24 Mar 2012

Strong interest in economy hui

6:06 am on 24 March 2012

Maori Economic Development Panel Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana says attendance at the first of three public hui to discuss ways of improving the Maori economy exceeded expectations.

The panel was set up by the Government last September to develop a strategy and action plan to expand the Maori economy from its current value of $38 billion.

Mr Tomoana says about 100 business people, public servants, and representatives from whanau and iwi organisations turned up to air their views at the first hui held in Wellington on Thursday.

He says, however, the panel isn't just relying on hui for ideas and has invited groups such as the New Zealand Business Roundtable, Maori incorporations and the Business Institute to speak to the panel on an individual basis.

Mr Tomoana says submissions to the panel close on 11 April and it will take its recommendations to the Government by the end of July.