Māori Development and Associate Economic Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell is leading a Māori business delegation on a culture and trade mission to Japan.

The delegation has also visited South Korea.

Mr Flavell, who is scheduled to deliver a lecture in Sapporo, is expected to deepen cultural as well as business ties between Maori and Japan during his visit.

He says Aotearoa-New Zealand’s $42 billion-Māori economy has huge potential to boost New Zealand’s prosperity, with trade missions playing a big part in unlocking foreign markets.

The delegation includes 12 Māori business leaders from tourism, fishing, forestry, food and beverage, and nutraceuticals sectors. The group will connect with government and business leaders in Tokyo and Hokkaido.

The mission will conclude with a cultural exchange between Māori and the indigenous Ainu people in Hokkaido.

Business delegates representing Māori tourism will be most strongly represented in Hokkaido, where Ainu leaders are eager to discuss with Māori their approaches to indigenous tourism development.

The trade mission visited South Korea on June 19-21, and Japan from June 22-25.

Read more:

Trade mission information [PDF, 1.5 MB], including businesses attending

New Zealand's relationship with Japan

Minister leads Maori trade delegation (external link)