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Maori delegation head to Tokyo for culture and business

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A prominent Maori-owned kiwifruit company will lead a 55-strong business and cultural delegation to Tokyo this Sunday to further expand their produce into the Japanese market.

Mt Maunganui-based Te Awanui Huka Pak is a major player in New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry and this looks set to get even stronger when they give their Japanese customers a taste of ‘iwi-fruit’ at the opening of the Zespri Trade Conference – one of the biggest gatherings of movers and shakers in the international kiwifruit industry.

“This will be the start of something bigger and better and it is great news for New Zealand’s industry considering the tough times we have endured recently,” said Te Awanui Huka Pak chief executive Hemi Rolleston.

“We will be using our culture and reputation as a major player in the industry.

“This delegation has huge potential to further enhance and develop the Maori brand alongside its gloabal partner Zespri.

“Te Awanui is honoured to be invited to help open the conference and it goes to show that the Japanese really do appreciate our culture and our values as Maori.”

Te Awanui is recognised as having some of the best producing orchards in the world as well as being the largest shareholder in Seeka Industries – the largest post-harvest operator of kiwifruit in the world

The company, owned by several Maori land trusts and whanau, has put together a cultural group, including Ria Hall (2011 World Rugby Cup opening singer), to deliver performances at the opening of the conference

Other organisations had also been invited to be part of Te Awanui’s delegation. They include Maori orchard growers from Te Kaha, Whakatane and Te Puke as well as New Zealand Trade Enterprise, Export New Zealand, Federation of Maori Authorities and the Maori Trustee.

For further comment from Mr Rolleston contact Renee Ritete on 022 123 8811.

For further details, see the background information factsheet attached.

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