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Māori And Pacific Creative Entrepreneurs Connect To Go Global

25 Māori and Pacific creative and culturally-based businesses will come together under one roof at KingSize Studios in Grey Lynn Auckland which commences on 1 July, for a three day event to collaborate, learn and build digital assets to assist their businesses access North Asian and Latin American markets.

The group is part of the Alumni Network which has arisen out of North Asia Centre of Pacific Excellence (NA CAPE) and Latin America Centre of Pacific Excellence (LATAM) (CAPEs) Māori and Pacific Business ReConnect Programme. Developed and delivered as a partnership by Oyster Workshop, the business programme has been running since early 2020 throughout successive lockdowns to help develop commercial pathways to global markets. The Alumni Network, funded by the CAPEs, enables creatives to learn, access opportunities and to develop their knowledge to take up international opportunities and strengthen their businesses domestically. The CAPEs work to ensure that diverse New Zealand businesses are able to gain knowledge and build stronger, more sustainable and authentic relationships with North Asian and Latin American countries.

As a country that is home to the largest and most diverse Polynesian population on the planet, New Zealand has access to a wealth of creative and cultural capital that has the potential to ensure our creative sector is the most vibrant and economically viable in the world. Creative industries mark a significant strength for Māori and Pacific people in New Zealand.

The Digital Asset Creation event marks a significant milestone for the CAPEs and Oyster Workshop partnership which began in 2019 through a programme that took a group of six Māori and Pacific fashion designers to showcase their work at Hong Kong Fashion Week. Insights from this programme paved the way for a culturally-based approach to build individual businesses through a collective working model. Charlie Gao, Director of North Asia CAPE says he is ‘grateful to be able to support in a small way the incredible indigenous artist-entrepreneurs in this programme’.

Businesses who attend the 3 day event will take away assets that can be used to market and grow their businesses both domestically and internationally and will be curated to form a Look Book which will be utilised by the CAPES to promote their programming and the businesses with key stakeholders. Dr. Michael O’Meagher highlights that ‘New Zealand businesses can collaborate successfully to export products and services as part of an Aotearoa NZ Inc approach. This is particularly true of the participants in the ReConnect Programme, given Māori and Pacific culturally-based approaches of doing business can have an X factor’.

Photography, filming and styling for the event are procured through a network of Māori and Pacific businesses and include the exceptional talents of Hohua, Mataara Stokes, No Six and Koni Rairoa, all creative businesses and practitioners in their own right.

In a time where we are all in need of social connection this event not only intends to support business growth but ensures the wellbeing of our talented creative business owners is nurtured through opportunities to connect and be together. The alumni are from all over Aotearoa and some are making the journey to come together at the event from as far away as Australia and the Chatham Islands.

Oyster Workshop and the CAPEs are inviting other collaborators who would like to meet or work with the businesses to come along to the event to create connections between people who can support each other in their business journeys.

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