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Setting the standard for gender diversity in governance

Maori business conference setting the standard for gender diversity in governance

Women hold the top governance jobs in a number of Maori business operations represented at this years Federation of Maori Authorities Annual National Conference. Four major Maori land incorporation boards are currently chaired by women who will be speaking at the conference to be held in Whanganui from 26 to 28 of September.

Hinerangi Raumati, Chair of Paraninihi ki Waitotara Inc., Daisy Noble, Chair of Te Rua o te Moko Ltd, Hari Benevides, Chair of Morikaunui Inc. and Mavis Mullins Chair of Atihau Whanganui Inc. will all be presenting their incorporation’s stories of success during the three day conference.

While the case for more women in governance is usually focused on issues of balance and fair representation, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs states that there is evidence gender diversity has a positive impact on financial performance and organisational health of companies. Women have been reported to prompt a lower risk profile and create a stronger value base in business operations.

Federation member and former Ngati Rangi Pouarahi and CEO Che Wilson says that the Whanganui area has a proud history of Maori women in key leadership roles. "Pura McGregor lead battle victory haka during the land wars, Mererikiriki was a key prophet and Iriaka Ratana lead the charge in Parliament. What is not widely understood is that most of our male tohunga throughout the motu were taught by both their nannies and koro."

Federation of Maori Authorities board Chair Traci Houpapa says it is not surprising to see so many Maori women leading governance bodies in Maori business, "We know that traditionally Maori have always acknowledged the unique and complimentary roles that both women and men have to play in every aspect of our society. It makes sense that women are leading our boards – especially when it comes to the land."

Judge Sarah Reeves, daughter of the late Archbishop and Governor General Sir Paul Reeves, will be also be presenting at the conference on her experience of practicing law both nationally and internationally. Judge Reeves presides over the Te Waipounamu District of the Maori Land Court. The Maori Land Court currently has the second greatest representation of women on the bench at 30%.

The contribution of Maori women will be a highlight through-out the conference which includes a special presentation to out-going Maori Party leader Hon. Tariana Turia at the Aotea Banquet to be held on Friday evening.

FOMA are proud to be joined by Gold sponsors Silver Fern Farms, Beef + Lamb NZ, Dairy NZ, and Primary ITO to bring you this conference. FOMA is also supported by Ballance Agri Nutrients, Price Waterhouse Coopers, PGG Wrightson’s and Te Puni Kokiri as Silver sponsors. Our Bronze sponsors for this year are Fonterra, Ministry for Primary Industries, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, LIC, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Land Information New Zealand. FOMA appreciates the support from partners Chorus, Zespri, Tohu Wines, Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd and Farmlands.

The full conference programme and registration information is available at http://federation.conference.maori.nz/index.htm. Registrations close at 5pm Friday 19 September.

For further information and enquiries please contact Te Horipo Karaitiana (021 585 851).

ENDS

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