Two new board appointments for Māori trade organisation, Te Taumata, will add increased diversity and experience, and in turn, help to deliver the best possible trade outcomes for Māori, says Chair Chris Karamea Insley.

Te Taumata – which partners with the Government on trade negotiations and developments – today announced the appointment of Carrie Stoddart-Smith and Tania Te Whenua to it board.

Ms Stoddart-Smith (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Tautahi, Ngāti Rēhia, Te Roroa and Te Uri o Hau) is the founder of OpinioNative, an independent Māori consultancy focussed on creating indigenous trade and economies content for policy makers and systems shapers.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Laws as well as a Master of Laws in International Trade and Politics. She has also completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Māori and Indigenous Leadership.

Tania Te Whenua, (Tūhoe, Whakatōhea) is Principal of Te Whenua Law and Consulting, which assists organisations to realise a commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and enhance responsiveness to Māori.

Tania holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Māori Resource Management and a Bachelor of Laws majoring in Commercial and International Law.

Mr Insley says both Carrie and Tania bring a wealth of specific and relevant experience to the board.

“We are thrilled to have Carrie and Tania join the board; two mana wahine who first and foremost will use their exceptional knowledge and experience to help deliver the best trade outcomes for Māori and a more prosperous future for our whānau and communities,” he says.

“Effective immediately, their appointments will also add a deeper dimension to the board from both a gender and iwi representation perspective, which is crucial for our mahi.”

Mr Insley says the appointments are particularly timely with the large number of various trade negotiations that are currently underway between Aotearoa New Zealand and countries and economies around the world, as well as the intricate nature of some of those agreements.

“This year will see the progression of several significant and critical trade agreements for Aotearoa, including with the United Kingdom and the European Union following Brexit. I’m excited to see what we can collectively achieve this year.”