As I mentioned in the first instalment of my January update, this month has been a period of great change. None more so than starting my new job after a four month sabbatical travelling around Europe and New Zealand. As of 9 January 2018 I joined the public sector, taking up a positing of Māori Business Customer Manager at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. As NZTE is a Government Agency this will impact on the type of content that you can expect to see on this site and through my writing over at The Spinoff.
First things first, what is NZTE and what do we do? NZTE is the Government’s exporting assistance agency. Our mission is to support New Zealand companies grow their international exports bigger, better, and faster; for the benefit of New Zealand. What this means is that we are all about supporting New Zealand businesses with the strategic and technical aspects of exporting goods and services overseas. It is a wide ranging mission, and we work with over 5,000 companies exporting to 40 plus markets around the globe.
Specifically, my role is working with Māori businesses who are considering exporting, or early-stage exporters seeking to develop their knowledge and experience in exporting and who require planning and support to grow their exporting business and enter new markets. I have a wide brief to work closely with Māori organisations in any sector, and across all regions of New Zealand. It is a broad role, and one that promises to be incredibly rewarding. The companies I have interacted with to date are doing some wonderful initiatives. If you have been watching Gate to the Globe on TVNZ1 these past few weeks then you will have some idea of the types of Māori organisations that I will be working for.
However, working for the Government brings with it requirements of political neutrality. This means that I will no longer be writing on overly-political topics and will refrain from commenting on contemporary Government and Opposition policy positions. While I plan on remaining a member of the Māori Party, I will not be taking an active role in any of their political activities while I am employed by NZTE, nor will I be actively supporting the party on this site or in my other public writing.
I am, however, maintaining my historical articles on this site. While some of these are definitely political, and several articles written last year were critical of the current Government, it is important to note that these were written prior to the commencement of my employment with NZTE.
It is an exciting time, both for me personally and the Māori economy and I look forward to sharing with you my research and experiences in this space over the course of 2018!