Rotorua has been announced as the official host for the 2018 World Indigenous Business Forum.

Ngati Whakaue kaumatua Monty Morrison, with kuia Norma Sturley, recently travelled to the 2017 forum in Santiago, Chile as a cultural leader.

The pair were there to accept the mauri of hosting the 2018 conference and Morrison said he gave a speech in te reo Maori, English and Spanish.

"It's a big deal, a very big deal," he said.


"This is about building global relationships and gathering a shared economic prosperity."

Te Ohu Whai Ao Charitable Trust, chaired by Richard Tauehe Jefferies, was established to organise the forum in New Zealand.

Morrison said they were excited to host and welcome the international guests.

"We are ready to show them world leading examples of indigenous business, share our Maori culture and teach our unique business learnings.

"It is a tremendous opportunity and people are really excited about joining us here."

Morrison confessed he was taken aback when he found out the conference would be held in Rotorua and even went as far as asking the organisers why here, when they could have chosen anywhere.

"The trust told me that Rotorua was an easy choice.

"It was one of the first indigenous groups to spark tourism, one of the very, very early starters, and we never stopped."


The forum will be held from October 9-12 with the opportunity for visitors to get out and see what Rotorua has to offer.

Morrison said the Canadians were "very excited" to see Rotorua's streams, forests and mountain biking.

The World Indigenous Business Forum began in 2010 and has been hosted in America, Australia, Namibia, Guatemala, Canada and Chile.

It grows each year and 800 to 1000 international delegates are expected to come to the forum in Rotorua.

The forum offers an opportunity to indigenous business owners to make new connections, learn from each other's experiences and to showcase what their culture has to offer.

The campaign to host the event was supported by Tourism New Zealand's 100 per cent Pure New Zealand campaign and Destination Rotorua.

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