26 Mar 2013

Indigenous Latin Americans keen to learn from Maori experience

9:11 am on 26 March 2013

Indigenous leaders in Latin America are keen to learn from the Maori experience of how tangata whenua in Aotearoa are part of the important decisions made in the New Zealand parliament.

Federation of Maori Authorities chairperson Traci Houpapa was part of the Government's Latin American trade mission in March visiting Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Chile and Easter Island.

Ms Houpapa says it was an exciting trip and it was good to forge closer relationships with those people.

She says First Nations communities in those countries are interested to learn how Maori and the Government are working together and building on their multi-million dollar economic base.

Ms Houpapa says in each of those countries both the government and indigenous leaders were keen to get a better understanding of how Maori and the New Zealand Government co-operate with each other.

She says there is great interest in how Maori have managed their assets and interests and how they have created a working model for economic development.