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Pacific Island And Maori Business Alliance Formed

Pacific Island And Maori Business Alliance Formed

A new strategic alliance has been formed between the Pacific Business Trust and the Poutama Trust to work in partnership on building sustainable Pacific Island and Maori businesses. In a memorandum of understanding, both agreed to share resources and information.

"Working together can only benefit our communities and their aspirations," said Pacific Business Trust Chair, Pauline Winter. "We intend to build a successful partnership model for others to follow."

The Pacific Business Trust and the Poutama Trust were established in the late 1980s as charitable trusts to foster business development among Pacific Island and Maori people. Intermarriage and business alliances between Maori and Pacific people have seen increasing crossovers of work between the two organisations.

"Often we've referred our clients to each other because one of the business partners was Maori or Pacific Islander," said Pacific Business Trust Business Manager, Inoke Vala. "Some of these clients include music group Ardijah, Wellington based funeral parlour, Pacific Rim, and event management business KPR Catering."

Both organisations say developing small to medium Maori and Pacific Island businesses will have a positive impact on New Zealand's economy, but it needs to be long term.

"This agreement is important because our clients have similar business needs and share similar social circumstances," said Poutama Trust's CEO, Richard Jones. "We want to help each other lift the business success of our clients while maintaining our independence and cultural differences."

Pacific Business Trust CEO, Jim Mather, said partnering with the Poutama Trust would help them identify different business models that could help both their business clients succeed.

"Business clusters particularly suits both our clients because our people are good at networking and helping each other out," said Mather.

The Pacific Business Trust has traditionally given business assistance for people involved in service based industries but hopes to branch out into the fishing, agriculture and tourism industries.

"The Poutama Trust can give us a lot of advice in these areas because they have many clients in these industries," said Vala. "We can help them strengthen ties within the Pacific business communities and also share our business skills and experiences. We're looking forward to developing this new partnership."

The Pacific Business Trust has offices in Auckland and Wellington serving Pacific business people while the Poutama Trust has four virtual offices between Auckland and Wellington for Maori businesses. Another Pacific Business Trust office will be opening in Christchurch in July.

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