By the early 1800’s, Māori had established trading relationships with people from all over the world. Vegetables, flax, fresh water, and wood to repair vessels were among the highest value items traded.
Since the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Māori business has been underpinned by the desire to protect Whenua, Whakapapa and Whānau – land, ancestral bonds and families. Their businesses have supported whānau to grow, while also protecting the land and the environment for future generations.
Māori economic relationships are guided with a deep wairua, or spirit, and based on the core principles of manaakitanga (respect), kaitiakitanga (guardianship) and whanaungatanga (building relationships). An intergenerational mindset encourages Māori to think long-term about how business activity will benefit future generations.
Business and Economic Research Ltd (BERL) first began reporting on the Māori economy in 2010, when it was worth $36.9bn. In the latest 2018 Te Ohanga Report, it was estimated to be worth $69bn.
RBNZ Governor Adrian Orr described the Māori economy as key to the well-being of Māori.
“Equally [increasing] is its contribution to the wider economy for Aotearoa New Zealand,” Orr said.
Today, Māori leaders are committed to ensuring the protection of their economic base, and growing it into the future. Their vision is intergenerational, and deep.
The Chair of the Federation of Māori Authorities, Traci Houpapa, recently said: “We are here for future generations with the obligation to our tūpuna (ancestors). We care about our taonga, our assets, our land, our people and want to improve the quality of life for future generations.”
ANZ New Zealand recognises the important role Māori, hapū and iwi businesses play in promoting the well-being of whānau, hapū and iwi in driving the growth of Aotearoa New Zealand.
“We are here for future generations with the obligation to our tūpuna (ancestors). We care about our taonga, our assets, our land, our people and want to improve the quality of life for future generations.” Traci Houpapa, Chair, Federation of Māori Authorities