As part of the China New Zealand Year of Tourism, New Zealand Maori Tourism (NZMT) supported ten performing artists to attend a multi-sector trade mission to China that showcased Māori tourism and culture.

Te Wehi Haka - The HAKA Experience(external link) performed kapa haka at the Opening Doors to the West Business Forum, held in Chengdu and Xi’an, China from 7 – 13 September.

Te Wehi Haka - The HAKA Experience is a Māori performing arts troupe directed and managed by successful kapa haka leaders, Tāpeta and Annette Wehi.

Based in Tāmaki-Makaurau, Te Wehi Haka presents authentic Māori cultural experiences all over the world.

Before departing, Tāpeta Wehi said, “We are so excited to attend the Opening Doors to the West Business Forum with New Zealand Māori Tourism.

“We cannot wait to share our expertise with our Chinese counterparts and bring a sparkle to their eye through our engaging performances.”

The Opening Doors to the West Business Forum was organised by The China Chamber of Commerce in NZ, along with China Travel Services and NZMT.

The forum was an opportunity for participants to make valuable connections, experience “China’s West” first-hand, and learn from specialists about the markets and consumers in the region.

New Zealand Māori Tourism Deputy Chief Executive Hoki-mai Chong said, “The Opening Doors to the West Trade Mission Business Forum provides an unprecedented opportunity to promote Māori culture and increase awareness, especially during the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism.

“The China-New Zealand Year of Tourism is a fantastic opportunity to continue to build relationships with China.

“Māori and Chinese have a natural affinity with each other. Chinese value relationships and long-term investment which are closely aligned with Māori business strengths.

“Māori culture is the distinguishing feature of the NZ Aotearoa visitor experience that creates competitive advantage for the NZ tourism sector. That is why it is vital that we give the platform to showcase it to the world.”

Notable speakers included Te Puia Chief Executive Tim Cossar, Ngāi Tahu Tourism GM Sales and Market Development Stephen Lester and Auckland Airport’s International Market Development Manager Mark Frood.

For further updates and a video on the group's experience, see: link)

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