Canadian Minister intrigued by Māori Economic Development

By Harata Brown

Just months after being elected, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is now looking to Māori for ideas to help his country improve its race relations. Canada's Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David Zimmer is here to find out why NZ has a reputation for being leaders in its relationship with indigenous people.

Canada's Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David Zimmer met with Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust as part of Canada's move to help improve its race relations.

“I'm here with the delegation from Ontario, to learn and get an understanding and a sense of the challenges the Maori nation faces and it's interaction with its federal Government.”

Chairman for Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust, Raymond Hall, says, “So it's all about us delivering a message on our social services and how those social services may be helpful to other indigenous people around the globe.”

Mr. Zimmer has already met with the Minister for Māori Development and other Crown agencies to look at where Māori fit into governance and policy making.

He says he's intrigued by Māori and their economic development here in Auckland, “That the Maori's are large owners of commercial properties here in Auckland in the CBD. That's just one example that of what I hope to take back and share with the aboriginal community of Ontario in Canada.”

The Canadian Government has promised to renew relationships with their aboriginal peoples, Canada's First Nations people.

“In Canada a recognition that has come down from the Prime Minister and is filtering into the population at large. That in Canada we are all Treaty peoples. If we are all Treaty peoples the question arises, how do we interpreted those Treaties,” says Zimmer.

The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs will fly home to Toronto, Canada, tomorrow.