12 Jun 2013

Bougainville govt learning from Maori agency

6:41 am on 12 June 2013

Maori consultancy firm Tuia International is helping to develop an autonomous province in Papua New Guinea.

Tuia has set up an office in Bougainville, an autonomous region in Papua New Guinea, to directly engage with local leaders.

Director Mike Taitoko, of Ngati Maniapoto descent, said the Autonomous Bougainville Government is keen to learn from its Maori cousins how to strengthen their economic base, and understand how Maori and the Crown work together on their Treaty settlements.

Mr Taitoko said the support Tuia has had from the New Zealand, Australian, Papua New Guinean, and Bougainville governments has been huge - particularly in looking at significant issues on how to avoid mistakes made in the past.

He said the Autonomous Bougainville Government wants to get its legislative and economic policies right by looking at what Maori have learned.

Mr Taitoko said they want to use an "indigenous lens" to make sure they get things right the first time, as they move towards possible independence.

He said the support Tuia International has given the Bougainville political leaders has landed well with those respective governments, and their support in this project and others moving forward has been quite significant.