MEDIA RELEASE: Landmark partnership formed between Maori and Aboriginal Australians
The National Maori Authority, Nga Ngaru and one of Australia’s oldest and largest Aboriginal service organisations,
Babana Aboriginal, have today embarked on a strategic relationship with the signing of a memorandum of understanding
that will lead to a joint venture between Maori and Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders. The partnership will be a
landmark arrangement that will see both organisations harness the power of indigenous knowledge and intellectual
property, enable the cultural and economic connections as well as working with each other to raise the profile of
Indigenous urban peoples wherever they may be.
“As an organisation we have long recognised that our Maori people aren’t just located around their Iwi or in our
domestic urban centres, they are also truly pan tribal and global and with an estimated one in four Maori now living in
Australia this represents a real opportunity for us to work with Babana and others to form a bridge between our peoples,
other indigenous peoples and Iwi.” Said Mere Balzer, Chair of Nga Ngaru (National Maori Authority).
“This is an exciting opportunity for Babana Aboriginal because we know we have many Maori in our communities as well.
Every year on ANZAC day we march with our Maori brothers and sisters in the Coloured Diggers Parade that we organise and
we have close ties when it comes to employment, mental health and a range of other social issues. By working with the
Nga Ngaru the opportunity to also build partnerships around employment and economic development are exciting.” Said Mark Spinks, Chair of Babana Aboriginal and the Tribal Warrior Association.
The partnership will focus on the following:
1. Joint sharing of cultural knowledge, information and opportunities
2. The development of joint projects for Maori in Australia around health and employment alongside our Aboriginal
brothers and sisters
3. Development of economic and business trade relationships that Nga Ngaru can help facilitate between Iwi and
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Organisations and in reverse
Mark Spinks will be a guest speaker at the National Symposium for Maori Economic Development and Entrepreneurship being
hosted by Nga Ngaru in March of 2017.
About Nga Ngaru: NNR is a National Maori Authority and is focussed on building partnerships and value networks locally, nationally and
internationally. Ngā Ngaru is a national member based social value network within Aotearoa, driving equitable access to
information and knowledge for all and positioning the social value network as a force for change.
About Babana: Babana Aboriginal is an organisation that is committed to the health, well-being and economic empowerment of Indigenous,
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Our objective is to focus on providing a range of services to our community that
enable that to happen as well as commit to the prevention of a range of social issues such as suicide and mental health,
a dedicated focus on health and well-being as well as employment related initiatives