Topic: Business

Online collaboration of Maori entrepreneurs in Northland

By Dean Nathan
  • Northland

An online collaboration of Māori entrepreneurs in Northland is being actively built to advance Māori economic development.  Known as the Inno Native Market, its Facebook page is registering good numbers of business and services in the lead up to a market day launch later this month.

Not a week has passed since Rangimarie Mako began a free community service and she has already allocated over 100 boxes to those wanting to support it.

Rangimarie says, "It's self-explanatory really, its Christmas in a shoebox and collect an empty shoebox and take it away and fill it up with goodies and presents for ages 2-17-year-olds who don't have much for Christmas time yeah." 

She is one of 50 Māori businesses that have registered as members of the Inno Native Facebook page administered by a project team at Te Puna Marama Trust in Whangarei.

General Manager of Māori transformation Auriole Ruka, "Well the key aspiration for He Puna Marama Trust is to be able to advance the economic development for Maori here in Te Taitokerau.  You know we've got a lot of great strategic developments happening here in Whangarei.  What an opportunity for us to showcase entrepreneurs who can then offer the best products and services we have to the world."

Its only been a matter of days but Rangimarie is watching her free service move to another level.

She says, "I was needing some pickup points and drop off points and Ray White has stepped up and offered their office spaces in Kaitaia Kaikohe Kerikeri and Kawakawa so those will service all the main towns up there."

The Northland Chamber of Commerce, Northland Ink and Te Puni Kōkiri are but some of the corporates who have partnered with Inno Native whose current goal is to double its membership.

Auriole Ruka says, "What we know is entrepreneurship is in our whakapapa.  We know that because I know back in the day our people bartered they traded they were able to do a lot of things because really we like to control our own futures and our own destinies and Māori business is the way we do that."

Inno Native will launch at the end of the month with a market day to showcase and celebrate our Māori entrepreneurs.