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Maori leaders to meet indigenous American counterparts

Maori leaders to meet indigenous American counterparts

7 March 2014

The US Embassy is sponsoring five emerging Maori business leaders to visit leading American Indian and Alaskan Native tribes to discuss economic development, trade, investment, and networking in indigenous communities.

The group leaves tomorrow [Saturday, March 8] and will spend three weeks visiting first nation tribes’ education institutions, and technology and investment corporations.

The travelling delegation all hail from successful Maori iwis and trusts in New Zealand.

Lisa Tumahai, the deputy chair of Ngāi Tahu, said she was honoured to be selected for the program and was looking forward to gaining an insight into American Indian economic development.

"The trip creates an opportunity to learn about other indigenous tribes’ economic and social frameworks and also share our experiences in terms of tribal governance and Iwi commercial models.

"It will enable us to network and create relationships that might result in future initiatives between our two countries," she said.

The program is funded by the US Department of State as part of its International Visitor Leadership Program.

US Embassy spokesperson David Edginton said it was the first time the Embassy had developed a visitor program solely dedicated to engagement between New Zealand and American indigenous communities.

“We’re very pleased to offer this opportunity. The Department’s leadership program is quite distinguished and, internationally, has in its alumni community more than 300 current or former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government, including former New Zealand Prime Ministers Helen Clark and Geoffrey Palmer.”

The New Zealand delegation includes: Lisa Tumahai of Ngāi Tahu, Toa Greening of Te Huarahi Tika Trust, Gina Rangi of Tuaropaki Trust, Paki Rawiri of Tainui, and Ngarimu Blair of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

Further information: http://www.tipiwhenua.maori.nz/

The International Visitor Leadership Program
The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Professional meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States.

Each year nearly 5,000 International Visitors come to the U.S. on the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). More than 200,000 International Visitors have engaged with Americans through the IVLP.


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