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Mäori assets and businesses contribute $1.9bil

Mäori assets and businesses contribute $1.9 billion annually to the New Zealand Economy

Mäori collectively owned assets and businesses produce $1.9 billion each year, demonstrating the positive contribution of Mäori to the wider New Zealand economy, according to a report released today by Te Puni Kökiri and the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.

Te Puni Kökiri Chief Executive Leith Comer said that the report ”Mäori Economic Development – Te Öhanga Whanaketanga Mäori” provides for the first time a solid definition of the “Mäori economy” and its value to New Zealand.

For the purposes of the report the Mäori economy is defined as collectively owned land trusts and incoporations, Mäori-owned businesses, and the property owned by Mäori households.

Mr Comer said that: “While the Mäori economy is relatively small in a national sense, with a value of $1.92 billion per year, it is profitable, earning about $826 million in operating surplus annually.

“This is a higher rate of return than that earned by the overall New Zealand economy,” said Mr Comer.

Mr Comer said the report is good news for Mäori, good news for government and good news for business generally.

“For Mäori the report provides insights into how they can enhance their economic development prospects; it highlights a policy area for government that has the potential to enhance New Zealand’s overall economic performance, and for business it outlines opportunities for them to transact with and invest in the emerging Mäori economy.”

Mr Comer said it is clear that Mäori are developing profitable interests in a range of industries including fisheries, tourism, wine, organic produce information technolgy and the media.

“Mäori are frequently presented as a drag on the New Zealand economy, however the reality paints a very different picture. The Mäori economy is robust and has been enjoying strong growth throughout the 1990’s and is poised for continued expansion,” Mr Comer said.

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