New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Pacific Mission has created an opportunity for Federation of Māori Authorities (FOMA) and Cook Islands representatives to discuss furthering business opportunities.
Despite strong cultural links between Māori and the Cook Islands only one iwi has signed a covenant with our Pacific neighbours there, MaoriTV reports.
Cook Island Investment Director Caren Rangi says, “We have whakapapa, history, we have a range of connections but how are we capitalising on those for the good of our whanau?”
FOMA Chairwoman Traci Houpapa, Heamana says, “It’s time for us as NZ Māori, as Aotearoa, to stand alongside our Pasifika whanaunga.”
In 2015 the Kingitanga signed a covenant with the Cook Islands to explore collaborative business investment opportunities including areas such as fisheries, farming, technology, property development, retail, energy production, hotels and tourism.
Rangi says, “not too much has happened since then but it has given us cause to reflect about ‘what about other iwi?’ We should start to generate some of those conversations to see what mutually beneficial business opportunities there might be for us all.”
Houpapa says, “NZ Māori already have the access, the opportunity and the trade and export relations and relationships that we can exploit and positively leverage for our Pasifika relations.”
According to Houpapa, the CPTPP brings nations together in a big economic block which is significant for global and international exchange that could benefit the Pacific.