15 May 2013

Maori migration to Australia part of on going story

7:22 pm on 15 May 2013

A Ngapuhi businessman based in New South Wales says Maori migration to Australia is merely a continuation of what his Polynesian ancestors started more than 1000 years ago.

Brent Reihana of the Maori Business Network in Australia supports a Maori migration expert Paul Hamer of Victoria University who is conducting a survey of Maori people living in Australia and why some have returned to Aotearoa.

He says some Maori migrants often get flack from their relatives in New Zealand for moving across the Tasman and get labelled as "plastic Maori".

But he says the journey his Maori ancestors started in Hawaiki 1000 years ago hasn't really stopped.

Mr Reihana says like many other islands in the South Pacific, Aotearoa was just a stopping post in the same way Australia has now become.

He says his early ancestors were seafarers and adventurers and what Maori are doing by coming to Australia is just perpetuating that journey.

Paul Hamer's research of Maori in Australia is a more in-depth study from the first one he did for Te Puni Kokiri a few years ago.