A delegation from the University of Canterbury Ngāi Tahu Research Centre (NRTC) in New Zealand travelled to Canada in September 2016 to continue the exchange ideas and development of a working relationship between the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre, the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics and First Nations Tax Commission.
The Maori delegation, Te Maire Tau and Lynne Te Aika, visited a number of First Nation communities in British Columbia and attended several meetings and events, including the First Nations Tax Administrators Association Annual Forum. Te Maire and Lynn provided a presentation on the similarities and differences of Maori systems to those for First Nations in Canada and their plans to move forward in the future.
The Maori delegation was keen to learn how First Nations in Canada are using property tax and FNGST to generate economic development and revenue on their reserve lands. They noted how this allowed First Nation citizens to participate in their local economies and keep their money within their communities and reserves.
The Maori were interested in how the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics serves as a research centre that supports the development of First Nation economies and the expansion of their property tax jurisdiction. They noted how the Tulo Centre is unique in that its primary concern is how local economies can be implemented for First Nations rather than researching issues of sovereignty and colonization.
The NTRC and Tulo Centre are now working toward combining efforts to create a consortium that can provide leadership on economic development for Indigenous nations. This partnership will be founded on common values that support economic development on reserves and will primarily be concerned with the development of a fiscal relationship with the crown/federal government, jurisdiction on reserved lands, jurisdiction to tax and manage finance, new land title, applied economic theory, and practical tribal/band administration and development.
Photo: Te Maire and Lynne with students from a Tulo cohort after giving a guest lecture.