European Union Ambassador, Nina Obermaier, has met with a distinguished group of Te Arawa business leaders today to discuss new international trade opportunities for Māori.
Hosted by Te Taumata and Te Arawa Fisheries in Rotorua, the hui was an opportunity for Māori business leaders to kōrero with Nina kanohi ki te kanohi in an informal, relaxed setting.
All Te Arawa iwi and more than 20 Māori-led organisations were represented in the business leaders present today, giving Nina a broad understanding of the trade landscape across the Te Arawa rohe.
The discussion highlighted several key points about the NZ/EU Free Trade Agreement, including the unique benefits and opportunities to exporting products that tell authentic Māori stories.
There is a clear demand for genuine, premium indigenous goods and services in global markets and free trade agreements present an avenue for Māori businesses to upscale and diversify their offerings.
Trade is one of the most significant industries for our people, with one in four jobs derived from the sector. As new free trade agreements are implemented, the money that comes from building our international Māori brand will ultimately be reinvested into whānau at home.
Nina has been a friend to Māori throughout the NZ/EU free trade agreement negotiations and continues to show her support and genuine friendship by sitting down with Māori business leaders and discussing how we can work together to grow our opportunities.
Te Taumata is grateful for the enduring friendship we share with Nina and look forward to inviting her back to the rohe in the new year to visit Māori organisations ‘on the ground’ and hear their stories firsthand.