Business School


Economic development

Information about how Māori and Pacific participate in New Zealand’s global economic systems.

Māori economic development


Students, employers and iwi representatives talk about the Bachelor of Property (BProp) and Māori asset management

The Māori asset base is conservatively estimated to be worth $36.9 billion and is continuing to grow. (Māori Economy Report 2011).

The key contributors to the Māori asset base - fishing, forestry, agriculture and tourism - are all known to be New Zealand's biggest export earners. With the growth of this asset base, Māori business is set to play an increasingly important role in New Zealand's exports and trade. (Retrieved from Te Puni Kōkiri 2010 About Māori Economic Development).

Māori assets comprise of trusts and incorporations of $4 billion, other Māori entities of $6.7 billion, businesses of self-employed Māori of $5.4 billion, businesses of Māori employers $20.8 billion. (Source: Māori Economy Report 2011)

It is frequently noted that there is a strong understanding of culture between Māori and Asian businesses. The respectful and courteous approach that Māori businesses have when doing business in Asia is well received and is seen as a valuable asset in the development of New Zealand's financial interests in the Asian region. (Retrieved from Te Puni Kōkiri 2010 About Māori Economic Development).

Ministerial Māori Economic Taskforce

The Ministerial Māori Economic Taskforce has a budget of $4.5 million per annum to research and initiate Māori economic development strategies. For example, in 2009, the Taskforce collaborated with Te Ohu Kaimoana to research the feasibility of establishing a lobster export market to China. (Source: Hon Dr Pita R Sharples, 2010, Māori Economic Taskforce. Wellington: Ministry of Māori Development).

The Taskforce and Te Puni Kōkiri are working on a Commercial Engagement Plan for Māori groups and businesses to make the most out of the economic opportunities linked with Rugby World Cup 2011. (Source: Hon Dr Pita R Sharples, 2010, Māori Economic Taskforce. Wellington: Ministry of Māori Development).

Te Puni Kōkiri's (Ministry for Māori Development) five key enablers for the future:

  1. Leveraging Māori businesses into growth and strategic industries.
  2. Increasing export growth participation.
  3. Improving the qualification base for Māori.
  4. Promoting higher levels of entrepreneurship.
  5. Nurturing innovation.

(Retrieved from Te Puni Kōkiri: 2007 For Māori Future Makers).

Visit Te Puni Kōkiri website:

Download the 2012 Māori Economic Development Panel Strategy to 2040:

Pacific economic development


The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs (MPIA) have developed the Auckland Pacific Strategy: Successful Pacific Peoples 2009-2014.

The five key strategic priorities are:

  1. Improve coordination, cooperation and access to shared knowledge and expertise.
  2. Celebrate Pacific cultures.
  3. Strengthen Pacific leadership and influence decision making.
  4. Strengthen Pacific economic development.
  5. Improve employment opportunities with a focus on Pacific youth.

Examples of what the strategy involves:

  • Improve employment opportunities with a focus on Pacific youth
    "There are exciting opportunities for ensuring a skilled Pacific workforce is developed that will contribute to Auckland's future. Understanding market demands for skills now and into the future is essential and will contribute to identifying employment opportunities that can increase incomes for Pacific people."
  • Strengthen leadership and influence decision-making
    "Pacific peoples are currently under-represented in leadership and governance positions in Auckland both in the public and private sectors. Any sustained change to outcomes for Pacific people requires Pacific representation at all levels in decision-making."

(Source: Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs (2009). Auckland Pacific Strategy: Successful Pacific Peoples 2009-2014, p.11).