29 Jun 2012

China business trip seen as already paying off

6:21 am on 29 June 2012

Maori business leaders who have recently returned from China say the trip has already resulted in new export deals - including a five-tonne shipment of mussels to a Chinese town.

The delegation, led by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples, included people from sectors such as fishing, agribusiness, education and banking.

At a debriefing on Thursday, they said many opportunities had arisen from the trip - and several different Chinese groups are visiting New Zealand over the next few weeks to continue discussions.

The group's convenor, Ngahiwi Tomoana, of Ngati Kahungunu, says significant amounts of product - particularly from the seafood and red meat industries - have begun changing hands.

He says the deals are commercially sensitive, but a trial shipment of mussel meat was sent to a rural Chinese town last week.

A group of representatives plans to return to China in September.