Wāhine shine at Māori Business Awards

By Ani-Oriwia Adds

The annual Māori Business awards were held last night with an array of winners from all different backgrounds. This year for the first time five of the six winners were women.

Strong Māori women are making waves in the business world.

Winner of Dame Mira Szasy Māori Alumni Award Liz Te Amo says, “Over the last decade there has been a really big push to get women into leadership.”

The Outstanding Māori Business Leaders Award went to shearing legend and prominent business woman Mavis Mullins and the Dame Mira Szászy Māori Alumni Award winner went to Liz Te Amo who were amongst the many women being honoured at the Māori Business awards in Auckland last night. This isāthe first time that the awards have seen all but one winner being women.

Winner of the Outstanding Māori Business Leader Award Mavis Mullins says, “It was often that you were the lone woman, you were the lone Māori and for me, I was often the lone rural person as well. So it’s building enough confidence to be able to take those only things and to make them your own.”

Television producer Bailey Mackey was the one male amongst the wahine that was awarded the Māori Entrepreneurial Leader Award, other winners included the likes of young Māori entrepreneur Blanche Murray and Hinerangi Raumati and Kahungunu Asset Holding Company. Mullins says that there is so much support now for women in business and it all contributes to the rise of female leaders.

“I guess what you've started to see particularly within the Māori space is that Māori woman have been very conscious about mentoring about supporting about opening doors for other Māori women.”

Te Amo says, “I feel well supported by men and by women in business and in government and I think the next step up for us to is to think no just about woman in leadership but diversity in leadership. So what does New Zealand's population look like and so, therefore, what should our leadership of the future look like.”

The advice that these two business leaders shared for other Māori women wanting to get into business was to try lots of different things and be brave and bold.