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Aotearoa Horticulture/Fresh NZ 2000 Presentation

Speech For Hon Parekura Horomia
Minister of Maori Affairs
Aotearoa Horticulture/Fresh NZ 2000 Presentation
23 November 2000, Omahu Marae


 Mihi.

 The task of balancing "things Maori" with "things business" is a very delicate one.

 One should enhance the other, not compromise or hinder progress.

 I'm pleased to see that Aotearoa Horticulture Ltd and Fresh NZ 2000 Ltd are striving to find the balance.

 The thing that makes New Zealand distinctly different is "Maori". Other countries can promote clean and green. Other countries can promote nuclear-free.

 Only New Zealand can promote "Maori".

 And Mäori businesses need to look outwards to a wider community - both nationally and internationally.
 We already have successful examples of branding Mäori business for the international market. The House of Tahu brand to name one.
 The Mäori Commercial asset base is worth around 8-10 billion dollars and growing and our cutting edge for this century is to utilise our collective strength.
 Maori have historically been recognised as experts at doing business - giving good customer service.
 Mix this with our desire to sustainably manage our own resources and we have the potential to lead in business especially in the primary production sector.
 By improving services and adding value we can supply both the local and global market place.
 Through branding and creating choice in the market place - Mäori business has an opportunity to be a tool to improve outcomes for individuals, whanau, hapu and iwi.
 With a sound economic basis significant inroads can be made to improve outcomes for Mäori.
 Now is the time for us to seize our opportunities and make them work.

 Employment is very important to me

 There is a need for real jobs so people can support themselves and their families.

 The creation of jobs is key to this Government’s policy.

 As you know, in communities with high levels of unemployment and benefit dependency, unemployment is just one aspect of broader social and economic difficulties.

 My vision for Mäori is simple – I want to see them owning their own businesses, in real jobs, with the right skills and based on strong principles of tikanga.

 Both Mäori and non-Mäori leadership needs to get real about making sure that we develop initiatives that are by Mäori for Mäori.

 We are seeing a new era in economic development. Central and local government are looking at different ways to improve the well-being of the communities they serve.

 This needs to be done in partnership with the private sector, community groups and Mäori economic entities.

 The Tairawhiti Development taskforce is an example of community leadership.

 For me it is about:
 local solutions to local problems
 bottom-up development
 effective partnerships
 community ownership
 a holistic approach
 increasing community capacity to capitalise on opportunities for development
 developing leaders and entrepreneurs.


 This government has a strong commitment to enhancing Mäori economic and business development.

 We know that increasing the rate of Mäori business formation, survival and growth is not only good for Mäori, it is good for the whole economy.

 This government knows that small businesses are the building blocks of the economy and is committed to encouraging a more favourable environment for the development of small businesses.

 We are also keen to implement initiatives that improve the competitiveness of small businesses.

 I believe the role of government agencies is to encourage and assist Mäori to participate in the private sector thereby contributing effectively to growth in jobs, income and the wealth of this country.

 I am confident that the directions this government is taking in encouraging the growth of small business will lead to increased participation by Mäori in the commercial sector.

 Our future must be one of a high skills, high employment and value-added economy. We need to be able to adapt to international trends and make full use of our famous Maori ingenuity.

Conclusion

 I don’t want to pretend that everything in the garden is rosy.

 We know there are gaps between Mäori and non-Mäori – there can be no argument about that.

 My intention over the next three years is to work hard to improve opportunities and close those gaps.

 I am concerned that everyone gets a chance to participate in the economic prosperity being generated.

 I believe that communities have a lot to offer in the development of local solutions and opportunities, and in helping to reverse the social exclusion and hardship of many New Zealanders.

 I also believe that by Mäori, for Mäori will give us a strong basis for going forward. What is good for Mäori is good for New Zealand.

Thank you.

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