Campaign to support more Auckland Māori business women

By Mānia Clarke

An Auckland business network is campaigning to increase their Māori businesswomen. The move is part of an initiative by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).

The KidsCoin founder and CEO says the more Māori business women the better!

“My words would be just to come along because it's a really welcoming environment,” said Brittany Tei.

“It's a place where you can actually get help with what you're doing and get new knowledge.”

Two years ago Teei won the ATEED digital innovation competition DIGMYIDEA. Now ATEED is hoping their Facebook page will spark more interest for Māori women to join their Whāriki - Tāmaki Makaurau Business Network.

Operations Manager, Te Ngaronoa Mahanga said, “We wanted to work alongside a variety of different sectors, food, and beverage, Māori tourism, Māori fashion, design, architecture.”

Since Whāriki began in 2015 they have increased to over 600 members.

“We provide Network events every two months, we also encourage Māori businesswomen to host their own events," said Mahanga.

"We're happy to invite the Whāriki Network to their organisations, their workplaces to promote their own businesses in the hopes of investors, Māori business professionals, to be able to give them some financial support, some knowledge, some insight.”

“It really is about all the networking and having the ability to connect with the right people who can actually move things forward,” said Teei.

Māori contributes $50 billion and growing to the New Zealand economy. Auckland is the country's economic powerhouse, contributing 38% of the nation's GDP.

Mahanga says Māori women are innovative with much to contribute to the economy.

“The big thing that stands out for me personally is their knowledge around whānau,” he said. “Understanding that in order to have a prosperous whānau you do need to have whānau who all work and who would like to be their own bosses.”

The next Whāriki Network event will be held on the 25th of January ahead of the Auckland anniversary Te Pou Herenga Waka festival.