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Greater Engagement Between Industry And Māori Enterprises

JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT: Federation of Maori Authorities, BusinessNZ, Federated Farmers, Industrial Research Ltd, National Urban Maori Authority

New Initiative for Greater Engagement Between Industry And Māori Enterprises

New Zealand’s leading business organisation, the country’s largest Māori network, New Zealand's leading independent rural advocacy organisation, one of New Zealand’s leading high-tech science and engineering institutes, and New Zealand’s urban Māori collective have today confirmed their commitment to a new initiative designed to provide greater engagement between Māori-led businesses and business-support services.

Today’s announcement will see BusinessNZ, the Federation of Māori Authorities (Federation), Federated Farmers, Industrial Research Limited (IRL) and the National Urban Māori Authority (NUMA) building on BusinessNZ and the Federation’s existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), announced in July. This new reference group will have a wider reaching scope, as it now includes Federated Farmers, IRL and NUMA. The reference group will showcase its commitment to recommendation 23 of the Māori Economic Development Panel’s Action Plan with a focus on improving engagement between industry groups and Māori enterprise.

Chief Executive of the Federation, Te Horipo Karaitiana said that the Federation was excited at the potential that existed within Māori enterprises.

“There are a lot of exciting opportunities for Māori, particularly amongst some of our more recent enterprises and also where the farming industry is considered. We think that with the right sort of mentoring and networks with industry groups, there’s some real progress to be made in new areas alongside our MoU with Federated Farmers, IRL and NUMA.

“Already we’ve started to see the benefits of our links with BusinessNZ and believe this is a model that can work for other Māori groups in a similar position.”

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said the initiative meant the organisation could foster greater engagement with Māori, ensuring that Māori business gets the attention it deserves.

“Our organisations recognised the benefits from aligning our efforts earlier this year through the MoU and we’re starting to see some of those gains take shape. This new initiative will help strengthen our efforts, enabling us to channel our combined industry knowledge and advice into helping a greater number of Māori enterprises who want to get involved with us.”

“The ultimate aim of this initiative is to promote better responsiveness to Māori enterprise needs which will lead to more enterprise partnerships, including job creation and essential economic development.

Federated Farmers President, Bruce Wills, echoing these statements, has a great outlook on the relationship and what it can do for Māori.

“We want to be engaged on this issue. We have a commitment to the agricultural industry going back 67 years and can offer effective advice for growth between enterprises and industry. We have seen what the MoU has been able to achieve recently, and we can contribute to that in a new kind of way, heading off in a complementary direction. We are looking forward to seeing our relationship with these other organisations flourish in order to work for Māori, long term.”

IRL has been working with the Federation and other strategic Māori industry partners to support their businesses to look at how they can work with Māori focused businesses on commercialising and further lifting the performance and productivity of Māori assets and resources.

Gavin Mitchell, Industry Engagement General Manager of IRL said: “The Māori economy continues to be an increasingly important part of the NZ Inc journey, so providing multi-sectorial Māori businesses with a ‘one stop shop’ to get better value from their products is vital to New Zealand’s economic growth. Leveraging and growing the $37 billion Māori asset base through science and innovation is going to make a significant impact on the New Zealand economy.”

National Urban Māori Authority spokesman John Tamihere confirms that this initiative will work by embracing Māori customs, culture and community within the urban centres.

“It is the latent talent pool of Māori entrepreneurial activity that takes place in cities. It is the urban Māori who will drive and grow the Māori economy.”


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