Key backs economic relationships between Fiji and Iwi

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Prime Minister John Key says he would support any future economic relationships between Fiji and Iwi Māori, after bilateral talks with Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama in Auckland.

Frank Bainimarama recieved his first official haka pōwhiri welcome to New Zealand as the Prime Minister of Fiji.

"I'm very pleased that the Prime Minister has agreed to work with me to take our relationship to another level.  A relationship in which we let bygones be bygones and work closely together to advance the interests of the Fijian and the New Zealand peoples," said Mr Bainimarama.

The Fijian Prime Minister visited NZ's largest iwi-led fishery, Moana Pacific Fisheries earlier this week in a step to build Māori business networks. John Key says it's a positive move.

Mr Key said, "If you think about the basis of their economy in Fiji.  Primary Industry is quite a significant part of that, whether it's fisheries or ultimately in agriculture, it's also around tourism and if you think about the Māori economy here in New Zealand, that mirrors that.

We know through the settlement process Iwi are becoming very significant investors and players and culturally there'll be a lot of links there so why wouldn't a Ngāi Tāhu or Tainui or one of the other Iwi seek to build relationships.

Bainimarama will attend tonight's Bledisloe Cup match with John Key before leaving NZ tomorrow.