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Waka Maori surges forward into the future

Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Minister of Maori Affairs
1 September 2013 Press Release
Waka Maori surges forward into the future
Māori are now well placed to draw on a proud history of innovation to grow collective assets, Māori Affairs Minister Hon. Dr Pita Sharples said today.
Dr Sharples was hosting an event at Waka Maori based in New Zealand’s America’s Cup Village aimed at celebrating Māori business innovation.
He drew upon the story of San Francisco’s Silicon Valley and said the small area had built a huge economy based on ground-breaking ideas and innovation.
“Our ancestors were also the ultimate innovators of their time. They were marine biologists, astronavigators, horticulturalists, geographers, mathematicians, meteorologists, anthropologists, civil engineers, entrepreneurs.
“Like the men and women of Silicon Valley they used innovation and knowledge to do things no one had ever done before.”
“In 2013, innovation and knowledge is once again crucial to the future of Māori people and our businesses.”
“Our Māori economy is booming, conservatively valued at $38 billion and growing and economists have forecast an extra twelve billion dollars in GDP per annum and 150,000 extra jobs by 2060.”
“But this growth will only happen if Māori asset holders invest successfully in science and innovation.  Science and innovation remains our people’s greatest challenge but also our greatest opportunity.”
Dr Sharples said the Silicon Valley story showed that being at the edge of the earth would not prevent Māori from creating cutting edge technology.
“We too have a legacy of innovation, of people who think outside the square.  Who dream the impossible and then make it happen,” he said.


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