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Tamihere lands paua tie in launching report

20 September 2004
Media Statement
Tamihere lands paua tie in launching report

Small Business Minister John Tamihere gets tied up by fashion designer Leiana Rei Perawiti at today's launch of a new small business report by the Ministry of Economic Development.

Minister for Small Business John Tamihere turned fashion-conscious today for the launch of a new business report.

To draw attention to the value of small and medium enterprises in creating jobs and wealth for the economy, Mr Tamihere visited Wellington's Fashion HQ Incubator retail store to receive a gift in the form of the first product in a new menswear collection by award-winning Wellington designer Leiana Rei Perawiti.

In releasing the Ministry of Economic Development's new report on the structure and dynamics of small and medium sized New Zealand enterprises, Mr Tamihere said he was flattered by the gift from a new enterprise that in less than a year had made a huge impression on the fashion industry.

Now famous for its high fashion women's daywear and paua printed resortwear, the Leiana Rei Designer label shot into the limelight a year ago at the 2003 L'Oreal New Zealand Fashion Week by winning two supreme awards for the Deutz Fashion Design Ambassador and The Wearable Maori Heritage Award.

Owner-operator Leiana Rei Perawiti, who operates from Fashion HQ in Cuba Mall, Wellington, travelled to London and Paris and worked with Peter Louchlin at Dubai's House of Arushi.

Since returning she has expanded her collection by developing a small menswear range that will include paua print ties and cummerbunds, bath robes and shirts. She presented the first tie example as a gift to John Tamihere.

Leiana Rei has also achieved a marketing breakthrough by supplying her paua print fabrics under licence to the women's swimwear label Moontide, and more recently by getting her designs into the upmarket department store Kirkaldie & Stains and the exclusive Kapiti Coast store known as The Frock Shop.

Small Business Minister John Tamihere takes up modelling as he gets down to business with fashion designer Leiana Rei Perawiti (left), whose paua print garments are an international success. Mr Taimhere tries on a new bathrobe while part-time model Meremaraea Cowan, a final year commerce student at Victoria University, wears a gown from the paua print collection.

The Fashion HQ business Incubator was established and launched in November 2003 by Positively Wellington Business (PWB) to support up to six designers. The designers receive mentoring and business advice from experienced partner
organisations and individuals. They are provided with a fully equipped workroom and a retail outlet to enable direct customer contact and feedback. Fashion HQ is part of a series of business incubation initiatives backed by the regional economic development agency to help develop creative start up companies and entrepreneurs with strong export potential.

The new MED report titled "SMEs in New Zealand: Structure and Dynamics" is an annual report with a statistical summary of the structure and contribution of small and medium enterprises to the New Zealand economy. It is the fifth such report. Small businesses are categorised as having up to five fulltime employess, medium as six to 19 fulltime employees.

The report is a popular business reference that has been improved this year to make it easier for the reader to find information and interpret the figures. Information includes the number and size of enterprises, their value-added contribution, a breakdown by industry and performance measures.

For information about Leiana Rei Designs go to the website


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