Last year’s Budget saw a significant amount of expenditure to help support better outcomes for Māori, particularly in the space of healthcare and housing. But there is still more work to be done. The regions, where many Māori businesses are located, continue to see an inequitable distribution of key services, and access to digital infrastructure remains an issue.
How will the Government support Māori businesses across Aotearoa?
Budget overview – policy highlights
Much of the funding for Māori in this year’s Budget focuses on the recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle, which has had a significant impact on Māori communities, which is why the Government has today announced $15 million to accelerate the Māori recovery in Cyclone-affected regions.
Housing is also a key priority for Māori communities, with the Government announcing $233 million to improve housing outcomes, including $200 million to increase the supply of Māori housing and repair Māori properties.
There has also been wins for Māori culture and arts, with $143 million announced to support Māori and Pacific culture and language revitalisation programmes.
Confirmed new policy areas
Health and housing:
$20 million to improve health equity for Māori and Pacific peoples
$20 million to list COVID-19 immunisation and screening coverage for Māori and Pacific peoples
$233 million to improve housing outcomes for Māori, including $23 million for an extension to the Te Ringa Hāpai Whenua Fund and $200 million to increase the supply of Māori housing and repair Māori properties.
$45 million to help enhance data on adaptation and mitigation, including data on how climate change impacts Māori, to help improve resilience to climate hazards
$15 million investment to accelerate the Māori recovery in Cyclone affected regions
Education and culture:
$27 million for a digital skills package to address the skill shortage in our tech sector workforce, with a focus on making pathways into the sector more accessible for underrepresented groups
$282 million operating and $128 million capital to fund Māori medium school infrastructure and expanded Whānau Ora services and support for wāhine hapū in first 1,000 days of life for their pēpi
$143 million to support Māori and Pacific culture and language revitalisation and boost funding for Māori arts and Matariki celebrations, including $10.4 million for te reo revitalisation programmes, and $34 million for Māori cultural institutions and $5.8 million for the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute
Business impacts and considerations
Angela Edwards, BDO Māori Business Sector Leader, says:
“It’s been great to see the Government focus on Māori health in the last two Government Budgets, and Iwi who are working in the health and social services sectors have been directly involved in this work. I expect this only to increase with the Government’s expanded Māori business procurement target of 8%. The funding announced for Māori housing projects will also have a significant impact, and we expect a lot of Māori businesses to win work from this. In some cases, the scale of the projects required by Government can exceed the size of many of the businesses located in the regions where it wants to deliver them. In this case, it’s important for Māori businesses to collaborate in order to deliver the work required.
I would have liked to have seen more regional investment announced today in addition to simply funding the Cyclone recovery. There are a lot of opportunities for economic development in the regions, with a lot of unutilised land, and it’s important that we are providing as many opportunities as possible for businesses in these areas. Training is also essential – we’re located in the regions and we see first-hand the lack of skilled professionals. While there is often a lot of Government support for the trades, which is great, we also need to see investment in other types of work, particularly in rural areas.”
Quick tips & questions
The Government has recently increased the public sector procurement target for Māori businesses from 5% of all Government contracts to 8% - have you explored the Government contract opportunities available to your business?
If a Government contract is for a large project, have you explored opportunities to collaborate with other Māori organisations to deliver the service?
More information and help available
You can read more detail on the expenditure announced today at the Government Budget website here.
At BDO, we understand that people, planet and profit drive Māori business above all else. Our Māori business advisers have strong relationships with the sector, and are there on the ground and in the regions working with you every day to help you achieve your dreams for your people, the planet and your profits. For advice on how to make the most of the opportunities presented in today’s Budget, or any other business support, reach out to our BDO Māori Business team today.
For more information on the key issues facing Māori Businesses as well as practical advice on how to alleviate the challenges, view our BDO Wellbeing & Business Performance Index – April 2023 Māori Business sector report here.