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New approach to benefit Māori, NZ economy

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister for Economic Development
Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Minister of Māori Affairs

19 November 2012 Media Statement

New approach to benefit Māori, NZ economy

A new approach to boosting Māori economic performance will benefit all New Zealanders, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples say.

The Māori Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan, He Kai Kei Aku Ringa, released at Parliament today provides a blueprint for a productive, innovative, and export-orientated Māori economy that will support better paying jobs and higher living standards.

“Māori make a huge contribution to the New Zealand economy and this is growing rapidly,” Mr Joyce says. “They own substantial assets, run sizeable commercial ventures and are significant exporters. At an individual level they make a huge contribution to the economy through our workforce.

“This Strategy and Action Plan provides a practical pathway to lift Māori economic achievement and living standards. It includes a mix of short term actions – things we can do now to lift Māori performance – and longer term ‘generational’ changes, such as lifting educational achievement.

Dr Sharples said the plan was about Māori having the resilience and self-reliance to shape their own futures.

He kai kei aku ringa means providing the food you need with your own hands and is the aspiration of all Māori,” Dr Sharples says.

“It’s about the people first and foremost determining our own economic and social wellbeing. So this is about education, employment, entrepreneurship but also for Māori, this is about rangatiratanga.”

“Economic development is vital to our development as Māori and maximising our contribution to the nation. Our distinctive approach, our ‘Māori edge’, is adding real value to New Zealand Inc.”

“Māori helped establish this country’s economy: our farms are arguably some of New Zealand’s oldest businesses. Māori have always been strongly commercial, and we will continue to succeed in New Zealand and in the international marketplace.”

The independent Māori Economic Development Panel prepared the Strategy and Action Plan, which set out a blueprint for Māori economic development through to 2040. This includes 26 action points which include areas such as education and on-job training; governance of Māori assets and access to capital; and land productivity.

An immediate initiative is the establishment of a Māori Unit within the new Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment that will drive implementation of the Strategy.

A Māori Economic Development Advisory Board will be appointed by Ministers Joyce and Sharples to provide on-going stewardship, monitoring and evaluation of the Strategy and Plan. The board will report directly to the two Ministers on achievements.

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