At the 2018 AGM for the New Zealand Pacific Business Council (NZPBC) the adoption and incorporation of our Maori name was ratified by the membership.

Perhaps one of the more significant changes in the history of the New Zealand Pacific Business Council is the incorporation of a Maori identity. The recognition of our own Maori Heritage is of great importance when conducting bilateral trade in the Pacific as one of the peoples of the Pacific. Traditionally cultures in the Pacific when meeting, talk about how and where they came into being and who they are, thus providing a platform for building trust between parties.

The new name Ngā Tai a Kiwa means ‘The Tides of the Pacific Ocean’ and represents the idea of trade between New Zealand and the various Pacific countries, as the tides of the Pacific Ocean carried the trading waka’s from one country to another.

Devin Brown, Dr Valance Smith and Peter McGill

A Maori name, must have meaning, embody the values and culture it represents. Thus, we have included the meaning in the constitution and will look to incorporate Te reo into our meetings as first steps to recognising our Polynesian heritage. This is also the beginning of a much longer journey for the council.

Instrumental in the formation of our Maori name was Dr Valance Smith of AUT University, Lecturer of Te Ara Poutama/Māori and Indigenous Development. Dr Smith provided an incredible amount of time and knowledge to the guidance as we began this journey to fully embodying many aspects of Ngā Tai a Kiwa identity. Devin Brown, former Chair of the NZPBC, who lead this process last year presented Dr Smith with koha to recognise Dr Smith’s contribution to the New Zealand Pacific Business Council (NZPBC)| Ngā Tai a Kiwa at the February executive committee meeting.

The New Zealand Pacific Business Council | Ngā Tai a Kiwa would like to acknowledge this is a small but significant step in acknowledging New Zealand’s Polynesian heritage.