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MEDIA RELEASE – 23 April 2012    

Pure Advantage, the organisation developing the business case for green growth, welcomes Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere (Chairman) Mark Solomon, to its list of high-profile trustees. Solomon hails from Kaikoura and is of Ngāti Kuri and Ngāi Tahu descent.

The appointment of Solomon is another coup for the organisation, which already boasts some of the country’s top, forward-thinking business leaders including Sir Stephen Tindall, Joan Withers and Phillip Mills.

Pure Advantage Chairman, Rob Morrison, says it is essential to work closely with Māori business interests in order to deliver a paradigm shift towards green growth. Iwi leaders are at the forefront of those within the community who actively promote intergenerational values – values that emphasise the need to look after resources to ensure their availability for future generations.

“Mark Solomon’s experience and background will fit perfectly with the kind of green growth outcomes we want for New Zealand. We are delighted to have Mark on board, and look forward to working with Māori businesses. We are also excited about having Mark’s input into the future direction of Pure Advantage’s green growth strategy.”

Solomon, chair of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu since 1998, says Ngāi Tahu are committed guardians of the natural environment within their rohe and want to play a larger role in creating an economy underpinned by strong environmental ethics.

He says that, like Pure Advantage, many Māori businesses are underpinned by concepts of kaitiakitanga and social well being, and are focused on long-term goals.

Ngāi Tahu has a long history of strong environmental leadership. The iwi have been closely involved in regional planning and water issues, led the country in environmental initiatives such as the clean-up of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere and have been instrumental in the establishment of iwi environmental groups such as the Iwi Leaders Forum on Climate Change. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu channels iwi funds into social, cultural and environmental initiatives.

“Ngāi Tahu has a whakatauki (proverb) that says ‘Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei’ – which means ‘For us, and our children after us’.  These resonate with the principles of Pure Advantage – creating a better future for those generations yet to come,” says Solomon.

Pure Advantage is due to release its first discussion paper entitled ‘New Zealand’s Position in the Green Race’ in May, which forms part of the organisations business-led strategy for achieving green growth.

“Pure Advantage is working towards a greener, wealthier future for New Zealand and I see huge opportunities for Māori communities to be involved. I look forward to helping create strong, collaborative relations across Iwi and Māori with Pure Advantage.”

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