Partnering across the Tasman to lift indigenous business

Māori Development

Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia governments are funding a new initiative to support indigenous business, Associate Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta has announced.

Targeted towards Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori communities, the funding will provide e-commerce training and business development to help up to 82 indigenous businesspeople.

“Today’s announcement is a next step in our Indigenous Collaboration Arrangement (ICA) with Australia, demonstrating tangible outcomes for our indigenous business communities,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“Collaborations like this are key to cultivating a thriving Māori business sector that keeps up with digitisation and globalisation,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

Te Whare Hukahuka, a New Zealand-based social enterprise company and Australia’s Waalitj Indigenous Business and Employment Hub and the Oceania Indigenous House of eCommerce Ltd, will provide e-commerce learning to indigenous businesses in New Zealand and Australia through a 12-week course that will equip them to excel in the online world and grow their customer databases. 

“This initiative aligns with Te Puni Kokiri’s Māori Economic Resilience Strategy by helping Māori businesses to recover from COVID-19 and find ways to thrive in new digital environments,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“By working with counterparts on both sides of the Tasman, we are facilitating access to high quality training that helps Māori and Australian Indigenous businesses learn from one another. We hope that this will increase opportunities for long-term wealth as we continue work from the ICA.

“We are jointly committed with Australia to deepen our relationship on indigenous issues and we look forward to seeing where this journey takes us next,” Nanaia Mahuta said. 

The funding of this initiative reflects a joint commitment between Australia and New Zealand to growing the role of Indigenous businesses in the trans-Tasman Single Economic Market (SEM). This work sits alongside the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum’s Indigenous Business Sector Group, and aligns with the Australia-New Zealand ICA, signed in February 2020.