16 Jul 2013

Trade links to Taiwan a natural fit for Maori

8:52 am on 16 July 2013

The chair of the Maori Economic Development Panel, Ngahiwi Tomoana, says strengthening ties with the indigenous people of Taiwan is a natural fit.

The New Zealand Government last week entered into an economic cooperation agreement to boost trade ties with Taiwan.

The agreement also seeks to foster relationships between Maori and the indigenous people of Taiwan, where Maori are believed to have originated from.

The chair of the government-appointed panel, Ngahiwi Tomoana, says whakapapa, Te Reo Maori, sailing and tamoko traditions can be traced to Taiwan, so the deal is like reconnecting an old trade route.

He says taking the cultural road in to commerce is an advantage that Maori can bring to the business sector.

Mr Tomoana says Maori are growing in confidence on the international trade stage, and they need to look at indigenous trade as their domain.