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Half Of Māori Business Leaders Feeling Less Mentally Healthy Than Normal - COVID-19 Continuing To Cause Strain

A first-of-its-kind BDO study investigating the link between business performance and mental wellbeing has found that business owners and leaders who identify as Māori are still feeling the strain caused by COVID-19.

COVID-19, business risks, employee performance and conflict all causing challenges

Half (51%) of Māori business leaders responding to the inaugural BDO Wellbeing in Business Index - Te Rangahau o ngā hauora pai – said that they had been feeling less mentally healthy than normal. Among this group, 56% said the impacts of COVID-19 had been causing them to feel less mentally healthy – the highest-ranking cause. Business risks that leaders feel unable to control (34%) ranked second, followed by employee performance or conflict (32%) and external economic and political factors (30%). Business system and technology challenges also scored highly at 28% - a reflection of poor connectivity in the regions, where many Māori businesses are located.

A potential level of resilience among Māori business leaders

The survey also adopted the World Health Organisation’s internationally recognised ‘WHO-5’ wellbeing index to take a snapshot of wellbeing among New Zealand business owners. The WHO-5 asks respondents to rate how they have been feeling in the past two weeks across five key statements, and calculates a score ranging from 0 (representing the worst possible wellbeing) to 100 (representing the best possible wellbeing).

The WHO-5 score for Māori business was 73 out of 100, 4 points above the whole-of-business average. This suggests that, despite feeling the strain over the past 6 months, there is potentially a degree of resilience among Māori business leaders.

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Angela Edwards, BDO Māori Business Sector Leader, said: “We know that to run a business through a te ao Māori lens means focussing on people and the environment just as much as profit – perhaps this broader focus and people-centric view is helping our Māori business leaders and owners achieve stronger wellbeing.

That said, we know Māori were disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and digital inequality and access to the right people continues to be a challenge for Māori businesses - this is reflected in the survey results.”

To view the BDO Wellbeing in Māori Business report, and to watch an interview with Angela Edwards and news reporter Wilhelmina Shrimpton, go to bdo.nz/wellbeinginMaoribusiness.

About BDO

BDO offers a wide range of business and corporate advisory services to large corporate organisations, Government & Public Sector entities, private businesses, entrepreneurs, and individual clients across a wide range of industry sectors.

In New Zealand, BDO can offer the expertise of more than 100 partners, supported by over 900 staff. We are one of New Zealand’s largest networks of independently-owned accounting practices, with offices in Kerikeri, Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wanaka, Alexandra, Cromwell, Blenheim and Invercargill.

Our service lines include: Audit & Assurance, Corporate Finance, Tax, Advisory, Forensic Services, Risk Advisory, Business Recovery & Insolvency, HR Services and Information Systems. We also focus on a range of industries and specialisations, including: Automotive, Agribusiness; Government & Public Sector, Healthcare, Not-for-Profit, Professional Services, Real Estate & Construction, Retail, Technology, Entertainment & Telecommunications; and Tourism, Sports & Leisure.

International BDO network

The BDO network (referred to as the ‘BDO network’) is an international network of independent public accounting, tax and advisory firms which are members of BDO International Limited and perform professional services under the name and style of BDO (hereafter: ‘BDO member firms’). BDO International Limited is a UK company limited by guarantee. It is the governing entity of the BDO network.

Service provision within the BDO network is coordinated by Brussels Worldwide Services BV, a limited liability company incorporated in Belgium.

Each of BDO International Limited, Brussels Worldwide Services BV and the BDO member firms is a separate legal entity and has no liability for another entity’s acts or omissions. Nothing in the arrangements or rules of the BDO network shall constitute or imply an agency relationship or a partnership between BDO International Limited, Brussels Worldwide Services BV and/or the BDO member firms. Neither BDO International Limited nor any other central entities of the BDO network provide services to clients.

BDO is the brand name for the BDO network and for each of the BDO member firms.

The fee income of the member firms in the BDO network, including the members of their exclusive alliances, was US$ 11.8 billion in 2021. These public accounting, tax and advisory firms provide professional services in 164 countries and territories, with 95,414 people and 1,713 offices worldwide.

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