Financial capability of Maori businesses under study

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Wellington, June 15, 2017

Massey Business School researchers will study the financial capability of Maori enterprises, with the help of a $30,000 grant.

The grant was awarded to 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 research project will measure the financial capability of Maori entrepreneurs and their ability to start and run Maori enterprises, Dr Mika said.

The researchers are hoping to talk to around 30 Maori entrepreneurs, including rangatahi (youth), pakeke (adults), kaumatua (elders) and whnau (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 projects name Te manu ka rere is taken from the oft-quoted Maori saying Ma te huruhuru te manu ka rere, which means that, adorned with feathers, the bird is able to 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 Maori and iwi

Fonteyn Moses-Te Kani, Westpacs 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 be contributing 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 whnau, hapu, iwi and community economic prosperity and wealth, and the trusts grant is our way of supporting this vision and these communities, he said.


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