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Business Boost For Self-Employed Maori Women

A government initiative designed to support self-employed Maori women will create new pathways and opportunities for business innovation in New Zealand, Women's Affairs Minister Laila Harré said today.

Speaking at the launch of Te Ara Kaipakihi at Parliament this morning, Laila Harré said the programme aims to counteract the fragmented service many Maori women receive when seeking business development advice.

Te Ara Kaipakihi has been put together by an inter-agency working party led by the Ministry of Women's Affairs. Other agencies involved were Te Puni Kokiri, Community Employment Group, Ministry of Economic Development, Department of Work and Income and Inland Revenue.

"Te Ara Kaipakihi is recognition of the fact that Maori businesswomen's needs are not always met by government agencies," she said.

Laila Harré said the working party has come up with a strategy that fosters a collaborative, inter-agency approach to business development and focuses on boosting the skills of front line staff dealing directly with self-employed Maori women.

"Women spoken to in the development of Te Ara Kaipakihi said the key issue for them was access to, and the availability of good quality information on issues relating to the development and growth of their business.

"This highlights a fundamental problem in how information is provided by agencies, as it's clear that at present this is not happening in a co-ordinated way."

There are three strands to Te Ara Kaipakihi.

 Three brochures have been produced to inform self-employed Maori women about the range of information and programmes available. These will form an information kit, and focus on Starting a Business, Growing a Business and Expanding a Business.

 Seven workshops are being been held around the country to train front line staff and ensure that the information provided, and its delivery, is consistent across agencies.

 Regional workers will be brought together once every three months for information updates and to share experiences.

"Te Ara Kaipakihi is more than a set of pamphlets containing a bunch of good ideas. This scheme is about successfully translating the business ideas of Maori women into reality and giving them the support they need to be successful on their business journey to self-sufficiency," Laila Harré said.

ENDS

Further comment: Claire Hall, press secretary, (04) 471-9902 or 021 270 9001 claire.hall@parliament.govt.nz

Media that would like to conduct an interview in Te Reo can contact Anne Delamere on (04) 386 1905.

Information on Te Ara Kaipakihi can be downloaded from the Ministry of Women's Affairs website, www.mwa.govt.nz

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