Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand today signed a collaboration arrangement bringing the two countries’ Indigenous peoples and policy makers closer together to promote economic, social and cultural advancement.
Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, said Australia and AotearoaNew Zealand have similar experiences and can learn from each other ways to improve the lives of Indigenous peoples.
“Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand are privileged to have such strong indigenous cultures and we believe there is more we can learn from each other by confirming and expanding our collaboration,” Minister Wyatt said.
“Our two countries are on a continuing journey of truth-telling about the history of our respective indigenous peoples and we are both committed to taking important steps towards healing and reconciliation.
“Through joint activities under the arrangement, we can develop greater capability within our governments and indigenous organisations and communities so we can learn from successes and identify ways that we can assist each other with some of the challenges we face,” Minister Wyatt said.
Minister for Māori Development, the Hon Nanaia Mahuta, said Indigenous to Indigenous relationships on matters of culture, trade and innovation are a vital part of projecting and protecting indigenous interests globally.
“We are sending a strong and positive message that we both place great importance on building capacity to listen to and address matters that affect our indigenous peoples.
“Progressing indigenous issues is an ongoing journey and an area that we are both passionate about. This collaboration represents a partnership between our nations and serves as a framework to co-design activities that help meet the aspirations and needs of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori communities,” Minister Mahuta said.
Minister Wyatt and Minister Mahuta intend to hold annual meetings and facilitate ongoing dialogues between the heads of their respective agencies and staff at multiple levels. “These people-to-people links will allow us to share best practice approaches and learnings that benefit both our countries and improve the lives of our people,” Minister Wyatt said.