A Maori business leader based in Australia says the former Minister of Maori Affairs failed to realise the economic potential of Maori there and the current leadership shouldn't make the same mistake.
Brent Reihana, of Ngapuhi, Tuhoe and Te Whakatohea descent, is the co-ordinator of the Maori Business Network in Sydney and said he felt that Pita Sharples overlooked Maori in Australia.
Mr Reihana said more channels need to be opened up to allow Maori in Australia to participate in the Maori economic strategy.
He said 25 percent of the Maori population now live across the Tasman and Te Puni Kokiri needs to be looking at what Australia is doing as a strategic step, rather than leaving them out.
Mr Reihana said he has more confidence in new Maori Affairs Minister Te Ururoa Flavell, who he believes will engage with Maori in Australia more than Dr Sharples did.