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ANZ Barometer sees golden age for Maori businesses

ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited

Media Release

10 March 2014

ANZ Barometer sees golden age for Maori businesses

New Zealand’s most in-depth business survey has shown a wave of optimism among Maori businesses as they look to assertively grow the Maori economy.

The Maori Business Key Insights Report – ‘Te Tirohanga Whānui’ - compiled from the findings of ANZ’s annual Privately Owned Business Barometer, showed a clear sense of direction and healthy optimism among Maori business owners, managers or governors.

The report was launched in Auckland today by the Minister of Maori Affairs, Hon Dr Pita Sharples.

Of the 172 Maori business survey participants, 49% were optimistic about the next 12 months, while 70% were very optimistic about their prospects over the next three years.

The survey – believed to be the only regularly conducted survey focused on Maori businesses – also revealed that a long-term focus, increasing Maori business success and an emphasis on growing talent and expertise was driving this wave of optimism.

“The survey strongly suggests we’re returning towards a golden age for Maori businesses,” said Graham Turley, ANZ’s Managing Director Commercial & Agri.

“Maori businesses are moving to more active management of their resources, armed with sound business practices, strong talent and a clear sense of direction.
“As the New Zealand economy gathers momentum, Maori are keenly aware of increasing foreign interest in Aotearoa and see themselves as being well placed to take advantage of the incredible opportunities that will be available.” Key findings of the ANZ Barometer Maori Business Key Insights Report

Of Maori business respondents

49% are optimistic about the next 12 months, while 70% are optimistic about the next three years.

80% of Maori businesses have a goal that is written down, compared to 50% of non-Maori businesses. 42% of respondents have a formal planning process.

36% have aspirations to operate internationally.

59% of non-farm respondents, with turnover greater than $2 million, say factors other than sales will be key drivers of their growth.

46% say access to skilled staff is a top concern. 58% say succession is an issue.

22% say access to expertise and advice is a top concern.


Results of the Barometer are widely used by businesses, organisations working with the private sector, and key decision-makers in government.

Last year ANZ formed a strategic alliance with the Federation of Maori Authorities, Te Tumu Paeroa, Poutama Trust and NZ Maori Tourism, to gather and share information to help improve Maori business performance. As part of the partnership, this year’s Barometer was distributed directly to Maori businesses.

The combined annual turnover of the businesses surveyed was close to $1 billion. Of the respondents, a third were whanau-owned businesses, a quarter were Maori trusts and incorporations, a quarter were companies, partnerships and joint ventures with Maori shareholders, and 17% were iwi or hapu entities.

Thinking strategically

The survey supports the view that intergenerational responsibility encourages many Maori organisations to think long-term about how business activity will benefit future generations. This means a broader, more considered approach to growth.

Maori also have a greater willingness to consider expansion by acquisition to create scale. There is also an acknowledgement that collaboration through joint ventures or other structures can be a step to gaining scale.

Maori are more engaged in research and development, with a third of the larger scale businesses seeing R&D as a key driver of growth, four times the average of non-Maori businesses.

Despite the prevalent use of advisers, one in four collectively owned Maori businesses say access to expertise and advice is a top concern.

Finding the right people

Finding the right people is the most important concern identified by Maori in the survey. The need for good people is spread across the spectrum – workers, management, board members and advisers.

There is a recognition that there is a need to inspire more young Maori into careers linked to growing the Maori asset base. Actions to address the skills deficit are being taken at many levels – one iwi is identifying students in local schools with their specific whakapapa so they can help them with mentoring schemes to achieve qualifications.

There is also a clear perception that to maximise shareholder value, Maori organisations need to build the capability and capacity of future board members.

Collaborating for scale and expertise

Maori businesses are aware that size is important and on any scale Maori entities are too small to deliver ambitious business and community objectives on their own.

Collaboration is seen as a means of achieving the scale that generates more options, increases capability and accesses capital and markets.

“Many Maori collectives and businesses understand that so much more can be achieved by finding the right partners to do business with, be it offshore parties that can provide capital and/or market access, or similar Maori businesses who by coming together can gain a market presence,” Mr Turley said.

The Maori Business Key Insights Report - ‘Te Tirohanga Whānui’ can be seen at: www.anzbarometer.co.nz

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