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Celebrating Maori women in business

13 April 2004 Media release

Celebrating Maori women in business and economic development for Mana Wahine week

"It's time we celebrated Maori achievements in economic development, and the great contribution made by Maori women in business, as my colleague Ruth Dyson, Minister of Women's Affairs, declares Mana Wahine week officially open this afternoon," Jim Anderton, Minister of Economic development said today.

"The crucial fact is that New Zealand’s future economic success will become more and more dependent upon Maori economic development as Maori become a greater proportion of our workforce. Unless that percentage of the workforce is very successful, is highly educated, well trained and highly skilled, the New Zealand economy has no future whatever.

"The good news is that when Maori are succeeding economically they invest in New Zealand. They invest in the regions of New Zealand where that success has a real pay off.

"The Maori workforce and Maori business produces about $700 million of New Zealand’s total agricultural output, that’s 7.4 per cent. Two hundred and ninety-nine million is produced of the domestic fishing quota, that is 37 per cent and Maori control 10 per cent of New Zealand Forestry holdings.

"Maori are involved in most of our Major Regional Development Partnerships that we’re implementing at the moment. For example: in Northland the tourism major regional initiative; the Waikato Innovation Centre is built on Tainui land with Tainui contribution. I just opened the Marlborough Wine Centre last week and the Whakatu Incorporation is intimately involved in that; Ngati Kahungunu, who are on the Governance Board of the Hawkes Bay Centre of Excellence in food and wine production and processing; Ngai Tahu are a vital component of the Nelson Seafood cluster and in Wanganui-Rangitikei-Ruapehu, the Regional Tourism project has 12 Hapu and three councils working closely together. Wherever you look, Maori are integral to the economic development of New Zealand," Jim Anderton said.

The Ministry of Women’s Affairs introduced Mana Wahine week in 1993, both the International Year of Indigenous People and Women’s Suffrage Centennial Year.


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