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Maori economic development unit set up

A Maori economic development unit is being set up which the government says will focus attention on what needs to be done to improve skills and create jobs.

It will be part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, announced on Monday by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples.

"Maori make a huge contribution to the economy and this is growing rapidly," Mr Joyce said.

"They own substantial assets, run sizeable commercial ventures and are significant exporters."

Dr Sharples says the new unit will have an independent advisory board and will be a point of contact for the private sector.