Business & Māori Enterprise 

Social Procurement

can be transformational for Māori

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MBIE’s Māori Economic Development Advisory Board (MEDAB) is so impressed and inspired with the pioneering work carried out by the Southern Initiative (TSI) in social procurement, it is heralding it, to demonstrate how transformational social procurement can be for Māori

“The annual government procurement spend is $41 Billion.  We believe that if a greater portion of this went towards Māori businesses, it would be an enormous lever for Māori economic growth,” Chair Robin Hapi told the recent export symposium hosted by Ngāti Kahungunu.

TSI in Auckland is showing how a social procurement policy can work to help groups that often miss out on big contracts.

Watch the video to find out more.


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The whakatauaki, He kai kei aku ringa was adapted by the Māori Economic Development panel in 2012 and provided a vision and Crown-Maori led strategy for a productive, innovative, and sustainable Māori economy driven by whānau and Māori Inc. He kai kei aku ringa describes ‘providing food by our own hands’ and is a metaphor for the resilience and economic self-determination of Māori people. 


ERERE is the name given to the action plan for He kai kei aku ringa and represents five pou or structures that work together to support Māori economic development. These pou are:

·       Employment – Whai Mahi - growing the future Māori workforce

·       Rangatahi – supporting Māori youth to define and lead their economic aspirations

·       Enterprise – Whai Pakihi- growing Māori enterprises

·       Regions – Rohe Tū Pakari - increasing Māori participation in regional economies

·       Education – Whai Mātauranga - developing a highly skilled Māori workforce

E RERE as a verb, means ‘to leap, run, fly - to take action, elevate'


Most Māori people (280,000) derive their income through wages paid by employers. Our single biggest opportunity is to grow the future Māori workforce. This means more Māori moving into employment, and moving into higher wage, higher skilled jobs. Employment will increase across all sectors to 2022 with the largest increases coming from the construction and utilities, business services, and health and education sectors. Growth will be strongest for highly skilled workers (managers and professionals), especially business and system analysts and programmers, ICT managers and legal professionals. For skilled trades, growth will be fastest for glaziers, plasterers, tilers, plumbers and electricians. 


Māori account for 15.5% (723,000) of the population and this is expected to reach 20% by 2038. It is a young and growing population with an average age of 24 years, who will form an increasingly important part of the workforce.


Most businesses in New Zealand are small to medium enterprises (SMEs). Being in business is a great way to earn income. You can be your own boss, employ whānau and others, create strong communities, innovate and connect to the world. In 2016 there were 29,000 Māori either self-employed (65%) or employing others (35%).


Employment will grow in all regions to 2022 – some regions will grow faster than others. North Island growth will be highest in Auckland, Waikato and Wellington and there will be solid growth across the South Island, especially Tasman and Marlborough. Auckland will make up 43% of the growth.


Education is a life-long learning process and requires investment in early childhood education, schooling, tertiary, and on the job vocational education. Foundational education levels are key to ensure all Māori are in employment with career pathways that meet future workforce needs.

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