Te Taumata had a rich and productive discussion with the South African High Commissioner, Her Excellency Vuyiswa Tulelo, this week.

Te Taumata is committed to fostering a relationship with South Africa, recognising the mutual benefit this relationship can have for both countries.

During this discussion, her Excellency, Ms Tulelo, heard from Te Arawa Fisheries Directors Dr Ken Kennedy and Peter Rice, Pukeroa Oruawhata Chair Malcolm Short and Te Rūnanga o Te Whānau Chief Executive Rikirangi Gage Porourangi about where Māori have come from and what Māori are looking to in the future.

The overarching messages were about how Tikanga Māori informs business practises, as well as the importance to Māori of working collectively, protecting the environment and thinking long-term.

Part of the discussions included the development of practical initiatives like a work exchange programme which would give South African rangatahi and Māori rangatahi the chance to work in different environments and develop new skills.

Her Excellency, Ms Tulelo, said she found her meetings with Te Taumata to be highly constructive.

“I am unashamedly bulldoggish in that I am not here to do talk shows. I want to be able to go back and show tangible results of what we made happen.

“I am not what you would call a ‘typical diplomat’. I love finding opportunities for my people and I get frustrated with the red tape. I get in trouble because I just jump over the red tape.

“That’s why I feel drawn to Chris, he has an idea and doesn’t just talk about it – he makes sure it happens.

“My tenure in New Zealand is coming to an end and I want to ensure the relationships with the right people and organisations are sustained so my successor can pick them up and run with them.