Opening dialogue with South African aquaculture companies and exploring a work exchange programme for rangatahi were just two of the potential opportunities discussed with South African High Commissioner Vuyiswa Tulelo this week.
Her Excellency, Ms Tulelo, visited Te Arawa Fisheries to discuss some of the opportunities that could be fostered through an ongoing relationship between South Africa and New Zealand.
During this discussion, Her Excellency, Ms Tulelo, heard from Te Arawa Fisheries Directors Dr Ken Kennedy and Peter Rice, Pukeroa Oruawhata Chair Malcolm Short and Te Rūnanga o Te Whānau Chief Executive Rikirangi Gage Porourangi about where Māori have come from and what Māori are looking to in the future.
The overarching messages were about how Tikanga Māori informs business practises, as well as the importance to Māori of working collectively, protecting the environment and thinking long-term.
Te Arawa Fisheries Chief Executive Chris Karamea Insley says this future-focused thinking shaped the discussion around getting some practical initiatives off the ground.
These include a work exchange programme which would give South African rangatahi a chance to work in indigenous forests and Māori rangatahi in a safari environment.
“An exchange programme like this would be enriching for both countries, allowing rangatahi to develop new skills they could then bring home and implement.”
Her Excellency, Ms Tulelo, said she found her meetings with Te Arawa Fisheries to be highly constructive.
“I am unashamedly bulldoggish in that I am not here to do talk shows. I want to be able to go back and show tangible results of what we made happen.
“I am not what you would call a ‘typical diplomat’. I love finding opportunities for my people and I get frustrated with the red tape.
“That’s why I feel drawn to Chris, he has an idea and doesn’t just talk about it – he makes sure it happens.
“My tenure in New Zealand is coming to an end and I want to ensure the relationships with the right people and organisations are sustained so my successor can pick them up and run with them.”