in education so the next generations of Māori are strong in both culture and commerce.
"The last 150 years we have been fighting to retain land, language, love of our culture. We haven't focused on economic development and now is the time. We can take the front foot, not forgetting our social obligations, but we need a pull through as well as a push," Mr Tomoana says.
He says the Māori economy is underperforming, but people need to understand it has different drivers than the main economy.
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