Maori Trustee Jamie Tuuta has announced the launch of a new Award for Maori Excellence in Exporting.
To be run for the first time next year, He kai kei aku ringa will recognise the importance of maximising opportunities.
Tuuta, who heads Maori assets and land management organisation Te Tumu Paeroa, was speaking at the ANZ New Zealand International Business Awards in Auckland recently.
He said it is especially important to maximise economic opportunities given the challenges that New Zealand faces in the current global economic climate.
“The Maori economy is now substantial within New Zealand and is well positioned to make its contribution.”
He noted Maori assets include 40 percent of New Zealand’s forest lands, 38 percent of fishing quotas, 12 percent of beef and sheep stock units, 10 percent of dairy production and 10 percent of kiwifruit.
Maori also have substantial assets in geothermal, digital, services, education and tourism enterprises.
The saying 'He kai kei aku ringa', which is also the name for the Crown-Maori Partnership for Economic Development, symbolises the resilience of Maori people.
It refers to the idea that, despite adversity, the people still have the ability to gather and grow their own kai or food with their own hands: the means and solutions to overcome challenges.
“We think that it is also fitting for this export award,” said Tuuta.
He added that many Maori organisations are now considering what the business models of the future will be.
“[We are thinking about] where we will play in the value chain and who we will partner with – as we recognise that Maori business success will not be achieved alone and there will be opportunities to work and partner with many of you in the room here this evening.”
In August this year 35 Maori business leaders visited Stanford University Graduate Business School to study the business models, ideas and innovations of Silicon Valley. They were particularly interested in seeing how Google, Paypal, and Ideo are designing their futures.
“We recognise we need to move to shape our future and not accept what we have – we should not be comfortable with the status quo,” said Huuta.
“We must build a culture of trust and innovation and then collaborate on a scale never seen before – as Maori wealth will not occur if we remain fragmented.”
He reiterated his belief that unlocking the potential of the Maori export economy will lift the economic performance of New Zealand as a whole.
By Ruth Le Pla. Ruth.firstname.lastname@example.org
For a full list of winners from the ANZ New Zealand International Business Awards go to: