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Encouraging the phenomenal growth in the Māori economy

Encouraging the phenomenal growth in the Māori economy


As the only independent Māori voice in Parliament, the Māori Party’s economic development policy is unashamedly focused on growing the Māori economy.

Hauraki Waikato candidate Susan Cullen launched the Party’s Māori Economic Development Policy today at Raukura Hauora ki Tainui in Hamilton. She says there’s much the Government can do to nurture the multitude of Māori enterprises that make up the more than $37 billion Māori economy.

“We know the Māori economy is growing at three times the rate of the New Zealand economy and more Māori businesses are ready to trade overseas. We’d like to establish a Māori Trade Expert Desk at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) to support Māori businesses and protect the integrity of the Māori Inc brand,” says Ms Cullen.

The Māori Party also wants Māori representation in all NZTE offices around the world so there is a concerted effort to get more Māori trading overseas.

“As a partner in Government, the Māori Party has already created opportunities for Māori businesses to promote themselves on a world stage like the 2011 Rugby World Cup but we’d like to see a more permanent and ongoing commitment from the next Government”, says Ms Cullen.

The Māori Party facilitated the completion of the Māori Economic Development Strategy and a stock-take of the Māori economy. It wants to achieve the six key goals in the Māori Economic Development Action Plan (2012-2017) which include greater educational participation and performance by Māori, a skilled and successful workforce, increased financial literacy and savings and active discussions about the development of natural resources.

Ms Cullen recognises small and medium-sized Māori businesses play a major role in the Māori economy and in the wellbeing of whānau.

“We want to encourage sustainable enterprise at all levels and in all sectors. So we would like to see more financial literacy programmes specifically for Māori busineses and whānau as well as a one-off exemption on Māori land ratings to enable unproductive land to be developed. Māori economic development is about developing Māori people and their natural resources in a sustainable way for the wellbeing of whānau.

For a copy of the full Māori economic policy, go online to maoriparty.org/our-policies

For media interviews, contact Susan Cullen on 027 766 5673

Background on Susan Cullen

Susan Cullen (Ngāti Maniapoto) has worked in the community for over 25 years, specifically in Māori and tribal education and development.

While Cullen holds several academic qualifications and awards, and is credited for founding the innovative distance learning systems for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, she is also well versed in supporting businesses, industries and job creation having been an advisor to Government both here in Aotearoa and internationally.

The education programme Mahi Ora that she developed has been adapted and exported to Australia. Ms Cullen with her husband also owns dairy operations in Southland.


Her electorate Hauraki-Waikato includes both city, rural remote and coastal communities, with its main economic sectors based in agriculture, manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare, retail and professional services.

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