Over 180 Maori union members, union leaders and Iwi leaders met in Tauranga last week and have resolved to both strengthen the relationship between unions and Iwi to progress the rights of workers in this country, and to endorse the position Iwi reached at Turangawaewae regarding the call to halt asset sales and negotiate water rights with Iwi.
The hui outlined the areas of common interest the parties had in working together particularly in relation to the importance of work and wages to the economic wellbeing of Maori.
It recognised the role Iwi leaders had played in the settlement of the recent dispute at the AFFCO meatworks, including by the presentation of a taonga from the meatworkers union to those Iwi involved.
"I am confident this hui marks the beginning of something very exciting with huge potential for a collaboration that will make the experience of work, better, safer and more secure," CTU Maori Vice President Syd Keepa said.
"Iwi leaders described it as a 'no-brainer' that the interests of Maori workers are the same interests promoted by unions and Iwi in their everyday work, and that by combining our strengths in strategic collaborations, we will all benefit."
"At the hui Maori workers and their unions have called for the Government to stop assets sales and for Iwi to work together to define and negotiate Maori proprietary rights and interests over water. They strongly urged Iwi not to enter into negotiations with the crown until proprietary rights and interests was addressed. This is consistent with the 'common interest' recognition dominating the mood of the occasion," said Keepa.