Aotearoa/Australia Collaboration On Indigenous Issues Is A Step In The Right Direction
FOMA welcomes the announcement that Aotearoa and Australia will sign a collaboration agreement to address indigenous issues in the two nations, this week.
FOMA Chair Traci Houpapa says the partnership signals a new era in relations between the two countries, with a much-needed focus on indigenous development.
“Fostering strong international indigenous relationships and developing a deep understanding of the indigenous impact on trade, innovation and culture, are critical to ensuring our indigenous kaupapa and communities are sustained, successful and protected,” says Ms Houpapa.
“We are pleased to see that the Governments of both Aotearoa and Australia recognise our indigenous people and taonga as an important part of a creating a prosperous and sustainable future for our communities. This collaboration agreement aligns with similar discussions FOMA members have been having with indigenous people and First Nations in Canada, the Cook Islands and other Pacific Rim nations.
“We are encouraged by this new partnership and we look forward to being actively involved in discussions and policy setting to effectively address the needs of Māori, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“While listening and dialogue are an important part of this process, we need robust strategies in place to take action when opportunities arise to promote the economic, environmental, social and cultural advancement of our indigenous people,” says Ms Houpapa.
The Indigenous Collaboration Arrangement signing between the Minister for Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP will take place on Friday 28 February in Sydney, during the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting between Prime Minister the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP.
FOMA exists to helps its members grow and prosper and create a stronger economic future for Māori and Aotearoa, and has around 150 members representing circa $11.5 billion of assets with diversified interests across mixed livestock, dairy, horticulture, property, retirement villages, seafood, investments etc. FOMA members are the largest network of Māori Freehold landowners (circa 100,000) in Aotearoa. FOMA has 11 regions with elected representatives from each rohe that forms the FOMA Executive Committee. FOMA and its members have been a key leader of Māori economic development in the last 30 years.