Maori and Native Canadian trade deal on the horizon

Press Release – Federation Of Maori Authorities

New Zealand’s largest Maori business network is working with their indigenous equivalent in Canada in the hope to reach a trade agreement that will take Maori business to another part of the world.November 6, 2011

Maori and Native Canadian trade deal on the horizon

New Zealand’s largest Maori business network is working with their indigenous equivalent in Canada in the hope to reach a trade agreement that will take Maori business to another part of the world.

Talks between the Native Investment and Trade Association (NITA) and the Federation of Maori Authorities are currently underway, says FoMA’s chairperson Traci Houpapa.

The subject is likely to attract major interest at FoMA’s national conference Te Aka Whiri Ki Te Ao in Tauranga this weekend [November 11-13], in which more than 400 Maori business people, trustees, entrepreneurs, hapu and iwi leaders have already registered to attend.

“Maori have always traded with our neighbours across the Asia-Pacific region and we are exploring opportunities for First Nation Trade Agreements,” Ms Houpapa said.

“Enduring relationships are the cornerstone to trade between indigenous peoples and nations. We take a long term, intergenerational view so we have time to get to know one another and to build strategic partnerships based on shared culture and values.

“Our culture shapes our commercial thinking and business approach. For Maori, good business is about what’s best for our people,” Ms Houpapa said.

NITA president Calvin Helin will be among the guest speakers at the conference. Helin is a bestselling author, international speaker, entrepreneur, lawyer, activist for self-reliance and an unlikely success story for someone who had an impoverished childhood and who grew up in a remote Native American village.

The son of a hereditary chief, Helin’s first book, Dances with Dependency: Out of Poverty through Self-Reliance, was based on his own experiences and written to help eradicate the kind of poverty he faced as a child. With his new book The Economic Dependency Trap: Breaking Free to Self-Reliance, Helin speaks to what he calls “the most deceptive pandemic of the 21st Century,” providing a plan for transforming economic dependency into healthier outcomes across all echelons of society – from minority groups, to middle class Americans. The later book was a finalist in the 2011 USA Best Books Awards.

FoMA represents around 150 Maori authorities, most of which have between 100 to 5000 shareholders.

ENDS

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