3 Feb 2012

MAF sees growth for Maori in primary sector

7:49 am on 3 February 2012

Improving the capability of Maori interests in the primary sector is a key issue for the Government to consider in the next three years, the the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says.

In a briefing paper to the incoming Minister of Primary Industries, MAF's director-general Wayne McNee says the Maori asset base in agriculture, forestry and fishing is already worth more than $10 billion.

However, he says there is significant potential for growth.

Mr McNee says one way of increasing productivity would be to improve the sometimes archaic systems which affect Maori organisations.

He says the Government could review legislation such as the 1993 Te Ture Whenua Maori Act.

Wayne McNee believes there is an opportunity for the Government to explore the potential of Maori cultural capital and what it may contribute to international trade negotiations.

Maori values including kaitiakitanga (guardianship) and whanaungatanga (kinship), which guide the way Maori produce food, could provide an international competitive advantage for New Zealand, he says.