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Minister promotes Māori business in Seoul

Hon Te Ururoa Flavell

Te Minita Whakawhanaketanga Māori

Minister for Māori Development


21 June 2016 Media Statement

Minister promotes Māori business in Seoul

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell addressed Kiwi and Korean business leaders in Seoul this morning saying Māori companies want to build a sustained presence and strong partnerships in the South Korean market.

Addressing a breakfast meeting with the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Korea, also known as the Kiwi Chamber, Mr Flavell said Māori businesses played a key role in New Zealand’s economy controlling large interests in fisheries, aquaculture, plantation forests and some of the country’s largest farms.

“We regard the expertise of the Kiwi Chamber as vital to help build a platform for Māori businesses to grow, export and create jobs – and ultimately contribute to a stronger New Zealand story in South Korea,” he says.

“Our desire is to use Māori cultural values as a unique point of difference in the way we do business in South Korea – an approach hugely successful in previous Māori trade missions to Malaysia and China.

“Long term investment for Koreans and for Māori is intergenerational and tied to legacy,” he says.

“Both cultures place importance on family and building as legacy for past and future generations. For Māori, developing export markets means going to the place where we want to sell our products and meeting our buyers face-to-face, or as we say, ‘kanohi ki te kanohi’. It’s about relationships first and business second.

“We regard these cultural connections as key to unlocking the economic and export opportunities now made more possible by the free trade agreement between our countries.”

Mr Flavell said with an asset base of more than $42 billion, Māori were also an emerging presence in viticulture, horticulture, commercial property, energy, and tourism.

Joining him on the visit to South Korea is National Party MP Melissa Lee.

Mr Flavell is leading a week-long Māori culture and trade mission to South Korea and Japan, and is joined by eight companies representing food and beverage, tourism, forestry, and seafood industries. The group is today also meeting with local Korean businesses.

The group will depart this evening for Japan where they will spend two days attending roundtable talks on tourism, forestry and seafood, and attend seminars on the investment climate in Japan.

The Minister will also meet with senior Japanese officials to discuss opportunities for Māori businesses and to explore how New Zealand and Japan can work together more closely.

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