February 21, 2019
Māori key role in China relations
The chair of Ngāti Kahungunu says linking culture and commerce is a better way to maintain relations with China that the current Government approach.
As chair of the former Goverment's Māori Economic Development Taskforce Ngahiwi Tomoana, Ngahiwi Tomoana participated in several Māori trade missions to China as well as hosting the Taniwha Dragon Economic Summit alongside Te Matatini 2017 in Heretaunga.
He says the current Government seems to be taking a eurocentric view of the world, hugging the United States and United Kingdom rather than embracing China.
Māori need to draw on ancestral and cultural connections to China to build stronger relationships.
"I think the current view is these cultural relationships don't count for much but we of the national iwi chairs are of the view culture and commerce are twins and that we merge them together and build a strong fabric under the radar of these geopolitical movements between the US and China," Mr Tomoana says.
He believes the Māori component of the New Zealand trade missions has enabled the wider New Zealand business community to enjoy greater access into regions previously off limits.
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