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Maori to discuss future business aspirations

Friday, 27 June 2014 10:00 a.m.

The future of the Maori economy in the Bay of Plenty will come under the spotlight at a conference being held in Rotorua on Monday (June 30).

About 200 delegates from around the region will attend the one-day hui, being hosted by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council at Waiariki Institute of Technology.

The biennial conference, Te Ahurangi – Rangatiratanga in Practice, will showcase Maori capability and through the sharing of knowledge and experiences, and foster the capacity of Maori to contribute to regional decision-making.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chairman Doug Leeder will open the conference and there will be four keynote speakers. Patrick McGarvey, a board member of the Tuhoe iwi post-settlement governance entity will speak about “rangatiratanga from a Tuhoe lens” while Chris Insley, a director on government, private sector and Māori boards who works nationally with Maori on sustainable economic development in response to climate change, will discuss innovations in energy. The third keynote speaker, Tauranga-based Jack Thatcher, who has accumulated more than 35,000 nautical miles of ocean voyaging, will speak about the challenges of Maori voyaging.

The final keynote address will be given by well-known musician Moana Maniapoto who will talk about Maori in business.

Three workshops are also being held during the hui. Rotorua District Council’s youngest councillor Tania Tapsell will lead a workshop about rangatahi leadership and Te Arawa Lakes Trust chief executive Roku Mihinui and Te Rununga o Ngai Tahu general manager of strategy, Donna Flavell, will jointly look at the challenges and complexities for Maori of water-related issues.

Taria Tahana, general manager of Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa Trust, who has co-led the development and implementation of a Maori economic strategy for the Bay of Plenty, will lead a workshop about future aspirations for the Maori economy.

The hui will close with an informal networking session which will feature a young Maori speaker and a debate between Bay of Plenty’s three Maori regional councillors – Arapeta Tahana (Okurei constituency), Tipene Marr (Kohi) and Te Awanui Black (Mauao) – and three delegates. The topic will be revealed just before the debate starts.

The name of the hui, Te Ahurangi, means to reach towards the pinnacle of the skies, upskilling and striving for excellence. The kaupapa is to strengthen relationships and for iwi and hapu to share information, knowledge and skills to enhance and build Maori capacity and capability in the region.

Te Ahurangi