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Māori economic development plan refresh to benefit Waikato – Scoop.co.nz

The refresh of the Waikato region’s Māori economic
development action plan Te Whare Ohaoha will provide a clear
roadmap towards a prosperous region, according to Te Puni
Kōkiri (Waikato-Waiariki) and Waikato’s regional economic
development agency Te Waka.

The refreshed Waikato Region
Māori Economic Action Plan and Agenda – Te Whare Ohaoha
was unveiled by Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta at
a stakeholder event today (Friday 14 June) in Hamilton. It
outlined a series of actions to maximise economic outcomes,
grow social and cultural wellbeing and encourage
collaboration for the benefit of the Māori economy in
Waikato.

The event was hosted by Waikato’s regional
economic development agency Te Waka, Te Hūmeka Waikato
Māori Business Network and the Ministry of Māori
Development Te Puni Kōkiri.

Te Whare Ohaoha outlines
several high-level outcomes that have been achieved since
the original Māori economic development action plan was
developed in February 2018, with the goal to position the
Māori economy as a key driver of economic success and
social and cultural wellbeing in the Waikato region.

Te
Puni Kōkiri Regional Manager for Waikato – Waiariki
Rachel Jones says the outcomes reported this year can be
attributed to enhanced collaboration and strategic
partnerships among Waikato stakeholders to grow the Māori
economy.

“We’ve completed research on the way Māori
businesses collaborate so we can best provide appropriate
networking opportunities.”

“We’re grateful for the
support and work of our iwi leaders, rangatahi
representatives and whānau enterprises who have worked
alongside the Te Hūmeka Waikato Māori Business Network on
this action plan. We’ve also been able to encourage
engagement across different sectors, which has been vital in
developing new relationships and networks that will help
propel different projects forward in the future.”

Market
research will also be undertaken to assist Māori tourism
ventures to support a key sector that was identified in the
original action plan.

Rachel Jones says a common theme in
Te Whare Ohaoha is its focus on supporting youth and
fostering health and wellbeing in Waikato’s
communities.

“We’ve supported and built a number of
mentoring and youth programmes alongside iwi and other
interested groups, such as the Secondary School Employer
Partnership, which are designed to foster the talents and
aspirations of our rangatahi and encourage them to build
their capabilities well into the future.”

“We
recognise the rangatahi area as a key driver for Māori
economic success, so we’re committed to working in
partnership with others to improve their outcomes and
ensuring sustained growth well into the future.”

Te Waka
CEO Michael Bassett-Foss says Te Waka is proud to support Te
Whare Ohaoha and Māori economic development in the region.

“It’s fantastic to see our growing Māori economy
reflected in a strong ecosystem where Māori business is set
up to thrive and connected to the support, resources, and
funding they need to grow sustainably,” he says.

“Te
Whare Ohaoha is an example of where we’ve been able to
lend our support, whether that’s through enabling
connections and conversations with the right people and
groups, or supporting other major economic development
projects that will have a positive impact on the Māori
economy.”

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