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Report shows Maori economy poised thrive post COVID19 – Tukaki says thrive not just survive

The New Zealand Maori Council has welcomed the publication of a report giving an insight into the state of the Maori economy and Maori small business, Te Matapaeroa 20149 – looking toward the horizon”. The Executive Director of the Council, Matthew Tukaki, has said one of the prime movers must be a concerted effort to grow the Maori economy and one of the key ways this can happen is further investment and support in the growth of Maori small and medium sized enterprise:

“The research tell us that there more than 10,000 economically significant Maori owned businesses – which is eight times more than we previously thought – this is a huge leap with 8,800 newly identified businesses as a result of the wage subsidy program run during COVID19. It represents a total of 6% of all New Zealand businesses across the nation being Maori owned which is a huge opportunity to grow that number” Tukaki said

“We have to also put a reality check around some of the numbers – that means better understanding what drives the value of the Maori economy that some estimate to be worth between $42-50 billion. A good amount of that value is tied up in assets that may have value paper such as fisheries and forestry but what this report actually does is show what the value of day to day transactional business is and might be.” Tukaki said

“Take Tamaki Makaurau for example where the number of Maori identified businesses leapt from 27 to 1362 – what would be good to understand is what type of Maori enterprise is thriving across what industry sectors so we could better plot support and investment – for example, we know anecdotally that Maori business growth in the digital and technology arena’s is growing while we are also seeing more of our people move into business ownership in the trades sector.” Tukaki said

“Then we take a look at some of the data coming out of our regions – one in five businesses in Gisborne are identified as Maori and for the first time we are seeing professional services enter into the top industry categories where Maori are doing well. This is great news because we know professional services carry higher profit margins and employ people on higher wages – and its wage growth we really need to focus our energy on – the truth is the more our people earn from the mahi they are doing the more they can save for that first house deposit or not just keep pace with the cost of living but live sustainably.” Tukaki said

Tukaki has said the focus of the Government and Maori Development Minister, Willie Jackson, on the growth of Maori small to medium sized enterprise and jobs will be key over the next three years:

“We are yet to emerge from COVID19 and it will be a gradual process over the next 12 months in terms of the economy – so positioning ourselves as Maori to take advantage of a policy of thriving and not just surviving will be critical. We also need to do more work on ensuring Maori small business is active in the export sector, not just domestic consumption, and that we seek to get a greater piece of the pie when it comes to products and services procured by Government.” Tukaki said

“What I would like to see is more investment in analysing this data to build back better – to focus our energy on industries and sectors poised to thrive, have targeted strategies on lifting wage growth and ensuring Maori business is agile and adaptable to the point of growing profit margins. Lets not settle for a small percentage of the market – lets lead the market” Tukaki said


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