Financial capability of Maori businesses under study

Venkat Raman 

Massey Business School researchers have undertaken a study of the financial capability of Maori enterprises, with a $30,000 grant, awarded by the Westpac Massey Fin-Ed (Financial Education and Research) Centre by the SkyCity Auckland Community Trust.

Westpac Massey Fin-Ed Centre director Dr Pushpa Wood and Te Au Rangahau (Maori Business and Leadership Centre) co-director Dr Jason Paul Mika will lead the research.

Measuring capability

The project will measure the financial capability of Maori entrepreneurs and their ability to start and run Maori enterprises.

The researchers are hoping to talk to at least 30 Maori entrepreneurs, including rangatahi (youth), pakeke (adults), kaumatua (elders) and whanau (families) in Auckland and Northland, using interviews and focus groups.

“We want to understand how culture, money and wealth play out in the lives and thinking of Maori entrepreneurs. We want to speak to those new to business, and those who have been in business for some time so we can better understand how to strengthen the financial capability of Maori entrepreneurs,” Dr Wood said.

The project’s name ‘Te manu ka rere’ is taken from the oft-quoted Maori saying “Ma te huruhuru te manu ka rere”, which means that, with feathers, the bird can fly.

“We suspect that for some, financial capability – the ability to manage money and wealth – is not a problem, but for others it might be. Ultimately, we want whanau to develop their financial capability and entrepreneurial skills to be successful in business and contribute to the collective wellbeing of Maori and the wider community,” Dr Mika said.

Understanding iwi

Fonteyn Moses-Te Kani, Westpac’s head of Maori and iwi strategic relationships, said that the Bank has a long history of working with Maori and iwi businesses and communities, and is keen to increase its presence in this growing market.

“We hope this research will show how Westpac and other financial institutions can best help our Maori and iwi customers achieve their business objectives.”

SkyCity Auckland Community Trust Chairman John Bongard said the Trust is pleased to contribute to the growth of financial capability and employment opportunities in Auckland and Northland.

“The Trust is proud to be helping to support families to thrive and communities to prosper through grants like this for the Westpac Massey Fin-Ed Centre. The research this funding is supporting will help identify actions to strengthen the financial capability and resilience of Maori entrepreneurs. This, in turn, will contribute to whānau, hapū, iwi and community economic prosperity and wealth, and the trust’s grant is our way of supporting this vision and these communities,” he said.

Photo Caption:

  1. Dr Jason Paul Mika
  2. Dr Pushpa Wood

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