5 Sep 2012

Need for a Maori bank to be discussed this week

7:10 pm on 5 September 2012

The pros and cons of establishing a Maori bank will be discussed at a conference this week.

The Maori Law Society is hosting the inaugural international conference for indigenous lawyers in Hamilton.

The society's co-president Tama Potaka says there's a great deal of interest in the discussion.

It will be held by a panel including representatives of the ASB, BNZ and Westpac banks, plus June McCabe, who sits on several Maori boards and is a former Westpac manager.

Mr Potaka says he hopes the discussion will lead to better financing of, and banking for, Maori organisations.

He says some Maori banking needs, for example for Maori-owned land, require creative financing mechanisms to ensure all parties are satisfied.

He says there's several options for the type of bank, which could be established by iwi, a trust, or a corporation which had the financial backing.

The conference begins on Thursday and finishes on Saturday.