Te Arawa Fisheries’ Commercial Board today hosted EU Ambassador Nina Obermaier and Trade Minister Damien O’Connor to discuss global trade opportunities from the new NZ/UK Free Trade Agreement, as well as the state of ongoing negotiations in light of recent global geopolitics.
Te Arawa Fisheries also took the opportunity to update Ms Obermaier and Minister O’Connor on our commercial strategy and plan for 2022, pushing our brands into new markets in Aotearoa and abroad.
As part of the discussions, Ms Obermaier said she was pleased to be supporting Te Arawa and Waiariki iwi to access the biggest science and research fund in the world.
She said she was also committed to exploring options in the current EU negotiations to accomodate the interests of Māori.
Her views on sustainability align strongly with Māori values and what is being championed across the European Union (EU) and the world.
Minister O’Connor said he was strongly supportive of large scale aquaculture development for Māori and Aotearoa, as it aligns firmly with his Government’s own aquaculture strategy and sees a real opportunity to tell some of our unique values-based stories to the world, as we are doing with Hī mussels.
He said while governments could negotiate trade deals, once finalised it was up to individual businesses to step up. Diversification is key, he said, ensuring businesses don’t keep all their eggs in the same basket – and we agree!
The meeting was a great platform for frank and open discussion and follows a similar one Te Arawa Fisheries recently hosted with Minister for Climate Change James Shaw, Labour MP Tāmati Coffey and an expert on carbon forestry.
These exchanges with leading Ministers and other key influencers are a deliberate and powerful instrument to take the pulse of our external and international operating arena, enabling us to move nimbly with our commercial strategy.
Te Arawa Fisheries will continue to host meetings with other lead thinkers throughout 2022.
Finally, we are thrilled Commercial Board member Dr Ken Kennedy will be departing New Zealand on Friday, alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, for a trade mission to Singapore and Japan. Travel safe e Te Papa e Keneti!