Canadian government brings indigenous business delegation to New Zealand: seeks opportunities with Māori business at
The Government of Canada and members of the World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF - Canada) met with the Te Ohu Whai Ao
Charitable Trust in Rotorua this weekend to progress planning for the 9th World Indigenous Business Forum later this
year. The Canadian delegation is looking to identify opportunities to work with Māori businesses.
Delegations from more than 25 countries and representatives of more than 500 Indigenous businesses, as well as many
leaders from across a growing global Indigenous business economy, are expected to attend the Forum, from 9 to 11
Richard Jefferies, Chairman of Te Ohu Whai Ao Trust, secured the hosting rights to the Forum and is co-ordinating the
event with support from a number of key partners, including Government.
“The goal of the Forum is to develop Indigenous-to-Indigenous domestic and foreign trade business opportunities, which
in New Zealand is represented by our burgeoning Māori-led business,” says Jefferies.
Jefferies says that he thinks the time is right to consider specific strategies and approaches to support and help
unlock further value from the Maori economy – in the same way that the female-led business economy is inspiring specific
strategies, for example.
“In terms of our indigenous economy, we believe the opportunity is more than just a financial one. We believe business
can also be a powerful enabler for positive social change,” he said.
The Te Ohu Whai Ao Trust will host a diverse range of speakers from multiple indigenous cultures, industries, rangatahi,
women and government that will include:
Dave Archambault – Former Chairman of Standing Rock, the Sioux tribe who led the opposition to the construction of the
Dakota Access Pipeline which gained global attention
Dr. Kholode Al-Obaidli – Chief Learning Officer of Sidra Medical and Research Center, Qatar
Kristal Kinsela – NSW Aboriginal Woman of The Year, 2017
Francis and Kaiora Tipene – Directors, Tipene Funerals (featured in TVNZ’s programme ‘The Casketeers’)
Canada’s High Commissioner to New Zealand, Mario Bot, has been promoting the World Indigenous Business Forum in both
Canada and New Zealand.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming a business delegation representing the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in
October as part of Canada's commitment to support and grow Indigenous economies.
“There are obvious synergies between Maori and Canadian Indigenous businesses and we want to use this Forum to optimise
the economic, social and cultural benefits for all," he says.