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Màori Economic Development At The Hui Taumata '04

MEDIA STATEMENT

2 APRIL 2004

SPOTLIGHT ON MÀORI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AT THE HUI TAUMATA 2004

The first national Màori economic development summit for 20 years - Hui Taumata 2004 -will be held in December.

Sir Paul Reeves said today the purpose of the Hui Taumata is to expand Màori economic pathways and accelerate Màori economic development. Sir Paul is the Convenor of the Steering Committee established to manage the conference.

"The Hui will address many issues that are fundamental for New Zealand, aligning Màori aspirations with the country's economic development and setting a path for the next two decades."

The Steering Committee consists of a number of pre-eminent Maori business, iwi and academic leaders, including Professor Ngatata Love, Rob McLeod, Mark Solomon, Professor Linda Smith and Shane Jones.

Research papers will be distributed before the Hui to help inform discussions on Màori economic issues and development out to 2025. Research topics will range from Màori entrepreneurship to employment trends, education and training needs and business governance of collective assets.

Ernst & Young Chairman and Chairman of the Business Roundtable, Mr Rob McLeod, said the true contribution of Màori to the nation's economy has been underestimated.

"We need to get a better understanding of the contribution of Màori to the economy over the last 20 years. From that we can gather inspiration and pride, and proceed with optimism and innovation through the next 10 to 20 years.

"We need to identify what are the enablers and what are the hurdles, and focus on skills and training and making the most of our greatest asset - our people. Economic goals are a gateway to social improvement," says Mr McLeod.

The Steering Committee will be responsible for determining the objectives of the Hui, planning for the Hui and providing resources to implement appropriate research and programme initiatives.

The Committee will work closely with all individuals and agencies who have expressed a willingness to participate in this important event - including community and Màori groups, Ministers, government departments, business organisations and academic institutions.

Kaiwhakahaere (Chairman) of the Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Mark Solomon, says it is important to recognise and develop the ways in which Màori could further contribute to the economy.

"Future economic pathways are important, not just for Màori, but for the nation as a whole. By 2021 one in five people aged 15-39 will be Màori, contributing to the economic growth of this nation," says Mr Solomon.

Professor Linda Smith of the University of Auckland says the Hui Taumata offers an opportunity to build on Màori economic accomplishments. "It is important in the current environment that Màori continue to propel ourselves forward and build on our successes."

Members of the Hui Taumata 2004 Steering Committee are Dame Te Atairangikaahu, Tumu Te Heuheu, Rawiri Te Whare, Shane Jones, Mark Solomon, Rob McLeod, Professor Linda Smith, Taria Tahana, Katarina Bennett, Koro Wetere, Alison Thom, Professor Ngatata Love and convenor Sir Paul Reeves.

The Hui will be held on 2, 3 and 4 December. Any parties who would like more information should contact:

ENDS

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