BUSINESS: Māori leading the way in cross-border business


AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – TUESDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2017: When it comes to business, Māori, The Pacific and China all have a common thread – it is the long game that counts.

“At ANZ we have learnt, from long-standing relationships, that Māori, Pasifika and Asian businesses have key advantages,” says ANZ Managing Director Corporate & Agri Mark Hiddleston.

“Generally speaking, western-style businesses are more short term focussed, but working together with Māori we have learnt that growing assets and profits for future generations whilst maintaining a strong focus on the environment and sustainability need not be mutually exclusive.”

Speaking at the Taniwha Dragon Economic summit in Hastings alongside Cook Islands Prime Minister Hon. Henry Puna, Hiddleston outlined the journey ANZ has been on with Māori to invest in greater knowledge of Māori business and identify opportunities to help customers achieve their goals.

“Whether you are in The Cook Islands, or whether you are a Māori business here in New Zealand, cross-border business is not easy.  It takes time, and we’ve been working hard over the past decade to try and help our customers succeed in this space.”

Fiordland Lobster Company CEO Alan Buckner & Taine Randell, Kahungunu Assets Holding Company director holding the big one

The Taniwha Dragon Economic Summit, hosted by Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, brought together business and political leaders from New Zealand, Māori, China and the Pacific to network and develop trade and investment opportunities.

“When we look at our customers who are successfully doing business with China, there are some key areas to focus on, and you can see the results in areas like the successful export of koura, or fresh crayfish, to China.”

“For Māori, partnering to pool resource means that export demand can be met, and being part of a larger collective can mean better financial returns on their assets.”

When looking for future opportunity for trade and investment with Asia, Hiddleston said tourism played an important role in the Pacific’s growth.

“For The Cook Islands, and broader Pacific, continued strategic investment to facilitate trade and people flows, will enable more growth.”

“Island nations are small, including New Zealand, we need collaboration for scale.  Māori have shown great examples of how individual groups can maintain their own unique tribal identity among broader collectives.”

Hiddleston said turning global ambition into reality was hard work and New Zealand and Asia needed each other in order to succeed.

“Here in New Zealand we have quality resources, but we need greater market access.  We need investment, and we have our own strong values that can’t be compromised.”