MIL-OSI New Zealand: Maori and Pasifika Economy – Māori and Pacific groups join forces with Chamber of Commerce to accelerate business growth


Source: Wellington Chamber of Commerce

Te Awe Wellington Māori Business Network and Wellington Pasifika Business Network have joined forces with the Wellington Chamber of Commerce to supercharge the region’s businesses.
“The Power of Three” is a first of its kind, which will see the respective organisations share knowledge, services and cultural expertise to help grow businesses in the Wellington region.
The Chamber has signed a “Kawenata” with Te Awe and a separate “Covenant” with Wellington Pasifika Business Network.
The cooperation agreements set out the principles, aspirations, and strategic aims of the partners.
The parties believe that working together will enhance the growth of each organisation. Each party will benefit the other by drawing from their knowledge, experience and heritage.
The agreements were signed by Te Awe Chair Wayne Johnston, Wellington Pasifika Business Chair Paul Retimanu, and Wellington Chamber of Commerce President Karun Shenoy, at a special event at Te Wharewaka o Pōneke.
“We are excited by the Power of Three, which is a first of its kind in Aotearoa,” says Te Awe Chair Wayne Johnston.
“The signing of the Kawenata marks the beginning of something new for our members and for Māori businesses across the motu.”
Pasifika Business Network Patron Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban echoed the sentiment, saying the Covenant with the Chamber would help supercharge the growth of Pacific businesses in the region.
“We are here to make a difference for future generations by getting more of our people into education and business ownership through this new collaboration.”
Wellington Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Simon Arcus said the parties had been working on the Power of Three for the past year.
“Our role as the Chamber is to help businesses succeed and these new partnerships will expand our reach to new businesses and communities, as we create new opportunities for the members of all three organisations.
“We welcome our two new partners into our Chamber whanau, as we take one of the most important steps in our journey as a membership organisation. This is more than just a framework for engagement, it is engagement.”
The agreements will focus on:
  • Enabling deeper connections with Māori and Pasifika businesses
  • Collaboration of membership services, events, and business support services for the benefit of each group’s members.
  • Continued collaboration on advocacy services, ensuring Māori and Pasifika businesses have a “voice at the table” in public policy issues.
Te Awe Wellington Māori Business Network is a non-profit organisation that was established in 1996. It is the oldest Māori Business Network operating in New Zealand. Te Awe has a strong membership base representing small to medium-sized businesses through to large corporate companies. Te Awe’s purpose is to promote, assist and encourage Māori in business through regular networking Hui where Māori business owners meet and share their business successes and challenges.
The Wellington Pasifika Business Network started in 2014 with the passion of a small group identifying a significant gap in the market, particularly the lack of visibility of Pasifika businesses in the region. The Wellington Pasifika Business Network’s goal is to help grow Pasifika businesses in Wellington, to help create a community of like-minded Pasifika business entrepreneurs who can share ideas and successes, and to drive leading-edge for Pacific by Pacific innovation. The genuine commitment to bringing together the Pasifika business community was premised on the primary goal to encourage innovation, prosperity and growth of small business through quality network events and engagement whilst celebrating our successes and challenges in the world of business.
The Wellington Chamber of Commerce is a business membership association and has represented businesses in the Wellington Region for over 165 years, advocating for the interest of business and the development of the region’s economy. The Chamber provides export and trade, employment, health and safety, and human resources advice, along with professional learning and development training, business mentoring, and employment placement programmes. The Wellington Chamber is part of the Business Central Group, with around 3,600 members throughout Central New Zealand (Gisborne to Taranaki and down to Nelson) and includes Business Central, ExportNZ, and Porirua Chamber of Commerce, affiliated with both the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce and BusinessNZ networks.

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