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Ministry Fails to Recognise Maori Innovation

Ministry of Maori Development Fails to Recognise Maori Innovation

Dr Pita Sharples; Co-Leader of the Maori Party

“It defies logic, that at last night’s BearingPoint Awards there was no entrants for the award concerning “Innovation in Services to Maori” stated Dr Pita Sharples today.

The Public Sector Innovation Awards celebrate initiatives that demonstrate innovation and effectiveness in the Public Service, Local Government and the State sector. A special category, sponsored by Te Puni Kokiri, recognises innovation in services to Maori.

“Globally, the NZ Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report has recorded that the Maori entrepreneurship rates surpasses all but three countries in the GEM study [Uganda, Venezuela and Argentina]” stated Dr Sharples.

Other findings in that study revealed that Maori women were remarkably more entrepreneurial than other women, and that Maori entrepreneurs were described as innovators, exceeding non-Maori entrepreneurs in terms of perceiving their products/services as new and unfamiliar to the market, with limited competition.

“The Maori Party is aware of the phenomenal success of many Maori enterprises in culture, arts, creativity, education, health services, media and the economy. Maori enterprises are concentrated in export-oriented industries, which are more likely to be innovative” stated Dr Sharples.

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research report (NZIER) has also noted that in aggregate, the Maori economy appears to be more profitable than the New Zealand economy, generating 2% of operating surpluses.

“With so many powerful examples of innovative success; it is bewildering to think that Te Puni Kokiri was unable to attract even one entrant to this event”.

“What is the Ministry of Maori Development doing, if it can not identify a single example of innovation of services to Maori?”

“What was the point of hosting a Hui Taumata earlier this year, which included several key recommendations in this area to celebrate successful Maori businesses and business people and foster a culture of excellence, if the Government department responsible for ‘Maori Development’ is unable to put the work required to recognise success?”

"The BearingPoint Event was a prime opportunity to demonstrate support for sustainable growth and innovation in Maori communities and businesses".

“The failure of that Ministry to deliver even one candidate for this prestigious event reflects on their communication strategy and their own networks and knowledge of Maori communities and innovators”.

“The Maori Party is thrilled with the high calibre of examples of innovation in services to Maori within the public sector. These examples should have been celebrated last night. I welcome the opportunity for Te Puni Kokiri to work with the Maori Party so that future mistakes are avoided. The Maori Party remains committed to celebrating Maori success. So should this Government and Te Puni Kokiri" concluded Dr Sharples.

ENDS

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