A senior law lecturer at Waikato University's Te Piringia-Faculty of Law says many of the outcomes from an extensive study of North American Indian economic development, are applicable to Maori.
Robert Joseph, whose research centres on Maori and indigenous governance, was among a small group of New Zealanders who have just been in Tuscon Arizona as guests of Harvard University.
He says the university wanted to share results of its 20 year study of North American Indian and First Nation tribes, which looked at self determination, governance and economic development, and the links between them.
Dr Joseph says the researchers wanted to find out the factors which determine why some First Nation tribes are doing well economically, while others are in the midst of poverty.
He says the keys to economic success included strong leadership, good dispute resolution skills and people taking responsibility for their own decisions.