26 Jul 2011

Hui brings iwi and Fijian tribes closer

6:43 am on 26 July 2011

Three iwi are moving towards a sister-tribe relationship with Fijian communities after a meeting in Otaki.

The two-day hui brought kaumatua of Ngati Raukawa, Te Rarawa, and Ngati Rangitihi together with two women leaders from Fijian communities to discuss economic development .

Te Rarawa chairman Haami Piripi says the idea of Maori helping Fiji tribes with ideas for enterprise came from a Fijian lawyer working in New Zealand.

He says prominent iwi figures Sir Eddie Durie, Professor Whata Winiata and Graeme Prior shared their knowledge of constitutional development, wananga, and forestry with the Fijian ariki, or royalty.

Mr Piripi says the meeting was strictly apolitical because the iwi have no wish to become involved in Fiji politics.

He says Pacific peoples have much in common and owe it to one another to offer mutual support.