Today, in partnership with AsiaNZ, Te Taumata sent off the next generation of Māori business leaders and entrepreneurs on a truly Māori-led and designed trade mission into Southeast Asia.
“This is just the first wave of such trade missions we will dispatch across the world as the world begins to reopen trade doors following what has been an incredibly challenging last two years,” says Te Taumata Chairman, Chris Karamea Insley.
“Te Taumata has held various regional hui over the last two-three years, attended by Māori business leaders of small, medium, and large enterprises across the motu, where we have brought Trade Ministers, negotiators, international ambassadors, and commissioners to discuss and understand the specific needs and interests of Māori. Te Taumata has then taken this information and championed it into trade negotiations with the world.
“At our last Regional hui held in Parliament in October last year, the largest ever discussion on Global Trade and Māori in Aotearoa we began forcefully advocating the concept of Māori-led Trade missions and Māori culture as an enabler of trade. This was where the South East Asia Māori Trade Mission was born picked up by Asia NZ’s Ethan Jones.
“Today, this effort is paying massive dividends for our people. The NZ billion-dollar new ‘gold standard’ UK Free Trade Agreement set to go live in the next ten days, opening up the fifth-largest market in the world to premier and world-class Māori products and services by removing the sixteen percent tariff on NZ products. This is game-changing for Māori businesses, where the proceeds of this new trade will ripple back into Maori communities and homes in the form of new jobs in our orchards, farms, processing plants, fisheries, vineyards, and much more.
“Within the next six to twelve months, we will witness an even bigger NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement, opening up the collective $17 trillion European economy to Māori businesses, products, and services. In fishing we will see the removal of the current twenty-four percent tariff. This is game-changing for Māori, as owners of half of the NZ Fishing industry.
“Again, today we dispatch the first of our truly Māori-led trade missions to Southeast Asia. No longer are Māori a mere ‘afterthought’ in trade missions! With this Roopu heading offshore today, Māori businesses and exporters are at the forefront as NZ charts its course out of COVID lockdown.
“My wero to the Roopu as they head offshore is twofold: Firstly, E Tu! Stand up and be proud as Māori! In every hui you have with Asian business, government, and industry leaders, open and close your hui with a karakia. Then stand and sing together your waiata ‘from your home kainga.’
“Secondly, Tohatoha Mai! When you return home, you will attend our next regional hui on trade with Ngāti Whātua in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, and you will speak to our whānau about what happened, who you met, and what you learned.
“Again, today’s departure has been long awaited and is just the first of a wave of our next generation of Māori leaders and entrepreneurs heading out to share their expertise. Nō reira, haere tū atu, hoki tū mai,” says Mr Insley.
Read more in our pānui below.
Māori delegation to grow F&B links between Aotearoa and Southeast Asia
Emerging Māori F&B (food and beverage) business leaders will explore new food frontiers in Southeast Asia on a programme organised by the Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono, with support from Te Taumata – a national group established to advocate for Māori interests in trade.
The Foundation has organised the trip to Singapore and Thailand in May to support Māori entrepreneurs and emerging leaders to learn about the business environment and innovation in the region. They will also be able to build networks, explore the potential for collaboration and identify opportunities for business ventures.
“And they will be able to do this in a uniquely Māori way, showcasing Māori culture, custom and products to partners in the region,” says Asia New Zealand Foundation Senior Adviser (Business) Ethan Jones.
“Southeast Asia’s growing and youthful population and its need for protein sources mean the region will drive a lot of demand for healthy and safe foods in the years ahead. We can also expect to see Southeast Asia leading a lot of innovation in the food and beverage space.
Not only does the region offer enormous opportunities to the Māori economy, but Māori food and beverage entrepreneurs have a lot to offer in return, as they have a focus on providing sustainable, healthy and traceable products.
Te Taumata Chairman Chris Karamea Insley says the upcoming trade delegation provides an excellent opportunity for young exporters to grow the potential of their own operations, and in doing so, increase the contribution of the Māori export market to Aotearoa New Zealand’s economy.
“Māori have a long tradition of engaging in international trade, as tribal seafarers established trade routes with Australia as early as the 1700s. Today, international trade accounts for one in four Māori jobs across the country, making it a significant sector for Māori-led businesses, communities and whānau.”
Running from 18 to 28 May, the programme will see the delegates learning about food production, distribution and consumption in the region. It will include visits to cultivated meat operations and meeting potential investors and distributors.
Jones says participating entrepreneurs will return to New Zealand with more market knowledge, stronger networks, and increased confidence to explore export opportunities in the region.
The participating Māori entrepreneurs and business leaders are:
- Oren Dalton (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Kahu ki Whaingaroa, Ngāti Porou), director, Lone Bee
- Sera-Belinda Grubb (Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupōuri, Te Rarawa), managing director, Mana Kai Honey
- Joe Harawira (Ngāti Awa, Ngai Te Rangi), co-founder/managing director, Wai Mānuka
- Kieran Hema (Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahungunu), logistics manager, Miraka
- Grant Kitchen (Ngāti Hikairo, Ngāti Kahungunu), award-winning chef and director Kāuta Ltd
- Helen Paul-Smith (Tapuika, Ngai Te Rangi), co-founder, ŌKU New Zealand
- Sara Smeath (Ngā Puhi) – CEO/co-founder, CiRCLR (F&B tech services)
- Jackie Stephens (Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Toa, Ngai Te Rangi), project assistant, AuOra within Wakatū Incorporated
- Ross Tuini Manning (Ngāi Tahu), general manager, Treasure Pot Innovations
The delegation will also participate in the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s Young Business Leaders Initiative Summit in Thailand. This event brings together more than 70 of Southeast Asia and New Zealand’s most successful entrepreneurs and will enable them to build networks and learn about the opportunities and challenges taking place across the region. The summit is part of an initiative the Asia New Zealand Foundation has been delivering for the New Zealand Government since 2011.
Asia New Zealand Foundation Director Business Nick Siu says that after more than two years of pandemic-related disruptions, the Foundation is excited to be able to support New Zealand entrepreneurs to get back on the ground in Southeast Asia.
In 2021 alone, New Zealand exported more than NZ$7 billion of goods and services to the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries. “And developments in the region are moving at a pace New Zealanders can barely comprehend, so it’s important to build strong networks and get our entrepreneurs into the region as much as possible,” Nick says.
The Foundation also acknowledges the ongoing support of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Māori business team and on the ground teams for this delegation.