27 Aug 2019

Iwi leaders forum to discuss opportunities in hemp and housing

11:18 am on 27 August 2019

Leaders from 80 iwi across the country have converged in Hastings for the National Iwi Chairs Forum to discuss topics such as trade, climate change, housing and hemp.

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Hemp is one of the topics leaders will discuss. Photo: 123RF

The forum was established at a request by Dame Te Atairangikaahu to Tā Mark Solomon 14 years ago to bring iwi together, and explore greater cultural, social, economic and political opportunities.

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta opened the forum yesterday, highlighting the theme of Global Indigenous Tribal Trading.

Other speakers included the ambassador from the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia, and a first nation contingent from the United States and Canada.

Today and tomorrow will focus on four pou, or pillars, including pou tāngata, pou tahua, pou taiao and pou tikanga.

Each pou will cover issues such as freshwater and climate change, constitutional reforms, Whānau Ora and Oranga Tamariki, and global trade.

Ms Mahuta, Pacific Peoples Minister William Sio, Children's Minister Tracey Martin, and Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis will attend the forum tomorrow.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has also been invited.

The forum will come to a close tomorrow.