Advancing knowledge for a prosperous and sustainable Māori economy

A vibrant Māori economy is not only beneficial to Māori but Aotearoa New Zealand.

We connect the Māori world with the business world through innovative research and advice to help Māori thrive in entrepreneurship and enterprise.

Ko te rangi, ko te whenua, te hua tangata

The sky and land are the common bond for all people

Ko wai mātau | About us

We are a specialist centre within Massey University’s business school that works with organisations and leaders to connect te ao Māori – the Māori world – with te ao pakihi – the business world.

Research carried out by our innovative team of Māori academics contributes to the aspirations and wellbeing of Māori people and their enterprises, empowering them to succeed – financially, culturally, environmentally, socially and spiritually – in accordance with tikanga.

We also collaborate with New Zealand businesses and organisations looking to engage with Māori business and develop a deeper understanding of te ao Māori.

Ultimately, our mission is to be a catalyst for indigenous entrepreneurship, innovation and enterprise to advance in a variety of organisational settings and contexts.

The Māori Economy

Estimated to be worth around $68.7 billion in 2018 and growing faster than the New Zealand economy as a whole, the Māori economy is fast becoming a powerful player in New Zealand’s sustained economic growth.

It encompasses small and medium enterprises, authorities, pan-tribal corporate entities, iwi who have settled their Treaty claims with the Crown, and burgeoning social enterprises. 

Māori business is rising, with 70 percent of the Māori asset base sitting in the hands of Māori employers and the self-employed, but the economy is an old one. 

Established by the founding ancestors who arrived here from Eastern Polynesia as early as 950AD. The challenge for Māori enterprise today is in deciding how to retain elements of this ancient past while advancing in globalisation, digitisation and technological developments.

Projections estimate the Māori economy will create an additional $12 billion per annum by 2060. This creates opportunity for 150,000 additional jobs, and relies on the mutual development of both economies.

Furthermore, the Māori population is much younger than the New Zealand population (34 percent of Māori were aged under 15 at the last census) meaning there will be significant numbers of Māori coming into the workforce over the coming years.

The Māori economy needs to be ready and capable of supporting this growth, and poised to encourage these young Māori onto enterprise and entrepreneurial pathways.

Through Te Au Rangahau, we hope to make Māori and indigenous business research meaningful and useful for the good of Aotearoa.

Featured projects

Developing a Māori theory of value

How can the values that drive the Māori economy be understood and articulated within a theoretical context, and be utilised by Māori communities to enhance wellbeing?

Genomics Aotearoa – Te Nohonga Kaitiaki

A comprehensive
framework for research positioned at the intersection of genomics, innovation and Te Ao Māori.

Te Hononga: Modelling indigenous collaborative enterprise

Matt Roskuge leads this project to identify principles and models which can inform Māori and non-Māori about enterprise collaboration.

Ā mātau mahi | Our services

Research collaboration

We design, conduct and peer-review research related to Māori and Indigenous business and economy. We can also participate in existing research programmes that are underway, and welcome Indigenous research opportunities with institutions in Aotearoa and abroad.

Advice and training

Practical advice and training for businesses interested in learning about Māori business and economy.

Speaking and events

Hosting, facilitating and speaking at events and seminars to transfer knowledge of Māori business and economy.

Postgraduate mentorship

Supervision and support for Māori and non-Māori postgraduate students interested in studying, researching
and engaging with Māori and Indigenous businesses or the Māori economy.

Media commentary

We are available for interview and written commentary on topics relating to Māori and Indigenous business, economics or economies. Our affiliates and staff are also
subject experts able to provide insights across a range of business-related disciplines.

Marae and community support

Practical support for marae, iwi, hapu and whānau to help resolve business, economic or data-related issues. We can also assist in running and reviewing annual census, business case submissions, and data analysis. Low or no-fee support is available.

Te hononga | Partners and affiliates