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Babies And Business

Starting a business is hard work. Starting a business with new babies is even harder. Those who know Kahurangi and Frae won’t be surprised that they’ve thrown themselves into the thick of both!

With babies born just weeks apart, Kahurangi and Frae have spent the last few months enjoying māmāhood whilst thinking about the world they want to leave behind for their pēpi. This spurred the action of starting their business, Puna Awarau.

Puna Awarau means ‘a spring that feeds many streams’, aptly representing the mahi they will be doing to create impact through procurement. Metaphorically, it signals ‘streams’ of wellbeing and prosperity that can flow to many. Puna Awarau represents the intent of Supplier Diversity, and its ability to feed into many streams with a flow on effect that continues to nourish its surrounding environment.

“It's an area that we are so deeply passionate about, and we are so excited to live our values and ambition of tino rangatiratanga through our new business venture” says Malcolm.

Puna Awarau is a Māori specialist consultancy firm working at the forefront of indigenous procurement, they offer independent expert advice and support to organisations working towards broader outcomes through social procurement, progressive procurement and/or supplier diversity.

Malcolm and Cairns bring together sustainable procurement expertise and Māori economic development experience to create this niche consultancy.

For many, they couldn't imagine diving into start-up mode on a few hours’ sleep with newborn babies, but Malcolm and Cairns are throwing themselves in the deep end.

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“It’s definitely not for the faint hearted, and those that know us know that we are not faint hearted, but we also know that we aren't the first crazy māmā’s to start a business whilst on maternity leave” says Cairns.

As a Māori owned, Wāhine owned business, Malcolm and Cairns feel they are well placed to service a gap in the market.

“We have been so blessed to have had the incredible guidance of the supplier diversity godmothers Anna-Jane Edwards and Tania Pouwhare who have really mentored us into the specialists that we are today. This coupled with our experience in growing Amotai alongside Ariana Paul puts us in good stead to support organisations that want to deep dive creating impact through procurement” says Cairns.

Whilst independently owned and operated by Frae Cairns and Kahurangi Malcolm, Puna Awarau will continue to support the mahi of Amotai and the Community and Social Innovation Unit.

“We have a deep love for the social innovation of TSI and Amotai and will take the positive disruptor, social justice warrior mentality with us on our journey in business” says Malcolm.

For more about Puna Awarau:




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