March 11, 2016
Commerce twinned with culture
The chair of Ngati Kahungunu Inc says culture and commerce are twin paths to Maori advancement.
The Wairoa to Wairarapa iwi yesterday hosted a Takitimu economic summit yesterday to look at options for development.
Ngahiwi Tomoana says the two tier-nature of the tribe’s settlement has given Ngati Kahungunu Inc an asset base of about $100 million from over-arching claims like fisheries, while the individual hapu clusters have a total of about $400 million from historical land claims.
He says the challenge now is to grow the wealth of not just the iwi and hapu but the individual whanau, and tradition can offer clues.
"Our people sailed from island to island. They traded all the way down. So all the tikanga, all the reo and all the language of that time in the sailing traditions are also trading languages. We need to bring that back into our current understanding of the economy because we seem to divorce culture from the economy. We seem to think the economy is something out there that those other people talk about," Mr Tomoana says.
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