Māori Economy

Facilitating Māori enterprise

The Te Tai Tokerau region is significant in Māori and Polynesian history. It is the original landing place for several dozen waka and contains several points of early European contact and colonisation.

Within the economy, pre-colonisation evidence shows active trade and wise management of natural resources including sustainable horticulture and fisheries, the oranga (wellness) of Māori, and the interdependent relationship between tangata (people) and the whenua (land).

Tai Tokerau Northland has a strong Māori population and approximately 200,000 Māori claim it as their turangawaewae ('place to stand'). However, the challenges of balance between European settlers and the principles of Tai Tokerau Māori are well documented and describe, for many reasons, a downturn in successful Māori influence on the economy.

A Māori Economic Growth strategy, ‘He Tangata, He Whenua, He Oranga’ has been developed by the Tai Tokerau Iwi Chief Executive Consortium. Northland Inc worked with the Consortium to support the strategy's launch and implementation. 'He Tangata, He Whenua, He Oranga' is proudly ‘iwi-led’, and seeks to apply a regional framework to grow the Tai Tokerau Māori economy, strengthen local level strategic alignment plans and activities, and draw relevant connections to other economic growth plans and activities at a national level.

Northland Inc is dedicated to taking meaningful steps working with Māori for better outcomes for Māori in the community and in business. Across the region there is a collective desire for change, with a future that truly embraces the importance of Tai Tokerau Māori and their significant contribution to the region's economy, yesterday, today, and in the future.


Business support for the Māori economy

  • Kōkiri - Business Accelerator

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and Callaghan Innovation have teamed up with influential leaders Creative HQ, Robett Hollis, Crowe Horwath and Ernst & Young Tahi to create and roll out Kōkiri. It’s a first of its kind – a business accelerator dedicated to speeding up the development of early-stage Māori businesses.

    Kōkiri is a four-month startup accelerator programme where up to 10 early-stage companies are selected to participate in a programme designed by Māori, for Māori.

    Contact us  Kōkiri website

  • Callaghan Innovation - Māori Economy team

    The Māori Economy team at Callaghan Innovation are super connectors!  Their job is to create connections for established Māori businesses, trusts and incorporations.

    If you have a business project that requires science technology and/or innovation, the Māori Economy team will help you navigate through the process of research and development (R&D) and support you towards commercialising your ideas. They understand Māori businesses and are there to tautoko you and connect your business to the right services, programmes, networks, expertise and R&D funding to help you make your ideas happen.

    Learn more

  • New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

    New Zealand Trade and Enterprise understands that Māori businesses may have different factors driving their commercial and export activity and growth. They have a team dedicated to working with Māori customers, who understands the Māori dynamic and business models, knows about the governance models of multiple ownership, and has a shared understanding of nga kawa me nga tikanga Māori. 

    When NZTE works with Māori businesses they start by learning about who you are and what you want to achieve so that they can match their support to your needs, whether you are an individual business or a collectively-owned Māori entity.

    Depending on where you are at on your exporting journey, you might benefit from working with NZTE as either a Build or Focus customer, where you’ll have access to services and support to help you achieve your goals, including their Te Aukaha investment workshops which are tailored for Māori businesses.  

    Get in touch

  • Ministry for Primary Industries - Māori agribusiness support

    Māori economic development and regional development are inseparable. Growing and protecting Māori primary sector assets contributes directly to the development of New Zealand's regional economies.

    MPI believes that assisting Māori to make the most of their assets will lead to economic growth for the nation. Māori agribusiness is a key component of MPI's strategic goals. Their 2030 Strategy commits to supporting the primary sectors, including Māori, to maximise the benefits from the sustainable use of their primary sector assets. Supporting the growth of the Māori economy will also support the growth of New Zealand's economy. 

    Learn more

  • NZ Māori Tourism

    NZ Māori Tourism works collaboratively with the Māori tourism sector to contribute to our economy, provide compelling visitor experiences, and build a strong commercial and cultural leadership.

    They support leaders and partnerships that generate value in the Māori and wider tourism sector. This creates opportunity and ensures the growth and quality of Māori tourism experiences. Their support, resources, range of Toolkits and research will help you to get every stage of the journey right for your Māori tourism venture, from getting started through to being export-ready.

    Learn more

  • Te Puni Kōkiri

    Te Puni Kōkiri provides Business Growth Support to help Māori businesses become established and grow. They provide information to those who are interested in setting up a new business and support existing businesses to plan their business growth pathway, and will also connect you with other business growth agencies who will help you establish and grow your business.

    Māori Business Growth Support focuses primarily on Māori small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that have a clear commercial focus. The fundamental criteria is that the owner self-identifies as Māori and that the business is an independent entity based in New Zealand.

    Learn more

  • Māori Women's Development Inc

    Māori Women's Development Inc (MWDI) is a unique, indigenous financial institution formed, controlled, managed and operated by Māori women for the economic development of Māori Women and their whānau.

    Support includes loans, training programmes, business capability coaches known as 'Hinepreneur' Coaches, Hineboss and more, all for Māori Women in business.

    Learn more


Support for Māori Business

He Tautoko i ngā Pakihi Māori

Whether you have a business idea or are well established in international markets, there is a range of help available to you through government agencies and non-governmental organisations.

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Strong partnerships for the future

Māori Economy Investor Guide

This Guide has been prepared for readers who wish to explore the opportunities to invest in economic acceleration with Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand.

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Looking for guidance for your Māori business?

Book a session with our Māori Business team

Māori Business - Pūtea

Poutama Trust

Flexible investment for investigation, growth and training with a key focus on how the investment will help develop and grow a business over and above ‘business as usual’.

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Te Pūnaha Hiringa

$3 million per year fund, which invests in initiatives that contribute to achieving the goals and priorities in He kai kei aku ringa and the Business Growth Agenda.

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Commercial Advisors

The advisors offer professional business advice and mentoring as they work with collectives on business development projects aimed at realising the potential commercial value of the collective’s assets.

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Regional Business Partner Network

Facilitation for government support including grants for research and development, and co-funding of capability development for business owners and managers.

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What's happening in our region - Maori Economy

He Tangata

He Tangata, He Whenua, He Oranga

Download the Tai Tokerau Maori Growth Strategy - Feb 2015


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