30 Aug 2012

Iwi seek to join Pacific Islands Forum group

8:38 am on 30 August 2012

Maori have asked to become a member of a sub-group of the Pacific Islands Forum.

The Polynesian Leaders Group, made up of eight nations including the Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa, is meeting in Rarotonga where the 43rd Pacific Island Forum is being held.

The Polynesian group aims to work together on issues in the Polynesian triangle, which include trade.

Some iwi delegates are in Rarotonga and have expressed interest in joining. Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu kaiwhakahaere (chairperson) Mark Solomon, says iwi want to rekindle their relationship with Pacific whanaunga, and joining the forum sub-group could also increase business opportunities.

He says fishing is a well-known trait among Polynesians and a collective could be formed to create a Hawaiki brand to sell fish.