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Big Presence for Maori at the Small Business Expo

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Big Presence for Maori Business at the Small Business Expo
Champions of Maori Business to star at Small Business Expo

Auckland, 8 May 2006 – At this year’s Small Business Expo at the ASB Showgrounds there will be a big presence from key Maori organisations that support the Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) sector and Maori business in New Zealand.

In partnership with the Expo, Te Puni Kokiri’s newly established Maori Business Development Zone, which promotes growing the business of Aotearoa, will be a highlight at the event, featuring Lake Taupo Funds, Maori Women’s Development and NZ Maori Tourism Council, to name a few.

Hon Parekura Horomia, Minister of Maori Affairs says he is delighted that Te Puni Kokiri ensured such a strong place for Maori business at the Expo, given the contribution that Maori make to the small business sector.

“I feel encouraged when I see the growing number of Maori entrepreneurs and organizations such as Te Puni Kokiri brings together to champion and support them. Over the last three years Maori exceeded non-Maori in the total entrepreneurial activity stakes and many Maori entrepreneurs continue to express their confidence and optimism about business opportunities. No doubt this spirit will also be reflected among the Maori exhibitors at the Small Business Expo” says the Minister.

Sarah Trotman, Small Business Sector Specialist and organiser of the Expo says they are very pleased to see so many Maori organisations represented at the Small Business Expo 2006, particularly for the many Maori small business owners that attend.

“Its great to see the Maori Business Development Zone which highlights organisations that provide support for Maori business owners,” says Ms. Trotman.

“In addition, a key partner to the Expo, Te Puni Kokiri, are showcasing its Maori Business Facilitation Service which plays an important role in encouraging a more dynamic small to medium enterprises start up market through helping and supporting those with the desire, skill and opportunity to start a business.”
Maori exhibitors at the Expo include;

- Poutama Maori Business Trust; A charitable trust established to provide business development services to Maori, Poutama strives to create an environment for successful business ventures and economic growth, and create an enterprise and entrepreneur culture among Maori.

- Te Puni Kokiri Business Facilitation Services; a free business development service for Maori interested in starting up a business or wanting to improve an existing business. The service is for commercial opportunities and targets small to medium-sized businesses, and operates from the Te Puni Kokiri and Maori Trust Office regional offices. They match those interested with an Accredited Business Mentor who acts as their adviser, helping develop the business or business idea. CEO of Te Puni Kokiri Leith Comer will also speak about the Maori contribution to the economy as part of the Microsoft Seminar Series.

- Lake Taupo Funds Limited; a Maori investment company providing investment services to Maori organisations, institutions, hapu, iwi, and whanau throughout New Zealand. Lake Taupo Funds also believe in using Maori cultural principles as a foundation for economic development and focus on Maori-owned entities with multiple or collective ownership.

- Federation of Maori Authorities; arguably New Zealand's largest Maori business network with a voluntary membership of Maori Incorporations, Maori Land Trusts, Maori Trusts Boards and Runanga, and emerging communally owned entities. Their mission is to progressively foster and promote the development, sound management and the economic advancement of Maori Authorities and in turn the wider Maori communities they benefit.

- New Zealand Maori Tourism Council; provides a strong platform for Maori operators to work collectively to improve industry standards and

identify opportunities. The organisation benefits Maori in tourism, the tourism industry and the economy as a whole.

- Maori Women’s Development Inc (MWDI); MWDI’s underlying approach is to provide a high quality professional cost-effective lending service. They encourage Maori women and Maori men into business, building a network of Maori in business and establishing innovative marketing to sell and distribute. Noted figure Dame Georgina Kirby is the founder and director of the organisation.

- Toi Maori; develop and promote contemporary Maori art. Representing ten National Artform Committees, Toi Maori provides advocacy for Maori art and artists. They also promote the growing audience for Maori arts and argue for the uniqueness, quality and integrity of Maori arts.

Key sponsors of the Small Business Expo are Vero, Microsoft, Vodafone, the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA), the New Zealand Herald, and Newstalk ZB.

The Small Business Expo commences on 10 May at the ASB Showgrounds and runs until 12 May. Tickets cost $20 and include all three days of the Expo.

ENDS

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