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Māori Business Growth programme launches

4 September 2012

Māori Business Growth programme launches

The first Māori Business Growth programme held by The ICEHOUSE has kicked off today. Head of Māori Development at The ICEHOUSE, Shay Wright, says The ICEHOUSE and University of Auckland Business School have recognised the importance of Māori SMEs and incorporations to New Zealand’s economy and are championing a move forward to help them grow.

Māori Business Growth programme has been created for a Māori business audience leveraging both traditional business wisdom as well as Māori knowledge systems. It focuses on interweaving core concepts of people, management, marketing, financials, and the role of culture and iwi in the businesses.

“BERL has valued the Māori economy at $37bn. SMEs make up 70% of that value. The two day workshop focuses on these SMEs and the managers of them. It’s going to shake them up a bit, challenge their thinking, especially about what it means to be a Māori business, and fill their kete with tools and ideas to grow their impact on the Māori and New Zealand economy.”

The workshop is co-facilitated by Christine Woods and Chellie Spiller (Ngāti Kahungunu) of the University of Auckland Business School. Both have a longstanding involvement in business development and Māori business issues. The ICEHOUSE has a strong track record of supporting business growth to draw on. This has enabled the team to pull together learning from export focus business, family business and agricultural operations.

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“The strength is in our brand, but interestingly the talent and value is in the room – both in the presenting team, but also in the participants. The informal chats between participants are hugely important”, says Shay Wright.

Along with the UABS facilitators, there will also be presentations from BNZ, Ernst & Young, Tainui Group Holdings and Kajavala Forestry – catering to the wide audience of Māori SME owner-managers and iwi development managers. BNZ and Te Puni Kōkiri have been hugely supportive in making the programme possible. The recently launched indigenous food cluster is catering the programme.

Date: September 4th-5th.
Location: BNZ Quay Park, Auckland.

Also supporting the workshop is Te Puni Kōkiri, who is providing a $695 financial subsidy for every qualifying participant. This is part of its aim to grow Māori business capability and inspire Māori to access the best available training.


Named one of the top 10 start-up incubators in the world by Forbes magazine, the ICEHOUSE is a business growth centre focused on developing owner-managers and entrepreneurs who will shape the future of New Zealand’s economy. The organisation is a business incubator for start-ups and provides business growth programmes for small and medium enterprises. The ICEHOUSE is also home to New Zealand’s largest group of Angel Investors.

The ICEHOUSE is backed by the financial support and expertise of the University of Auckland Business School, BNZ, HP, NZTE, Gen-I, Telecom, Ernst & Young, KPMG, JB Were, Microsoft, Paul Diver and Associates and Grafton Consulting Group. Since 2001 The ICEHOUSE has worked with over 3,500 ambitious owner managers – from start-ups to established multi-million dollar companies.

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