Sharples brokers Maori deal in China
Sun, 10 Jun 2012 10:26a.m.
Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples is hopeful that the China Development Bank will work with Maori on business projects in the future.
Dr Sharples, who has been visiting China with a Maori trade delegation, says the "Maori Taniwha economy is keen to talk trade with leaders from China's Dragon economy".
He told media this morning that a deal with a wine distributor in China was likely and the group also had a good meeting with the China Development Bank.
"Our group are pretty excited about the opportunity of them participating somewhere along the line.
"These things take time but quite clearly they've indicated they will play, they will be participants," Dr Sharples said.
Dr Sharples said Maori interests now control 37 per cent of New Zealand's fishing quota and 36 per cent of its forests.
Maori groups with investments in forestry, including CNI Investments, Federation of Maori Authorities, Poutama Trust and the Maori Trustee, met executives from China Forest Group.
It was hoped that Maori leaders in the forestry industry will be able to gain experience working in some of China's state-owned forestry companies, he said.
Representatives of Aotearoa Fisheries, Ngai Tahu Fisheries and Ngati Kahungunu were also part of the trade mission.
Dr Sharples said the use of Maori protocols at meetings had broken the ice.
"They (Maori) should be used more in trade, I'll be really honest with you, because they have that natural way of relating which is based on person-to-person first before `OK it's a deal'.
"I believe it's a winning combination," he said.
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