25 Jun 2012

Maori story should be pushed in trade talks - consultant

6:43 am on 25 June 2012

A brand and marketing consultant is backing a ministerial push for a Maori representative to be at all international trade talks involving countries with indigenous people.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples was recently in China with three Maori owned fishing companies.

BrandNew chief executive Dave Bassett says fish is fish and in a competitive global market environment, trade partners are looking for a point of difference.

He says the Maori story can add value to fisheries products, and a Maori representative at high level trade talks should be endorsed.

Mr Bassett says the country is underselling a culture that is unique to New Zealand.

He also says Dr Sharples' idea of Maori Inc working alongside a planned New Zealand Inc marketing campaign should be pushed.

But he says they should work in unison, not separately.