Iwi encouraged to be part of economic strategy

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says the Government is committed to supporting any employment initiatives driven by Maori communities.

He Toki ki Te Rika, has trained more than 200 young Maori since May last year in building, plumbing and masonry work to help in the rebuild of Christchurch.

The programme is being run in conjunction with Ngai Tahu and the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology.

Dr Sharples said the Government supports such programmes because they will in turn develop the Maori economy.

He said it isn't the Government's job to create employment, but what it can do is to bolster industries in different ways.

Dr Sharples said now that iwi have established a Maori economic strategy they are looking forward to the advantages it will bring.

In one example, he said he's meeting two Maori and Chinese groups per week about major export ventures and how they can invest in New Zealand - which will lead to employment.

Dr Sharples said even at a grass roots level, marae need to start thinking about ways they can generate jobs.

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