Hui focuses on driving regional Māori economy
A series of community hui on the development of a strong and sustainable Māori economy in the greater Wellington region will conclude in Plimmerton today ahead of next year developing an economic strategy and action plan designed to boost the economic and social well-being of Māori in the region.
The process, known as Ruruku, has so far comprised four hui (workshops) in Te Awakairangi (Hutt Valley), Whakaoriori (Masterton), Pōneke (Wellington) and Wairarapa ki te Tonga (south Wairarapa). As a consequence there is an ongoing conversation with Maori on economic challenges and opportunities. The work is being driven by Greater Wellington Regional Council's Wellington Regional Strategy Office alongside Ara Tahi, , Greater Wellington's mana whenua partnership forum.
"This will help shape a vision for Māori development and contribute to the creation of a Māori Economic Development Strategy and action plan for Te Upoko o Te Ika a Māui," says Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair, Daran Ponter.
"We've focused on engaging with Māori communities of any age, background and interest, however there is a focus on rangatahi and Māori businesses as they will make a real and lasting contribution to driving the Māori economy in the future."
The initiative has come from Ara Tahi, with the support of a group from Victoria University of Wellington Business School.
"In our Plimmerton session, Nga Mahi a Maui, we have an exciting line-up of successful Māori business operators wanting to share their experiences and networks to build and better enable business success."
The strategy and action plan provides a point of co-ordination for the already significant economic activity underway at local, regional, iwi and organisation levels, and will be a vehicle for enhancing or developing new ideas and collaboration.
"The way forward will be focussed on supporting greater self-determination for Māori in realising positive economic and financial outcomes, and will highlight what is needed to ensure successful implementation of the great ideas that are emerging from discussions," says Cr Ponter.
Māori wanting to get involved in the development of the strategy and action plan should visit ruruku.org.nz to find background information on the project and an interactive forum through which to post ideas.
Information and perspectives drawn from the hui and online engagement will be considered in the development of a first draft of the strategy, which will be available in early March 2020.
"At that point we will have a draft for consultation, and we look forward to taking it to the Māori communities throughout the rohe," says Cr Ponter.
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