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Oil, gas and mining should be on Māori agenda

Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust
Tuesday, 13 August, 2013

Oil, gas and mining should be on Māori agenda, says conference leader

Oil, gas and mining are among subjects that will challenge traditional mindsets at a national conference on Māori industry.

Bold ideas, new business models and fresh ways of thinking top the agenda at Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust’s third annual conference in September, with organisers saying they are determined to explore new industry opportunities for Māori.

Trust chair Richard Jefferies said the conference would challenge some views on what Māori industries would look like in the future.

“This conference will be one of the first Māori forums to put oil, gas and mining on the agenda,” Mr Jefferies said. “The point is that we need the opportunity to discuss these emerging industries amongst ourselves as Māori, rather than government and private sector interests driving the agenda for us.

“Our focus is on the future and its opportunities, and this is a conversation that needs to be had. The Trust’s intent is to understand the potential of these industries for Māori – so we have provided an opportunity to hear from some indigenous people who’ve already done it.”
Mr Jefferies said the conference would hear from international guest speaker David Springgate, senior vice-president of global Alaskan operation NANA Development Corporation.

“NANA is an international operation owned by 13,000 indigenous Iñupiat in northwest Alaska. With 11,500 employees, it is one of the biggest indigenous incorporations I have ever heard of, with operations in oil and gas, mining, healthcare, hospitality, federal contracting and tribal services.”

The two-day conference Ngā Whetū Hei Whai – Charting Pathways for Māori Industry Futures 2013 will be held at Waitangi on September 2 and 3.

Among those attending will be 46 business, management, science and agriculture degree students who each received $10,000 scholarships from the trust and its partners this year.
“The national conference provides a valuable opportunity for these future economic leaders to learn first-hand from the experiences and insights of today’s leaders,” Mr Jefferies said.

More than 20 speakers include Rosa Walker, president and CEO of the Indigenous Leadership Development Institution in Canada; Dr Ögmundur Knútsson, Dean of the School of Business and Science at the University of Akureyri in Iceland; Sir Tipene O’Regan; Māori Television CEO Jim Mather; and Lincoln University Vice-Chancellor Dr Andrew West.

“This conference has in the past two years identified a shared strategic vision for key Māori industries and examined ways to support economic growth through education and skills development,” Mr Jefferies said. “Now we are expanding the conversation by introducing a number of ground-breaking international models and spotlighting potential business opportunities.”


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