Skip to main content

Expanding markets and unleashing potential

Barnett Vercoe, Chair of Onuku Māori Lands Trust, which owns several farms in the central North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand, and Daniel Phillips, a member of the Māori Agribusiness team at the Ministry for Primary Industries.

6 October 

E-commerce offers an innovative and low-cost way for indigenous and ethnic minority communities to develop new markets and platforms to sell their agricultural goods and services.  At the same time, it allows these communities to continue living and prospering in their own ancestral areas.

Many indigenous and ethnic minority communities throughout the APEC region face unique barriers and challenges in running businesses and achieving the aspirations of their peoples.  Many live in isolated regions with difficult access to services and infrastructure.   This, along with systemic and other challenges, impacts on their ability to progress aspirations for their families, children, and communities.  A key opportunity to support these communities to thrive is enabling them to get their products to markets locally, domestically, and internationally.  This includes navigating through impacts such as COVID-19.

As part of New Zealand’s hosting of APEC 2021, the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is leading three virtual APEC seminars in October 2021 that will focus on showcasing examples of e-commerce entrepreneurship from indigenous and ethnic minorities.

Through e-commerce, indigenous and ethnic minority communities can expand their markets, increase their profits and strengthen their agribusinesses.  This in turn can boost food security, living standards and prosperity.

About the seminars

The three seminars aim to help share with APEC economies how indigenous and ethnic minority agribusinesses are building successful businesses, their critical information needs and decision points, and how they contribute to the prosperity of their communities.

The seminars will be an exciting opportunity to learn from experts and businesses, while making useful connections domestically and internationally.  You’ll hear the latest insights with real-life examples of success and unique perspectives.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, indigenous Māori agriculture is a major contributor to our economy.  Māori have always been a big part of the farming, forestry, and fishing industries.  Uniquely, Māori often operate from a cultural lens to guide their businesses, supporting their intergenerational viability, from small to large commercial operations.

The government and Māori seek to work together in partnership founded by the Treaty of Waitangi 1840 to achieve economic, environmental, social, and cultural aspirations for whānau (family). 

Māori seek to be good ancestors to their future generations by taking care of and enhancing their taonga (treasures), which are their natural resources and primary sector assets.

The asset base of the Māori economy was valued at $68.7 billion (NZD) at 2018, by economic research organisation BERL.  The Māori economy is growing even faster than the Aotearoa New Zealand economy.  This brings huge benefits to Aotearoa New Zealand through creating businesses and jobs, and both improving the productivity of Māori-owned land (whenua) and primary assets.

Innovation and entrepreneurship are helping to build thriving Māori whanau (families) and communities. 

Through the seminars, we aim to build indigenous and ethnic minority connections across APEC economies. 

We invite you to attend.

By working together, we will build capability and capacity within our indigenous and ethnic minority agribusinesses and local economies to lift prosperity.

Seminar details

Virtual seminar 1: Can I e-commerce my business?

Friday 15 October 2021 | 15:00 PM NZT (UTC+13)

E-commerce know-how, supply chain integrity, market pathways, know your consumers.

  • Digital accessibility and infrastructure
  • Demonstrating traceability, for example through blockchain technology
  • Building e-commerce capability

Virtual seminar 2: Success for all beyond the horizon

Tuesday 19 October 2021 | 15:00 PM NZT (UTC+13)

Inclusive succession. Women, youth, environment, and culture.

  • Women in agricultural leadership
  • Engaging youth and succession planning
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Maintaining cultural integrity

Virtual seminar 3: Your unique story.  Value. Protect. Share.

Thursday 21 October 2021 | 15:00 PM NZT (UTC+13)

Where traditional knowledge meets intellectual property and international trade.

  • Navigating cultural and intellectual property
  • Developing brand proposition in a way that increases commercial value
  • Preparing for international commerce and import/export requirements

REGISTER on the APEC NZ platform if you are a Government organisation, via your economy’s Delegated Accredited Officer (DAO). If you do not know who this is please email this link to and they will forward your registration to your local DAO.

REGISTER as a Non Member Participant (non-government) directly with the Project Overseer using this link