14 Nov 2017

Prime Minister to meet with Federation of Māori Authorities

8:03 pm on 14 November 2017

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will meet with the Federation of Māori Authorities (FOMA) this week as it celebrates its 30th anniversary.

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FOMA chairperson Traci Houpapa Photo: RNZ/Susan Murray

The federation, comprising of 150 Māori authorities, is an advisory group to the government on policies related to Māori land, interests and people.

It will hold its annual conference in Rotorua on Friday to discuss what it has achieved and where it plans to go in the future.

Chairperson Traci Houpapa said the federation had been integral in keeping Māori at the forefront of decision-making.

"Never before in our history have Māori been as welcomed and as influential at decision making tables in New Zealand and internationally.

"That's a big win for FOMA, it's a big win for Māori and for Aotearoa."

Ms Houpapa said Ms Ardern would be meeting with some of the key Māori industry and business leaders in New Zealand.

"The Prime Minister will be speaking with some of the key industry and business leaders in New Zealand. These are the people who have done the heavy lifting in terms of economic development and commercial activity.

"These are people who understand how we distribute wealth to our people."

Ms Houpapa said she hoped the FOMA conference would help strengthen the relationship the federation has with the government.

"We are interested in talking about next-stage development because the strategic premise of sustainability, regional economic development and growth, the property of our people and the long-term vision for Aotearoa New Zealand that Labour share are aligned exactly to the FOMA kaupapa and vision."

She said the Māori economy was growing and hoped Māori would continue to seek international market access and look at how New Zealand engaged commercially with the rest of the world.

The conference, starting on 17 November, has a line-up of guest speakers including Sir Tipene O'Regan, Waaka Vercoe, Mavis Mullins, Paul Morgan, and Sir Wira Gardiner.