Politics | Chile

New Zealand's Ngāi Tahu ambassador to Chile

New Zealand's ambassador to Chile, Jacqui Caine of Ngāi Tahu, has returned to Aotearoa this week and will take part in talks with iwi, government and business leaders along with her peers.

New Zealand ambassadors, high commissioners and consuls-general are in the country this week to meet with businesses, local government and iwi to discuss strategic models to help enhance local communities within their posts.

This week, Caine, alongside New Zealand’s other heads of mission will journey around the country to meet with 18 iwi, council and business entities.

Caine says, "Tomorrow all of our ambassadors will be going out into the regions engaging with iwi, engaging with Māori businesses, looking at the opportunities for the ministry to be supporting Māori engagement offshore".

Caine says Latin America is a region with potential after New Zealand launched its free trade agreement with the Pacific Alliance last year- which includes Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Chile.

"It's going to include some of the more traditional elements of what a free trade agreement looks like but also looking at how the trade benefits of any agreement are inclusive and progressive," says Caine.

It is something she hopes to highlight at the World Indigenous Business Forum later this year.

"Everybody is really interested in what's happening in New Zealand but it's another thing to come and see it for yourself.  So we're in conversation with a number of groups in Chile that are interested in coming over to New Zealand for that forum, there's been interest from Peru and I'm sure other countries".

Indigenous affairs continue to be a topical issue in Chile.

"The current government in Chile is looking at trying to develop a plan to be working more with the Mapuche population to ensure that their own indicators, social and economic, are improving and to try and develop more of an economic plan working together with the people of Mapuche," says Caine.

New Zealand's heads of mission will meet with iwi throughout the week.