Over 300 people will be attending Unleash the Māui, the first Māori land-based summit of its kind to be held this week at the Lincoln Events Centre.
The three-day summit hosted by Whenua Kura and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is a conference with a difference and Renata Hakiwai, Chair of the Unleash the Maui Steering Committee says it acknowledges the important role of Māori in the future of the land-based industry.
“The whenua has always been important to Māori; it’s in our traditions. The land was created by Māui, the Māori demigod responsible for the creation of Aotearoa, so it’s integral to our whakapapa – we are of this land. It has fed and sustained our people for many generations,” Renata says.
The theme of the summit is Past, Present and Future and an exciting range of guest speakers will focus on leadership, pathways and innovation designed to enable innovative, creative and sustainable solutions for the whenua (land).
It will explore issues and priorities, and it will challenge thinking.
“We want to grow Māori leadership within the land-based sector, progressing innovative solutions that will enable Māori success, alignment with hapū and iwi. We want to encourage the advancement of Māori aspirations, and explore deeper and more collaborative solutions to the key challenges facing the sector,” says Renata.
“The summit will also celebrate and acknowledge success as a motivation to continue our positive progress into the future.”
He says there will be a strong focus on emerging leaders, and encouraging them to be more entrepreneurial, innovative and future focused.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu CEO, Arihia Bennett says, “innovation and technology will be key drivers in ensuring a vibrant future for land-based industry.
“Unleash the Māui creates an exciting opportunity to bring together many of the leading influencers and innovators in the sector to share and inspire innovative and creative solutions for a positive future,” she says.
Over 35 inspirational presenters are lined up. They include agribusiness and future foods leader, Dr Ian Proudfoot; Agresearch-based environmental entrepreneur and scientist, Dr Selai Letica; Māori life style entrepreneur, Robett Hollis; and Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmers winner and entrepreneur, Tangaroa Walker.
The event will also showcase some of Aotearoa’s leading Māori land-based businesses including Miraka, Awanui Huka Pak, Watsons and Sons Honey, Tuaropaki Trust, and Ngāi Tahu Tourism.
“It will be a dynamic and innovative event that we hope will inspire and motivate the growth of Māori leaders and business success in the land-based sector, says Renata Hakiwai.
“Our people are some of the best innovators and entrepreneurs in the world, and we need to provide them with the best tools and platforms to unleash.”
Unleash the Maui begins at the Lincoln Events Centre on Wednesday and runs through to Friday.