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New Māori business major launched at Otago Polytechnic

19 August 2014

New Māori business major launched at Otago Polytechnic

Māori business development has surged ahead in the past decade, from the growth of the iwi organisations responsible for the management of multi-million dollar assets, through to enterprises in industries from natural resources to tourism. In 2010, Māori business was valued at $37 billion to the New Zealand economy and is believed to have grown since then.

Now, those with experience in Māori business – either as Māori or by working in Māori -focused organisations – have the opportunity to have their knowledge and skills formally recognised through a qualification which has been designed to embrace Māori business knowledge and approaches.

A major in Māori Organisational Leadership has now been launched for the Bachelor of Applied Management, offered through Capable NZ at Otago Polytechnic.

Capable NZ enables people with significant career experience undertake qualifications through independent learning pathways incorporating the assessment of prior learning from experience, which then counts towards the chosen qualification. A life time of relevant learning can significantly shorten the time frame for qualifications to be achieved.

Developer of the major, Richard Kerr-Bell, says this situation describes many Māori managers and leaders.

“There are only a handful of Māori focused business qualifications available and most of these weren’t around when many of our leaders were going through the education system.”

“Typically Māori have had to blend their mātauraka Māori (Māori knowledge) into business theory. Capable NZ provides an opportunity for them to reflect on the significance of this, and develop themselves as well-qualified businesspeople with a confident understanding of their cultural and professional position.”

The new major enables students to explore areas from Māori values and sustainability to examples of Māori leadership in the history of Aotearoa.

Otago Polytechnic Chief Executive Phil Ker describes the major, developed in consultation with local runaka, as “an exciting pathway, anticipated to become a cornerstone of several new initiatives.”

“We hope it will also become part of our classroom-taught Bachelor of Applied Management, enabling graduates in our rohe to focus in this area from the beginning of their careers,” Ker says.

“We believe that having a Māori business major will play an important role in recognising the unique and important place of tikaka and mātauraka Māori in the New Zealand business sector, and see this qualification as having real potential to make a positive influence in a range of environments.”


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