APEC 2021 was the most important diplomatic event New Zealand had hosted in a generation. The need to collaborate across APEC was reflected in New Zealand’s theme for the year: “Join, Work, Grow. Together. Haumi ē, Hui ē, Tāiki ē.”
Traditionally, building a waka (canoe) involved entire Māori communities working in harmony toward a common goal. These waka enabled Māori to traverse vast expanses of ocean. For the APEC region to successfully rebuild and recover would take the same kind of teamwork and cooperation required to build a waka. The words “Join, Work, Grow. Together. “Haumi ē, Hui ē, Tāiki ē” described the collaborative effort required to reach a common goal.
Throughout 2021 we worked to deliver an authentic New Zealand experience to all participants and extend manaakitanga (hospitality), just as we would in a physical event. Tikanga Māori was at the heart of our approach. Thank you to Te Āti Awa (Wellington-based iwi) for their guidance and assistance.