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South Island Strong on Maori Television Business S



“Ngai Tahu – no one can touch them in terms of iwi development, and this week we look at how they manage adventure tourism.” Presenter Awerangi Durie sets the scene for another episode of Maori Television business series UMANGA, this Monday May 23 at 8.00 PM.

UMANGA is about business – how to get into business, how to stay in business and how to be successful in business. Spearheaded by presenters Awerangi Durie and Titus Rahiri, the bi-lingual series is educational, aspirational and inspirational. Through interviews, field visits and panel discussions, UMANGA answers some of those questions posing challenges for Maori entrepreneurs.

In this week’s episode, the series visits with South Island tourism leaders Ngai Tahu Tourism, entrepreneur Lisa Covey, King County-based forestry industrialists Awesome Products and Tourism New Zealand chairman Wally Stone.

Kicking off with Hano Ormsby from Awesome Products, the episode reveals the aluminium ladder that has propelled the company to become market leaders in manufacturing. Initially, the cut-throat realm of business and its facets of marketing and retailing were alien to Ormsby, who came up with the idea for a specialised ladder from 40 years’ of experience as a bushman. “This was a whole new game to me. I needed to get expert advice and I was able to use business mentors to deal with my planning and marketing strategies.” He registered Awesome Products as a company in order to patent the invention and sales have continued strong for this ingeniously safe and lightweight invention. Adds Titus : “here’s another fine example of Kiwi ingenuity going all the way to the top.”

Then, Ngai Tahu Tourism commercial manager Rakihia Tau delves into the concepts of manaakitanga (hospitality) and cultural promotion to talk about the successes that Ngai Tahu Tourism has secured since launching Shotover Jet Queenstown 34 years ago. The incredibly successful division of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu (Ngai Tahu Group) has gone on to experience solid growth while acquiring several other tourism products, including Franz Josef Glacier Guides, Hollyford Valley Walks in the Milford Sounds and Access Taxis – a water taxi service located at Marehau at the top of the South Island. “As long as we invest prudently, then in time we will eventually achieve our vision. It doesn’t matter if it’s in five or 10 years – we have a stewardship role here over our assets and it’s our job to make sure we don’t lose them.”

Staying in the South Island theme, Awerangi chats with Kaikoura-based Tourism New Zealand chairman Wally Stone, who also sits as the chairman of the Ngai Tahu-owned Whale Watch Kaikoura. An astute businessman of impeccable credentials, Stone reflects on what is required of a successful business entrepreneur, while reflecting on the struggle that Maori historically faced in starting up self-sustainable businesses. “I still remember 15 years ago when, if you were a Maori and thinking about going into business there was a huge stereotype. Back then, Maori didn’t have the best reputation in terms of successful businesses. Maori are now seen as very entrepreneurial and there are some very successful Maori leading some very big corporations in the country,” he says.

Entrepreneur Lisa Covey agrees. She says Maori are still rated as the fourth most entrepreneurial nations according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) data. “So, leadership is a sensitive topic at the moment with business communities,” she adds. Covey heads a management consulting company targeted at start-up businesses for indigenous cultures and Red Flower Films with business partner Kath Akuhata-Brown. Her current project is working to develop a model of economic leadership for Maori with the Business Leadership Institute, “so that the young people coming through are being nurtured and we can manage our natural resources better.”

Packed solidly with sound business advice and inspirational Maori business leaders, UMANGA screens every Monday evening at 8.00 PM.


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