The Rotorua-based Maori Research Institute says preparations are almost complete for the first-ever delegation of Maori from New Zealand to attend an international conference for elders of ancient traditions and cultures being held in India.
Conference organisers invited New Zealand to be represented at the conference following a meeting last year between Dr Guna Magesan from the Institute and Indian elders visiting Rotorua.
Institute's director Malcolm Short will lead the delegation and says 15 people from various streams of Maoridom have signed up to go.
He says there's a mixture of business people, academics, artists and kaumatua.
Mr Short says several members of the delegation will present papers at the conference and after the conference, the group will hold business meetings in Mumbai and New Delhi
He says the trip provides a great opportunity for Maori to set up business links at a grass level in India and the possibility of establishing trade links.