29 Aug 2012

Maori iwi say they are ready to join up with Pacific Polynesian group

1:31 pm on 29 August 2012

A four-member delegation representing New Zealand's Maori iwi say it is time they became official members of the Polynesian Leaders Group, or PLG.

Selwyn Parata of Ngati Porou, Tainui's Tukuroirangi Morgan, the Ngai Tahu chairman Mark Solomon, and Te Arawa's Roger Pikia presented their case for inclusion at a meeting at the weekend.

The PLG was formed last year by eight Polynesian countries - Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, Niue, American Samoa, French Polynesia and Tokelau.

The Maori leaders say the Iwi Leaders Forum is ready to become a member of the group.

Mr Morgan says joining would be an extraordinary opportunity to meet with people related to Maori.

Mark Solomon says while their main intention is to build relationships with Pacific nations, he says the group would also have positive effects on the Polynesian population in New Zealand.