An indigenous free-trade agreement is one of the key ideas up for discussion at the World Indigenous Business Forum in Rotorua this week.
Indigenous business leaders from around the world are looking at the ways they can create trade opportunities for their people. Hundreds of indigenous people from 25 countries are attending this week’s forum.
Richard Jefferies – the chairperson of the Te Ohu Whaiao Māori Indigenous Business Development Trust – says indigenous groups are looking to expand their trade interest.
“More and more are expecting that there be some recognitions of the rights of indigenous people in free-trade – from what I understand there’s very little in free-trade agreements around the world.”
Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta spoke at the forum and said there was still a way to go in securing advantage for Māori in trade policy settings.
Mr Jefferies was hopeful for more action from the government.
“You know the debate has started and I think even Minister Mahuta acknowledged she was asking her officials to do more work on this.”