Today I hosted a wānanga to promote greater international dialogue on indigenous business and trade opportunities.
This was a first for the New Zealand Government that recognises our shared cultural identities as indigenous people and fosters stronger trade. It was an opportunity for us to learn from one another and discuss the role that governments can play in supporting indigenous business development and trade on the world stage. We hosted delegates from Australia, Canada, Chile and Mexico in Rotorua.
There is growing interest across the globe from Government, business and civil society to support indigenous people and their communities through economic development and trade. Whether developing new diplomatic relations or growing existing ones, this wānanga is a unique platform to help promote greater dialogue amongst our countries. We want to ensure that trade benefits all people, including indigenous peoples. Many of the barriers shared by Māori and indigenous peoples were discussed at the wānanga.
Our Government is strongly focused on enhancing indigenous development and cooperation, including through the Trade for All Agenda. We want trade agreements to deliver for all New Zealanders, including Māori.
I will open the World Indigenous Business Forum tomorrow in Rotorua. This is the first time that New Zealand will host the forum.
I am looking forward to deepening and widening the relationships we have formed at the wānanga and continuing these discussions at the 18th Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the United Nations in New York.