Pakihi Māori Summit boosts Whanganui business

DJ Sir-Vere (right) speaks to MC Taiaroa Neho at the Whanganui Pakihi Māori Summit. Photo / Moana Ellis

A business summit in Whanganui on Saturday aims to bolster support for pakihi Māori.

The four-hour event is a collaboration between Whanganui Pakihi Māori and economic development agency Whanganui & Partners.

Whanganui Pakihi Māori lead Seletar Taputoro says the summit is a chance for Māori businesses to share and find information and strengthen their networks.

“Our Pakihi Māori Summit provides a connect for our local Māori pakihi, from start-up to side-hustles to all-in, just to connect with services that are available to them. It’s about them being able to get the support and information they need to enable them to grow their pakihi and move into the next phases.”

Taputoro said the summit would enable networking with stakeholders and Māori providers, and also other pakihi they could collaborate with as their business grows.

The summit was held for the first time last year after pakihi Māori identified the need for more information to help start-up businesses, including how to price and cost products and services, how to deal with compliance, insurance, registering with the IRD, opening bank accounts and other specific business information needed to run businesses efficiently and effectively.

Taputoro said Whanganui Pakihi Māori hopes to establish a framework for Māori business development, making sure there is a healthy business ecosystem to support the prosperity of Māori businesses and whānau.

“The idea about creating that Māori business ecosystem and coming from the awa is a great model that we’re really working on so that any of our whānau that are coming in, or that have an idea, can be part of that and are able to contribute to growth and getting pakihi where they need to be.

“Just simple things like a logo or coming up with your elevator pitch, to the more complex mahi that you need to do in terms of accounting or marketing. We want to be able to provide a whole range where anybody in any position in their business can come in and learn and grow.

“This is about coming together as a community and inspiring and supporting one another,” Taputoro said. “We want people to have the confidence to convert their early ideas and business concepts into successful ventures.”

The summit will be attended by Whanganui & Partners, Te Manū Atatu, Te Puni Kōkiri, Inland Revenue Te Tari Taake, ANZ, the Ministry for Social Development, Statistics NZ, The Generator and Thrive, and 18 pakihi will have stalls, creating an interactive space where people can browse and learn.

Whanganui & Partners Strategic Lead – Business, Suz Hepi, said there’s a great advantage for businesses to be able to meet and speak to support services all in one place and get an idea of the breadth of support available.

“Interacting kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) makes all the difference in people feeling supported and valued,” Hepi said.

The Pakihi Māori Summit, hosted by MC Taiaroa Neho, is free and runs from 10am until 2pm at Frank Bar + Eatery on Saturday. Speakers include musician DJ Sir-vere, Ash Patea of Kii Tai Culture & Education, costume designer Lee Williams of Paetuia, and Richie and Casey Graham from Grahams Civil Contractors.

Local Democracy Reporting is Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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