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Ed Sheeran

Māori voice on BOP economic forum
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A new trustee on the Eastern Bay of Plenty's Toi Economic Development Agency says maori interests are essential to the region's future economic success.

Wiremu Doherty, the chief executive of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi, and Opōtiki district councillor Arihia Tuoro will give a Māori input into the trust, which brings together the Whakatane, Kawerau and Opōtiki councils and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Mr Doherty says planning for growth means looking at issues like labour supply and training, so the skilled and semi-skilled jobs that will be created don't just go to outsiders.

There are also growing tensions around water rights and water use.

"Having iwi involved in the economic development forum is the way for New Zealand to move forward. Arihia and I are fiercely interested in ensuring iwi interests, iwi development, iwi aspirations are held at the same level when we talk about the economic development of our region because we must grow the two together," Mr Doherty says.

Māori are also significant owners in the primary industries, but face challenges developing their land so it can sustain those of their people who want to continue living in the rohe.

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