13 Apr 2012

`Maori edge' will help boost economy - Sharples

6:32 am on 13 April 2012

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says he is confident the Government will seriously consider a Maori Economic Development Panel's recommendations on ways to improve the performance and productivity of the Maori economy.

Dr Sharples helped set up the nine member panel last September, to develop an economic strategy and action plan for Maori and hopes that it will come up with ways of increasing Maori contributions to the national economy.

Maori businesses are already having great success in China where a culture-to-culture approach is really appreciated, he says.

This "Maori edge" makes him confident that the Maori way of doing things will help boost the New Zealand economy.

Ngahiwi Tomoana - who chairs the economic development panel - says 60 oral submissions were made during three hui in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch last month.

About 40 written submissions have been received, with another dozen expected by 16 April.

Mr Tomoana says the panel will begin working through the submissions in the next few weeks, and report back to the Ministers of Maori Affairs and Economic Development by the end of July.