News Item

Pacific leaders set to connect with Waikato-Tainui

News 21 Jun 2019

The Pacific Cooperation Foundation[i] (PCF) will launch another new initiative through the upcoming Māori Pacific Business Forum on June 26 – 27 at the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development[ii].

A delegation made up of representatives from Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea will be attending the forum.

The theme of the forum is "He maha ngā tangata whenua, he iwi moana kotahi" (Peoples of many lands, people of one ocean).

PCF have partnered with Te Ohu Whai Ao[iii], a charitable trust formed by a collective of Māori business leaders to deliver the initiative.

The purpose of the two-day forum is to provide a platform that enables Pacific resource owners to connect with one another and with Waikato-Tainui, with the hopes that cross-regional business and investment partnerships are established in the future.

"While there are many similarities between Pacific island countries and Aotearoa in terms of indigenous cultures. ancestry links and natural resources, they also share similar development challenges," says PCF CEO Don Mann.

"Challenges such as the impact of climate change, being remote, high cost of transportation and demographic change.

"However these challenges are experienced at various levels.

"While Pacific island countries are resource rich, not all of them are able to realise similar level of benefits from the extraction of their natural resources.

"This is a great opportunity to share best practices from the Māori economy estimated at $50 billion to date."

The Chairman of Te Ohu Whai Ao, Mr. Richard Jefferies is pleased that PCF is continuing the conversation which follows on from the World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF) held last year in Rotorua.

"I see it as the beginning of a journey for us as Māori and our Pacific brothers and sisters to find ways and opportunities to collaborate and support each other in business and economic development."

The forum will include guest speakers: Hoturoa Barclary-Kerr - captain of the oceangoing waka Haunui, Dr. Robert A Joseph - Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Waikato and Dr. Cheryl Stephens who is the College Director of Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development.

The Pacific delegation will also visit Tainui Group Holdings owned by the Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust.

PCF would like to acknowledge and thank Te Ohu Whai Ao and Waikato-Tainui for their generosity and support.

Other translations of the Māori Pacific Business Forum theme:

“E tini te tangata e te enua i te moana nui o kiva” - Cook Islands Māori

“Mai na veivanua - Duabau ga na wasawasa" - Fiji

"Nöj hne la nöjei nö, ngo casi hi la hnagejë" - New Caledonia "Ba xè ka pôrô névâ, Kamô xé rha pwârawiè" - New Caledonia

“Pipol bilong planti giraun, pipol bilong wanpla solwara” - Papua New Guinea

“Tagata o fanua, tagata o le vasa” - Samoa

“Pipol blong plande lan, pipol blong wan solwata” - Solomon Islands

"Ko e ngaahi kakai 'o e ngaahi fonua, ko e kakai 'o e 'oseni pe 'e taha" - Tonga

"Ol pipol blong plante graon, ol pipol blong wan solwota” - Vanuatu

[i] The Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) is a non-governmental organisation which develops public/private sector economic development and socio-cultural initiatives in the Pacific region.

[ii] The Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development was established by the late Sir Robert Mahuta in 2000, a noted leader in indigenous government.

[iii] Te Ohu Whai (TOWA) Māori Indigenous Business Development Trust is an incorporated Charitable Trust established in 2017 by a collective of Māori business leaders with diverse experience, backgrounds and global networks.

Image: Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development