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Maori delegation is ready for India trip

MEDIA RELEASE (20 February 2012)
Maori delegation is ready for India trip

The Maori Research Institute is leading a well-represented Maori delegation to India to enhance business, cultural and educational relations between India and New Zealand from a Maori perspective. The delegation will be in India from 27 February to 11 March 2012.

The delegation is made up of academics, scientists, community leaders, artists and business people representing various Maori Trusts.

Trevor Maxwell, Deputy Mayor of Rotorua; Malcolm Short, Chairman of Te Arawa Federation of Maori Authorities and Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust; Ken Kennedy, Kaumatua of the Waiariki Institute of Technology; Assoc. Prof. Manuka Henare, Associate Dean of Auckland University Business School; Tumu Ihorangi Tu Waaka, Head of School of Iwi Development from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi Indigenous University; Dr Guna Magesan, a senior resident scientist at Maori Research Institute; and Dr Rajiv Chaturvedi, a scientist in a Crown Research Institute are some of the delegates. Dr Magesan and Dr Chaturvedi are General Secretary and Media and Public Relations Officer of Hindu Council of New Zealand, respectively. This delegation is part of Hindu Maori whakawhanaungatanga (kinship).

The Maori Research Institute believes that presence of these and other delegates will help promote indigenous education, cultural exchange, tourism and business from a local Maori perspective.

Her Excellency Jan Henderson, New Zealand High Commissioner to India will host a reception on 28 February to welcome the delegation. We are thankful to Ms Melanie Chapman, Education Counsellor at the New Zealand High Commission in India for organising the meeting.

A number of meetings on business, education and tourism are being organised for the delegates. The focus of business meetings will include export of dairy, forest and sea products, and indigenous education and inter-cultural exchange. The business meetings are facilitated by the World Hindu Economic Forum.

G K Dairy, Ballabgarh (Haryana) the manufacturer of Gopaljee Dairy products – a well-respected dairy business in India, will be hosting the delegates at their site to discuss their dairy business expansion and potential collaboration.

Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya (University), an establishment for cultural and spiritual renaissance of the Globe, has invited the delegates from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi Indigenous University, the Waiariki Institute of Technology, and the Maori Research Institute to visit to their University for discussions on education and cultural exchange of indigenous people and communities.

In association with the International Centre for Cultural Studies, Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya is organising the Fourth International Conference of the Elders of Ancient Traditions and Cultures from 3rd March to 7th March 2012, at Haridwar, India. The theme of this fourth conference is “Nourishing the Balance of the Universe”. Delegates from over 30 countries will attend this conference.

One Maori Elder from New Zealand will be awarded with an honorary degree from the Research Institute of World’s Ancient Traditions, Cultures and Heritage (RIWATCH University) during the conference at Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya.

With the imminent signing of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and New Zealand, the Maori delegation aims to develop contacts for business opportunities with India.

“Collaborating with emerging economies such as India will help Maoridom and we believe that the Maori delegation will contribute immensely for the development of trade and commerce between India and New Zealand during our business meeting in India,” said Malcolm Short, Director of Maori Research Institute and the leader of the delegation.

“Being big landowners in the primary sector such as agriculture, dairying and forestry, Maori community is excited with the FTA agreement with India,” Mr Short added.

The delegation will also visit places of historical and cultural interest such as Akshardham temple in New Delhi, Taj Mahal in Agra, and a famous palace in Jaipur, Rajasthan. In addition, the delegates will celebrate Holi (the spring festival of colours) with the locals in Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan.

“We believe people to people contact will have more impact, especially when it comes to business with India,” said Dr Guna Magesan, coordinator of this delegation.

The delegation will also meet school students to share Maori traditions and traditional costumes, artefacts, and performances will be on display. The whole trip will be documented by Ron Michael, who works for a number of television networks.

The delegation takes this opportunity to thank Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust and Hindu Council of New Zealand for koha to cover partial expenses of delegates who are not supported by any organisation/trust, and towards the documentation of this trip.

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