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National targets more skills training for Maori


National targets more skills training for Maori

A re-elected National Government will expand the Maori and Pasifika Trades Training Initiative by a further 2000 places and include agricultural training alongside trades training to help address skill shortages in the primary sector, National Party Economic Development Spokesman Steven Joyce says.

The plan to further expand the popular programme will cost $30 million over four years, and is one of the key elements of National’s Maori Economic Development Policy released in Whangarei today.

"The Maori and Pasifika Trades Training Initiative is proving to be hugely popular in providing opportunities for at-risk young Maori and Pasifika to participate fully in New Zealand's economic recovery,” Mr Joyce says.

"Further expansion of the programme will give more young Maori opportunities for careers in industries with emerging skills shortages, like agriculture and the trades."

Increased skills training for young Maori is one of six initiatives in National's plan to boost the Maori economy and help realise its potential.

The other initiatives include:

• continuing to accelerate and complete historical Treaty settlements so more iwi have a strong economic base sooner
• reforming Te Ture Whenua Maori Act to make it easier to invest in and develop (multiple-owner) Maori land
• expanding the number of farms the Ministry of Primary Industries Maori Agribusiness Programme works with, so Maori enterprises realise the potential of their landholdings
• proactively partnering Callaghan Innovation and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise with Maori enterprises to lift innovation and exports in the Maori economy, including through the new $5 million MBIE Maori Innovation Fund.
• using the new $30 million Maori ICT Development fund to support Māori economic development by encouraging Māori participation across the ICT sector.

On all these initiatives, government will work in partnership with Maori through He Kai Kei Aku Ringa, the Maori-led Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan; and through the Iwi Leaders Group.

"There are strong relationships developing between iwi and key government agencies like MBIE, MPI, Te Puni Kokiri, Callaghan Innovation, and NZTE,” Mr Joyce says.

"There is a real opportunity to make some big strides forward in collaboration and results over the next three years.

"For New Zealand as a whole to succeed, we need the Maori economy to succeed as well.

"We are seeing some iwi become very significant economic players and investors in regions around New Zealand. Helping other iwi and hapu to achieve the same level of success will strengthen the success of regional New Zealand, as well as the economic success of all Maori."

National’s Māori Economic Policy is available at: http://ntnl.org.nz/1pQvwcT

ends

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