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New partnership puts people at heart of business enterprise

A new partnership between Waikato-Tainui and economic development agency Te Waka: Anga whakamua Waikato is aimed to enable better outcomes for Waikato Tainui tribal members and Māori across the region.

“The aim of the partnership is to embed Maaori values and practices into our commercial activities and to introduce new models of working that produce positive social and economic outcomes,” says Waikato-Tainui executive chair Rukumoana Schaafhausen.

“Leadership in the new economy starts with communities and local entrepreneurs and collaborators and we have so many of these talented people in our rohe who are contributing to the region’s jobs and GDP.

The Maaori asset base in Waikato is estimated at $6.2 billion, which is about 15% of Maaori assets in New Zealand.

“Maaori entrepreneurs are forging a unique approach to business based on culture, people and values with good international connections. We are diversifying the use of our lands to grow healthy kai and providing training and job opportunities for rangitahi and nurturing our future leaders.

“Many Maaori enterprises and Iwi authorities have quietly got on with business and have purpose-driven models which will be catalysts for new ways of working,” Ms Schaafhausen says.

Te Waka Chair Hamish Bell says.

“Māori have an important and integral role to play in the Waikato economy. A true partnership with Waikato Tainui is an important start to our refreshed strategic intent, and will ensure that Te Waka is able to shape its support for Māori economic development aspirations, alongside Iwi’s focus and priorities.   "Today's signing of a partnership agreement with Waikato Tainui is an important milestone and reflects Te Waka’s continued commitment to building and supporting the development of the region’s Māori economy in partnership with Iwi, Hapu and Maori enterprise.”

Te Waka: Anga whakamua Waikato is a business led and government agency established in 2018 to drive economic growth in the Waikato.

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